Rachel: I initially made my way to DC after landing a job in my field when I graduated from college. I was a Peace Studies and Environmental Science major in undergrad and put that degree to use working for an NGO coalition focused on reforming our nation’s outdated toxic chemical law. What made me stay, though, was the immense opportunity to grow, stay curious, and keep learning about all things environment — primarily climate and clean energy — since then.
Rachel: Honestly, I was looking for two things — a way to connect back to the Jewish community and a way to express my marketing and communications skills in a more creative, relational way. When I saw the post for the GatherDC opportunity, I couldn’t help but think it was the perfect way to explore my creative side and was excited to connect with other Jewish professionals.
[Editor’s note: Reach out to Rachel to say hi, share blog or social media ideas, or nominate someone to be Jewish Person of the Week!]
Rachel: Yes! When not working on things for GatherDC, I spend my time working to advance solutions to the climate crisis. I took a DC hiatus to pursue a masters degree in Environmental Management at Duke and worked full time throughout school. So, I think I’m just used to the multi-gig balance and enjoy challenging myself in different ways throughout the week.
Rachel: I am definitely most excited to work with the amazing Gather team. It’s been such a treat so far and I’m excited to jump in and exercise my brain in new ways (especially during quarantine!)
Rachel: My dream DC day would be anytime — spring, summer, or fall — and start with brunch. Even without a global pandemic, I would prepare it at home with my partner because we have a knack for taking whatever is in the fridge and whipping up an incredible weekend brunch. Then, we’d head out together on our bikes, stopping by Eastern Market to see what’s new and pick up some fresh fruits, veggies, and bagels for the week from Bullfrog — a great neighborhood bagel shop. (Highly recommend their jalapeño schmear.) After that, we’d head over to one of DC’s great bike trails, eventually leading us to Anacostia Park to relax with a good book and maybe even squeeze in an outdoor yoga practice. We’d close out the day by meeting up with friends for food and music (a favorite spot is Bluejacket, pictured below) — bonus if there’s dancing at the end of it all!
Rachel: Haha, yes — all the side hustles. I started practicing in college when a really amazing teacher and fellow student used to offer free, weekly yoga classes in the campus chapel. That was my first time practicing yoga and I loved it. I eventually went on to do a beginner teacher training at Tranquil Space Yoga in Dupont (now YogaWorks) and later completed my 200-hour certification at Yoga Del Sol in Georgetown. I love the intentional, meditative movement of yoga and sharing that with other people.
Rachel: Definitely RBG and her fellow female justices on the Supreme Court. What a dream that would be.
Rachel: People might be surprised to know that in a past life, Rabbi Ilana and I were at once Jewish educators and organic farmers in the Great Smoky Mountains. Here’s a pic to prove it!
Rachel: …they play Jewish geography, of course!
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