Allie: How did you wind up living in DC?
Jessie: I studied abroad in Asia, and my plan was to go back there after college and do nonprofit work in Thailand. The stars aligned for me to wind up in DC because I didn’t get the opportunities I applied for in Thailand, I knew a handful of friends who were moving to DC, and I got a job at Hillel International. Also, it was in 2016 when things were ramping up for the election, and I wanted to feel some of that energy.
Allie: I hear you’re helping out with this year’s Falafel Frenzy. Tell me about that.
Jessie: Falafel Frenzy is a holiday alternative for Jewish people who are looking for something festive to do on Christmas Eve. It’s a fun night to share with friends and give back to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
Allie: How did you wind up on the Falafel Frenzy host committee?
Jessie: I come from a tight-knit Jewish community in Cincinnati, but after a year of living in DC and working for Hillel, I realized that I didn’t have much of a tie to the local Jewish community outside of work, so I decided to go on Birthright trip. After that, I got more involved with Federation and became a part of their Young Leadership (YL) Board. Ally Sherman, who is also on the Board, asked me to chair Falafel Frenzy with her this year.
Allie: How can someone get tickets for Falafel Frenzy?
Jessie: You can buy tickets here. It’s at Hawthorne on U Street on December 24th. Mark your calendars!
Allie: What do you do to relax at the end of a long work week?
Jessie: I’m a TV junkie. I like watching comedies and stand-up comedy. I also love watching movies, particularly in theaters. Exercising, like spinning and practicing yoga, also helps me clear my head.
Allie: What are some movies and TV shows that you love?
Allie: If you could invite 3 celebs to your Shabbat dinner table, who would they be?
Jessie: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Khloe Kardashian – I’d love to see those two talk. And the third would be Ilana Glazer, she’d be pumped to meet RBG.
Allie: What do you want to do more of this year?
Jessie: I want to try more breweries, explore new parts of the city, and seek out more mentors. Maybe not mentors in the traditional sense, but people who are just a few years older than me who can show me what it looks like to be 5 or 10 years out from where I am in my career.
Allie: What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?
Jessie: Italy. There’s a lot of art history to see and wine to drink. Also, the Philippines. My mom’s family used to work in the Philippines so we have a lot of connections there and I’ve never been. I’d also really love to do a U.S. National Park tour.
Allie: What’s your favorite way to get festive during the holiday season?
Jessie: I feel like people consume a lot more sugar, and pastries – like cinnamon donuts – during the holiday season. I’m very on board with that. But, I’m a really bad gift giver so I get pretty stressed out during the holiday time.
Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…
Jessie: We have fun. I’m big on humor.
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