Move over Channing Tatum, this extroverted, Israeli chocolate loving hip-hop dancer is ready to take center stage. Get to know Stephanie Aseraph, because she’s one of the most vivacious, sweet, passionate women you’ll meet – and has a not-so-secret party trick of being able to kill it on the dance floor.
Allie: I hear you’re quite the dancer. Tell me about that!
Stephanie: I love hip-hop dancing. Dancing is a huge part of my life. I started dancing after seeing the movie “Honey” in second or third grade, and deciding that I wanted to be just like the star of the movie.
Allie: What do you love most about dancing?
Stephanie: When I dance and am on stage, I just forget about everything and all the troubles in the world go away – nothing else matters. Dancing has also given me so many amazing opportunities. In high school, I was a part of a dance troupe called Future Shock DC, and we went all around the country for showcases… and one year went to Barcelona!
In college, I had a lot of friends from Latin America and they helped me get into salsa and bachata and merengue. Hip-hop is my favorite though. Now, I’m not taking dance classes anymore, but I can go out dancing with friends– to places in the DC area like The Salsa Room, Cuba Libre, and El Centro.
Allie: Who are some dancers you admire?
Stephanie: Matt Steffanina is my favorite choreographer. Also, Channing Tatum is amazing. I love all the movies he’s in when he dances.
Allie: What motivated you to work for Masa Israel Journey?
Stephanie: Coming from an Israeli family, Israel is a really strong part of my identity. I went on a Masa program when I was a Junior in college at Tel Aviv University…and then, when I came back my senior year at Towson University, became a campus ambassador and did recruitment for Masa. After college, I did my Master’s in Leadership in Jewish Education and Communal Service, and knew I wanted to work in the Jewish professional world. When this job opened up at Masa, it was perfect because not only does it allow me to work with others with a passion for Judaism, but with a passion for Israel as well. Being able to support an organization that allows American Jews to connect to Israel and bring them on programs that can change their life, like Masa changed mine, is an amazing opportunity.
Allie: Who is your Jewish role model?
Stephanie: My mom. She’s a wholesome person that I’ve always admired and looked up to. She contributes very significantly to my love for Judaism and Israel, and she has always been my role model and my best friend.
Allie: What do you love most about Jewish DC?
Stephanie: There’s so much going on! I feel like I’m always learning about a new young Jewish professional group. It’s incredible to see so many people connected to the Jewish community, and that it’s such a broad network that there’s an event for everyone.
Allie: What’s your favorite Passover food?
Stephanie: Matzah with chocolate spread. But not just any chocolate spread…it has to be Hashachar spread – which is an Israeli chocolate spread. I love it because I can spread it on matzah and eat chocolate for breakfast…when else do I get to do that?!
Allie: What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?
Stephanie: Greece has been on the top of my travel bucket list since I saw “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”. After that, I really want go to South America and explore Colombia, Argentina, Guatemala, Panama, and Brazil.
Allie: Favorite show to binge watch?
Stephanie: “Friends.” I cannot get enough it. But, of new shows, I’d say “This Is Us.” Randall is hilarious, and Jack is just amazing.
Allie: Complete the sentence: When Jews of DC Gather…
Stephanie: They become connected!