Meet our Facilities Coordinator, Elan Brookstein. After recently returning from 6 months of travelling around South America, Elan is now based in Brighton, where he will help transform the BNJC from a building site to a vibrant operation. He has a passion for body-based therapy, and his interests include martial arts and racket sports.
We asked Elan about his new role as our Facilities Coordinator and what he’s looking forward to most when BNJC opens next year
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background:
I’m 23 and grew up in Radlett, Hertfordshire. After leaving school I studied International Development at Sussex University and then spent a year labouring on different building sites and properties in Brighton and Eastbourne, where I got a preview of what hard work is and what it takes to build and maintain a property. I then went traveling around South America and ended my travels in Jerusalem, where I studied in Yeshiva. All the while I kept up my hobby of sports, and am currently learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I am also learning to speak Hebrew.
What does your role at BNJC involve?
I will be the person on the ground, helping to maintain the BNJC site. This is to ensure that all the systems and utilities work properly, so all the facilities can operate smoothly.
Where are you currently based?
I will be based in one of the beautiful BNJC flats, on the leafy New Church Road.
What are your favorite things about Brighton & Hove and do you have any recommendations of places to go and/or things to do in the city?
I have had the pleasure of living in Brighton and Hove for the last 4 years. In the summer, the seafront feels like a holiday town. There are people playing music and doing all kinds of wacky activities. There are many small, cool communities in Brighton. I was part of a sea swimming group, for which there is a Facebook page called Salty Sea Birds
I am excited for more sea swims, walks in the Downs, and the relaxed pace of life in Brighton and Hove.
What are you looking forward to most when BNJC opens later this year?
For one, I am excited to be a part of a new community of Jewish people and to introduce non-Jews to our vibrant culture. I am excited to help build and maintain the centre as part of my role, and also have the opportunity to help people outside of my job, in the community. There will also be plenty of learning opportunities on the site with the education and events teams.
What does Judaism mean to you?
More recently, I have been discovering what being Jewish means. I realised when I visited South America, including the Amazon jungle, that there are many similarities in Jewish communities all around the world. In Yeshiva and beyond, I have been learning more about Jewish History, Philosophy, and scriptures, where I am discovering the depth and wisdom of my religion and culture.