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Rachel: What brought you to DC?
Lisa: The stork! I was born and raised in the Montgomery County part of DC, and after a few years as a wandering Jew, I came home. I’ve been back and living in the Arlington part of DC for almost 3 years and couldn’t be happier I made the decision to come back. DC will always be home for me. I’m working for myself as a freelance writer and marketing consultant now, but I have no plans to leave DC.
Rachel: What is your favorite DC Jewish event?
Lisa: Camp Sixth & I was by far the best event I’ve attended here in DC. We turned our phones off and connected for a beautiful, educational, spiritual, and super-fun Shabbat/Sukkot experience. Getting to know a group of amazing DC Jews in a camp-like environment was a blast from the past… with booze.
Rachel: You participated in Sermon Slam at the DC JCC. What was that experience like?
Lisa: The theme was “Revelation” which is not an easy topic to tackle. When I arrived, the energy in the room was incredible and put me at ease, which I needed quickly since I slammed first. The entire event was inspiring. I loved that these young professionals took the time to craft and share a meaningful story, each leaving the audience with a nugget of wisdom to take home — like a spiritual doggie bag. While it was a competition, it was the most supportive, caring, kind group of competitors I’ve ever met. The talent in our community is unparalleled.
Rachel: Tattoos, huh? How does your mother feel?
Lisa: I have 5 and certainly plan on getting more. Each is super meaningful, but I definitely stand out in a room full of Jews. My mother has come to the realization that I will continue to make what she considers to be poor decisions when it comes to this particular area. But I’m pretty sure she loves me anyway. They all have deep meaning to me — two have references to quitting my job to pursue a writing career. I did it and I have never been happier.
Rachel: What’s your favorite way to spend Shabbat?
Lisa: For the past few years, I’ve spent almost every Friday night at services. I’m kind of a shabbat vagabond, bouncing between 2239 and 6th & I Services. But my very favorite part is the walk to the White House with my friends (because even the strangers who join us are friends by the end) after services. We wander and wonder. It’s the best part of my week.
Rachel: What is your favorite Jewish food?
Lisa: Fried Matzah.
Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?
Lisa: Tina Fey. Wait, what? She’s not Jewish? Just kidding. I stand by saying the coolest Jew would be Jewish Tina Fey. The second coolest Jew would be Toby Ziegler from West Wing. But given he’s not a real person… I think I’ll go with Robert Krulwich, co-host of NPR’s Radiolab. Because “cool” in Judaism is really subjective.
Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…
Lisa: …shenanigans. Pure shenanigans.