10 June 2015
How did you get involved with the DC Jewish community?
I moved here almost 2 years ago with no real connection to the Jewish community in DC. After being very active in Hillel back in Texas, I knew I wanted to be more involved here. I have a friend from the DC area who went to University of Texas with me, and when she moved back after graduation, she brought me along to a few Gather the Jews events and connected me with some of her Jewish friends in the area. I also started meeting with a few of the Gather the Jews fellows to make connections and build relationships. And then I signed up for The Jewish Federation’s NeXus program this past January. It really helped me make connections and feel more comfortable going to events, knowing that I would now have familiar faces to see. Today, I feel like I have a network and am deeply engaged in the DC Jewish community.
Who is your Jewish role model and why?
Family is everything to me, and my parents are both the most incredible Jewish (and general!) role models around. They have instilled a passion for Judaism in me, my brother and my sister, not only through the synagogue, but also through camps, youth groups and culture. Growing up in a pretty non-Jewish area made it that much more important for my parents to instill Jewish values in us, and they have done a phenomenal job. Seeing them become so involved in the Houston community and at our synagogue has made me want to be more involved in my community and someday pass on the same traditions they taught me to my future family.
Why did you decided to do NeXus and what was your favorite part of the program?
After living in DC about a year and not engaging much with the Jewish community, I decided to sign up for NeXus as a way to learn how to be involved and to meet other people who want to be a part of the DC Jewish community. My favorite part of the program was participating in Good Deeds Day. Not only did I feel like I was making a positive impact on the community, but I also felt like this day was when I really made the friendships I know will be both fun and long-lasting.
What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming Birthright Israel: DC Community Trip this summer?
In case you can’t tell yet, I’m really on a mission this year to build roots in the DC Jewish community and create enduring friendships and memories. I’ve been to Israel twice before, but was ecstatic when I found out I was now eligible to go on Birthright. I’m looking forward to the deep and close connections that are formed on trips like this, especially since it’s a DC Community Trip where I can come home and actually see these people on a regular basis! This also feels like I am reliving my summer camp days, and who wouldn’t want to do that?!
If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
I would totally want to be able to Apparrate like in Harry Potter. Not only do I love to travel in general, but my family is also about as spread across the US as we could possibly be (DC, Texas, California, Indiana). It would be amazing to be able to go anywhere I want at any time to see friends, family and explore new places. Oh, and avoiding traffic would be nice too!
Share one piece of advice you like to live by:
I think in this day and age we all put a lot of pressure on ourselves to “have it all,” whether that’s career, family, stability, etc. One piece of advice that has helped keep me grounded is to focus on the things you can change and let go of the things you can’t. I’ve learned first-hand that it doesn’t do anyone any good to worry about things that are out of your control, so just let go and let life play out as it will! I will say, this advice is much easier said than done.