Young Leadership Spotlight: Jamie P.

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How did you first get involved with Young Leadership?.

After returning from my Birthright Israel trip, I realized how much I didn’t know and wanted to learn about Judaism. I took an adult B’nai Mitzvah class where I learned about The Jewish Federation’s Young Leadership Alumni Leadership Mission and decided to go! As soon as I came back from that experience, I got involved with Federation’s Young Leadership so I could continue to learn more about the Jewish community and meet peer leaders who would soon become my good friends.

What do you like most about the DC Jewish community? The people. The are vibrant, smart, welcoming and involved in so many facets of Jewish life — and they have become some of my closest friends.

This month, Federation is launching a new social media campaign called 90 Days of Impact that will highlight the impact Federation makes locally, in Israel and around the world. What inspires you to be involved with and donate to Federation?

There’s something for everyone – whether you want to connect more to the religious and spiritual aspects of Judaism, volunteer, get to know other young Jewish professionals or travel to Israel – Federation opens up so many opportunities to engage people in Jewish community. And that can mean different things at different times in your life – Federation grows with you in that sense.

Who is your Jewish role model and why?

I’m going to say my mentor in the DC Jewish community, Ellen Wahgelstein. She opens up her heart and her home to so many and helps people feel connected to Judaism and to people in the community. Whether you’ve never lit a Shabbat candle or know the prayers and songs by heart – Ellen makes Jewish moments meaningful and makes everyone feel welcome. That’s what Judaism is all about.

What is your favorite Jewish food?

I’m torn between kasha, really good matzah brie and rugelach.

What are you most excited for this spring?

Having the weather be nice enough again for long bike rides outside!