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Rachel: What brought you to DC?
Ashley: I moved to DC after college for an amazing job and a new experience. Moving to DC was never the plan but it ended up being so much better than I could have ever imagined. Being from Chicago, I never considered taking weekend trips to States like Delaware or West Virginia. I never thought that a building with 11 floors could be considered tall!
Rachel: We see you at a lot of DC Jewish events. What are some of your favorites?
Ashley: I love all the Gather the Jews happy hours! In fact, I actually owe a lot of my initial early 20’s social life in DC to the Gather the Jews calendar. I knew very few people when I moved here so the website helped me find interesting things to do and I ended up meeting a lot of amazing friends.
Rachel: Have you been to Israel? Do you have a favorite memory?
Ashley: In college, I went with my entire family to visit my sister who was working there. We stayed with my dad’s family for several days and it was so nice to spend time with a part of my family that lives so far away. Even though we had language barriers at times and had a limited amount of time to spend together, we were instantly connected because we were family. It was hard to believe how far away Israel is from United States yet how similar and close we all are.
Rachel: Where can we find you on a Friday night?
Ashley: One of my favorite parts of living in DC are the many different Young Professional shabbat options. I try to experience all the ways to celebrate shabbat that exist within the city and appreciate them all in different ways. I also love spending shabbat with friends. Some of my favorite nights in DC have been at Adas Israel’s Shir Delight or 2239’s Metro Minyan. I always meet really nice and interesting people who are like myself, just looking to find Jewish connections in the city.
Rachel: What is your favorite Jewish holiday?
Ashley: Although I’m very excited about Purim in just a few days, my favorite holiday is definitely Passover. I love all of my family traditions like my grandmother’s sweat and sour meatball recipe or my great aunt’s passover farfel cookie recipes. They make the holiday so special.
Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?
Ashley: I’m a huge “That 70’s show” fan so Mila Kunis is definitely up there. I have no idea if Ellie Goulding is actually Jewish but based off her name I’ve decided she is and I love it! BUT the coolest Jews I know are my parents because they work to make sure Judaism always remains a strong, important part of my identity and they constantly work to keep our Jewish family traditions alive.
Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…
Ashley: Amazing things can happen! And everyone gets Jew points.