Who the Folk?! Jon Applebaum

Welcome to “Who the Folk?!” Every week on Monday we feature a new member of the community as our “Person of the Week.” Last week we got to know Liv Augusta Anderson. This week meet Jon Applebaum! Know someone we should feature? Nominate them by sending an email to [email protected].

*The questions asked by TC Jewfolk below are intended to highlight an interesting member of the Twin Cities Jewish community, similar to past “Who the Folk?!” articles that we publish weekly. This article should not be seen as an endorsement of any one candidate for the primary or general elections.

TC Jewfolk: Are you from the Twin Cities? 

Jon: Yes. I grew up in Minnetonka and have lived here all my life, except for four years in Nashville while attending Vanderbilt University. I never wanted to live anywhere else.

TCJ: You’re running for office in Minnetonka. Have you always been interested in public service?

Jon: ​Yes. At Hopkins High School, I had an amazing teacher, Mr. Unruh-Friesen, who taught a US Government course. The material, combined with the way he taught, ignited something in me and inspired me to continue to learn more about how our government works and how politics can improve peoples’ lives. I majored in political science at Vanderbilt and went onto earn a J.D. at the University of Minnesota Law School, with the hope to one day enter into public service to help make our great community the very best in the country.

TCJ: Are you involved in any other TC organizations?

Jon: ​Yes. There are so many great Jewish organizations in town that I am proud to support and be apart of: I enjoy regularly participating and attending events for the Federation, Cardozo Society and JCRC. I play basketball at the Minneapolis JCC, too. Regarding non-secular organizations, my incredible mom founded Save Minnesota Moose and I am a board member. Kate and I support various animal rescues in town and got Emma from Act V Rescue.


Jon with fiancee Kate and dog Emma.

TCJ: What’s your favorite way to celebrate Shabbat?

Jon: ​Spending time at my dad’s house and fressing on chopped liver, egg salad and pastrami for lunch while he and I watch sports or an action movie. He is the greatest. I also look forward to regular Shabbat dinners with my mom, too – but she eats much healthier!

TCJ: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?

Jon: Rosh Hashanah – it’s always fun to look forward to an exciting, happy, healthy new year with family and friends. The Vikings are usually still in contention by then, too!

TCJ: What’s your favorite Jewish food?

Jon: My Nana Gloria’s kugel – it’s been my favorite dessert since I was little. (I could eat every meal at Crossroads Deli, though.)

TCJ: Who is the coolest Jew?

Jon: Both my grandfathers, Lynn Johnson (who recently passed away) and Sid Applebaum. They both lived the American dream: started with little, worked hard every day of their lives and built their own companies (Sid, who is 90, still wakes up before 5 a.m. and goes to work!), raised wonderful families, gave back to our community and made a difference in the lives of so many people  I am lucky to be one of them.

TCJ: What’s your favorite thing to do in the Cities?

Jon: Walking around the lakes with Kate and Emma. We like exploring new restaurants, too, although I have a very unsophisticated palate!

TCJ: What else do you do for fun?

Jon: I am from a family of golfers and I love spending time on the course with family and friends. Kate is rapidly improving, which is really fun to see. We both enjoy the arts and regularly visit all the galleries in the Twin Cities.

[This article was edited at 5:08 PM on 5/12/14. If you have any questions please email [email protected]]

Click here to nominate your favorite TC Jew to be featured on our weekly Who the Folk?! series!