Nadine Simpson, 34, is a familiar face around the downtown Baltimore Jewish community.
She serves on the steering committee of Harbor Minyan, a lay-led egalitarian minyan and potluck group, which she has been involved in since it first started years ago. She is also a member of B’nai Israel and has attended events at Moishe House Baltimore and Repair the World Baltimore.
Originally from New Jersey, Simpson first moved to Maryland to attend the University of Maryland at College Park, where she studied journalism and public health. She then went to nursing school at New York University. Over the years, she has worked at Sinai Hospital, the University of Maryland and as a travel nurse. She is now a nurse coordinator at the cancer center at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Simpson lives in Baltimore’s Jonestown neighborhood with her fiance, Scott Stofenberg, whom she met at B’nai Israel.
When you were in college studying journalism and public health, what were you hoping to do professionally?
I had always wanted to be a journalist, and I had wanted to cover a health beat. I really loved journalism and, as I got through it, I really enjoyed it but then I added public health. I tried to add it as a minor but they got rid of the minor, so I just added it as a major and found I really loved it. I decided I wanted to do something more health related, and I still like journalism, but I realized I wanted to do health education and things like that, and I realized I can write whatever articles or found tips I want about making positive lifestyle changes or information about whatever health issues I want to convey information about. … Now as a nurse, I do a lot of one-on-one teaching.
What does your day-to-day work now look like?
I work in an outpatient setting. I work in a clinic. My patients are all stem cell transplant patients specifically, and they range from, the ones I see, some of them are right out of transplant, some of them are several years out and just come once in a while. On any given day, patients will come to the clinic and they’ll either have an appointment with me and I’ll see them and go over their lab work and do symptom assessment, all that stuff. Sometimes they’ll have an appointment with the physicians I work with. I’m a coordinator so I talk with the physicians about what kinds of things the patients need in addition to their visits with us.
What, to you, makes Harbor Minyan special?
I really like that anybody can come. Everyone is friendly. If you would like to come for an egalitarian minyan, you can. If that’s not your thing, no judgment, you can just have food with us after. Anytime that I went to Harbor Minyan and I talked to people, I just always had a really great conversation. There was never a Harbor Minyan that I went to where I was like, eh, I could have skipped out on that one.
What does your Jewish identity mean to you?
It’s a really cool thing to have in common with people. I noticed, as I was traveling across the country, I met so many people just because I reached out to them to find Shabbat meals, young adult minyans and groups and things like that. It’s a great way to connect with people.
If you could invite anybody to a Shabbat dinner, alive or dead, who would it be?
I would love to schmooze with Ruth Bader Ginsburg.