Who the Folk?! Jamie Sandler & Matt Hurewitz

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 Steve Simon. This week This week we have another “Couples Edition” with Jamie Sandler & Matt Hurewitz! Know someone we should feature? Nominate them by sending an email to [email protected].

jamie-mattTC Jewfolk: Are you both from the Twin Cities? 

Jamie: I was born and raised in the Northern suburbs of Chicago. After attending undergraduate at DePaul and living in Chicago for 4 years, I felt it was time to leave the nest and move more than 25 miles away from home. I came to the Twin Cities in 1999 for law school and have been here ever since.

Matt: I’m not from the Twin Cities. I was born on Long Island, grew up in New Jersey until I was 11 years old and then spent the rest of my childhood in Southern California. In August of 2012 I started commuting between California and the Twin Cities for work, and met Jamie while doing so. After a little over a year and a half, my boss decided that I needed to be out here full time and offered me relocation or severance. Sometimes life forces you to make difficult decisions and this wasn’t one of them. This is where Jamie was, so here I am.

TCJ: How did you two meet? What was your first date like?

Jamie & Matt: We met on JDate. After several days of emailing and talking on the phone, we decided to meet in person. At the time, Matt was still commuting back and forth between Minnesota and California and was about to head back to California for ten days. Eager to meet before he left, our first date was a lunch date on a Friday afternoon during the work day. It was the only free time we had before he left. What was supposed to be a casual lunch at Crave – Mall of America, ended up being hours of talking, walking around, trying the hottest salsa at the salsa shop, lots of laughs and a whole lot of fun, leading us to want to see each other again. Needless to say we never made it back into the office that afternoon and Matt left to go straight to back and head to the airport afterwards.

TCJ: Are you involved in any other TC organizations?

Jamie & Matt: Between the two of us we have 3 young children. Matt has a 10 year old son, Joey, and Jamie has an 8 year old daughter, Mia, and 5 year old son, Brandon. We do not have a ton of time to be involved in many organizations. We belong to Congregation Bet Shalom and get involved in temple activities with the kids.

TCJ: You guys are launching an app called ShareShoot and it sounds like a great idea. Give us the elevator pitch.

Jamie & Matt: You are at, say, the annual Purim party with friends you have not seen in a while. Everyone is dressed up, having a good time, mingling, catching up and taking lots of photos. Ever wish you could see the pictures everyone else was taking? Maybe they captured something you missed, or heaven forbid there is a picture of you out there which is not a selfie. What do you do? You grab their phones and look at their pictures. Or you ask them to email or text you some of the photos. Maybe one or two people take the time to make a Facebook album or Dropbox album, but not everyone. With ShareShoot, you create a photo album, or “Shoot,” right there at the event. You invite your friends to join your Shoot. During the event all the photos each Shoot member takes automatically syncs to one album in the cloud, and voila, everyone has access to all the photos, real time and with no effort.

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

Jamie & Matt: Our favorite way to celebrate Shabbat is with the kids at Tot Shabbat. It is hard not having any family here in town so it allows us to feel a part of the community and allows us to get our kids interested in the Jewish community and traditions as well.

TCJ: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?

Jamie: Passover. I really enjoy the traditions and structure of the seder. I do not get home that often but Passover is one time of year I usually go home to be with my family. There is just something special about getting all the generations of the family together around one table and sharing traditions, conversations, delicious food and passing it all on to the next generation.

Matt: Yom Kippur. The process of atoning is very important to me. It instills a sense of humility and reflection that keeps me grounded…though I’m thankful I only have to do it once a year.

TCJ: What’s your favorite Jewish food?

Jamie: My stepmom is the greatest cook and makes the best Jewish foods but her noodle kugel recipe is absolutely delicious. I don’t really know how to cook but she gave me her recipe and it is the one dish that I can make, and people love it. And matzo ball soup. It just makes me happy and feel warm and fuzzy and is an instant cure whenever I am sick. And I have the greatest fiancé who will go out to buy me some every time I am sick.

Matt: While I do love Jamie’s kugel and I’d never trust a Jew that doesn’t love matzo ball soup, I have a long list of Jewish foods I can’t NOT order when I find a good deli. First off, lox and bagels. Chopped liver, yes please. Derma and gravy, don’t mind if I do. Ruben? Pastrami? White fish salad…yes, yes, yes! Kreplach…if you insist. You can see where I’m going with this…straight to Mort’s on 55, gotta run, as soon as I finish this interview.

TCJ: Who is the coolest Jew?

Jamie: Rabbi Norman Cohen. Growing up in my synagogue back in Chicago, I never really felt included. It all seemed very political to me. But when I came out to Minnesota and decided to join a congregation, Rabbi Cohen made me feel not just welcomed but important to the congregation. He always knew and cared about what was going on in my life. He was always available to talk and provide support. I was not really involved much in my faith during college or law school. It was the warmth of the Bet Shalom community that really brought me back to Judaism and made me want to continue to be a part of the community and raise my kids the same.

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

Matt: Eat! Jamie and I love taking advantage of the amazing food scene. We’ve been to Travail a few times, which is an experience I highly recommend. Also, 112 Eatery, where I first tricked Jamie into eating sweet breads.

TCJ: Give us one more reason you’re folking awesome!

Jamie & Matt: We’re so FOLKING awesome because we can binge watch an entire season of a television show in one night (well more like into the early morning), thanks to Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Big shout out to Downton Abbey, American Horror Story, Orange is the New Black, Scandal, Suits, House of Cards, Sherlock, Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad and Pretty Little Liars!!!

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