Born and raised in Claremont, Ethan graduated from The Webb Schools and Occidental College. He is the grandson of Holocaust survivors. His father’s parents met after the war at the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp, which had previously been a concentration camp. As refugees, they remained in the camp for four years until they were finally granted permission to immigrate to Israel in 1949. There they married, had two children (Ethan’s dad and his older brother), and lived for eleven years until they decided to start a new life in the United States. Thus, Ethan is the first generation of the Reznik family to be born in the United States. Once Ethan was old enough, his grandparents shared many of their first-hand experiences in fleeing the Nazis. They taught him what hate, racism, and anti-Semitism lead to and why we must practice tolerance and acceptance of others in our daily lives.
When he was younger, Ethan attended Temple Beth Israel (TBI) Preschool and Atid Hebrew Academy. In 2007, Ethan and his family joined TBI and remain members to this day. At TBI, Ethan celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in 2011 and Confirmation in 2014. He continued being active at the temple throughout high school, including traveling to Washington with Rabbi Kupetz and other students to attend a social action conference and to lobby members of Congress on gun violence prevention and other issues.
Since 1971, Ethan’s family has owned and operated a residential care home that houses people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression. At a time when community-based homes for the mentally ill are shutting down, leaving many mentally ill on the streets, the need for homes like this is critical. From a very young age, Ethan often accompanied his dad to work. He would play basketball and ping pong with the residents, who were thrilled to have a young person around who treated them as regular people, in contrast to how most of society has treated them. It is from this experience that Ethan developed his empathy for the plight of the mentally ill and understands the challenges that mental illness presents, both for those suffering as well as for society at large. He is committed to providing resources for the mentally ill while also removing the stigma attached to their illnesses.
Ethan’s family joined The Claremont Club in 1990 upon moving into the condominiums next door. They took advantage of all the recreational facilities and even hosted several parties at the Club. As a toddler, Ethan was one of the first to participate in the Club’s new childcare program. He attended the Club’s summer camps, enjoying a different experience each week while making new friends.
When he was fourteen, Ethan realized that merely watching reruns of The West Wing didn’t cut it anymore; he wanted to get involved in Democratic politics. He has worked on Democratic campaigns the last four election cycles, starting with Congressman Howard Berman’s 2012 campaign. Most recently, in 2018, Ethan moved to St. Louis for three months to help reelect Senator Claire McCaskill. Sadly, the blue wave did not extend to the state of Missouri. Ethan also had the opportunity to work in the offices of Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.
Ethan worked as a journalist in high school and college, leading the expansion of The Webb Schools student newspaper to online platforms and coverage of national issues. He has always held journalists in the highest regard for their invaluable service to our democracy. For that reason, Ethan has been working with the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation to enact congressional legislation and raise funds to build a memorial on the National Mall commemorating journalists who have died defending democracy and transparency. The Fallen Journalists Memorial Act has moved through the committee process and was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on September 21.