Meet Avital and Sydney: GatherDC’s Summer Interns!

by Allison Friedman / July 8, 2020

We know this summer is strange and kinda sad but we have two new faces on the Gather team that are upgrading our summer vibes, and we hope they add some much needed sunshine (not the humid kind) to yours! Avital Krifcher and Sydney Tepper will be helping GatherDC with some exciting projects, and are most excited to get to know you! Want to sign up to meet one or both of them for a virtual coffee? Email them here.


Allie: How did you wind up interning for GatherDC this summer?

Avital: After I was sent home from my semester abroad in Berlin, I knew I was going to stay in DC. I decided this summer would be a good opportunity for me to explore the Jewish community in my home city. It was challenging to reorient how the rest of my semester and summer was going to go, but there were some positives from coming home – I have been able to be with my family a lot more. But, I definitely still miss Berlin.

avital berlin

Sydney: I live in DC full time because I’m a grad student at GW. I had applied to a lot of internships where I could network, and wanted to work in the Jewish community specifically. GatherDC seemed like a great fit.

Allie: What will you be doing as interns with Gather this summer?

Avital: I’m focusing a lot on understanding and surveying experts in relational engagement, and will be compiling research on this both inside and outside of the Jewish community.

Sydney: I get to do the really fun task of conducting a program evaluation for Gather. I’m looking at data to understand the effectiveness of past programs and see how we can make them better. 

Allie: When you’re not working “at” GatherDC, where are you spending your time?

Avital: Right now, I’m living in Potomac, Maryland at my family’s home with my parents and two dogs. But when I’m not at home during a global pandemic, I’m at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and am constructing a major around community, sustainability, and communal disruption.

Sydney: I live in my apartment in DC and am getting my master’s in public administration from GW. I recently moved here from Texas where I was in undergrad at UT Austin. I love my new city, but it’s really hot and humid here! 

sydney dc

Allie: What would be your absolute dream day in DC in a post-pandemic world?

Sydney: Hopefully next spring, I’d wake up and go to a Soul Cycle class. Then, walk and get brunch with a friend at Le Diplomate. I’d walk to the Tidal Basin and see the Cherry Blossoms. I’d love to bring a book and just sit and read there for a while. Then, I’d stroll to the National Mall and go to the FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt Memorials. After that, I’d walk back to my neighborhood of Dupont and get dinner at my favorite and dirt cheap sushi restaurant, Sakana on P Street. And I’d end the night watching the sunset from my balcony.

Avital: I’d spend the day walking around the monuments, and go to the National Museum of African American History because I’ve never been before. I’d also like to start and finish the day at Fare Well on H Street.


Allie: What is something people might be surprised to know about you?

Avital: Oh that’s such a hard one! But I think to be as realistic as possible, it’s that people are usually surprised by my age. I’ve spent a lot of time living abroad, living by myself, and having new experiences – and I think that has led some people to assume I’m older when they meet me and they are surprised to know I’m only 21.

Sydney: I have an eidetic memory. I’m really good at memorizing words, dates, what people are wearing, and instances of when I meet people.

Allie: Do you consider yourself Gen Z or Millennial, or something in between?

Sydney: I absolutely see myself as a “Zillennial”. I do not identify with the core base of Gen Z because there are a lot of things they focus on and are very into that I am not. I feel like I have a little bit of an older mindset. 

Avital: This might not be answering the question, but I have never understood what the attributes are that define the generations. I have never really felt so attached to one or the other, or felt compelled to decide. Sydney – you have to answer for me! I was born in 1999.

Sydney: So, you’re technically considered Gen Z. However in some descriptors they consider “Zillennial” to be those born between 1993-2000. Having known you now for three weeks, I’d consider you a “Zillennial”. 

Avital: Great! So according to our expert I’m a “Zillennial”.

Allie: What are you most excited about for this summer and/or your internship with Gather? I know there’s not a whole lot to be excited about right now….

Avital: I’m most excited to learn from the people at GatherDC who have immense experience in building community and relationships. I’m also really excited to widen my network with people who matter in relational engagement today.

Sydney: I’m most excited to meet and get to know people in the DC Jewish community. In fact, you can reach out to grab a virtual coffee with me here.


Allie: What is your go-to way to relax at the end of a long day?

Sydney: I love cooking a gourmet meal. I work with data, which is very black and white. Whereas cooking allows you to be fun and creative and spontaneous. I love to put on a good podcast and treat myself.

Avital: Just sitting down with my dogs on the couch! Also, at the end of a long day I like to workout. 

Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…

Avital: They become more curious.

Sydney: They celebrate everything!


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