After graduating from a university in the area, many of my friends had moved away. For the first time in a long time, I found myself without an easy answer for what to do for the high holidays. Knowing there were other people in similar situations, volunteering to become a High Holiday Host with Gather the Jews gave me the chance to explore young professional Jewish life in DC and meet people along the way.
On Erev Rosh Hashannah, I met up with a girl for happy hour before services at Sixth & I where we bonded over our love for Jewish summer camps and our new jobs. She later met me for Kol Nidre services and a break fast at my house. In the spirit of hachnasat orchim (hospitality), and because I believe that celebration is a group activity, I chose to invite friends and strangers without a place to go for the holidays to my house. Expecting only 6 people at first, I was overjoyed that my house was filled on break fast with seemingly endless food and 19 new friends. It felt great to help create a new community that far surpassed my expectations, but more than anything, my house filled with people with full bellies felt like home.
Are you new to the DC area? Sing up to grab coffee with Shaina, our Community Coordinator!