Meet Sari: Jewish, History-Loving Foodie of the Week

by Travis Hare / August 18, 2021

Sari Mishell loves taking long walks, eating good food, American history, and her hometown of Chicago. We caught up with Sari this week to learn about her favorite walks in DC, why McDonald’s has superior Diet Cokes, and how she took her passion for marketing to the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

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Allie: Tell me about where you grew up and what brought you to the DC area.

Sari: I’m from the northern suburbs of Chicago. I love Chicago and if I hadn’t grown up there, I’d still want to live there. I like the cold—I went to University of Wisconsin too, so I’m used to winter. 

Honestly, I kind of just wanted to move to DC! I used to come for AIPAC stuff, and I really liked being in the city. I was 22, and I was like, when else am I going to be able to just move somewhere?

Allie: I hear you’re working for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington now. Tell me a little about how you ended up there and what you do.

Sari: I’ve always been super into politics, but realized I didn’t want to work in the field. So then I applied to journalism school and found that wasn’t really for me either. I ended up focusing on strategic communication, which I love. After doing experiential marketing, I knew I really wanted to be in marketing. Now I am the Digital Marketing Associate at federation where I run the social media and the newsletter and handle website upkeep. I work with other departments to showcase what we’re doing.

Allie: What would be your dream day in DC from start to finish?

Sari: I’d go to a nice restaurant for brunch—maybe Agora or Le Diplomat. Then, I love American History, so I would go to the National Portrait Gallery or the National Museum of American History. I’m a huge walker, so I would walk there and walk back. For dinner I would go to a beer garden with friends. I’m a foodie and I keep kosher, so it’s not super easy, but I love trying new places. Chaplin’s in the Shaw/Logan Circle area is great. They’ve got incredible vegetarian-based miso.

Allie: What is something you do to relax?

Sari:  I love going for walks. It’s actually a running joke in my office that at every lunch break I walk two and a half miles to McDonald’s, get a Diet Coke, and then walk back. (Coke tastes better at McDonald’s because of the ratio of the syrup to the seltzer.) 

My favorite walk starts by going down 13th, then going up to 14th & U Street. I go to the McDonald’s there and sometimes the Trader Joe’s, and then walk up 15th by the Barbie pond before I go back.

Allie: If you could invite any three people to have Shabbat dinner with, who would you invite and why?

Sari: Aly Raisman, because she’s amazing. Abigail Adams—she’s a role model of mine, she’s so cool. And maybe Rachel Weisz, the actor in Black Widow.

Allie: With the High Holidays coming up, what would you say is your favorite way to celebrate?

Sari: For Rosh Hashanah, my family has a ton of our friends over for lunch on both days. It almost feels like our Thanksgiving with everyone we love in one place. Last year with COVID we had to do it outside. Even as we’re all getting older, all the kids still go back to Chicago for it. 

Allie: As a foodie, what are your favorite High Holiday foods?

Sari: My grandma used to make kreplach. She’s from Lithuania, so it was eastern European, and it just doesn’t exist in America. It’s like a Jewish dumpling. It’s very Lithuanian, the way the Lithuanians would write their recipes was “a handful of this, and pinch of that”…there’s no measurements! We’ve all tried, and we could never replicate it. She would also bake these matzah balls and they had this sweetness, almost like charoset, in the middle. This matzah ball is hard as a rock, so dense, but then it has this middle that’s sweet and spicy and cinnamon-y…it’s so good!


Allie: Is there a hobby or skill you want to learn this year?

Sari: I want to get into more workout classes now that things are finally opening up. I want to try them all. I joined Equinox and there’s a boxing class that one of these days, I will get myself to go to.

Allie: What is something at the top of your life bucket list?

Sari: I’d love to go to Iceland. Everyone’s been going and it’s made me want to go too.

Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…

Sari: …there’s a lot of Jewish geography.

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