Jewish Hill Staffer of the Week – Ellie

Ellie was my roommate for a year when I first moved to DC. Even though she moved to Arlington, she still works in DC! Although I can’t say who she works for, she definitely works on the Hill! Check out this week’s Jewish Hill Staffer of the Week, Ellie!

Shaina: How long have you been working on the Hill and what’s it like?

Ellie: Since beginning at American University here in DC, I have been able to intern and work on Capitol Hill for a few different members of Congress. I started interning up here during the summer of 2014 and have not stopped since! I was very fortunate to be offered a full-time position in the winter of 2015. In the end, being up here on the Hill for the past three years and in DC for the past five, has been a dream come true.

Shaina:  What’s your favorite part about your job? Plus, I heard you’ve had some celebrity sightings!?

Ellie: I think my favorite part about working on the Hill is just being able to feel like I’m making a difference. I know it all sounds super corny, but those who know me know I’m a corny person! Whether it’s helping constituents with tours, answering their calls about policy issues, or helping shape legislation that will benefit the American people, I love the feeling of knowing my work will have a direct impact on people’s lives.  Walking around the Capitol listening to people talk about the issues that are important to them, and meeting with Congressmen and women, makes you feel like a part of the process more than ever.

Also, it’s never a bad thing to see your favorite celebrity walking around the Hill from time to time! Like running into and talking with Harrison Ford…probably a favorite moment of mine!

Shaina: Assuming people who work on the Hill find time to eat, do you have a favorite Jewish food?

Ellie: I have a few! Interestingly enough, I love matzah, even though I’m pretty sure I’m one of three people who would agree. But most importantly, I love to eat my grandmother’s kugel and especially her chicken noodle soup, as any good Jewish grandchild would! Coming home for the Holidays to a few bowls of that soup always made my time at home even more special and delicious. Now if only she would give me her recipes…

Shaina: How about a favorite Jewish holiday?

Ellie: My absolute favorite Jewish holiday is Passover. (See matzah answer above.) I know it may surprise some people as we can’t eat certain foods for 8 whole days, but Passover to me is much more than that. It’s about coming together with family and friends to remind ourselves of what our ancestors endured to achieve freedom. Sitting around the Seder table with my family every year, we read the Haggadah and retell the story of when our ancestors were slaves in Egypt and that through the help of G-d, we were able to become free once again. Our sense of optimism has not faded and continues to be strong today.

Lastly, this holiday allows me to spend time with my family and close friends as we sit together eating and drinking 4 (or more) glasses of wine together. In the end, Passover to me is all about the freedom and celebrating with the people who mean the most to me.

Shaina:  Can you describe your ideal Sunday in DC?

Ellie: My ideal Sunday would be to wake up mid-morning, head to brunch, as any good DC-er would do, and then walk around the city and find something interesting and fun to do. I love exploring new parts of the District and the surrounding areas, particularly when the weather is just perfect! So if anyone knows of any good spots to visit, please let me know!

During the school year, I wake up early on Sunday mornings to teach Hebrew School at a local synagogue, so that is always a highlight of my Sunday, even if it does mean waking up at 7:30 am on a weekend.

Shaina:   Complete the sentence: When Jews of DC Gather…

Ellie: you are in for a great time!

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