Rachel: I actually grew up in the suburbs of Maryland and have always loved DC. After I graduated from Penn State last year, I knew that DC was really where I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to start my career and build a life for myself here. I will say it is totally different living in Maryland than it is in DC, but I love living here.
Aside from the hustle of the city itself (mainly in pre-COVID times!), there is something so special about seeing the Capitol and Washington Monument from the roof of my apartment building. Or even being sent photos of Elizabeth Warren walking Bailey from my friends. I plan on sticking around here for a while. And I continue to get excited about the change that can be made in this city to positively impact people all around the country.
Rachel: Haha, for sure! When I was getting ready to graduate from Penn State, I really didn’t know what I was looking to do but I knew I wanted to work in the non-profit space. When I heard about JWI’s Young Women’s Impact Network, it seemed like such a natural fit for me to join the team.
In pre-pandemic times, the Network hosts monthly events in 6 cities nationwide (and now Tel Aviv!) for Jewish women in their 20s and 30s on topics like professional development, financial literacy, negotiating skills, and more. In my role, I get to talk to and work with these incredible women, but JWI is also about so much more than that.
We’re leaders in the fight against domestic violence and to improve the lives of women and girls everywhere, so I feel lucky to have so much fun in my role, but also learn so much from my coworkers and make a real difference.
Rachel: Okay this is a hard one! I’m going to think about this in a post-pandemic world where it’s also warm enough to do everything outside. First, I wake up in my apartment in NoMA and walk to Union Market for a bagel from Buffalo & Bergen and sit on the roof. I would probably stop by the Italian Store, A. Litteri, and grab a little something – maybe a bottle of wine or fresh pasta – for later.
Later, I would meet up with some friends and do something outdoors – a hike in Rock Creek Park or a walk around the Mall to fully enjoy this dream weather I’m imagining. We would then grab dinner and drinks somewhere fun like The Smith and finish the night on my apartment’s rooftop.
Rachel: I’ve been pretty into baking for a while, but I’ve found that especially during the pandemic baking has been the most relaxing thing for me. Since it’s “scientific” in measurements and processes it completely de-stresses me. I also just recently bought Claire Saffitz’s Dessert Person so I’ve been working my way through that. My roommate also bakes challah every week for Shabbat, so there’s no shortage of baked goods over here!
Rachel: I would really love to do a big trip to Asia at some point in my life. A group of my friends took time off after college to do an extended trip there. It has definitely inspired me to do that one day as well. There’s so much for me to learn about the culture, the people, and the FOOD there that I can’t wait to one day make that a reality for myself. It also didn’t hurt that the Salt episode of Samin Nostrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is based there!
Rachel: I miss everyone! As I mentioned, part of the biggest draw for me taking my job at JWI was for the connections to the Jewish community. I’m bummed that so many in-person experiences have been taken away because of the pandemic. That said, there is a bright side to having everything virtually – so many more people can join us for events!
JWI’s biggest event of the year, the Women to Watch Impact Summit, is coming up on December 4th and it will be awesome to see everyone there. It’s a huge virtual program with content that will be relevant to everyone, and speakers that are incredible. (I even heard that Andy Cohen might make an appearance!) If anyone has questions or wants to attend, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel: …there’s bound to be lots of good food, passionate conversations, and at least two people with the same name.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.