Rachel Silverman is a food lover, baker, entertainer, card maker, and so much more! Originally hailing from New Jersey, Rachel works in healthcare and has a passion for giving back to the people around her. Read on to learn more about Rachel, her favorite spots in DC, her connection to Jewish life, and her many, many talents!
GatherDC: What brought you to DC? And what made you stay?
Rachel: After growing up near New York City and going to school in Baltimore, I wanted a city that was smaller than New York but still exciting, so that’s how I landed in DC. It’s a really cool city and it’s amazing to be so close to the political center of the US and to be near the National Mall. I’ve been in the area for almost two years and right now I’m living in Dupont which is such a fun part of town.
GatherDC: Could you describe your dream day in the DMV from start to finish?
Rachel: My dream day would be in the fall, which is my favorite season. First, I would get a cup of coffee at my favorite local spot, and then I would go for a run around the National Mall. I might go to another coffee shop and do a little bit of yelping to find some lunch. Afterwards, I would head out to the National Arboretum, which is all the way on the northeast side of town. I feel like people don’t go there too often, but I really enjoy visiting and exploring there. Lastly, I would cook a big dinner, invite some friends over, have a good meal, sit on my balcony, and just enjoy. It’s a pretty chill day.
Gather DC: You mentioned cooking, so naturally we want to know if you have a favorite Jewish food?
My favorite Jewish food to eat is challah (even though I’m supposed to eat gluten-free) and my favorite food to make is probably babka. I also love Israeli salad and hummus and I will never say no to a good Shabbat chicken.
GatherDC: What do you do to relax or for fun at the end of a long week?
Rachel: Nothing too crazy! I do a lot of cooking and baking to relax. I love entertaining and having friends over. I also love running and biking. And I do a lot of crafting! For example, I make homemade cards and send them to my friends and family for holidays…it takes me a while because I try to make each card unique and special. Oh! And I sing and write songs—mostly in the shower right now—but I’m hoping to get back into singing more seriously. [Editor’s note: Check out more of Rachel’s handmade cards here!]
GatherDC: Wow you have so many interests and hobbies! Next thing, what is one thing that you can’t get through the day without?
Rachel: Gratitude. Every day I try to be grateful for the little things. Also coffee, which I am probably addicted to. I definitely have to have my coffee and chocolate to get me through the day.
GatherDC: Switching gears a bit now. How did you get into healthcare?
Rachel: I feel like I always wanted to do something in healthcare because I love helping people. I was pre-med at first in college but then I learned about other opportunities where I could be in healthcare and still have an impact on people in a very human and care-centric way without having to be a doctor. Now my work involves helping people find high-quality doctors and care.
GatherDC: It’s incredible that you are so passionate about your work! On another note, how do you connect to your Jewish identity and/or the Jewish community?
Rachel: I feel connected to my Jewish identity when I’m with other Jewish people and have the opportunity to talk about my Jewish identity. I like going to Jewish events, being around other Jewish people, and talking about my family’s history. I also like to share my culture and my family’s history with people who aren’t Jewish. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized more and more how important it is for me personally to stay connected to my Jewish heritage. I feel very influenced by my grandmother, who was a Holocaust survivor, and her story. I see how important Judaism is for her and I want to keep that going.
GatherDC: Lastly, complete this sentence – When the Jews of DC Gather…
Rachel: They make lasting memories…and eat!
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