Meet Sarah: Jewish Dog Mom of the Week

by Rachel Kriegsman / March 23, 2021

Sarah Fenn hails from the crisp air of the Rocky Mountains, but has found her home and community in DC – even with the humidity! She works on national security issues and is dog-mom to a Cavapoo pup who loves joining her for any excursion. She’s excited for Passover, which starts this weekend, and loves a good matzo ball soup (but with hatch chiles, of course). Read this week’s 1:1 interview to learn more about Sarah and what she loves most about DC and what she would change if she could. 

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

Sarah: I came to DC in June 2018 for a year-long Fellowship with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). I ended up staying because of work, social, and Jewish community opportunities. DC was the right place at the right time! 

Rachel: I hear you are a dog mom to  a very cute pup, tell me about her!

Sarah: Eleanor is an almost 1 year-old, 10lb Cavapoo who has more personality than any dog I’ve ever seen. I’d been planning to get a dog for a long time, and I ended up getting her at the same time as all the other Covid pups. She’s tiny, very cute, and relishes any attention she can get. I’ve become that person who puts their dog in sweaters or in my backpack. She ended up being smaller than I thought she’d be, but it means that she’s more portable. I take her almost everywhere!

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

Sarah: Oh man, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what DC has to offer. I finally made the decision to stay in DC right in time for Covid to start. It’d have to start with walking my dog to The Coffee Bar on 12th for a dirty chai, then go down to the Portrait Gallery and read in the atrium. I’d want to catch a Nats or Caps game, watch the sunset over the Potomac at the Monuments, and then dinner and hang out with my friends (and our dogs) in Logan circle. I would finish the night with some drinks at The Pug, or at one of the local places with some live music. 

Rachel: What do you love about DC and what’s one thing you would change about DC?

Sarah: Being from Denver, I miss being so close to the mountains. Although, now that I know how close Shenandoah is, I think I can manage that. But I would absolutely change the humidity. Do people ever get used to it?

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

Sarah: It’s been really nice to have a Shabbat ritual with my roommate during Covid to separate the week, even if it’s just lighting candles. I definitely like to sleep in, but getting outside has saved my sanity, be it long walks, tennis, dog parks, or hiking. If it’s an indoor kind of day, I’m reading romance novels, cooking, binging comedy TV shows, or doing crafts.

Rachel: What’s your favorite Passover tradition?

Sarah: When I’ve been able to be at home with my family, I really love prepping and cooking with my mom. She does an incredible charoset and chopped liver. She even makes matzo ball soup with hatch chiles to mix things up. 

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

Sarah: I’ve been so lucky to live in Israel and travel a fair amount. I’m not one to visit places to check them off, but want to go for the right experience. Right now, I’d love to take my sisters on a trip to Central America. It’d be amazing to spend time with them especially as we’ve grown up and moved away from each other, and the combination of food, sights, sun, and tropics would match all of our interests.

Rachel: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Sarah: It’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility.

Rachel: What’s the one thing you can’t get through the day without?

Sarah: My to-do lists. I have a lot of them, all on color-coded index cards, and I even store them in their own small bag along with specific pens and highlighters. 

Rachel: “When Jews of DC Gather…

Sarah: someone baked fresh challah.


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