Joe Schwartz ‘12 is a BT lifer...
His parents, Stacy and Louis, enrolled him in Beth Tfiloh’s PreSchool, confident that BT would give their firstborn a quality Jewish education and lifelong identity, without compromising on the general studies curriculum. Having an all-in-one school and shul community sealed the deal, providing their family Joe and his siblings, Josh ’15, Andrew ’16 and Allison ’21, a warm and nurturing environment where they would grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
He recalls the impact of his senior trip to Poland and Israel, where he and classmate Ian Lever ’12 shared a powerful experience: taking care to step on each tie of the Auschwitz train tracks, “honoring the memories of all the victims who never left.” While reflecting on the experience, the two friends decided “to leave feeling empowered, motivated, and proud, rather than hopeless, depressed, and sorrowful.” They took that pride and excitement with them as they boarded the bus to the airport for their next stop – Israel!
After graduating from BT’s High School in 2012, Joe earned a degree in supply chain management and business marketing from University of Maryland, College Park. Today, he’s a sourcing operations analyst on an Under Armour footwear production team.
Outside of work, Joe keeps busy saving lives and raising money for the Pikesville Volunteer Fire Company (PVFC). “My biggest passion is the volunteer fire service,” he said.
In addition to serving as an EMT/IV technician, ambulance driver, firefighter, and rescue technician with PVFC, Joe is also its third vice president. In that role, he manages the company’s social media presence, community outreach efforts, and a $2 million fundraising campaign to replace PVFC’s aging fire engine and tower. “I am continuously amazed by our extremely dedicated membership and I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to support our company as we serve the community together. Even with a storied history of 122 years, I truly believe PVFC’s best years are still to come.”
Never one to sit still — “to which my BT teachers would certainly attest” — Joe spends any spare time he has enjoying sports and outdoor activities with friends. “As my fellow BT alum Matt Jeffers ‘09 once said, ‘The only disability in life is a bad attitude.’ I try hard to live by those words, bringing positive energy and fun to everything I do.”
Joe brings that positive energy and fun to BT shul each week, where he leads the boys’ Middle School minyan. He joined BT as a young adult member after moving downtown in 2017, mostly to stay connected to the Pikesville Jewish community, but partly for more personal reasons. “With my dad on the board, I wanted the ability to tell him that he works for me!” Joe laughs.
He enjoys networking and socializing at Beth Tfiloh Young Professionals (BTYP) events, and even hosted a Learning & L’chaim program this year. But what Joe loves most about BT is how it has something for everyone: “As someone who comes from a family with varying levels of observance, I appreciate being able to go somewhere that has services and activities to meet everyone’s diverse wants and needs.”
Joe is especially looking forward to the High Holidays, where he will reunite with long-time friends he doesn’t see on a regular basis. “There is such an amazing sense of family when the entire BT community comes together.”