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 Benjie Kaplan. This week meet Mark Divine! Know someone we should feature? Nominate them by sending an email to [email protected].
Mark: Born and Raised. Grew up in MPLS, but being a member of Temple of Aaron, I definitely consider myself a St. Paul Jew!
TCJ: We were told that you run the Jewish network at Target. What does that mean exactly?
Mark: I co-run it with awesome others, but that’s a good question. Basically – I am part of a team that puts together lunches, networking events and holiday programming (including our famous Hamentaschen Bake-off) for those who are Jewish or are interested in Judaism that work at Target. It’s all about helping build community at Target. We also organize product feedback sessions to help build our Hanukkah assortment every year. Everyone should get excited for what’s coming in 2014!
TCJ: How many pairs of khakis and red shirts do you own? Be honest.
Mark: I think I own 2 pairs of Khakis and maybe 2 or 3 wearable red shirts – believe it or not we don’t actually have to wear that every day! I do however have an awesome name tag that looks like the ones team members wear in the stores.
Mark: I help out as a Service Leader and Sunday School teacher at Temple of Aaron and with TAXY. Outside of the Jewish world – because I work with School & Office supplies at Target, I’ve become connected to the Kids in Need Foundation, an organization that donates school supplies to school across the country.
TCJ: If there was a showdown between all the Jewish summer camps, who would you want to win?
Mark: I was a counselor at Camp Olami for 4 summers, so I’d have to pull for them.
TCJ: What’s your favorite way to celebrate Shabbat?
Mark: It needs to start with Shabbat Dinner at my parent’s house. If there is a week where I don’t get my mom’s chicken dinner I just feel empty. Besides that – you’ll generally find me at Temple of Aaron on Saturday Mornings with my Dad and Zayde (and Brother Jason and Nephew Rudy when my brother isn’t working).
TCJ: What’s your favorite Jewish food?
Mark: Pastrami on Rye – especially if you’re getting it at 2nd Ave Deli. There is nothing better than walking in and ordering a sandwich so big you have ZERO chance of finishing it.
TCJ: Who is the coolest Jew?
Mark: I’d have to say my close, personal friend Ido Leffler. If you haven’t heard of him, he is the co-founder of the Yes To Inc. (the makers of Yes To Carrots, Yes To Cucumbers etc.) Everything Ido works on is awesome product while also having some kind of element to make the world better. He also loves ordering every dessert on every menu and calls himself the father of 2 Crazy Monkeys. If you want someone local – I’d go with Josh Fineblum – how many other people can sing and knock down open 3s on the basketball court?
TCJ: What’s your favorite thing to do in the Cities?
Mark: Eating out – I love to cook, but we have so many amazing restaurants here that most of us don’t even realize exist. (Tip: get the cookies w/sea salt and olive oil Ice Cream at Pizzeria Lola – you will NOT be disappointed).
TCJ: What else do you do for fun?
Mark: You’ll find me seeing movies at WestEnd, playing basketball at the JCC, playing tennis, sitting outside in the summer or at a sporting event. Still waiting for one of our teams to win a championship.
TCJ: Give us one more reason why you are folking awesome!
Mark: I’m going to guess my dad is someone’s doctor that you’re related to – who else can say that?Click here to nominate your favorite TC Jew to be featured on our weekly Who the Folk?! series!