Tell us a little about your family.
My family is one of the main reasons I decided to move back to Memphis. We’re a rambunctious bunch that supports each other in all ways. I have three brothers, and we are all absurdly different from one another. It certainly makes for memorable family vacations and lively group dinners. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Where did you graduate from college and what is your major?
I graduated from the University of Maryland with a double degree in English and Jewish Studies.

Tell us about your new position at Temple Israel.
I serve as Temple Israel’s Community Engagement Director. Although my job involves many responsibilities, I focus on sustaining ConnecTI, Temple Israel’s young professionals group, and ensuring our Crosstown space will serve as a dynamic and vibrant place for our Jewish community. We’re launching new programs this spring, so be on the lookout!

Baylee leads a panel discussion at Temple Crosstown

What is your view of Jewish Memphis?
Jewish Memphis is warm and supportive. It always encourages and challenges each of us to ensure its longevity by building upon the extraordinary community previous generations created.

What would you tell people thinking about making the move to Memphis?
Memphis puts forth unprecedented opportunity and change-making spaces. It’s a city alive with excitement, passion and fire – you don’t want to miss out.

How/Why did you want to be involved in the Memphis Jewish community?
I come from an interfaith household, and I grew up within several communities – all with their own charms. During high school, I joined BBYO, which served as my most influential introduction to the Memphis Jewish community. I quickly found a supportive, vibrant and eclectic community that I eagerly dove into headfirst. Now, I actively work to ensure all new and returning Jewish Memphians find this same, incredible community.

Baylee enjoys the Purim festivities at Temple Israel in Memphis


How do you juggle your leadership roles in your professional and community work?
Some days it feels like there isn’t enough time in the day – then, I remember why I chose to get involved with specific organizations and communities. In most of my leadership roles, I am responsible for engagement, which serves as a fancy word for forging connections. I’m fortunate to work in the space of making people feel welcomed, wanted, and above all valued. So I may be juggling, but the work is fulfilling and fun.

How would you like to leave your footprint on the Memphis Jewish community?
I hope to continue to add to the growth and energy that makes the Memphis Jewish community an even warmer and more welcoming community than when I found it.

What is your favorite (Jewish) childhood memory?
As a child I attended a Christian day school, so celebrating Hanukkah made me feel unique and part of a special community. My parents also purchased a single, new menorah every year; my brother and I struggled to choose our favorite and which one would be “our” menorah for the week. It was a tradition that I looked forward to every year.

What is your favorite Memphis memory?
Although it’s a recent memory, this past Martin Luther King, Jr. Day stands out as a transformative day. In partnership with MICAH (Memphis Interfaith Coalition of Action and Hope) and the New Memphis Institute, ConnecTI hosted an Interfaith Luncheon for millennials across the street from The National Civil Rights Museum. More than 100 Memphis millennials collectively ignited to take ownership and action over our city’s current civil rights issues. In that moment, I felt proud to be a Memphian, a millennial, and a Temple member.

Favorite Places in Memphis?
The 7th floor of Crosstown Concourse, India Palace, and Shelby Farms Park.

Favorite Activities?
Recently, I’ve been intentionally celebrating Shabbat on a more regular basis. I treasure how Shabbat brings people together to enjoy time with others and reflect spiritually. The ConnecTI Underground Shabbats have always been one of my favorite ways to celebrate the end of the week. I also spend most of my free time at live music shows; the energy of a music-filled room electrifies me. I prefer intimate, communal experiences compared to large, flashy events.

What is something about you that others would not expect?
My favorite holiday is Yom Kippur haha – but seriously!