Jewish Girl of the Week – Lauren

You just got back from a Birthright trip. What was that experience like?

Absolutely amazing! It was my first real venture into Zionism. Growing up Jewish in New York was a surprisingly non-religious experience. All of my friends were Jewish; we went through the motions of Hebrew school; we got Bar or Bat Mitzvahed; and we enjoyed the days off from school for the High Holy Days. However, for me at least, it was all taken for granted: I didn’t understand anti-semitism beyond a definition on paper, saw Hebrew school as an excuse to get to know boys from the town over, my Bat Mitzvah was the makeout party of the year, and the High Holy Days meant being hungry and freezing in a tent that smelled like old people and Anais Anais perfume. Culturally, I’m Jewish, but actually being able to visit Israel and take in the entire experience (and trust me, I had a very colorful experience) was truly life-changing.  It also helped that I had the world’s best trip leader (wink wink, Jodi T.),


You’re from New York. How do New Yorkers compare to Washingtonians?

How very Washingtonian of you to ask a New Yorker such a loaded question. I’ll go with the diplomatic deflect and say I appreciate the slower paced lifestyle and am in awe of the immense feeling of ambition that almost all Washingtonians embody. But secretly, I’m annoyed by the general public’s inability to walk at a decent speed and would like it if everyone stopped making eye contact with me on the metro because it makes me uncomfortable. Though, I’ll admit you all smell a lot better during the summer.

You recently met one of your favorite singers. Was it everything you hoped it would be?

Meeting Matt Nathanson: let’s just say unicorns threw up rainbows and Chuck Norris cried. But I’m sticking to my story; I was NOT the girl in the first row shaking and sobbing as if she was listening to a heartfelt ballad at her first Backstreet Boys concert. Okay, so I may have shed a tear or six myself, but everyone knows I was diehard ‘Team *NSYNC’.

You kickbox. How did you get into that?

Court-ordered anger management. Just kidding. I started taking this one class in particular during college (at GWU) and fell in love equally with the endorphins and the instructor. My girl crush and addiction has caused me to follow her to the depths of D.C. and I’d strongly consider relocating if she were to ever take her classes to outside the district. Plus, I feel like I’ve gained invaluable self-defense skills if I ever needed to defend myself on the streets in time to the melodic stylings of Lady Gaga.

Tell us about your work.

I work in the Entertainment Media department of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. In a nutshell, we work with television shows and magazines to include prevention messages by providing whatever resources they need: consulting, statistics, web components, discussion guides, etc. A completely normal day of work involves watching an episode of How I Met  Your Mother, prepping the girls from Teen Mom before an interview, writing a discussion guide for the latest episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Googling popular sexual urban legends to debunk. We also have an awesome new birth control support network called that’s starting to pick up some serious buzz. I truly fell into the world of non-profits accidentally; I never thought that I was an inherently good person but it’s definitely grown on me. While I’ve always loved the media and being creative, it’s a pretty great feeling to go home at night and know that an episode of a television show you helped create could be the reason even one teenage pregnancy is prevented.



2 replies
  1. Lawrence Swiader
    Lawrence Swiader says:

    LOVE this JGotW article and as a former New Yorker myself, I totally agree with Lauren’s take on DC–especially regarding the pace of the walkers. The link above is broken, by the way. Check it out; it’s an awesome site.


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