13 January 2016
How did you get involved with DC’s Jewish community?
When I first moved to DC, I signed up for a Shabbat Cluster through the DCJCC. I’m fortunate that I met 2 of my best friends through this experience. Even though our organized events ended after 6 months, it has been nice to see familiar faces at Jewish events over the years. I love that our community is made up of people with diverse interests, yet similar values, and people are always willing to make a new friend.
Tell us about your experience with NeXus. (NeXus is a 3-month learning session for young adults interesting in learning about the local Jewish community and getting involved. Click to learn more.)
I happened upon NeXus last year because I figured it was the perfect opportunity to explore opportunities within the local Jewish community and chance to meet new people. I was drawn to the fact that it was a way for me to get introduced to the DC Jewish young professional environment without having a lengthy time commitment. However, I didn’t expect that our meetings would become something for me to look forward to and soon I found myself planning my week around them! I loved getting to know the other participants and hear about what they loved about the community and sharing some of my favorite experiences with them.
How have you stayed involved in the community since you participated in NeXus?
Wow, has it really been a year? When the program ended last April we wrote letters to ourselves, in it, one of the goals I set for my future self was to encourage 5 new people to attend Impact DC (Young Leadership’s signature philanthropy gala that took place this past October). Not only did I achieve my personal goal but the event chairs and committee put together a successful event. Impact DC is the event I look forward to all year and this year, thanks to NeXus, I knew more people which made it the best year yet. I’ve also enjoyed countless Shabbat dinners, attended the Falafel Frenzy (a Christmas Eve party at The Howard Theater that raises money for Federation) and am now participating in Federation’s Next Generation Philanthropy Program.
Who is your Jewish role model and why?
My mom. She makes time even when time for herself is limited, she always seems to find a way to fit one more thing in to help people around her. She shares her talent and will bake a challah for anyone who is in need, whether it be welcoming a newcomer to the community, helping a family celebrate a simcha or easing the burden during a difficult time. I feel fortunate that she’s passed these values onto me.
What is one piece of advice you like to live by?
Give everything a second chance. Be it a person or an event, some encounters aren’t great the first time, but if you are willing to try it again then people and events may surprise you. That way you won’t miss out on all the best that life has to offer.
What are you looking forward to most about 2016?
Going to Cuba with my Next Generation Philanthropy class.