Allie: So, what will you be doing with Gather?
Mollie: I’m the Community Manager, and I’ll be supporting the Jewish learning opportunities that Gather already offers, while also creating new, volunteer and outdoor focused options. I’m really excited to be a part of a team that’s already doing such cool things, and for the chance to be creative and collaborative. This position is part of the JOFEE Fellowship, which gives me the support and training to try out different things from my education toolbox. Most of all, I just love being a Jewish educator! I feel so lucky to be able to play in the “Jewish learning sandbox” – even as an adult.
Allie: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Mollie: I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland with a close knit family that was very involved in our community. My family always showed me how important it is to give back and make a sustainable impact where you live. After high school, I did a gap year in Israel – which took my passion for Israel and Jewish education to new heights. So, while in college I sought out some amazing opportunities for experiential Jewish education and facilitation in communities across the globe – from Oakland, California to the Austrian Alps. I went on to get a Masters in Experiential Jewish Education because I want to create Jewish learning opportunities that are of the highest possible quality. Then, I moved to Israel and worked for the Shalom Hartman Institute, where I spent a lot of time learning how to bring people together from all different backgrounds to have tough conversations. I moved back to the US three years later and now am at GatherDC!
Allie: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Mollie: French fries – as long as they’re crispy.
Allie: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday and how to celebrate it?
Mollie: Purim. It’s a serious story, but the theme of the holiday is to be happy and savor in the good stuff in your life. The story of Purim shows us that we can still believe in miracles – that something can be going in a bad direction and then take a turn for the better. In Israel, when it’s Purim, everyone goes to the shuk everyone and dances through the streets. It’s both so much fun and really meaningful at the same time!
Allie: What excites most about living in DC?
Mollie: I’m excited to be in a city that’s close to home, while at the same time I’m not super familiar with it and have a lot to explore. I also love learning about new cultures, and meeting new people from all different places – and am excited to get to do that here. In a few weeks, I’m going to check out cool DC cultural events like the Croatian Wine Tasting and Around the World Embassy Tour.
I also really love breakfast foods, so I think I’ll fit well into DC’s brunch culture!
Allie: Any goals for the New Year?
Mollie: Lately, I’ve gotten into yoga and meditation, and like the idea of checking in with myself and making sure I’m centered, have two feet on the ground, and can get out of my head.
Allie: Complete the sentence: When Jews of DC Gather…
Mollie: Jewish geography is played!