In our community: Community Organizer, Aliza Schwartz.

AlizaIt was a memorable spring for JBBBS Community Organizer, Aliza Schwartz. In addition to her work with the agency, in March, she was published, first author, in an academic journal for research conducted while still an undergrad at Brandeis University. The same month, she joined HaZamir alums for a performance at Carnegie Hall.

Within the span of a few weeks, you were published in Cognitive Science and you sang at Carnegie Hall. Tell us what goes through your head on an awesome week such as that?

I am thankful for the amazing mentors I have been so lucky to have in my life. Two of those mentors were in these areas. Both of them created incredible environments that allowed me to strive for challenging goals and feel genuinely empowered, valued, supported and creative.

You studied culture’s impact on categorization in memory. In a sentence or two (which any non-scientist can understand), tell us what you learned!

A lot of cross-cultural research compares East Asians to Americans. We examined Turkish culture, which is interesting because it is made up of a blend of Eastern and Western cultural influences. We found, through analyzing “false memories,” or errors in memory, that Americans tend to use categories as a strategy to organize information in memory to a greater extent than do Turks, who tend to emphasize relationships and similarities.

Let’s talk music. What’s your favorite to listen to? To make?

I am obsessed with acoustic YouTube covers. For example, Michael Henry and Justin Robinett’s cover of If I Die Young by The Band Perry.

You’re also a JOIN fellow. How has your experience in JOIN informed your work at JBBBS?

JOIN is teaching me strategies to build powerful teams, develop leaders, and cultivate relationships: all skills that play out every day in my work here, especially at the temples I work with. The JOIN community itself models the content of what we learn and discuss, and I’ve found that being a part of this fellowship and a part of what JOIN is building is incredibly useful for what I do at JBBBS.

And, speaking of that, what’s your favorite part about working here?

The staff and the mission. Walking into the office each day, I feel motivated to work because of the amazing people who surround me and the powerful impact we have.

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