Daniel moved to the DMV during the pandemic, and has already managed to discover an incredible community in Jewish NoVA. As a new Moishe House Mosaic-Fairfax resident, GatherNoVA Open Doors Fellow, and phenomenal baker–you need to get to know this wonderful human. Read on to learn more about Daniel and then sign up to grab coffee with him, or another member of Gather’s Open Doors Fellowship!
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Daniel: I had a job lined up! I’m from the area originally, so I had applied and got a job in the DC area. I actually graduated a couple months before the pandemic hit, and had planned on living with my parents during this time, and enjoying what I’ve been calling a ‘pre-tirement’ before I was expected to start working. Then, Covid hit.
Luckily, I was still able to start with my company, with only a short delay. As for what made me stay–I found that I really enjoy being in the DC area. There’s so much variety within such a small radius, that it’s hard to imagine ever getting tired of all the different things to do. The second thing was, while not ideal, virtual events had been my primary way of making connections and meeting people for the majority of Covid. Now that things are beginning to return to normal, a lot of those groups and relationships have had a pretty smooth transition into in-person activities!
Daniel: My answer for this changes pretty frequently, but coming out of quarantine would probably look something like the following. I’d start off with a morning hike somewhere along the water with friends, followed by brunch at Union Market–since they have such a wonderful array of options. I’d probably head to one of the Smithsonian’s after that, maybe The National Portrait Gallery. I would like to close out the day with a musical at the Kennedy Center. I was lucky enough to see ‘Come From Away’ when it was in DC pre-pandemic, and would love to see it again!
Daniel: It’s been genuinely wonderful. I moved into the Moishe House just after the pandemic began, so having excellent roommates and a community that wants to remain connected and be engaged throughout the past year has made all the difference.
Daniel: An event that was fun to put together was a variety show we organized early in the pandemic. It was a chance for people to present something they’d been working on or doing in the first couple months of quarantine. I put together an SNL-style monologue to kick things off.
Daniel: I do! My current go-to are these blueberry cheesecake bars. It has a shortbread cookie-ish crust, and a blueberry jam layer under the cheesecake, which gives it that little extra deliciousness. I’m not very particular when it comes to eating desserts (I love them all equally), but am a sucker for tiramisu. In college there was an ice-cream shop within walking distance that seasonally offered a tiramisu ice cream, and very quickly became my go-to.
Daniel: A good Shabbat dinner with friends. It’s been an exciting change of pace over the past month or two, being able to transition back to in-person Shabbat dinners. Whether hosting or attending, a nice night of food and friends is always a welcome addition to the end of the week. Also, I get to practice trying new recipes!
Daniel: We play Jewish geography!
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 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.