We asked our fellows to answer some questions about themselves. Thank you to Yael Pachino Photography for the photo of Nuriya (right). Here is our interview with Nuriya: 

My venture in under 5 words is… Queer café / sober community space

Who inspired you to do this venture? Clients that I was working with in an addiction recovery facility for transgender folks who experience ongoing struggles based on societal stigma and discrimination.

What is your favorite mitzvah (good deed)? I’m not sure this is a mitzvah… but it’s something that guides me “Give without expecting anything in return and do so in an intentional thoughtful way”

The holiday that I could celebrate every day is… Christmukkah – because I get to celebrate both my own traditions and my wife’s while the house is full of light.

Do you have a pet? If so, send picture/s! Yes!! I (technically) have an amazingly smart cat named Karla even though she lives in Tivon (Israel) with my parents. I found her as a kitten on my military base and gave her a bath before presenting her to my parents and requesting to adopt her. After the bath she was cold – hence the name Karla (in Hebrew it means she is cold)!

You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant? I would name them Ferdinand and take them on a walk along the Schuylkill river to show them some of my favorite parts of Philly!

Are you a hunter or a gatherer? My wife says I’m a gatherer but I think I’m a hunter, honestly, I could probably be in either role and convince myself that whichever role I’m in is the most important so I must give 100% of myself to complete the tasks at hand!

Nuriya’s venture is a queer Cafe and sober community space employing LGBTQ+ youth and hosting social and educational events. Ask her all about the venture at Pitch Night!