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Rachel: We heard you went on a service trip to New Orleans. Can you tell us about that?
Allison: Last year, I went on the 22:39/ARK Volunteer trip to New Orleans Lower 9th Ward. In a word, it was awesome. I bonded with 40 incredible Jews, helped build a sustainable community garden for a neighborhood destroyed by the hurricane, and performed Amy Winehouse karaoke on Bourbon Street with my rabbi in the audience.
Rachel: You’re on the 2239 Steering Committee. Could you tell us more about that?
Allison: Under the wonderful supervision of Rabbi Miller from Washington Hebrew Congregation, I work with a group of young Jewish leaders who are excited about planning innovative, fun, engaging Jewish programs for the local community. Our newest program we just launched is called the NextPage reading initiative that provides Jewish books at a subsidized cost to anyone who wants to read it, and then culminates in a book discussion over brunch.
Rachel: What’s your favorite DC Jewish event to attend?
Allison: I love all the DC Jewish events! It’s really extraordinary seeing how many warm, intelligent, young Jewish professionals want to get involved and be a part of such a vibrant community. But if I can only pick one I’d say the Metro Minyan Shabbats. There’s good food to nosh on, great people to schmooze with, and Rabbi Miller can give a pretty insightful sermon.
Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?
Allison: My Bubbi. Hands down. She shows me, through example, what it means to be a strong, independent Jewish woman. She is a textbook example of someone who lives life zestfully to the fullest, is grateful for the little things, and loves those around her with all of her heart. I’m quite a lucky lady to get to spend so much time with her since she lives right nearby.
Rachel: What is your favorite way to spend Shabbat?
Allison: On the beach at sunset 🙂 My family has a beach house in Bethany Beach, Delaware that I am madly in love with and try to get to every weekend I can. During the summer, my family brings a Shabbat picnic to the beach and I lead a mini Shabbat service on the beach, singing only the best Shabbat songs and discussing what we are grateful for from the week and looking forward to in the week ahead. Being able to just sit with family, away from the stresses of daily life, toes in the sand, listening to the ocean waves crashing, watching the sun set – it’s pure nourishment for the soul. (I wrote an article about this when I interned for Jewish Women International during college).
Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews Gather…
Allison: I expect lox.