Meet Rachel: Jewish Woman of Impact of the Week

by Rachel Kriegsman / November 25, 2020

Rachel Evans, originally hailing from Maryland, loves living in DC, exploring her NoMA neighborhood, and finding zen in weekend baking. During the week, though, she’s focused on improving the lives of women and girls everywhere. Learn more about Rachel, her work at JWI,  and the upcoming Women to Watch Impact Summit in this week’s interview!

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

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: I know this is the most DC thing, but tell me more about your work at Jewish Women International (JWI) and how you got into that! 

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: Describe your dream day in the DMV from start to finish. 

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: What do you do to relax or for fun at the end of a long week?

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: What’s at the top of your life bucket list or where are places you’d love to travel? Why?

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

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

Rachel: Complete this sentence – “When Jews of DC Gather…

Rachel: …there’s bound to be lots of good food, passionate conversations, and at least two people with the same name.


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