Jodi T.: You’re on the Federation’s young leadership board. What do you do and how can we get involved?
After I went on my Birthright trip last summer I wanted to stay involved with the DC Jewish community. I joined the Birthright Israel NEXT DC committee, a committee under the Federation’s Young Leadership division. It’s been a fantastic way to meet new people, and what’s so great is that we’re all Birthright alums, from all sorts of Birthright trips, all living in the DC area. We plan fundraising happy hours, volunteer with Mitzvah Hoppin’, celebrate Shabbat with Shabbat Hoppin’, and so much more! In fact, this Sunday is “Jew at the Zoo,” a fun opportunity to hang out with young Jewish professionals and Birthright alumni while enjoying a mimosa and the National Zoo! If you want to get involved you can learn more about Birthright Israel NEXT DC at this site or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
JT: Tell us about your job.
I feel privileged to work for JSSA, the Jewish Social Service Agency. I am a clinical social worker and get to wear a variety of “hats” there — I do care management for older adults and their families; I see clients for therapy; I co-facilitate a variety of groups; and I coordinate financial assistance requests, among other things. Every day is different and there’s never a dull moment! It’s exciting to be able to impact the lives of so many people, especially during these tough economic times. JSSA offers a wide range of services for children and families, senior adults, individuals with special needs, and also employment and career services. If you’d like to learn more about JSSA you can visit our website at www.jssa.org!
JT: We hear you love to bake. What are your specialties?
I do love to bake! I get my love of baking for others from my mom, who learned how to bake from my father’s mother. I have a fun time putting a nostalgic twist on the trendy baked goods we see around the city; recently I’ve been experimenting with whoopie pies and cake pops. I have fun when I’m baking, it allows for so much creativity, allows me to de-stress, and come on, who doesn’t love a good old fashioned chocolate chip cookie?
JT: What are your favorite things to do in DC?
I’m a huge fan of farmer’s markets during the warmer months. I love perusing Eastern Market with a good iced coffee on a weekend morning and coming home with a fun find — I’m still growing a huge rosemary plant that I bought as only a few sprigs this time last year! I don’t think DC gets the credit it deserves for great restaurants and I really enjoy trying new places. I sometimes wish I could spend lunchtime in the city to try out the newest food trucks! Oh, and another favorite thing to do is jog over to Roosevelt Island for a walk around the island and its monument. If you’ve never been you should go! It’s a semi-hidden gem of the city with a gorgeous raised trail around its perimeter.
JT: Where can we find you on a Friday night?
Well I recently became the newest Birthright Israel NEXT DC Shabbat Hoppin’ Co-Chair, so pretty soon you’ll be able to find me all around the area one Shabbat per month at a different local synagogue. It’s a great way to get to know our community, both young Jewish professionals and the Jewish community at large. I also really love taking advantage of the Birthright Israel Shabbat dinners and hosting friends for a Shabbat dinner. It’s a fun opportunity to showcase my newest baked good creations but it’s also a great way for friends to come together after a busy week and unwind together. A lawn game-themed Shabbat dinner is in the works…