Kelly on why she should be Jewish Girl of the Year:
I should be the Jewish Girl of the Year because I am likely the only contestant who is DC born, bred, and whose family has roots here for four generations. And (listen up men!) my Jewish cooking is Girl-of-the-Year worthy…dare I say as good as your Mom’s!
We understand you have a long connection with Washington. What’s the coolest thing about being a native Washingtonian?
I’m a fourth generation Washingtonian. Some people think I’m a rarity, but us natives really do exist! My grandparents used to belong to what is now 6th & I (previously Adas Israel) in the 1930’s and 1940’s. So when I go there, it has a special meaning.
Many of us flock to the beach for summer vacations, but we hear that you tend to travel into the wilderness and the great outdoors. Where do you go and why?
I’ve spent many summers working for the National Oudoor Leadership School (NOLS), guiding groups on 30-day backpacking/climbing trips in remote mountains ranges in Wyoming, Alaska, and the Yukon Territory. I’m a total geology and glacier nerd. My parents still don’t quite understand how a nice Jewish girl spends up to 30 days in the summer without running water and contact with the outside world. All I can say is, it’s the love of my life and an incredibly powerful experience to spend such an extended period of time in remote wilderness.
If you could date any Jew, who would it be?
Sam Kass – the White House Chef. A hot guy who cooks and gardens. Who wouldn’t want him?
You’ve been away from DC for a while, but returned a couple of months ago. What did you miss about this town?
I spent the past 2 1/2 years living in Manhattan. What amazed me is how so many New Yorkers think Washington is a boring little town with no Jewish life. Some New Yorkers think the sun rises and sets only in NYC! So what I missed most about DC is the palpable worldliness and depth of Washingtonians. We love our city but we would never dare be so provincial as to call our city “THE CITY” (don’t kill me, New Yorkers!) My favorite NYC moment was going to a New York Rangers vs. Capitals game at Madison Square Garden wearing my Caps jersey amidst a sea of New Yorkers. So many people booed and scowled at me, so I booed and scowled right back.
Who’s the greatest Jew born after 1900?
My grandmother, Dorothy (Fogel) Paul. She was a little Southern lady with huge personality and would have certainly been Washington’s JGOTW back in the day. In true Jewish grandmother fashion, all she talked about was food, weight gain, and marriage.