Meet Paige, the newest member of the GatherDC team! Paige recently joined Gather as our Administrative Coordinator (Mazel!). Paige studies Theology and Religious Studies at Georgetown University and she is an animal lover through and through. Keep reading to discover more about our amazing new team member!
Hannah: What brought you to DC?
Paige: I knew that I wanted to stay a little further south for college (I’m from Memphis), so I decided to go to Georgetown. I really love DC. It’s definitely a city, but there’s also a true neighborhood feel. I feel very at home here and can see myself making DC home after I graduate.
Hannah: Can you describe your dream day in the DMV from start to finish?
Paige: I imagine that I would be living in a cute little house with a garden in Arlington. During my perfect day I would wake up, go to a coffee shop, and do some work. I would go to a bookstore and in the evening my friends and I would have a picnic on the National Mall. And then we would stop for T Sweets on the way home!
Hannah: What brought you to Gather?
Paige: I met Rabbi Ilana in mid to late 2020. I’m a convert to Judaism, and I was looking for community but had some questions about how to get involved. Rabbi Ilana was so welcoming and nonjudgmental. Ever since that conversation I’ve loved Gather and I’m incredibly excited to be part of the team now.
Hannah: What is something that you’re looking forward to in your role?
Paige: I’m really looking forward to meeting people. I love administrative work no matter where I am but I’m so excited to be at Gather. I hope to make connections and build a community that is really unique and meaningful to me.
Hannah: What do you do to relax or for fun at the end of the week?
Paige: My favorite things to do are exercising and crafting/making things with my hands. Reading and journaling are really important and spiritual for me. Most importantly I love hanging out with my cat, Aspen.
Hannah: What’s one thing you can’t get through the day without?
Paige: Cat snuggles and a good conversation with a friend. And a trip to a coffee shop.
Hannah: How do you connect to your Jewish identity?
Paige: It’s still kind of surreal to me, because I didn’t grow up Jewish. I would say going to services is one way I connect with Judaism. Even if I’m not feeling particularly religious on that day, the meditative and community aspects of services really center me socially and emotionally. I think of services like a package deal that involves both a spiritual experience and also community, friendship, and often food.
Hannah: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?
Paige: I get scared easily (I cried on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney when I was 16!) so I love Purim. It’s the best of Halloween, with costumes, good food, and celebration, but more fun than creepy. I love that it’s a celebration of survival and liberation. This year, I made hamantaschen for the first time, and someone told me that they tasted like they came from Tatte. The ultimate compliment!
Hannah: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Paige: I have many wise people in my life, but the piece of advice that immediately comes to mind is from my great-uncle, who is actually a priest. I was so nervous about leaving Memphis for college, and he told me he was similarly anxious before his ordination. The bishop of Memphis took him aside and told him, “If you weren’t nervous, I’d be worried. Your nervousness shows that this is important to you.” I was terrified about starting college, but Uncle Val reminded me that this was because I really cared about it. He was right. Nine times out of ten, my cold feet are a temporary panic, reflecting my hopes, fears, and values. The things I deem important—and how I deal with fear—make me who I am. Since that conversation with Uncle Val, I’ve had to confront big decisions about my religion, relationships, health, and future. Each time, I find comfort in his words.
Hannah: If you could invite any three people to your Shabbat dinner, who would they be and why?
Paige: Timothée Chalamet is the obvious choice—sue me. My second invite would be Ilana Glazer. I also have to include Natalie Portman; I love a lot of her work and need to practice my Hebrew.
Hannah: Final question! When the Jews of DC Gather…
Paige: You’ll meet someone who you immediately click with!
Want to meet Paige? Say hi here!
* * *
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.