A little more than a year ago, Carly Litwok began working at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac as membership coordinator. Three promotions later, the 27-year-old the Bethesda native has risen to assistant executive director, a job she says she loves, but which cuts into her time to play golf.
How did Judaism become such an important part of your life?
I went to Brandeis and almost didn’t go there because of how Jewish it was. I was kind of going through my own little identity crisis. Then I became good friends with a lot of modern Orthodox kids as well as my friends from my softball team.
Then my now-husband [Daniel] and I moved to East Lansing, Mich., for graduate school, and there’s not many Jews out there. It was the first time in my life that I hadn’t been surrounded by people who were similar to me. In that situation you have two options: you can assimilate, forget your Judaism and go with the rest of the crowd or you can stay grounded. We both felt like it was really important to stay grounded in that tradition and it’s carried on with us.
We try to have Shabbat dinner as much as we can. We’re not shomer Shabbat or anything — we’ll watch Michigan State [football games] on Saturday mornings — but that sense of tradition and sense of belonging is really what keeps us grounded.
What is your favorite sport to play now?
Playing baseball and softball was my absolute passion growing up. But in a slow-pitch softball game not too long ago, I tore my ACL [anterior cruciate ligament]. Then I tore my meniscus [disc] in the same knee. So I’d probably have to say golf is my favorite sport to play now. [Not being able to play softball] is a little frustrating, but when the weather is nice my husband and I like to get out at least once a week. We get up really early on the weekend and go out to get in a quick round.
How early do you have to get up?
It depends on where we go. Playing around here [Potomac] is a disaster. It takes too long. But if you drive up 270 you can tee off at 7:30 and be done in three hours. So we usually get up at 5:30 or 6.
We understand there’s some conflict around sports teams in your family.
My brother is a diehard Redskins fan as am I. And, unfortunately, that means that I have to deal with that heartbreak all the time. My brother used to say to me, “Don’t you ever bring anyone home who roots for another team in the NFC East.” And I came home with my husband from New Jersey who is a huge Giants fan. Luckily they got along really well — he agreed that the Giants are the least offensive team out of all of the NFC East. The Cowboys and the Eagles are much worse than the Giants.
What would have happened if you had brought home a Cowboys fan?
I wouldn’t have brought home a Cowboys fan.
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