Jana Bregman recently moved to DC for her fellowship and is looking to make some awesome new friends – preferably those who enjoy early morning runs, cross-country bike rides, and handmade knitted sweaters as gifts. Read on!
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Jana: I’m originally from Nashville and went to Vanderbilt for both undergrad and medical school. I recently moved to DC after my residency in Baltimore for my fellowship at Children’s National in pediatric ophthalmology, aka medical and surgical eye-care for little kids.
Allie: What did you like about pediatric ophthalmology?
Jana: What’s cuter than a tiny kid in glasses?! I chose pediatrics because within ophthalmology it’s an underserved field, and one that provides opportunity to make a lifelong impact on people by helping to preserve their eyesight from a young age.
Allie: What are the biggest differences between living in Nashville versus DC?
Jana: When I was growing up in Nashville, there were way more differences than there are today. Back then, Nashville was still quintessential south with a slower pace of life. Now it’s more of a sprawling, cosmopolitan city. I think that the Jewish community in DC is better and it seems like there are more young people walking around here.
Allie: Describe your dream DC day from start to finish?
Jana: I would get up early before it gets too hot and go for a run or bike ride in Rock Creek Park. After that, I’d host brunch for some friends, and then take a nap. Later in the afternoon, I’d let out the nerd in me by knitting while watching a movie. Then, I’d go to the pool for a while before heading to a local brewery. After some beers, I’d go out to dinner with friends, followed by some live music. I’d go to sleep by 10 o’clock.
Allie: Is knitting one of your favorite pastimes?
Jana: Yeah, I’ve been knitting since I was in high school. I knit sweaters, socks, pretty much anything. I most recently knit a sweater vest for my brother. I find it really relaxing, especially because I’m not very good at just sitting still. I also like the idea of taking a ball of nothing and turning it into something really pretty. It makes great presents for people!
Allie: What’s your go-to ways to relax at the end of a long work day?
Jana: Running or swimming. I love just reading a book and drinking a beer outside, preferably while sitting by a pool. Banneker Pool is probably one of my favorite places in DC so far.
Allie: Do you have a favorite Jewish holiday?
Jana: Shabbat. I have so many fond memories around it – Shabbat was always a priority for my family when I was growing up. My mom is a really good cook and would make delicious vegetarian meals.
Allie: What’s at the top of your bucket list at the moment?
Jana: I’d love to go to Acadia National Park in Maine, and break 20 minutes in a 5K.
Allie: What is something people might be surprised to know about you?
Jana: I’ve biked across the country. When I graduated from high school, I took a year off before college. I spent the first part of that year with an organization called Bike and Build – we biked and built houses with Habitat for Humanity. It was a two month long trip – we started in Jacksonville, Florida and ended in San Francisco, California. We would bike between 80-100 miles everyday. I sported the proudest farmers tan of my life 🙂
Allie: Do you have a Jewish role model?
Jana: My cantor growing up. He is someone who truly acts out what it means to be Jewish. He connects with people on a very personal level, he’s there when you need him during both happy and sad times, and always has the right reference to Jewish teachings for the moment.
Allie: Complete the sentence: When Jews of DC Gather…
Jana: Friendships are made!
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