Hannah Angerman recently joined GatherDC as the team’s new Communications Coordinator! Hannah graduated from Carleton College this fall (mazel tov!) and is making the move to DC in just a few weeks. She loves writing and community and is so excited to bring those passions to her work. Read on to find out more about Hannah and maybe even discover her very cool secret talent!
GatherDC: Tell us about where you’re from and what brought you to DC?
Hannah: I’m originally from New York, but over the past few years I’ve been spending most of my time either in Minnesota for school or Massachusetts, where my parents live. There are a lot of things that brought me to DC— I’ve got a bunch of family here and I have been coming to visit the DMV since I was young. Throughout the years, I’ve come back to DC both to visit and to live and I have come to love the area. I spent a semester at American University and had so much fun getting to explore the city, so when I graduated college I decided to move to DC. Being a New Yorker, I’m really looking forward to learning a different city that has a smaller, more close-knit feeling. I am so excited to be working at Gather and to continue exploring when I officially move to DC in just a few short weeks!
GatherDC: Wow, that’s so exciting, good luck on your move! What brought you to this role at Gather? And what’s something you’re excited for in your new role?
Hannah: One thing that brought me to this role is my love of writing and community; this role encompassed both of those things. I have had personal experiences in other communities that have been so impactful, so I was really excited to work for an organization that is so focused on making meaningful connections. I’ve been moving around a lot in the past few years, and connecting with the Jewish communities around me has been difficult. So Gather’s mission really hit close to home for me in a number of ways. I am really excited to engage with the Gather community through communications and to make that communication meaningful.
GatherDC: What’s the one thing you can’t get through the day without?
Hannah: Any kind of snuggling time with pets! I’m a huge animal lover and I find that being around animals is so refreshing and healing. Being around horses is my favorite (there’s nothing quite like hugging a 1000 plus pound quadruped that can really sense your emotions) but I’ll honestly spend time happily with any animal that’s around me.
GatherDC: We’re curious, how do you connect with your Jewish identity or the Jewish community?
Hannah: I think that I personally connect to Judaism in a variety of ways. A lot of that has to do with family. For example, every granddaughter in my family that had a Bat Mitzvah got a handmade tallit [Editor’s note: a tallit is a Jewish prayer shawl] from my grandparents. My grandfather actually needlepointed each atarah [Editor’s note: an atarah is an adorned collar of a tallit] with a torah quote that we got to choose, and my grandmother then sewed the tallit. It’s a super special family heirloom, and as a fellow crafter I really appreciate my grandparents’ time and commitment to making each tallit personal and meaningful. As far as Jewish community, I’m really excited to connect more with the community in DC both through work and in my personal time. Luckily for me I ended up at Gather so I don’t think I’ll have to look too far 🙂
GatherDC: That’s such a lovely tradition! Do you have any other favorite Jewish traditions or experiences?
Hannah: So this is a very weird thing but my family has this tradition of making a magic matzah ball every year during Passover. The magic matzah ball is basically a homemade Magic 8-Ball (usually two bowls put together and matzah taped to the outside) that has some pretty funny answers. During the seder the magic matzah ball comes out and everyone gets to ask it a question, say the magic spell (this is not a joke—there really is something we have to say), and listen as the matzah ball imparts its mostly incoherent wisdom. As the years have gone by, the matzah ball has gotten much fancier; it tells riddles, sings parody songs, and it even brought its children to the seder one year. Although this is definitely not one of your run-of-the-mill Passover traditions, I feel like it exemplifies my family and how we bring our own personality to our holiday celebrations.
GatherDC: What do you do to relax or for fun at the end of a long week?
Hannah: At the end of the week, I usually like to spend time with friends or family, do some type of craft or activity with my hands, and probably watch some tv. Right now I’ve got a million different craft projects going but my main one is knitting a sweater! My ideal end of week would be a true combination of all of these things: I would love to just be with my friends, watching something fun together, all while knitting away! That said, I’ll also never say no to an unexpected adventure or shenanigan to bring some energy after a long week!
GatherDC: Speaking of crafting, we hear you have a really cool hidden talent. Can you let us in on the secret?
Hannah: Yes of course! So my not-so-secret secret talent is that I am a metalworker! I have been metalworking for around ten years now and it truly is one of my passions. I’ve always had a penchant for art and working with my hands, so metalworking is the perfect combination of the two. Being a metalworker has given me the space to grow as an artist while also learning to perfect a very technical yet rewarding skill. I love how metal as a medium is often unforgiving because it requires me to use my creative thinking to problem solve. My projects tend to come out different from what I expected, but also better because of it! Also I really love playing with fire and power tools. Honestly, one of the times I feel most at home and myself is when I have a blazing blowtorch in hand and some molten metal in front of me!
GatherDC: Last but not least complete this sentence – When Jews of DC Gather…
Hannah: It is rewarding, nourishing, and fun!
Want to meet up with Hannah to be featured as Jewish Person of the Week, talk to her about advertising in our newsletter or social media, or just meet this awesome human being? Say hi here!
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