Welcome Back to Davey Rosen
More and more young Jewish professionals who left Detroit to start their careers are coming back home, such as Davey Rosen, 32, assistant director of the University of Michigan Hillel, who now lives in Ann Arbor — just a frisbee’s throw away from the Big House with his wife, Jillian, originally from Fair Lawn, N.J., who now works as the program officer at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. Rosen is active in the Ann Arbor Federation’s Young Adult Division.
When did you leave Metro Detroit and why?
Rosen: I left after graduating from North Farmington High School in 1998 and went to Israel because of the passion I had developed for Israel and Jewish history based on my experience of going to Israel in high school for a semester with the Detroit Jewish Federation and the many summers I spent at Camp Ramah in Canada. I went to Israel with Young Judaea Year Course and studied in Jerusalem, volunteered with an environmental advocacy group in Tel Aviv and volunteered for several months in the south of Israel on Kibbutz Ketura, 30 minutes from Eilat.
From Israel I moved to Los Angeles to be a rock star and, along the way, I received a bachelor’s in modern Jewish history and thought from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and studied in rabbinical school for one year.
In 2004, after five years in LA, I moved to New York City and worked for Young Judaea, supervising regional programs. In 2008, I completed a master’s degree in informal and communal Jewish education from the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). After JTS, I was the family educator at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York and then moved to Boston to be the assistant director at Camp Ramah in New England. I love music, playing guitar, writing songs and have performed all over, from California to Estonia.
When did you decide to come back and why?
Rosen: I’m all about living an exciting and dynamic Jewish life and that requires exciting and dynamic Jewish communities. I moved back to Michigan from Boston in July 2011 to be the assistant director at the University of Michigan Hillel because Michigan students are critical thinkers and have a desire to ask big questions. As a Jewish educator, I have a responsibility and desire to facilitate adult Jewish experiences that are challenging, exciting and fun while creating personal meaning for each student. I have that incredible opportunity at U-M Hillel.
What are your thoughts on the future of Metro Detroit?
Rosen: I think Metro Detroit has a tremendous foundation for the future based in a history rooted in family and communal life. People in the Detroit area are committed to community while exploring new ways to express and show that commitment. I’m excited to be back home and to be a part of this proud community. I hope the Pistons are a team I can be proud of in the near future, too, but I’m not holding my breath.
If you’re a young Jewish professional who recently moved back to Metro Detroit, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in “Welcome Back.”