Hanging tight....(Photo Cred: STOLEN, it's Ari's cover photo)
To be fair, most of our conversations begin over four subjects: the students we have in common (many of my UO students have been involved with Ari in Ramah in some way), my dog Ellie (he has plans to steal her one day when I'm not looking), what flight/airport/city we're currently on/in, and Jewish education. Ari has a large amount of experience in all of these areas, and he's often one of the first people that I'll turn to when turning over a new initiative/challenge/program in my head.
Why discipline? Ari has a passion for what he does, ensuring that creativity and discipline intermingle with each and every task he takes on. From posting enough photos/videos from his most recent MOL visit (so much so that I felt I was there!) to pushing forward my #BlogBOmer initiative to his own friends (and then texting me a picture of someone's first post!), to coming up with creative marketing, there's a precision and dedication to everything he does. Seeking out a creative Jewish text? He has it in his back pocket--and a great way to connect it to your intended audience.
Why humility? Because he's not about the accolades. In fact, he's more excited when there's a student we have in common coming to work for Ramah then about what his plans are for the camp schedules and strategies this summer! Ari is about building relationships with others (and building them up) but rarely takes compliments that come his way with pride (or at all!). While he's probably rolling his eyes and shaking his head at this post for the third time by now, Ari knows that he's got strengths in building discipline in others, promoting only the best in those that learn and work beside him. He would probably also be shocked to know that he had a profound influence on my own Taglit Fellows experience, but for anyone that's headed to Ramah in the Rockies, know this: as hard as he works, he's also got jokes!
To Ari: Thanks for all of the wit, intelligence, and laughs/plane rides shared. Happy that you're home!