Meet Petal: Jewish Wisdom-Seeker of the Week!

by Samuel Milligan / October 26, 2022

Petal looks at a wall covered in green, orange, and red ivy.

Meet Petal! Whether she’s spending time with family, taking classes at Sixth & I, or dreaming up Shabbat dinner topics for Weird Al Yankovic, Petal is making the most of her time in DC. Read the full article to learn more about Petal!

GatherDC: What brought you to DC and what made you stay?

Petal: I came to DC to reconnect with my family in the area – which has been amazing – but I’ve also built an incredible community. I love that there is always something new and exciting to do, but I do wish people would take themselves a little less seriously and slow down. I’m a big proponent of self-care and work-life balance! 

GatherDC: Describe your dream day in the DMV from start to finish.

Petal: Ooooh, this is a bit tough! I’d probably start my morning at Ellē or Buna coffee shop with a good book sitting outside, followed by a walk with my aunt around the neighborhood, lunch or dinner with a friend, and a phone call with my best friend Jaime. He lives in CA but is a staple of my days! 

Petal in an autumnal turtleneck.

GatherDC: What’s the one thing you can’t get through the day without?

Petal: As cliché as it sounds, coffee. I’ve gone through periods where I’ve quit cold turkey, and they have been great in their own way… but I always come back, lol. To relax or for fun at the end of a long week, I love playing and watching other people play video games – it’s my Netflix replacement and go-to total veg activity.

GatherDC: How do you connect with your Jewish identity or the Jewish community?

Petal: I love taking classes and attending events at Sixth & I and through Gather [Editor’s note: aw shucks, thanks!]. Plus, most of my friendships include regular spiritual discussions, so even low-key hangouts can help me feel connected to Judaism. When I’m rolling solo, I also love meditating as a way of connecting with my Judaism. My favorite Jewish tradition or experience might just be Simchat Torah [Editor’s note: Simchat Torah, the holiday where we celebrate the Torah, just passed last week.] There is something so powerful about coming together to celebrate our holy text! Getting to dance and sing with the Torah makes me feel connected to it in a totally different way than when I read it. 

GatherDC: Do you have a Jewish role model? If so, who and why?

Petal: The two people who come to mind at this moment are my friends, Teddy and Haley. They each embody generosity, graciousness, compassion, and humor in a way that is uniquely their own but also very Jewish. They walk the walk, not just talk the talk. 

Petal waves her arms in a crowd during Simchat Torah.

GatherDC: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Petal: There are so many pieces of wisdom I’ve received in my life and they’ve all served me well in different moments. I’ll highlight one piece of wisdom from my friend Tremell, who told me many years ago that life has a way of presenting you with the same challenges in different guises until you learn your lesson. Knowing that has helped me interrupt patterns of thinking and behavior that no longer serve me. 

GatherDC: What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?

Petal: Prior to moving to DC, Judaism was not a part of my life at all!

GatherDC: If you could invite any three people to your Shabbat dinner, who would they be and why?

Petal: Weird Al Yankovic, Judge Judy, and Zach Kornfeld from the Try Guys. I think it would be the perfect combination of Jewish wit, warmth, and hilarity! 

GatherDC: Okay, last one! When Jews of DC Gather…(finish the sentence!) 

Petal: It’s bound to be a good time!


* * *

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.