A lot of kids participate in after-school sports programs, but for Nina Gartenhaus, 24, sports were more than just something to do after the long school day.
Now, Gartenhaus dreams of working in sports medicine and making a difference in her patients’ lives.
After growing up in Baltimore and graduating from Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in 2017, Gartenhaus received a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also minored in Jewish studies and was on the pre-medical track.
During the summer of 2024, Gartenhaus is looking forward to continuing her education in medical school.
She lives in Federal Hill and is a member of Beth Tfiloh Congregation.
What do you currently do for work?
I’m working three jobs. I am the administrative assistant in the athletic department at Beth Tfiloh. I also coach varsity soccer, basketball and lacrosse, as well as middle school basketball. I’m also scribing with ScribeAmerica, so I listen to the transcription of the doctor’s interactions with patients, and I type up the doctor’s notes for them. I’m also the director of communications for the Maryland Lacrosse League.
What does a day in your life look like?
This morning, I woke up, and I took my dog Kobe for a walk around Federal Hill. After that, I answered some emails for Maryland Lacrosse League. Then, I drove to Pikesville to go to Beth Tfiloh. My parents live in Pikesville, so I drop Kobe off there every day for day care at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Then, I go to Beth Tfiloh around 1 p.m., where I typically stay until 7 p.m., and then when I get home in the evenings, I scribe for the doctor.
Do you know what type of medicine you want to go into?
Right now, I really like sports medicine and rehab, but I also have interest in rheumatology and oncology. My father and my aunt are both oncologists. Growing up, I played soccer, basketball and lacrosse at Beth Tfiloh, and I have two younger brothers who also played sports. That interest sparked my interest in medicine and in the Jewish community. Medicine-wise, we had just about every sports injury in the book. We were always at the doctor’s office and a lot of time in rehab.
It really made a difference. My brothers and I played in the JCC Maccabi Games. As an adult, I’ve gone back, and I’ve coached the JCC Maccabi Games the past two years.
Why do you feel this is fulfilling for you?
I love it. My grandparents are Holocaust survivors, so I think that any way to get Jewish people connected around the world is very meaningful. I also love sports. It’s great exercise, great physical activity. Also being a former athlete and now a coach, there’s just all the life lessons you get from sports. You get communication, you get teamwork, and that translates into real life.
How would you describe your personal relationship with Judaism?
I would say right now it’s strong, especially since everything that has happened on Oct. 7. Judaism has always been very important in my family. My dad is the more religious one. When I was growing up, my mother would go to Beth Tfiloh, and my father would go to Suburban Orthodox, so we got to see both sides of it. My mother’s family was more traditional, and my father’s is more religious. When I got to college, I was kind of experimenting and figuring out what works for me. Judaism is something I’m proud of and something that I obviously want to pass on to future generations.
Do you feel like Maryland is important to you because you’ve lived here for your whole life?
I was born in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and my brothers were born in Chicago, Illinois. We moved to Maryland when I was 5. When we first moved here, it kind of seemed like everyone had been in Maryland forever. All the classic families that had generations here, they had a million cousins here. We felt like we didn’t really know anyone. But after being here for so many years, it’s nice now because that feeling is completely gone. It’s special to me, and it has grown on me the longer that we’ve been here.