Meet Sarah: Jewish NoVA Community Manager of the Week

by Rachel Kriegsman / September 9, 2020

Meet Sarah Fredrick, GatherDC’s newest team member and NoVA Community Manager. She’s super excited to get to know her new community. Read on, but also grab a coffee with Sarah and learn what she’s got in store for a growing NoVA community!

Rachel: What brought you to the DC-area and what made you stay?

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.

Rachel: Congrats on your move back! So, tell us about your new role and how you found your way to GatherDC?

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.  

Rachel: Describe your dream NoVA day from start to finish.

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.

Rachel: Sounds awesome. Tell us more about your music and what you do for fun at the end of a long week?

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.


Rachel: The High Holidays are just around the corner. I’m curious what this season of reflection means to you?

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. 

Rachel: Anything else you’d like to share with the DC Jewish community?

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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