Inspired by Bagel Bash in Atlanta, Stephanie and some friends started DC’s own Falafel Frenzy in 2010. They wanted to create a way to party and give back on Christmas Eve. And so, Falafel Frenzy was born as an event where 100% of the proceeds would go to charity. This week, I got to learn about Stephanie’s involvement in Falafel Frenzy and what she is up to when not planning a charity party!
Jackie: You have been a part of Falafel Frenzy since it began back in 2010. Why did you want to start throwing a Christmas Eve Party?
Stephanie: I had attended the for-profit alternative the two prior years with a high cover charge. On Christmas Eve of all nights, it didn’t feel right directing my dollars this way. With two friends, we launched the Falafel Frenzy as a meaningful way to support the community through donations to local food programs and holocaust survivors living below the poverty line.
Jackie: How has the event changed over the years?
Stephanie: We have grown in numbers and location. We have held the space at Local 16, Howard Theatre, and this year 18th Street Lounge. We have raised over $100,000 for charity since the event’s inception.
Jackie: Do you do any other volunteering around the city?
Stephanie: I do – I have been involved in StreetWise Partners since 2008, a 3-month career venturing program for those living below the poverty line. It is an incredible program that really transforms the lives of individuals. I am happy to speak with anyone interested in mentoring!
Jackie: What are you most passionate about?
Stephanie: I am passionate about addressing the cycle of poverty and helping those less fortunate than myself. I recognize that life is incredibly unfair to so many, and I want to do as much as I personally can to help others have increased opportunities for success.
Additionally, as the Director of Holy Cross Health’s Cancer Program, I am passionate about impacting access to cancer-related health care. In my professional role, I establish programs that help to support patients during such an incredibly difficult time in their life.
Jackie: You like to plan trips for friends. What was one of your epic weekends?
Stephanie: It was a weekend in the eastern shore 4+ years ago; the group had great energy, we did yoga on the dock (see attached picture), had bonfires at night, and lots of swimming despite jellyfish issues!
Jackie: Who is your favorite Jew?
Stephanie: Ruth Bader Ginsburg – she’s liberal, speaks her mind, and she’s vocal about women’s issues.
What is something you just can’t live without?
Sunshine – the winters are always hard in DC!
Finish the sentence: When the Jews Gather… we can fight injustice, especially after this campaign season!