Julie Markes has been a member of CBE for over 20 years. A professional photographer, Julie has also graciously photographed many CBE happenings, including B’nei Mitzvahs, Rabbi Green and Rabbi Epstein’s Installations, camp, and Chazakah.
Photographed and Interviewed by Nate Jaffe, Communications Associate
“I grew up with not much religion. My mother’s father was Jewish, from Austria, so my mother was half Jewish but not raised with religion either. I married into a Jewish family and there was never a question as to whether we would raise our children Jewish. What a stroke of luck that we ended up in Brooklyn and that CBE became our temple. My sons attended ECC and had their Bar Mitzvahs here. I have felt welcomed, comfortable, and at home at CBE for over twenty years and feel very fortunate.” – Julie
Nate: Where are you from? If not, NYC, how did you get here?
Julie: Born and raised in Los Angeles. I’m an original Valley Girl from the San Fernando Valley. We moved to Park Slope, to Garfield Place right down the street from CBE, from Los Angeles in the fall of 1997. We joined the temple when my son Charlie was a baby.
Nate: What is your favorite part of your job?
Julie: I have always loved photography. I took my first photography class in an after school class in grade school. I went on to be a photography major at the University of Colorado and then went to the Art Center College of Design where I furthered my studies. I feel very lucky to be able to do something that makes me happy. Photographing people and special events in their lives is a pretty great gig.
Nate: What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
Julie: I’m a pretty good mashed potato maker on Thanksgiving if I must say so myself.
Nate: Do you collect anything?
Julie: I collect many things. Some of my favorite collections are my heart rock collection; rocks I have found that are shaped like hearts, my sock monkey collection, a collection of antique pot lids, and my collection of approximately 100 different pieces of Haviland Limoges from France that I have been collecting since I was a child.
Nate: What is your favorite movie, tv show, or book of all time?
Julie: Perhaps the movie Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders.
Nate: If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?
Julie: My father. He was a television comedy writer and a warm, wonderful, and funny man. And I miss him.
Nate: Describe a past experience, from any point in your life, that defined or impacted who you are today.
Julie: I would say traveling alone out in the world helped shape me as a person, my years spent as a staff photographer at Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times helped shape me as a photographer, and being a mother to Charlie and Nicholas helped shape my heart.
Nate: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Julie: When I was 17, I traveled to Germany and was going to meet a friend at the airport in Frankfurt. My friend never showed up. I called my mother and started crying. She told me to pick myself up by the bootstraps and to travel by myself. I am so thankful for her advice. I traveled by myself extensively over the next 10 years or so after that. My mother was also the one that told me, when I was confused about a major halfway through college, that I should do something that I like. She said, “You’ve always liked photography.” And here I am.
Nate: What motivates you?
Julie: Charlie and Nicholas.
Nate: Who inspires you or who is someone you look up to?
Julie: Mothers who work full time and still manage to get everything else done.
Nate: What’s your favorite quote or mantra?
Julie: Hours fly, flowers die. New days, new ways, pass by. Love stays.
Nate: Is there anything you’re looking forward to in the coming months?
Julie: Going to visit my 90-year-old mother in Los Angeles. It is far too long between the times I am able to hug her.
Nate: Who’s your go-to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
Julie: Anyone who knows me well knows the answer to that. Jackson Browne.