Recently we chatted with the awesome Allyson Silver. Allyson grew up in the area and loves to spend her DMV days spending time with family and eating at all her favorite spots. Allyson is passionate about her work in human resources at Hillel International and enjoys spending time with her local Jewish community. Read on to learn more about Allyson!
Hannah: What brought you to the DMV?
Allyson: I grew up in Potomac, Maryland. Ever since going away for school in New Orleans, I knew that I wanted to come back to the DMV. My whole family is in this area and I always wanted to be close to them. It was nice growing up in an area that’s close to a city, but also has that suburban feel. So that’s what brought me back here.
Hannah: Could you describe your dream day in the DMV from start to finish?
Allyson: It would be the perfect summer day. I would start with a workout, either a long walk in my neighborhood or a Peloton workout. Then I would go to Bethesda Bagels because nothing can beat a post-workout bagel. Next, I would go and visit some family and have a leisurely day spending time together. Then I’d love to go to dinner with friends at a tapas restaurant. After dinner we would go get ice cream at Jeni’s and then come home and watch Love Island.
Hannah: What is something that you do to relax or for fun at the end of the week?
Allyson: We have half day Fridays where I work so I love spending the afternoon in comfy clothes binging TV to decompress after a long week. Curb Your Enthusiasm has been my recent show of choice.
Hannah: What do you do for work?
Allyson: I’m the Manager of Strategic Human Resources at Hillel International. I do a lot of work in the talent space and in HR supporting Hillel employees. I help onboard new employees to the organization and make them feel welcome. I really love what I do. I love being able to connect our data to action steps and ways to continually improve the workplace. Everything we do is part of trying to create a great employee experience. The mission of the organization is amazing and it’s great working with like-minded people. At the end of the day, my team and my colleagues are what make the work fun and exciting.
Hannah: What is one thing you can’t get through the day without?
Allyson: First thing that comes to mind is a workout. I have to wake up and work out right away to clear my mind and get my day started on the right foot. I constantly have music playing while I’m working out or while I’m getting ready. That puts me in the best mood.
Hannah: How do you connect with your Jewish identity and or Jewish community?
Allyson: I have two separate answers. The first one is that I absolutely love hosting Shabbat dinners. When I used to think about having my own place the first thing that I wanted to do was host people and have the space to create my own Shabbat experience. I love having all my friends over. I have a Shabbat playlist and I’ve gotten into cooking for people. I love when people come over and stay the whole night chatting, enjoying each other’s company, and having deeper conversations. I also love to be involved in the Jewish community through volunteering. I serve on the board of JWI’s Young Women’s Impact Network. I’m also an advisor for a BBYO chapter in Maryland. It’s actually the chapter that I was in growing up. I love being connected in that way and helping mentor high schoolers who are finding their own Jewish identity.
Hannah: What is your favorite thing to cook for Shabbat dinner?
Allyson: It has to be brisket. I got the recipe from my mom and it’s a process that takes the entire week. But it always turns out so delicious and my apartment smells amazing for the whole week.
Hannah: Do you have a Jewish role model?
Allyson: Definitely my mom. Family is the core reason that I love celebrating Jewish holidays and feel so connected Jewishly. But my mom is my role model and I really look up to her. She is the person who would host Shabbat dinners and family holidays. I admire her ability to bring people together, especially around Jewish holidays and events.
Hannah: If you could learn one new personal skill this year what would you learn and why?
Allyson: I would love to learn another language. I am not great at learning new languages but I feel like it’s such a good life skill to have. I really want to go to Italy so maybe I could learn a little Italian. I would love to feel comfortable speaking with others in a different language.
Hannah: Final question! Complete this sentence—when the Jews of DC gather…
Allyson: You have a bagel and schmear!
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