Jewish Girl – Jill

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

What flavor would your manna be?
There is only one thing I would want my manna to taste like and that is my Mother’s luxion kugal. I’m still not sure what exactly is in it, but it’s amazing and one of the reasons I love Rosh Hashanah.

What is your favorite Shabbat dish to make? And will you share the recipe with us?
I wouldn’t necessarily call my favorite thing to make for Shabbat a dish, but it is definitely a vital component of the meal. Every Friday for the past year I have made challah. The challah flavors vary from cinnamon raisin to chocolate chip, milk dud, or the crowd pleaser, rollo challah. I use the same basic recipe and just add whatever I want to it. It’s so much fun to play with food. I will definitely share my recipe, (along with the kugal) and everyone can view it when I start a blog on GTJ about Shabbat meals and cooking in general.

What song is stuck in your head right now?
Recently, I’ve been listening to a mix my friend gave me and “My Boo-Usher featuring Alicia Keys” has been stuck in my head ever since. I haven’t heard the song since high school … so good!

List your three favorite places in DC:
1. Steps of the Lincoln memorial. It’s the best feeling finishing up a run and sitting at the top of the steps looking out onto the Reflecting Pool, Washington Monument, and the Capital. Every time I’m there I realize how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful city that offers so much.

2. Sitting by the fountains in Dupont Circle. I have yet to find a better people watching area. Going there with friends after a nice Shabbos meal at the Dupont Chabad is the perfect lazy afternoon activity. I have had such funny, random experiences there, and you never know whom you’ll run into. Plus the park is full of dogs.

3. Mr. Smith’s in Georgetown. It’s a fun chill bar to go and hang out with friends. You can talk and get to know people while singing along to classic songs. It was also one of the stops when I turned 21, and it wasn’t so bad when everyone there sang happy birthday to me!

If you could meet any biblical character, who would it be, and what would you say to him/her?
I would want to meet G-D. I would thank him for surrounding me with amazing family and friends and I would also thank him for all the life changing experiences I’ve had so far.

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:

Jewish Guy – Adam

Jewish Guy - Adam

So, I heard you just moved from Boston to DC (good choice!), tell us what’s better about DC.
Hot Jewish girls! (one in particular…) That definitely trumps the Sam Adam’s Brewery.

What’s the funniest thing that happened at the last wedding you went to?
It was before the wedding actually, when the sister of the groom got him a “How to Control Your Woman” gag gift.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I can make a mean Kosher hot dog!

What do you miss most about being a kid?
Legos are important…and setting fire to the carpet…and getting the recipe for gunpowder from my Grandpa.

What’s your favorite Jewish holiday and why?
Pesach, because it’s the biggest Jewish family holiday of the year. Everyone is together. It’s like the Jewish Christmas… only not.

What’s the best costume you’ve ever worn for Purim?
Let’s just say I put to use the Ghostbuster Proton Pack I got for Hanukkah one year!

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.

Mitzvah Maker – Jay Krasnow

Mitzvah Maker - Jay Krasnow

What is great about Hugs Across America?
Giving a teddy bear to a child may seem to be a small gesture. But for many of these same children, a hug is out of reach.  The feel of embacing something is important as these children begin their process of recovering from that crisis.  It makes a real difference to them. So Hugs Across America is great because it provides a way to do that.

Who have you hugged?
As a national charity, with chapters across the United States,  Hugs Across America has provided over 410,000 teddy bears to victims in traumatic circumstances. So we’ve provided hugs by responding to the survivors of house fires, police and medical emergencies, domestic violence and natural disasters. Locally, we’ve hugged children suffering from cancer and other illnesses and relatives of homocide victims. We’ve also given hugs to children at an orphanage in Cuzco, Peru.

What was your most memorable hug?
I remember a little girl at Georgetown University’s Hospital’s Pediatric Oncology department several years ago.  When the team arrived at her room I could tell she wasn’t haven’t a good day.  But then the nurse gave her a teddy bear and she was all smiles. That was powerful.

Who haven’t you hugged yet that you really want to hug?
As part of a film project I’m working on, I’ve partnered with Life Pieces to Master Pieces, a charity that works with young, underserved African American males living in our nations capital. To date, LPMP has served over 750 young males and create over 1,000 masterpieces as part of their quest to transform the community. I’d really like to hug them.  You can learn more about the amazing work that LPMP does on at

What was the name of your teddy bear when you were a kid?
I don’t think I had a name for it. My favorite teddy bear is one that I got as a gift from a friend when I was a senior in high school.  Shortly thereafter, my nine-year-old cousin Melissa asked if she could have it, so I gave it to her. I recently asked Melissa, now in her 20’s, about the stuffed anmial.  Melissa told me that she still has it and that she took it with her to her dorm when she was in college. But she also said that she didn’t have a name for the teddy bear either.

How can we learn more about Hugs Across America?
You can visit the Hugs Across America Website at The link for the Washington Chapter of Hugs Across America is We’ve had all sorts of events to “raise” teddy bears.  Last year we did a networking event for entrepreneurs. We’ve also had happy hours. Last year we had a teddy bear stuffing and tagging party that also raised money for Hugs Across America.

What other projects are you working on?
I’m directing and producing a film about Artomatic, a popular arts expo that’s held annually in Washington, D.C. Over 1,000 artists take over a large vacant commercial real estate buildings for a month to show their works. The event is free to the public and has been wildly successful. Over 70,000 people attended Artomatic in 2009 and several artists have really made it big, in part, because of their participation in this event. Owing to the big draw of the Artomatic, the vacant buildings that house the event often find tenents shortly after the Artomatic ends.  The idea is catching on. A spin-off Artomatic was recently held in Toledo, Ohio, and other one is being planned in Houston, Texas. I’m an alumni of Artomatic myself.  You can learn more about my film on Artomatic, Journey to the Center of Artomatic, at

What was your Artomatic exhibit?
I had several, but my favorite one was a photographic exhibit with teddy bears as Hercules and recounted the twelve labors of Hercules. I called the exhibit “The 12 Labears of Bearcules.”  The exhibit promoted the work of Hugs Across America.

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 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,

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 Guy – Dan

Jewish Guy - Dan

What’s your favorite kitchen appliance?
Hands down the food processor.  If you’re serious about cooking, as indeed I am, you know the food processor is a game changer altogether. New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman is attributed with saying, “After the refrigerator, and maybe the dishwasher, it’s the most useful kitchen appliance invented in the 20th century.”  I use it for bread, tortilla and pastry dough, hummus, fruit juice, fruit spreads, veggie burgers etc.  When you learn to process your own food, you no longer have to rely on store-bought processed foods which are making Americans sick.

If you were told that this is your last day on earth, how would you spend it?
I’d spend it packing my family heirlooms, guitar and flip flops. Leaving earth behind would be very difficult, but I’m told the Red Planet has a lot to offer despite widespread ignorance of the place among earthlings. We must remember that many of Mars’s great critics who succeeded so thoroughly in tarnishing its image and slandering its living conditions never in fact visited.

Water balloon or super soaker?
Water balloon.  The super soaker is too bright and bulky to offer an element of surprise so critical to success in battle.  If you approach friends with a super soaker they will know what’s coming, but they can be devastated in a water balloon attack whether you were hiding it behind your back or standing on a two-story deck above them.

Which plague would you be most scared to live through?
Hail. I went to graduate school in Austin, Texas and I’ve seen what it can do to your car. To be sure, locust, lice, frogs, darkness etc.  are serious inconveniences, but their effects don’t extend beyond the duration of the plague (the obvious exception being death of the firstborn, which I don’t intend to have just yet), nor require an appointment with the auto shop. 
If you could trade places with any biblical Jew, who would it be and why?
Adam, because he was the first man according to the three great monotheistic religions.  I consider Adam the Jimi Hendrix of mankind, which is to say he was the first at what he did and a true innovator within his entire genre of people.

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.