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Meet Eric: Jewish Internationalist of the Week

Since he wakes up before sunrise each day without an alarm clock, jet lag is no match for this fitness-loving, world traveler. Also, he’s a social media rebel who prefers podcasts to television.

Meet Eric Krasnow in our 1:1 interview!

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Allie: What brought you to DC?

Eric: I’m from Boston originally, but spent two years living and working in Buenos Aires, Argentina after graduating from college in 2015. I wanted to stay involved in that region but be closer to home (and my mom’s cooking!), and found the perfect solution – a position covering Latin American investments at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of The World Bank.

Allie: What do you do at IFC?

Eric: The mission of the IFC is to develop a sustainable private sector in emerging markets. The best part of the job is travelling to the countries we are investing in and building relationships with our local partners. I have worked on projects in Latin America and countries around the globe, including Morocco, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and the Philippines.

Allie: You seem like someone who truly embodies wellness. Can you run through an average day in your life to motivate me and our readers?

Eric: I am in bed every night before 9 pm, which lets me wake up without an alarm the next day before 6. Once up, I go for a 5 mile run around Meridian Hill Park, followed by weight training at the gym near my apartment. After a quick shower and breakfast – Israeli style: vegetables, eggs and salmon – I go to work.

In the evening, if I can get out of work early, I will go to a hot yoga class at CorePower; if not, I will walk home listening to podcasts. I don’t have social media or a TV, and rarely go online when home. That makes it easier to go to bed early, and start the routine over the next day.

Allie: How do you stay so disciplined?

Eric: It’s a virtuous cycle. My favorite part of the day is when the sun has not yet risen and I have already hit a new personal record. That is a psychological win. It gives me confidence that I can not only overcome being tired or sore, but also overcome whatever challenges come up during the day. I’ve found that the more disciplined I am with my fitness, the more disciplined I am with work and my emotions.

Allie: Do you have any fitness goals?

Eric: I’m going to run a half marathon in June – the Warrior in Georgetown. I’m training for that now.

Allie: What is your favorite Jewish holiday?

Eric: Sukkot! I just planted a garden on my balcony and am diligently caring for it each day. My goal is to host a Sukkot dinner this fall, with a balcony-to-table salad for the first course.

Allie: I hear you’re co-chairing this year’s AJC Young Diplomats Reception. Tell me about that.

Eric: It’s the signature diplomacy event of AJC ACCESS DC, which is the part of AJC that focuses on developing young Jewish leaders in their communities. The reception brings together Jewish young professionals, Capitol Hill staff, and policy partners with 100 members of DC’s diplomatic community. This year, the cocktail reception will take place on the LINE DC rooftop, with a keynote speech given by AJC CEO David Harris. I encourage all who read this to attend!

Allie: Why did you decide to get involved with AJC?

Eric: Being Jewish is core to my identity, and supporting Israel is core to my Judaism. I’ve always felt deeply tied to Israel and feel like it’s my duty as a Jew to defend Israel in some capacity. Shortly after moving to DC, I attended the AJC Global Forum.

I was immediately drawn to the organization’s comprehensive efforts to combat anti-Semitism, defend Israel’s place in the world, and safeguard democracy and pluralism for all. I became an AJC ACCESS member and am now very excited to co-chair the Young Diplomats Reception.

Allie: When Jews of DC Gather….

Eric: My first experience with Gather was with a fantastic group of young Jewish professionals during a camping trip in Shenandoah: when Jews of DC gather, they do so outdoors!

eric

 

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.

FREE Summer Yoga with GatherDC!

yoga

  • Stressed out?
  • Struggling to get out of bed?
  • Feels like Friday but its only Tuesday?

Yup. Yup. Yup.

We understand.

That’s why we’re inviting you to OM-it-out with us on Thursday evenings so you can head into your summer weekends with invigorated energy! Our in-house yoga teacher Allison Friedman (bio below) will be hosting 60-minute power yoga classes on Thursdays from May 30th – August 22nd. 

After class, you’re welcome to hang out and schmooze with your new “omies” over tea and healthy snacks.

Classes are free to attend and all levels are welcome. Please come in yoga clothes and BYOM (Bring Your Own Mat).*

 

sign up

Details

  • When: Thursdays from May 30th – August 22nd at 6:00pm
  • What: 60-minute Jew-ish power yoga at beginner to intermediate level
  • Where: Gather’s townhouse at 1817 M St NW
  • Who: Jewish and “Jew-curious” 20s/30s in the DC-area

Cost

  • Class is FREE to attend, but we suggest a $12 donation to GatherDC for each class.

RSVP

 

 

yoga

About Allison: In addition to working for Gather as Communications Director, Allison Friedman recently graduated from a 200-hour yoga teacher training with CorePower Yoga. Allison teaches beginner and advanced vinyasa yoga at CorePower. Yoga and Jewish spirituality are two of her favorite things, and she can’t wait to share the healing practice of Jewish-infused yoga with you. She sees yoga as an invigorating physical and mental practice that can inspire internal serenity, strength, and compassion.

For questions, email allisonf@gatherdc.org

Meet David: Jewish Gym Owner of the Week!

[WARNING: The following interview may induce feelings of inadequacy.]

Okay GatherDC-ers, this week, we have the utmost pleasure of introducing you to the one-and-only David Magida. If you’re in the fitness scene, you may have seen his name before as the author of the book “The Essentials of Obstacle Race Training”, or on Facebook Live as NBC Sports’ Spartan Race host, or as a founding member of the Reebok Spartan Race Pro Team, or at one of the two locations of Elevate Interval Fitness – which he owns, runs, and coaches at. If you’re not in the fitness scene, maybe this interview will inspire you. If not, well, you can always work out your taste buds at Shake Shack.

david

Allie: What triggered your passion for fitness?

David: I’ve always loved fitness. Being active is me in my most natural state. Competing and testing my limits is a big thing for me. Whenever I’m down or in a funk, I just sign up for a race. It’s like therapy for me. It clears my mind, and mentally resets me. I try to make working out one of the first things that I do each day, and it sets me on a very positive track. Days when I don’t exercise I’m kind of a hot mess.

Allie: Were you this passionate about fitness when you were growing up?

David: I was really small as a kid, but was always athletic and loved sports. I was a soccer player, swimmer, and wrestler. In middle school I discovered running. By sixth grade, I was already training with the varsity cross country team. I would run with them after my middle school soccer practice and travel to meets with them, even though I had to be marked as ineligible until 9th grade. I loved workout out so much that my wrestling coach made me team captain as a freshman so I could lead team conditioning. It wasn’t over until I said it was over. I wasn’t super popular with the guys.

Allie: Wow! What sport did you like the best?

David: Running. [In high school], I made the choice to commit to running. My junior year I had to give up wrestling for a year so I could focus on my running career. I went to run collegiately, but only briefly. I did one season and was so fed up with the way the team was coached and so I fell out of love with running. I didn’t run for several years.

Allie: What did you do to replace running?

David: I got really into strength training and even joined the football team for a season. I ended up getting certified as a personal trainer at 19, and took a break from school to do that. But, I didn’t think there was long-term career viability in fitness so I went back to school to get my undergraduate degree. Then, I went to grad school at University of Miami and got my master’s degree in public relations. While I was in Miami I started running Spartan races.

david spartan

Allie: What’s a Spartan race?

David: It’s a running race with a series of military style obstacles, anywhere from 3 miles to marathon distances. In 2012, I did the Spartan Ultra Beast which is 31 miles of ski slopes, obstacles, and overall just pure torture. I also completed the Death Race, which is well over 100 miles in the wilderness over several days of no sleep.

Allie: The Death Race?! That sounds insane. Tell me more.

David: It’s appropriately named. It’s backpacking through the woods with a map and compass, and there’s no set course. It changes each year and sometimes mid-race, at the whims of the directors. You don’t know what it’s going to be and they do crazy things to mix it up. The race is full of time cutoffs, crazy physical tasks, and mental challenges. One year, they took our shoes from us for 20 hours and we were in the Vermont wilderness running barefoot on a trail known as Bloodroot. It’s crazy. All the while you’re filtering water out of rivers and chopping wood and basically running around in survival mode.

Allie: After you survived the Death Race, how did you wind up in DC?

David: I got a job working at a public affairs firm. Around that time, I was also offered a professional contract to race in 2013 for the Reebok Spartan Race Pro Team, so I was doing 25 or 30 Spartan races a year.

Allie: How did you manage to keep up with your job while also racing professionally?

David: I was run-commuting to and from work every day, about 3.5 miles each way, and skipping happy hours with my co-workers to go to the gym. I had very little semblance of a social life. But the run-commuting barely took longer than riding on the metro. It was about efficiency. I still often run-commute to this day.

Allie: Tell me how Elevate came to be.

David: I basically hated my job and wasn’t happy. But my success racing garnered some interest. People started asking me if I would coach them. I eventually started leading some outdoor classes. I was having more fun with this than anything I had done before. It’s really fulfilling work. So, I found this spot on 14th street, left my job, and just went for it. Elevate (a studio with high intensity circuit and interval workouts) opened in October 2014. We opened a second studio in Southwest this past August.

Allie: What’s the best part of running Elevate?

David: Getting to do the stuff that I love and connect with people on a deep level. And actually having an impact on people’s lives in a positive way. I like to help people change the way they look at fitness. People look at fitness as this thing they dread or do for body image issues, which is completely backwards. My goal is to teach people to embrace the process and find the joy in the workout and their own personal improvement. Community is also such a huge part of it. It’s difficult to meet other people in a big city. You go to work and go home, but you need a third place. For some people, that’s a bar. But going into a gym and sweating together can bring people closer and builds really dynamic communities.

Allie: What’s been the biggest challenge?

David: Time and stress. When you’re a business owner, you’re working 24/7. You’re never really off.  Fitness in particular, because the days start early and end late. The first year I felt like I was at work from 5am to 10pm every single day, and it can wear you down.

david

Allie: What advice would you give to someone hoping to kick-start a fitness routine?

David: Don’t try to do it on your own. Consult an expert and go to a class or get a trainer. You need direction. Don’t worry about what other people think about you in the gym. If you’re working hard, people will respect that. If you focus on frequency (how often you go), intensity (how hard you go), and duration (how long you go for) you will be successful. And then get your eating in line. Try to meal prep if you can.

Allie: Not sure if it ever happens, but if you had a free day in DC. How would you spend it?

David: First thing, coffee. I make a double or triple shot Americano and then go for a run. Then I wouldn’t mind going out on the river and go boating. If I could do some wake-boarding or wake-surfing that would be ideal. As weird as it sounds, I’d probably do an hour or two of work so I could feel productive. I’d want to go out to the rec center and play pickup basketball with some friends. Then, go out to a meal or happy hour with some friends at Grady’s. And then, play some board games.

Allie: Do you have anything still on your life bucket list?

David: I want to climb some of the world’s biggest peaks, like Matterhorn. I’d love to go running through Mont Blanc. I’d like to do some SkyRunning series, or a century which is a hundred miles. There’s a lot of the world I want to see. I’m going to Japan at the end of February with the B’nai B’rith Young Leadership Network. Maybe one day I’ll live in another country or on the West Coast just to do something different. I don’t see myself being limited to just working in fitness. I’d like Elevate to be a self-sufficient thing so I can go on to explore other client-facing business ventures.

Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…

David: They have great conversation.

david and dog

David and his dog Oscar

—–

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.

Meet Emily: Jewish Go-Getter of the Week

Emily Rasowsky runs the Women in Technology Campaign, just opened a brand new boutique DC gym, teaches yoga, and goes running across the city. This is all OUTSIDE of her full time career as a digital customer experience strategist. Safe to say, this Jewish Person of the Week is inspiring everyone around her to seize the day and become go-getters of life. Read on.

Emily

Allie: How did you wind up living in DC?

Emily: I grew up living in New York and Las Vegas, and had a lot of family on the East Coast. I came here for college, and got a job at a digital agency right out of school and stayed here ever since. 

Allie: What was it like growing up in Las Vegas?

Emily: Vegas has a huge school district and tons of people live there. The strip itself is one large, concentrated part of town, every other place feels like a normal suburb. The major differences are: 1) You get exposed to things way earlier. Our biggest multiplexes were in casinos. The grocery store has a section to gamble. To go to Nordstrom’s, you have to drive by the World’s Largest Sex Shop. 2) Service industry jobs are huge so their career ambitions are different than in DC. It’s a warped world. but can also feel pretty normal. I do prefer the East Cost. It feeds me more. People are very driven here. Everyone has a purpose. People are interesting and doing interesting stuff for the world. 

Allie: What’s your dream DC day?

Emily: I really like fitness. I’m a yoga teacher. So some of the best days for me are when I have time to do something active. I’d like to wake up and go for a long run throughout the city and stop by the Georgetown waterfront, and run “The Exorcist” steps

Then, I’d grab brunch with my friends and go to an art gallery. I used to love going to the National Gallery of Art when I worked near there. If you sit in the Impressionist Painting Exhibit and find a docent and just listen to the docent’s stories, you’ll hear some crazy stories about wild times [of the artists]. It’s hilarious. The paintings are also so inspiring.

At night, I’d go to a nice dinner at Kyirisan in Shaw. It’s so good. It’s French-Asian fusion. They have some of the best pastries of the entire city. It’s such a a hidden gem.

Allie: Tell me about your side hustle as a yoga teacher.

Emily: In high school I hurt my knee running. So, I got into yoga as a form of physical therapy for that. I got a job at a yoga studio in high school, and then while in college at GW I became a certified yoga teacher. I started teaching at college and have been teaching at Yoga District ever since. I find it really stress relieving and therapeutic.

Allie: I hear you’re adding ANOTHER side hustle to the mix. What’s this one about?

Emily: I do a lot of really random stuff. Right now, I’m helping open up a fitness studio called Pulse. It’s kind of like Soul Cycle with a Versa-climber. You do it to music and you’re climbing at a 70-degree angle. You’re almost crawling at a vertical. It’s the most efficient workout for your body. It’s only a 30-minute workout and you burn the same amount of calories that you do in a 45-minute spin class. (*NOTE: GatherDC readers can get a FREE Pulse class with code EMILY at sign up.*)

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Emily striking a pose for Pulse *Use code EMILY for a free class*

Allie: What is the Women in Technology Campaign and what’s your role in it?

Emily: Outside of work (as a digital marketing strategist), I run the Women in Tech CampaignWe identity and connect women in tech and tech adjacent roles across the globe. We provide them with a networking community and do strengths-based assessments to help people optimize themselves. We also work directly with organizations to help them identity people within their teams, and figure out how to to group and pair the right people with the right projects. If you’re only looking at people’s strengths and not their age, race, or gender, you’ll be able to see more impact and build inclusivity. 

Allie: How can someone get involved with Women in Tech?

Emily: Come to one of our quarterly strengths-based workshop, and then just get involved like you would with any other community. There are no strings attached. The goal is to be able to speak to each other in the words of strengths and community. Check it out on our website or on Facebook or Twitter.

Allie: How do you have the time and energy for all of this?

Emily: I’m really hyperactive. I have a lot of high-functioning anxiety and I get very energized by people and by community. I’m least happy when I’m just chilling at home and watching Netflix. That’s why yoga is such a blessing. It allows me to turn my brain off and have that space to relax.

Allie: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?

Emily: Yom Kippur. It brings my family together in a way that they normally don’t, and is a moment to stop and reflect. Before the New Year, I do a lot of self-exploration and vision-boarding. To me, that’s so important. How beautiful is it that in the Jewish tradition, the most important time of the year is about self-reflection and growth?

Allie: When Jews of DC gather…

Emily: It’s welcoming and fun!

emily

 

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.

Meet Steph: Jewish Fitness Buff of the Week!

steph

Allie: How did you wind up living in DC?

Steph: I’m from Montgomery County – born and raised. I went to New Orleans for college, then lived in San Francisco for a job, and then decided it was time to come back to my roots. I’ve been in DC for three years now.

Allie: I hear you just started a cool new job – tell me about it!

Steph: I’m the U.S. Marketing and Communications Manager for Leon, which is a mediterranean-inspired place that serves naturally fast food.

Allie: Hmm..why have I never heard of this place?

Steph: It’s not open yet! Leon is opening in early September.

Allie: Once it opens, how do I get there and what should I order?

Steph: It’s on 1724 L Street in Farragut North, and any of our sandwiches are delicious – they’re served on challah buns. We also have really good falafel and lamb kofta. (NOTE: Follow Leon on Facebook and Instagram for updates)

Allie: Can you offer a deal to GatherDC-ers?

Steph: On September 5th and 6th, you can come in for free food if you give us feedback on it. RSVP to usa@leon.co. Also, if you sign up for our Leon club you can get 40% off after 5:00pm once it opens.

Allie: At the end of a long work day, what’s your favorite way to relax?

Steph: Yoga. But definitely not hot yoga. I really like The Yoga Shala in Shaw.

Allie: Besides The Yoga Shala, what are your top 3 favorite workout classes or studios in DC?

Steph: Oh there’s too many to pick just three! I’d say Off Road for boxing, FlyBarre for barre, and Reformation Fitness for HIIT/TRX.

Allie: What’s your resolution for this coming year?

Steph: Keeping a good work-life balance. I want to find time to work out as much as I’d like while crushing my new job.

Allie: How do you motivate yourself to workout so often?

Steph: The prospect of one day obtaining a 6-pack keeps me going.

Allie: When and/or where are you the happiest?

Steph: When I’m snuggling my Australian lab Sophie, while outside of course.steph and dog

Allie: Who is your Jewish role model?

Steph: My grandpa. He’s a Holocaust Survivor. He lost half his family and came here when he was 16 knowing no English. He had to make a life for himself and his family. Today, he volunteers for The United States Holocaust Museum once a week.

Allie: If you could have 3 celebs in your entourage, who would you choose and why?

Steph: Anna Kendrick, everyone tells me I look like her and she is awesome. Gal Gadot, because woman power. Channing Tatum, because he’s always been my man crush.

Allie: What is your favorite Jewish food?

Steph: My grandpa’s potato kugel and my mom’s noodle kugel – really all types of kugel.

Allie: What’s your favorite way to celebrate the Jewish New Year?

Steph: Being with my family. Eating lots of apples and honey.

Allie: Complete the sentence: When Jews of DC Gather…

Steph: They make and eat good food while kvelling or kvetching.

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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.

Meet Rachel: Jewish Boxer of the Week!

Rachel Snider is the founder and owner of DC’s boutique boxing studio, NUBOXX. When she’s not taking her stress out on a punching bag, you might find her enjoying the DC monuments, biking across town, or indulging in her mom’s homemade rugelach. Get to know this amazing athlete/business owner!

nuboxx

Allie: What brought you to DC?

Rachel: I was living in Israel before I came here, on a Masa Israel program called Career Israel. I thought about grad school, and getting a masters in public health. I ended up getting a job in DC in public health and the city drew me in. I fell in love with it. George Washington University had the best public health program for me, and I ended up staying. I’ve been here for over 9 years now!

Allie: How did you discover your love for boxing?

RacheI: I was exploring new fitness options in DC, and stumbled upon a boxing class. Boxing sounded cool and I had seen a lot of celebrities and models boxing. I tried it out, and it made me feel so empowered. When I’m boxing, I don’t feel like I’m actually working out because I have to focus so much. That had me hooked.

Allie: What inspired you to open your own boxing gym?

Rachel: I realized I couldn’t box everyday in DC, because a lot of boxing gyms in the city were either grungy and mainly for fighters, or places that offered boxing only once a week or so. I was looking for the Soul Cycle of boxing that was clean with nice amenities, but couldn’t find it in DC. I thought it would be great if we had a boutique boxing gym that had the community feel of an old-school boxing gym. NUBOXX kind of snowballed from there.

Allie: What’s something that makes NUBOXX classes unique?

Rachel: At the end of class at NUBOXX, everyone comes together and says “CEO”. This means we’ve “conquered, evolved, and outperformed” in the class. We want to strengthen and empower our members throughout their workouts, and in their lives beyond the studio walls. Our hashtag is #BeYourOwnCEO.

Allie: What do you love the most about boxing?

Rachel: It makes me feel empowered. I feel like I can go about my day with my head a little bit higher. And it always leaves me wanting to learn more. The sport of boxing is not only about the fitness and conditioning, but it’s also a skill set and an art. Boxing is something that is built on with persistence and practice.  

Allie: Describe your dream day in DC.

Rachel: I’d bike around the city, go downtown and visit the monuments. Then, I’d do some yoga, hang out with friends, go to happy hour. I love being by the water in DC – it clears my mind. I’d also take some time for self care – getting my nails done, just taking time for me.

rachel

Allie: What are your top 3 favorite DC restaurants?

Rachel: Most days, I am fueled by Sweetgreen. I love Chaia’s tacos in Georgetown. But when I stick close to home, I’m partial to Ghibellina or Estadio.

Allie: Who is the coolest Jew you know (or want to know)?

Rachel: Gal Gadot.

Allie: What’s your favorite Jewish food?

Rachel: My mom’s homemade rugelach.

Allie: What’s your favorite quote or piece of wisdom?

Rachel: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” – Dr. Seuss  

Allie: What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?

Rachel: When I think of travel I immediately think about being abroad. The truth is, I need to put our National Parks – like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite – at the top of the travel list.

Allie: Something you want to do more of this year?

Rachel: To take more time for me. Being an entrepreneur can be all consuming most days…. but those mental breaks are key.

Allie: Anything that people would be surprised to know about you?

Rachel:  I didn’t touch veggies or salad for the first 18 years of my life. Now kale salads and green smoothies are the staple of my diet.

Allie: Complete the sentence: When Jews of DC Gather…

Rachel: There’s a lot of food!

rachel

 

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.

Meet Ally: Jewish Party Planner of the Week

In addition to having the best first name, Ally Sherman is one of those amazing women who seems to have kinda figured out this whole “how do I live a productive life?” thing. In addition to being a spin teacher, FlyWheel coordinator, and marketing associate, she spends “free” time volunteering for the local Jewish community and is currently helping plan the annual Falafel Frenzy Christmas Eve party! Get to know this hard working, challah-baking, spin instructing mensch in our exclusive interview.

Allie: How did you wind up living in DC?

Ally: I was born in Chicago, and then moved to Orange County, California until I graduated high school. I wound up going to college at University of Michigan – and LOVED it. While in college, I spent a summer interning in DC and had the best time. Before I graduated, I landed a job in DC at a trade association for affordable housing development, so I moved here. Now, it’s been almost five years and I just love it. I love being able to see the capitol building and the White House – it’s nice living in a city with so much history, and so much happening.

Sometimes, it’s hard being far away from my parents, but also gives me a good excuse to warm up in California. I also have two sisters, one lives in New York and one is in Chicago, so we spend weekends visiting each other.

Allie: So, I hear you’re juggling not one, not two, but THREE jobs at the moment. Girl. How do you do it?

Ally: I’ve always loved indoor cycling, and FlyWheel was one of my favorite places. And for the past year, I’ve been working as a coordinator for the studio, which is a great community – AND I get free classes…not a bad perk (job #1). Working here inspired me to start teaching my own spin classes at other studios (job #2), which has been a lot of fun. I love music, and one of my favorite things to do is to be on Spotify, discovering new music, and making playlists for my classes. I also started a new job in September at a marketing agency (job #3).

In terms of how I juggle it – caffeine is very important. Although I don’t have as many free days as I wish and spend very little time in my apartment, I’m just one of those people who enjoys staying busy.

Allie: On top of having THREE jobs, you’re also the chair of the Falafel Frenzy host committee. What’s all this buzz I hear about Falafel Frenzy?

Ally: Falafel Frenzy started in 2013 by Eva Malka Davis and Steph Heller as a way to fundraise for local causes and give Jewish young adults a place to party together on Christmas Eve. This year, Eva and Steph wanted the event to continue, but felt it was time to pass the torch on to new planners. So, they put together a host committee of young adults who are spearheading it. This year, it’ll be at Hawthorne on U Street with a DJ, dance floor, rooftop bar, speciality cocktails (Fire-y Falafel Ball Shot, Miracle Mule), and 100% of the proceeds goes to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. It should be a really fun time, and is for a great cause.

Allie: With all of these jobs, how do you relax and de-stress?

Ally: This past year, I got really into baking artisanal challah (i.e. nutella, fig + goat cheese, everything) and love sharing these homemade challot with my friends at dinner parties and Jewish holidays. Also, I’m all for self care. If I have a day off, I make sure that I take full advantage of it – sleeping in, catching up with friends, getting a massage or a mani-pedi, or watching something amazing like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Allie: Who is your role model?

Ally: My mom. She has always worked really, really hard throughout her life, and all the while has been an active part of whatever community she’s a part of. She spends a lot of time and energy making the world a better place. So, if I can continue in her footsteps just a little, that would be an awesome way to live my life.

Allie: What’s your favorite way to celebrate Hanukkah?

Ally: This year, I had a bunch of people over my apartment for a little Hanukkah shindig. Some of the people there had had never celebrated a Jewish holiday in their life. It’s really fun for me to share Jewish traditions with my friends from different religions. We played dreidel, we lit the candles, I made latkes – and now my apartment will forever smell like latkes.

Allie: Complete the sentence – When the Jews of DC Gather…

Ally: A lot of fun happens!

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.