Jewish Community Builder of the Week – Tiffany

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It has been a while but we are back with Gather’s weekly feature. We will continue to highlight the diverse and accomplished members of our community, only with a new name! Check out our post on the change and meet Tiffany -a community builder locally and abroad!

Jackie: Before moving to DC you lived in Israel, what was your favorite place to spend time in Israel?

Tiffany: Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, swimming without a wetsuit was always a traumatic. The ocean water was always dark, freezing, and full of seaweed. When I lived in Tel Aviv, I took full advantage of the 8.7 mile stretch of beautiful beaches. I lived in the city center, just two blocks away from Bograshov beach, so I would surf or swim in the mornings before class or work.

 

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Jackie: Where were you stationed for the Peace Corps and what do you do for them now?

Tiffany: I spent 27 months as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. I lived in a tiny village of about 200 people on the Anti-Atlas Mountains near the border of the Western Sahara. I learned to speak Berber (Tashleheet) and Moroccan Arabic. As a Rural Community Health Volunteer, I started out teaching handwashing lessons. I worked on a few different projects, but my proudest moments were during my midwife training programs, a mobile vaccination campaign, HIV/AIDS prevention and education, and building latrines in my village. I am currently working as the Placement Specialist for Peace Corps’ Senegal and Sierra Leone Programs, so now I work with applicants and invitees as they embark on the same journey I took 5 years ago. It’s incredibly meaningful and rewarding.

 

10295690_10100118121231225_8119365895849560506_n (1)Jackie: I know you live in Moishe House, any great Moishe House events we need to have on our calendar?

Tiffany: They should all be on the calendar, since they’re all amazing (biased) 😉 On 8/9/2015 we have our August Picnic at Malcolm X/Meridian Hill Park. The picnics are one of my favorite events that we do. We buy a bunch of food, bring tons of sheets/blankets, and games, and basically vege out with our community members. There’s always a great turn out, and we meet a lot of new people throughout the event. I am also excited for the 8/15/2015Havdallah Ride with Lisa Kaneff, another Open Doors Fellow. These rides are so fun. It’s a critical mass style ride, open to all levels. Even people who don’t bike come for Havdallah and the post ride happy hour.

Jackie: As part on the Open Doors Fellowship you created the Website You Don’t Look Jewish.com can you talk about what motivated you to create that website and what you hope people will get from it?

Tiffany: I was so honored to be a member of the first cohort of10526130_10100115532588885_252124763551598016_n Fellows in Gather the Jews Open Doors Fellowship. Getting to know Jackie, Rachel and the other Fellows was a real treat. The experience of the fellowship helped me discover not just the special nuances in our community, but also some of the needs and shortcomings. I felt very disturbed by the recent coverage of the various Police Shootings and Brutality. I thought about the ways in which African Americans and other out groups are disenfranchised and although, I had never really addressed racial macroaggressions publically, or the way they affect me personally, I wanted to address the subconscious attitudes that our community (the Jewish Community) sometimes holds toward out-groups, specifically diverse Jews. For instance, when one imagines a Jewish person, we think of someone akin to Woody Alan; and a religious Jew? Black hat, beard, and, most importantly: white as a sheet. Simply put: Jews are stereotyped. But we all know that Jews come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and orientations. So I wanted to create a space where people can see and interact with Jews of color, or people of color in general. I want our community to be able see diverse Jews and to attend our events because when you see and know Jews of color you can begin building the kinds of relationships that cause you to see the whole person that goes against the stereotypes.

Jackie: Who is your favorite Jew?

Tiffany: I have too many to choose just one. Honorable mentions to David Cygielman and Jordan Fruchtman, the visionary masterminds behind Moishe House and my mom, of course! Ambassador Uri Savir, is my dear friend and mentor. He was the Chief Negotiator of the Oslo Accords. He served in the Knesset, he founded the Glocal Forum, he is the president of the Peres Center for Peace, and he is the founder of Yala Young Leaders. I have an incredible amount of respect for Uri because he driven, incredibly intelligent, and a rebel. He spent his professional life on the frontline of development and peacemaking in Israel.

530864_706544921475_1490047053_nJackie: What is your favorite way to spend Shabbat?

Tiffany: I love hosting Shabbat Dinners at Moishe House. After the time spent planning, shopping, cooking, and preparing, our community members arrive excited for the weekend, ready to let loose and stay late. Our dinners go well into the early morning hours. I love the company and the conversations people bring.

Jackie: Finish the sentence: When the Jews Gather…

Tiffany: the Mesiba (Party) begins!

Jewish Girl of the Week – Leslie

IMG_2140Jackie: What brought you to DC?

Leslie: After I graduated college, I moved here without a job! I worked for a few years in management consulting before going back for my graduate degree in teaching at UNC Chapel Hill. I moved back to DC because I have the best friends and an awesome brother here.

Jackie: What is your favorite part about teaching?

Leslie: I love my students! Currently, I teach high school seniors in Southeast DC. I work with the most generous, caring, and sweet teenagers. I love building trusting and meaningful relationships with them. Helping them work through personal problems or accomplish an academic objective is an incredible feeling.

Jackie: You used to work at Colonial Williamsburg, what did you do there? Do you have any cool stories?

Leslie: I gave tours, conducted games and children’s activities to engage younger visitors, and supervised the younger volunteers. I actually loved wearing the costume! It was so great to not have to do my hair or pick out cute outfits every day. It was a wonderful experience. I learned how to make pewter spoons, bricks, and watercolor paints. I got to hang out in the secret break rooms just for staff and witness history behind-the-scenes.

IMG_4529 (1)Jackie: I hear you are pretty good at needle point, what is your favorite/best thing you have made?

Leslie: Oh my gosh, this is embarrassing. I am a huge nerd. I’ve been doing cross stitch since I was little. The coolest thing I’ve sewed is a picture of Hans Solo and Princess Leia that says “I know.” (referring to the famous scene) for my friend to give her husband for Christmas.


Jackie: What is your favorite Jewish food?

Leslie: Do bagels still count as Jewish food? I love a good everything bagel with cream cheese. I could eat that for every meal.

Jackie: Who is the coolest Jew?

Leslie: My grandmother Iris is the coolest Jew. She’s 94 years old, but so funny, resilient, and energetic. She has a more active social life than me, honestly. Every time I call, she’s playing bridge, at an exercise class, at the movies, or working on the retirement community newsletter. She has seen so much, but is so strong.


me8Jackie: What Jewish Organizations are you involved with in DC?

Leslie: I’m really excited to talk about an organization I help run — Jews and Muslims DC (JAM DC). I firmly believe that deep interfaith understanding can help all of us view the world in a different and more positive light. We organize interfaith events, including happy hours, seders, and cultural events. Through JAM DC, I have met so many cool people and learned so much from our Muslim friends. Check us out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jewsandmuslimsdc.

Jackie: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…

Leslie: they laugh a lot!

Jewish Girl of the Week – Mindy

Punting in CambridgeJackie: What brought you to DC? 

Mindy: I knew if I didn’t leave my hometown to pursue my desire to work in public policy after finishing law school (go Canes!), I never would. I moved up in November 2008 and worked on the Hill for 3 years.

In December 2011, I left the Hill to become the Assistant Director of Government & National Affairs at the Anti-Defamation League. I spend most of my time focusing on international affairs issues, like fighting against global anti-Semitism and preventing a nuclear Iran, and on comprehensive immigration reform. Because of ADL’s dynamic multi-issue agenda and over a century of trusted work, I have no qualms about calling myself a “lobbyist.” I am humbly one of the lucky ones – I get to work for an organization who’s mission is my own personal mission in life.

After 6+ years in DC, I continue to be as passionate as ever about the power of advocacy to create the change you want to see.

Jackie: I hear that you get to travel a lot for your job! Where are some places you have visited recently/ what has been some of your favorite places to visit?

Mindy: I do travel a lot for work, luckily! I get to interact with so many interesting people and I love meeting our grassroots activists across the country who support our mission. So far, for work in 2015, I’ve been to Houston, Austin, Boston, NYC, Detroit this week, and then off to Philly next week! My favorite places to visit for work include our Israel office in Jerusalem, Warsaw to participate in Europe’s largest human rights conference, and Hungary, Greece, and Austria for a program we’re piloting.

JNFuture Jay Footlik Event Feb 26 2015Jackie: What is your involvement with JNFuture?

Mindy: I’m currently serving my second term as DC Co-Chair with the great Evan Hoffman. For me, my connection to Jewish National Fund (JNF) started with my earliest memories of having the “little blue box” in my kitchen for Tzedakah, along with planting trees in Israel for gifts. With JNFuture, I love that we get to put aside Middle East politics (i.e. my day job) and focus on the “neshamah” part of loving Israel.

On Thursday, March 26th, at 6pm (or whenever you can actually leave your office), we have our next event — our 2nd annual Schmooze and Booze happy hour at The Gryphon.The door price for non-members is $18 and admission for JNFutures is always free for our events. Everyone who attends will get a drink ticket and JNFuture DC will donate 100% of the proceeds. If you join JNFuture and mention this article at the happy hour, I’ll totally buy you a drink. RSVP here and I hope to see you there!

Min with boysJackie: So you’re a yogi, where is your favorite studio in DC?

Mindy: Flow on 14th and P is my favorite studio but, really, anywhere I have enough room for downward dog is a perfect spot for me.

Jackie: What’s your favorite way to spend Shabbat?

Mindy: Every month, I look forward to Sixth and I’s Shabbasana with my yoga teacher, Greg Marzullo, and then I head downstairs for Sixth in the City. I always love to have Shabbat dinner with my friends. There’s nothing better than a table full of good wine and food surrounded by your crew. For the past year, my brother and I have also started a tradition of facetiming before Shabbat so I can light the candles with my 2 (of 13!) nephews in South Florida.

Jackie: What is your favorite Jewish food?

Mindy: Bring on the noodle kugel — the sweet kind, obviously.

Mom-mom visits DCJackie: Who is the coolest Jew?

Mindy: My grandmother, Dr. Joy Rubin, AKA “Mom-mom.” She is 92, still a practicing psychologist, works out every day, and raised 3 kids as a single mom while running her own art school in Hollywood, FL. She’s legally blind, but has successfully hidden it most of her life and has traveled to over 30 countries around the world, usually on her own — she and I both love a solo vacay! During World War II, she drafted blueprints for US submarines. When one of the subs she worked on was ready to go out, FDR himself came in and she was next to him when he christened it. She continues to live a very full life and helps to keep me grounded, always reminding me: “We plan. G-d laughs.” She’s definitely the coolest Jew I know.

Jackie: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…

Mindy: we get down with our bad-ass social justice, tikkun olam selves…and anyone else who likes to party!

 

Jewish Girl Of the Week – Rachel

10931402_10203602684762973_8146198511068096987_nJackie: What brought you to DC?

Rachel: Gather the Jews brought me to DC! I was hired to be the first ever GTJ employee in August 2012. Running GTJ was one of the coolest things I have ever done- I helped connect young professionals to a vibrant Jewish community, and also had the opportunity to learn firsthand about getting a start up nonprofit off the ground.

Jackie: What do you miss most about Gather the Jews?

Rachel: After I moved on to my current role, I stopped attending as many DC Jewish events. I’d like to get back into going to events and reconnecting with the larger community. Then again, working for Hillel, sometimes I feel like my life is one giant Jewish event.

Jackie: What is your favorite part of working for GW Hillel?

Rachel: There are so many things I love about working at GW Hillel, but my favorite is the relationships I build with students.

Jackie: What’s your favorite way to spend Shabbat?

Rachel: My favorite way to spend Shabbat is hosting friends in my apartment. I don’t do it often enough, but I love bringing people together over food.

Jackie: What is your favorite Jewish food?

Rachel: I love a solid latka. The perfect latka is crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. I ate latkas six out of the eight nights of Hanukkah this past year- it probably would have been all of the nights, but eventually the oil caught up to my stomach.

1011195_10201364089839499_230281580_nJackie: Who is the coolest Jew?

Rachel: Golda Meir is one of my heroes. When I was in Israel last month, I bought a T-shirt with her face on it.

Jackie: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…

Rachel: My work is done.

 

If there is someone you would like to nominate for Jewish Girl/Guy of the Week email Jackie!

Meet the Jewish Girl of the Week Alex

Alex 3Jackie: What brought you to DC?

Alex: My family and I are originally from DC. After I graduated from Old Dominion University (located in Norfolk, VA) I decided DC would be the best place to look for work and cultivate my career considering I am interested in politics and law. One of these days I plan on attending law school in the DC area. I know that you just came back from Birthright, was this your first time in Israel? This was my first time in Israel and I fully intend on going back as much as possible!

Jackie: What made you decide to go now?

Alex: I had always intended on going and I felt like now would be the best time to capitalize on the experience. I felt like I was at an age that I could fully comprehend and appreciate everything that these birthright trips have to offer.

Jackie: What was your favorite moment from the trip?

Alex 4Alex: I would have to say climbing Masada to witness the sunrise. It was certainly a difficult feat climbing on the way up but once we got to the top to witness the sunrise and learn about to history of Masada the climb was completely worth it. Ialso had my bat mitzvah on top of Masada since I never had one when I was younger. It was incredible to have that experience in Israel along side so many amazing people that have now become life long friends.

Jackie: Did you make new connections on your trip?

Alex: I made multiple connections on this trip with those from the DC area as well as the Israelis that were on the trip with us the whole time. I never knew I could grow so close with so many people in such a short amount of time. We have actually all stayed in constant contact through social media and the DC residents have been getting together on the weekends a lot.

Jackie: What’s your favorite way to spend Shabbat?

Alex: I like to go to Friday night service and get together with friends for dinner and wine after. I try to stay as restful as possible on Saturday’s but I generally end up having to run errands due to my busy schedule during the week.

UntitledJackie: What is your favorite Jewish food?

Alex: Sticking to my Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry I am naturally obsessed with matzo ball soup. Anytime it’s really cold out or I’m sick I will make a fresh pot of matzo ball soup from scratch. I took my grandma’s recipe and tweaked it just a little bit.

Jackie: Who is your favorite Jew?

Alex: Golda Meir by a long shot. She is the epitome of a strong willed Jewish woman paving the way not only Jews but women as well. Golda Meir constantly fought for the betterment and fundamental rights of Jews and Israel. For example, she single handedly raised $50 million in 1948 to purchase weapons to protect the young country even though everyone told her it was not possible. Persevering and protecting her people are things she constantly clung to which is truly admirable.

 

Jackie: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…

Alex: There will most certainly be constant chatting and eating! The feeling of community is emitted at all times.

 

Registration for Birthright’s next community trip is now open! Click here to apply.

Jewish Girl of the Week/Newest Gather Team Member – Jackie

Want to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on Gather the Jews? Nominate him/her at jackie@gatherdc.org.

IMG_5490 (1)Rachel: What are you most excited for with Gather?

Jackie: I am beyond excited to join the Gather team! One of the things I look forward to most is getting more involved in the DC Jewish community. While I have been living here for over a year now, I can’t wait to meet more awesome Jews in DC. Mostly though, I just want to find more people to discuss Serial with at Shabbat dinner- is that so wrong?

Rachel: How did you first get involved with the Jewish community in DC?

Jackie: My very first weekend after moving to DC, I went with some friends to a young professionals Shabbat service at Sixth and I. After graduating from Brandeis University, I realized how I had taken my Jewish community there for granted and was anxious to find a similar place for myself here in DC. After attending the service and other young professional events in DC, I realized how vibrant the DC Jewish community is and I knew I wanted to get involved.

Rachel: What’s your favorite part about being Jewish?383695_2527634710289_1431782458_n

Jackie: I would normally say the community and the people, but to avoid being repetitive… I love furthering my Jewish knowledge and learning. I think Judaism is a fascinating intersection of culture, religion, politics and history. There is so much to learn and I have enjoyed every opportunity I have had to deepen my Jewish knowledge.

Rachel: Do you have a favorite Jew?

Jackie: I’ve got a lot of favorites but someone I’m really loving right now is Leandra Medine aka the Man Repeller. Leandra is a New York fashion blogger with an eccentric style and the chutzpah to accessorize her most daring outfits. I loved her book Seeking Love and Finding Overalls. I felt immediately connected to her strong Jewish identity and funky feminist spirit.

305568_467512219965970_501600054_nRachel: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday and/or food?

Jackie: I go crazy for Borekas, potato or cheese filled pastries found in bus stations all over Israel. I attended the Turkish Festival in DC this year and I insisted that my friend and I sample every flavor of boreka we could find, which I think ended up being 6 different types! It was one of my favorite memories in DC.

My favorite Jewish holiday is Rosh Hashanah. I love the celebratory feeling of having a new start for a new year. Sitting down with friends to a delicious home-cooked dinner (I really do love food!) and having a wonderful fall feast is very special to me. This Rosh Hashanah was the first I celebrated in DC and I was fully invested in reflecting on my past year and setting goals for my future.

Rachel: When you aren’t gathering, what do you like to do?

Jackie: One of my favorite things to do is going to see concerts- I can’t get enough live music. DC has a dynamic music scene and I’m always sending out mass texts to friends to see who wants to get tickets to the next show with me (let me know if you want to get in on the next mass text!)

Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…

Jackie: I’ll bring the borekas.

 

Jewish Girl of the Week and Trivia Queen Robin

Robin 1Meet Gather’s Jewish Girl of the Week, Robin. Read on if you want a recommendation on great vegetarian spots in the city and a leg up on this week’s trivia at Sixth & I!

Jackie: What brought you to DC and how long have you been here?
Robin: I moved to DC two and a half years ago, without a job, for a change of scenery. I grew up in MA, went to school at Brandeis, and then lived in Boston for a few years after graduation. So it was time to explore a new city!

Jackie: What do you love to do in the city for fun?
Robin: I love exploring new restaurants. I’m a vegetarian, so sometimes it’s hard to find a substantial meal in the more meat-heavy places. Recently, I went to Ghibellina and was blown away by the food. Their gnocchi with butternut squash, maitake mushrooms, and sage was maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

Robin 2Jackie: So you work for Sixth & I. What’s your favorite part of your job?
Robin: Trivia Night is by far my favorite part my job. We do it every other month and we try to center each one around a creative theme. Tonight, January 21st, for example, we’re having British Invasion Trivia. The questions will touch on all different areas of British culture and we’ll be serving fresh-made fish n’ chips! We’re really trying to revive our Trivia Nights by adding in some new fun elements to stand out from your typical pub trivia. Plus, $15 for dinner and 2 drinks? Can’t find that kind of deal anywhere else in the District.

Jackie: For people coming to Trivia Night tonight, any hints to help their game?
Robin: I would definitely study up on your British History (i.e., monarchs), and you may want to watch this YouTube clip.

Jackie: What’s your favorite way to spend Shabbat?
Robin: Well, when I’m not spending Shabbat at Sixth & I, I love having Shabbat dinner with friends or family. There’s nothing like a relaxing evening of good food and good company.

Robin 3

Jackie: What is your favorite Jewish food?
Robin: I love love love kugel. The more dairy the better (contrary to what many Jews might prefer). Also, Cheryl Ann’s challah from Brookline, MA is my weakness.

Jackie: Who is the coolest Jew?
Robin: Lizzy Caplan is pretty badass.

Jackie: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…
Robin: the complaining ensues.

 

Want to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on GTJ? Nominate him/her by emailing jackie@gatherdc.org.

Jewish Girl of the Week – Sasha

Sasha 1

Want to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on GTJ? Nominate him/her at rgildiner@gatherdc.org.

Rachel: What brought you to DC and where are you from originally?

Sasha: I came to D.C. to be a part of both the history and the future of our country. I am originally from San Diego, California. Though I will always be a California girl, I fell in love with the culture and excitement of D.C. two years ago when I interned at the Corporation for National and Community Service. The museums, music, political involvement, and all together, passion that you see in D.C. made me realize that this was the city for me. I moved here this past summer and am the National Library Project Coordinator and Executive Associate at Jewish Women International. JWI’s National Library Initiative, along with a team of volunteers, businesses and corporations, is working to establish 100 children’s libraries in battered women’s shelters across the United States.

Rachel: Tell us about how you’ve made Tikkun Olam and community service a part of your life in the past, and now here in DC.

Sasha: My passion for community service started at a young age. In high sasha 4school, I was president of Sister Schools of San Diego, a club that raised money to send children from Northern Uganda to school. I am the founder of The Smile Bringer Singers at the University of Michigan, a club that performs musical numbers at local nursing and retirement homes, family centers, for children with mental disabilities, and various on-campus events. This organization allowed me to mix my passions for performing and Tikkun Olam.

Rachel: What’s a cool or different interest of yours that others might not know about you?  

Sashasasha 3: I make a point of exploring and taking advantage of every opportunity I get to try a new activity. From a gallery opening to Soul Cycle, from the drum circle at Meridian Park to trying new restaurants, seeing Shakespeare, attending street festivals, concerts, and farmer’s markets. I am constantly seeking out new adventures. From Canada>California>Michigan>DC, I can’t wait to immerse myself in this city. One of my favorite activities to do in D.C. is paddle boating on the Tidal Basin-highly recommendable.

Rachel: So we hear you now work for Jewish Women International (JWI).  Can you tell us about their mission and what inspires you to do this work? 

Sasha: JWI is the leading Jewish organization empowering women and girls – through economic literacy; community training; healthy relationship education; and the proliferation of women’s leadership. We work to ensure that all women and girls thrive in healthy relationships, control their financial futures and realize the full potential of their personal strength. I am from a generation where sexual assault on college campuses and teen dating abuse rates are ridiculously high; I feel that the incredible work that JWI does has the power to decrease these numbers and increase education on the topic, give individuals access to necessary tools, and support victims. In addition, I am inspired by the work that we do with financial literacy. As a recent graduate, our work is critically important to me and my friends in order for us to lead lives that are physically safe and financially secure.

Rachel:What’s your favorite way to spend Shabbat?

Sasha: At the Eisen’s, hands down. They make food from all over the world, have a famous guacamole, and great company. 

Rachel: What is your favorite Jewish food?

sasha 2Sasha: Challah. I can proudly say that I learned how to make it this year at a Young Women’s Leadership Network event. I was so excited when I brought in my ultra garlicy challah to my office to impress everyone.

Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?

Sasha: My mother, because she is the strongest person I know. Also, Ruth Bader Ginsberg is pretty cool- she is the first Jewish woman and only the second woman to serve on the US Supreme Court. Stay notorious, RBG.

Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…

Sasha: everyone becomes a matchmaker.  

Jewish Girl of the Week – Ariella

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Want to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on GTJ? Nominate him/her at rgildiner@gatherdc.org.

Rachel: What brought you to DC? How long have you been here?

Ariella: My family moved here from Minnesota in 1988. I grew up in the area and went to college and grad school in DC. Currently, I teach in Montgomery County Public Schools and run a calligraphy business. My notes home to parents are impossible to forge!!

Rachel: What do you love to do in the city?

Ariella: Anything having to do with food or sports. I also love to  explore  different neighborhoods, go to concerts, museums, etc… when  I can, I  get out of the city to travel!

Rachel: We heard you’re co-chairing Reverse Mifgash.Could you tell us more about that?

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Ariella: YES! This November 3-12, Reverse Mifgash will bring 12 Israeli Taglit-Birthright Alumni for an unforgettable experience in DC. NEXT DC of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, my co-chairs Max and Rachel, and an amazing committee of DC-area Birthright alumni have worked hard to plan 10 full days of jam-packed fun! There are tons of events that GTJ’ers will love, including a volunteer project, Election Night Viewing party, a comedy night with Benji Lovitt, a special Shabbat experience at Sixth and I, and A Night of Israeli Music at Tropicalia on 14th Street. For more information and to register, click here.

I served on the RM committee two years ago, and I can tell you — whether you went on birthright or not — it is a series of events you definitely don’t want to miss! This year will be better than ever!!

unnamed (1)Rachel: What is your favorite Jewish food?

Ariella: Matzo Balls 🙂

Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?

Ariella: This guy Joe. He’s a financial adviser who led the campaign to raise  the $200 million to create the U.S. Holocaust Memorial  Museum. Also, he  just happens to be my father, but I  promise I’m not biased! He’s the best, and  an inspiration to my involvement and growing leadership in the Jewish  community.

Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…

Ariella: The “Nelson France Fan Club” must be having a chapter meeting!

Jewish Girl of the Week – Hillah

BoliviaWant to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on GTJ? Nominate him/her at info@gatherdc.org.

Rachel: What brought you to DC?

Hillah: I came here to pursue a Ph.D. in German at Georgetown University. Today, I work in Project Management and honestly, I couldn’t be happier.

Rachel: So you’re from Germany. What is one of the biggest differences between living in DC and where did you grow up in Germany?

Hillah: Public Transport comes to mind. I guess the biggest difference for me is that there aren’t as many bike lanes in DC as there are in Germany. I lived in a city with tons of metro routes and the trains literally came every five minutes. However, as much as I like the education and healthcare system and the social scene in Germany, I feel like in DC you can really become whatever you put your mind to; there are no limitations to your dream.

Rachel: How did you get into rock climbing and where is the coolest place you’ve climbed?

Hillah: My cousin in Portland, OR introduced me to rock climbing when I visited her about a year and a half ago. We would always go climbing in the afternoons once she got off work. Upon my return to DC I decided that I wanted to continue climbing. Up until now, I haven’t been to any quote on quote “cool” spots, since I am still building my skill set. However, my hope is to go climbing in Latin America or out in the southwest in the next year or two.

Profile Picture in BoliviaRachel: We heard you’re the AJC ACCESS DC Intergroup Task-Force Chair. Could you tell us more about that?

Hillah: AJC’s ACCESS DC Board consists of three Task Forces: International, Intergroup, and Leadership & Advancement Task Force. My role as Intergroup Task Force is to facilitate the building of relationships between the Jewish and other communities. As the global Jewish community faces a defining moment in 2014, due to rising anti-Semitism in Europe and Latin America, strengthening ACCESS DC’s relationships with interfaith and intergroup partners is more important than ever. ACCESS DC has a strong relationship with the Urban League’s young professional program, Thursday Network. This year, we are also aiming to strengthen our Muslim, Asian, Latino, and German relationships. Since the 50th ACCESS DC is focusing on engaging the German Diaspora and Diplomatic community throughout 2014-2015. The work as Task-Force Chair is very exciting – there is never a dull moment.

Rachel: What’s your favorite way to spend Shabbat?

DCPS Beautification Day with Thursday NetworkHillah: On Shabbat, I love to participate in Shabbat hopping, attending different Shabbat services around the city, especially the ones for young professionals. I also can never turn down an invite to a Shabbat dinner. Friday evenings are such a special time to come together as a community.

Rachel: What is your favorite Jewish food?

Hillah: Definitely, Bagel, lox, and cream cheese. If the Deli has white fish salad, even better.

Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?

Hillah: Hands-down my grandfather Arthur Lampert. During World War II he was a ranking U.S. Army officer. In addition to liberating Jews from the concentration camps, and bringing in matzos for the first Pesach after the war for newly liberated Jews, he also helped many of them start new businesses after the war.

Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…

Hillah: Great things happen!