Jewish Girl – Philippa

Jewish Girl - Philippa
(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

Interesting name, how did you get it?
My father is South African, my name is a a fairly common name in South Africa and my parents wanted something classic. Also, I am named after my grandfather, since his name was Philip. I do love to ride horses though, which is true to my name.

Since you moved here not too long ago from South Africa, what do you miss most about it?
Wine, noise and chaos, five roses tea (I’m a big tea drinker), family, and the Jewish guys in pink glittery shirts.

Umm, could you expand on the Jewish guys in pink glittery shirts?
Well, the Jewish men in South Africa are slightly more feminine than the ones in the US.
This specific type of man is usually called a bagel, and the South African equivalent of a JAP is called a Kugel.

If you could go on a roadtrip with any Jew (dead or alive), who would you chose and where would you go?
Hmm, not Amy Winehouse. I’d chose my sister because we’ve always tried to be Thelma and Louise, so we love road trippin. We’ll be good going anywhere as long as we don’t kill each other (because that’s what happened to Thelma and Louise).

What’s your favorite metro station and why?
Anyone where the escalator works

What’s your best memory of Hebrew summer camp?
So, first I should say Hebrew summer camp in South Africa is different than it is here. After a 25 hour train ride (from Johannesburg to Hermanus), we had to de-weed the camp site and then set up a tent. We also had to shower in cold water with garbage bags as shower curtains!

Hey, haven’t I seen you somewhere before? Like on some other cool website or something?
Oh… you mean here:
http://philippalevenberg.com/

Jewish Girl – Briana

Jewish Girl - Briana

(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

What does it mean to be Jewish Girl of the Week?
Fame and worship by all Jews throughout the district and beyond.

Where did you get the killer matzah ball recipe?
Not long after I became a vegetarian (pescetarian) at the age of 10, my aunt made a vegetarian matzah ball soup with tons of crazy root veggies in it.  I have been using her recipee ever since because I love vegetables.

What did your mother tell you when you became Jewish Girl of the Week?
Mom to JGotW: Oh, that’s nice, mazeltov. Are you are seeing someone? You are doing all this stuff but are you getting your school work done?

Which holiday is better, Purim or Passover?
Passover.  I live only to feed people.  And for the guilt when I forget and eat some forbidden hamitz.

What are you doing this summer?
Transfering my crown to the next Queen of the Jewz of my law school, which is a lengthy process.  One year as supreme monarch has been very tiring.

What’s your favorite Hebrew song?
Wow that’s tough, I have so many favorites.  On the religious side, I go for Kol Nidre, Max Bruch’s cello version.  Contemporary Israeli would just have to be anything by Hadag Nachash.

Jewish Girl – Sarah

Jewish Girl - Sarah

(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

Why are you the most amazing Jewish Girl of the week?
Because I actually paid you to make me Jewish Girl of the Week.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I have lived and traveled in many places and Seattle in particular will always have a big chunk of my heart. But I really love Italy, especially Firenze. Something about their obsession with food and naps makes me feel right at home.

Speaking of the world, what is going to be your platform for Jewish Girl of the World?! (We heard that they are taking applications.)
Free lattes for all.

What is the best part about being Jewish?
Having a community wherever you go.

Where could we find you on a Friday night?
On Friday night I am likely throwing down a massive Shabbat dinner at Moishe House where I live. If you don’t know about it, check out moishehouse.org. After that, we hit the dance floor.

What is your favorite Jewish food?
The words Jewish and Food next to each other make me cringe a bit. Growing up keeping kosher, this phrase reminds me of pareve desserts and that mystery food known as Margarine. As far as Jewish foods, I think my favorites are actually more Israeli; Shaksuka is an amazing breakfast food and a great Israeli salad with Chumus and Pita is a go-to snack of mine.

You got any videos of you doing poetry?!  Can we watch you throw down (is that the right language)?
Throw down sounds about right. There are no current videos on YouTube but you can check out my stuff at my blog, http://rememberwhenihadablog.blogspot.com/.

Jewish Guy – Rob

RobWhy should you be Jewish Guy of the Year?

A South Floridian-turned-Washingtonian, I’m inspired by GTJ to become more active in our community. Guided by Judaic spirituality, committed to Israel, and imbued with mensch-iness, I’d be privileged to serve as JGOTY. Would this mean I’d become an honorary member of the G-d Squad?? *cue Carlos Santana music*

What’s your favorite article of clothing?
Business suits.

Which popular sitcom character are you closest to?
Alex P. Keaton. Sha-na-na-nah.

How long can you go without your mobile phone?
Since when does a mobile phone affect stamina?!

I heard you went to Hebrew summer camp. What was your favorite or least favorite memory?
My favorite memory of Hebrew summer camp was being taken to see Rodney Dangerfield’s “Back to School” and not understanding any of it because I was maybe 7, but seeing naked women for the first time!

If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be?
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, except they already built one there. D’oh!

What’s your favorite Jewish holiday and why?
Hanukkah, because Jewish military triumphs should be celebrated…and presents help too.

Jewish Girl – Julia Moss

Jewish Girl - Julia Moss
(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

What makes you a “super Jew?”
Um, hello! My name is JEW-lia. That kind of says it all. But the real reason I’m a super Jew is because I eat, breathe, and live D.C.’s Jew scene. Whether it is kicking butt at Sixth & I’s trivia night or going to the Labor Seder with fellow members of Jews United for Justice’s Jeremiah Fellowship, I’m all about exploring and building my Jewish identity in every possible forum. It’s the core of who I am; it’s my passion and my purpose. Also, my facebook picture used to be of me and Rick Recht.

If you could add on five more commandments
(per this video: 15 Commandments) to the Ten Commandments, what would they be?
11. Thou shall not judge thy neighbor on the cleanliness of her apartment/desk
12. Thou shall not miss an opportunity to have froyo or eat outside when the weather is beautiful
13. Thou shall not use proper nouns or made-up words when playing Scrabble or Bananagrams
14. Thou shall remember that snowpocalypses, long weekends, and happy hours are all perfectly good excuses to act like a kid again and have ridiculous amounts of fun.
15. Thou shall never feel embarrassed to dance or sing-a-long to really bad yet catchy pop songs (Party in the U.S.A., anyone?).

Favorite book by a Jewish author or book that discusses Judaism:
Sure, Abraham Joshua Heschel is amazing, and no one gets 20th century Jewish American life like Philip Roth, but they’ve got nothing on my “Camp JCA Shalom Malibu Summer 1996” songbook.

You are “so D.C.” because:
I am “so D.C.” because my favorite time of day is happy hour; my birthday always falls during the peak of the Cherry Blossoms; I’ve lived here for 6 years, and they’ve been the best 6 years of my life; I don’t understand why people would want to live anywhere else in their 20s and 30s; no matter where I go, I run into people I know; I don’t mind humidity; I root for the Nationals.

On Friday night, you can find me at:
I rarely miss a Moishe House Shabbat, and who doesn’t love Sixth & the City? I love NexGen’s monthly Shabbat Hoppins (Rosh Pina on April 16th at the Hamilton House). Also, Tikkun Leil Shabbat is an awesome experience, as is having friends over for a traditional Shabbat dinner with an Apples to Apples or Taboo showdown.

In ten years you will be doing where and doing what?
If all goes according to my master plan, in 10 years I’ll still be 24 and having an awesome Jewishly fulfilling  life in D.C. But if I can’t suspend time, then I hope to be 34 having an awesome Jewishly fulfilling life in D.C., but maybe not renting.

Jewish Girl – Tila

Jewish Girl - Tila

How will you change the world as Jewish Girl of the Week?
I’m not sure how I can change the world as Jewish Girl of the Week, but I would definitely know how to change the world as Jewish Girl of the Year… hint hint

Who makes the best matzah ball soup?
My mom!!! She is an amazing cook.

Which biblical character are you most like?
Maybe Esther… Because like her, I believe that a strong Jewish community is very important.

What is your favorite Jewish holiday?
My favorite Jewish holiday is Shabbat because it occurs every week! I love the feeling of being able to just relax with friends and family and not have to think about the stresses of the week.

Who is the coolest living Jew (besides the GTJ staff)?
Other than the GTJ staff, I would have to say Natalie Portman.

Where can we find you on a Friday night?
On a Friday night, you can find me either at Chabad or 6th and I.

Jewish Girl – Rachel

Jewish Girl - Rachel
(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

Should challah have raisins?
Never! Except for that holiday where it is supposed to have rasins in it. It’s all about tradition, right?

Smooth or Chunky Peanut Butter?
Smooth.

Favorite dish your mom/grandmother makes.
My grandmother’s Matzoh Ball soup. She passed away a few years ago and I still dream of the soup that I will never have again. My mother was denied the recipe and although she has put an enormous effort into duplicating it, recreating that magical concoction still eludes her.

Jewish superhero by night, what by day?
A scratching post for my children.

Where could we find you on a friday night?
6th and I probably, with the creators of this site.

What’s the longest drive you’ve ever taken?
A three day road trip through Central Australia’s Northern Territory from Cairns to Alice Springs. Imagine nothing for three days but the occasional farm that spans hundreds of miles and some random Dingos and kangaroos. But camping out at Uluru and feeding a kangaroo named Mary some beer in a coffee cup made it totally worth it. Never have I wanted to take a kangaroo back on a plane to America with me so badly

Jewish Guy – Yaacov

Jewish Guy - Yaacov

What was your nickname when you were little?
Yaacovito

What’s your favorite Passover candy?
Is this a trick question?

Where can we find you on a Friday night?
Usually enjoying the spiritual blessings of every soul-loving bite of the Kabbalah Cook’s food (trademark , JK) and the company of my fellow young DC Jews. If that option is not available, I now peruse gatherdc.org for contingency plans. Thank you, gents.

What is the best thing you have done on a Sunday morning?
Stop and ponder the meaning of “Sunday morning.” I am a slave to my perceptions of reality including time and space and wonder what else, if at all, is out there. As far as something I can put on the ol’ resume, I would have to say running any of my four half marathons.

Where in the world is the most beautiful sunset?
That’s easy. Jerusalem in the Yemin Moshe/Mishkanot Ha’ananim neighborhood overlooking the Old City. Nothing will ever beat that.

What is your favorite Bond Movie?
Casino Royale… Daniel Craig rocks as Blonde Bond

Jewish Guy – Ilya Shapiro

Jewish Guy - Ilya shapiro

Ilya on why he should you be Jewish Guy of the Year:
Vote for me because I was one of the first Guys-of-the-Week (when there was more competition for these slots) and the year only got better.  Whether arguing for liberty at the Supreme Court, reciting the Braveheart speech in full makeup, or going mano-a-mano with Stepehen Colbert, there’s never a dull moment!

Who is your favorite historical Jew and why?
Barry Goldwater, because extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.  Sandy Koufax is a close second, but he’s still alive so might not count.
 
Who is your favorite biblical Jew and why?
I’m not much of an expert on the bible but I’ll go with Moses, the first lawyer (also, I really liked Charlton Heston).

What is your profession and how does it rank on a scale of 1-10 in terms of Jewishness?
Lawyer and writer… that would be a 10!  (Unless 10’s reserved for the rabbinate, in which case a strong 9.)
 
What is the best part about being Jewish?
Being part of a group that totally outkicks its coverage in terms of impact on history and culture relative to numbers.

Passover or Purim?
I’ll go with Passover because I’ve celebrated it more often, don’t much like hamentashen, and most importantly can (and do) drink any time of the year but only lean while eating once.
 
Favorite DC activity?
Attending oral argument at the Supreme Court.

Jewish Girl – Sheryl

What’s your favorite nickname?
My favorite nickname: Soju (pronounced: so-jew). It’s the name of the most potent alcohol in South Korea. When I lived there, I got a fish as a pet, and I named him Soju without thinking about the implications of his namesake. My American and Canadian friends thought it was funny and nicknamed me that since I was only 1 of 100 Jews living in South Korea. On another note, I hope my life ends better than Soju’s. It’s surprisingly hard to get a coy fish down a Korean toilet…

Don’t ever buy me…
Don’t ever buy me a cat or an avocado, as I’m allergic to both. Or anything gold lame’ (are you reading this, Mom!? 🙂 )

If you could hang out with one cool Jew all the time (besides GTJ staff)?
If I could hang out with one cool Jew all the time, I would hang out with my awesome 7 year old niece Rebecca. She’s just one of my favorite people on Earth. She’s cute and thoughtful and endless amounts of fun. Rebecca’s also one of the proudest Jews I know. When she was just 3 years old, a waitress asked her, “How are you?” to which Rebecca replied, “I’m Jewish, how are you?”

The one song you would love to hear before you go to bed?
The one song I love to hear before going to bed is “By Your Side” by Sade. I love the words and the rhythm.   

Make a haiku about living in DC.
Snow, where can I go?
Lend me a shovel, Barack
I am your neighbor