Young Leadership Spotlight: Allie W.

Young Leadership Spotlight: Allie W.

What inspired you to host for Reverse Mifgash?

As someone in the process of joining the Jewish faith, I signed up to host with the goal of strengthening my relationships with other Jews, both locally and abroad. I spent a month in Israel last year and made several friends that I still keep in touch with, and having their support as I convert has been invaluable. They’ve been helping me with my Hebrew, teaching me about traditions, and have enabled cross-cultural learning. Talking to them also helps me feel close to Israel, which I fell madly, deeply in love with. I hoped that participating in Reverse Mifgash would give me friendships equally as valuable. (Spoiler—it has!)

Tell us about your experience hosting and participating in Federation’s Reverse Mifgash?

The whole program was an amazing experience. My favorite part of hosting was having coffee with Keren in the morning before she would leave for the day. Those were the times that we had the best conversations and I learned the most from her. I also really appreciated having a work schedule that afforded me the ability to join the Israelis a few times during the day, since it gave me more of an opportunity to get to know the others in the group.

Do you have a favorite memory from Reverse Mifgash?

My favorite memory was looking around the house at Viral Shabbat and realizing I knew about 20 Jews there. It was a big moment for me, since I had only met 1-2 people prior to signing up for Reverse Mifgash. The conversations I had that night were the most memorable too.

What is your favorite Jewish food/holiday/or tradition (you pick!)?

I really love Shabbat dinners. I didn’t have many family meals growing up, so the idea of setting aside time every week to have dinner with your friends and family was one of the things that really appealed to me about Judaism. And it’s especially important in DC, where everyone is so busy and it’s easy to miss out on getting together with friends.

What do you love most about DC’s Jewish community?

The small, intimate size of DC’s (young) Jewish community is amazing. I grew up in a small town and went to a small high school and a small college, so most of my life I’ve been in places where everyone knows everyone else. DC’s Jewish community gives me that feeling again, which is nice to have while living in a city, and I’ve met so many wonderful new people as a result.

 What is one piece of advice you like to live by?

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”. My grandmother said this to me a lot when I was a kid, and I think that’s why I’ve always believed in taking chances. The worst thing you can do is not try, because you end up with a lot of “what ifs”. I’d rather go for something and have it not work out than not try at all.