Sarah: I originally moved to DC after undergrad for an internship with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. I’m from Charlottesville, VA, so DC had always been on my radar as somewhere I wanted to live. I’ll admit that as my internship came to a close, I felt lost and didn’t know what my next step should be.
Luckily, I had an incredible mentor who helped me realize my interest in service, and I spent the next year as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at a nonprofit in Silver Spring. I’ve had the privilege of working for several DC-area nonprofits in the arts, education, and human services, and I find meaning in ensuring the sustainability of organizations that support and uplift our community members.
I just moved to Arlington (feels good to be a Virginian again!) and I am so excited to explore and dive deep into getting to know my new community.
Sarah: I just started yesterday as Gather’s NoVA Community Manager! GatherDC played a huge role in helping me find community and put down roots when I first moved to the area after college. Now I feel like I’ve come full circle. I’m looking forward to helping my fellow NoVA folks find community and connection to Judaism – the same way Gather helped me to do when I first moved here.
Sarah: I just moved to Arlington, and there is so much I want to explore. A dream day would start with breakfast (the best meal of the day), preferably from Bob and Edith’s Diner, which is just across the street from my apartment. I’ve been wanting to bike the Arlington Trail, which runs 18 miles all the way around Arlington, so I’d spend the afternoon on my bike. I’d have lunch with my roommate on our balcony and maybe do a little yoga to stretch out after my ride. Then I’d round out the day with dinner from Padaek (I used to work at their sister restaurant Thip Khao in DC) and a meet-up with friends in the park right next to my apartment. Bonus points if everyone brings instruments and we can have an outdoor jam session.
Sarah: I’m a musician, and nothing makes me happier than playing music, especially with friends. Hamilton sing-alongs, classical string quartets, a bluegrass jam, playing cello for Shabbat services. Whatever it is, I’m always up for music-making.
Sarah: Rumi writes, “If everything around you seems dark, look again, you may be the light.” I think we’ve all experienced our own forms of darkness during this pandemic. I know I’ve struggled with feeling lost, unmoored, uncertain. But I have also experienced bright moments of intense gratitude. Gratitude for my health, for my family, friends, and community. For my new home and the opportunity to start a new job. For finding ways to continue to do the activities I love, even if under modified circumstances. This season of reflection means letting these moments of light and gratitude guide and inspire me, and trusting that they will help lead me through the darkness.
Sarah: If you live in NoVA or DC and want to talk about Jewish life or how to get involved with Gather, I’d love to get coffee (or at least simultaneously drink coffee while Zooming) with you! Let’s find a time to get together!
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