Jewish Girl – Erika E.

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Along with being a long time contributor to the Gather the Jews blog, Erika was one of our first features for Jewish Girl of the Week. For our special Thursday newsletter, we thought we would catch up with one of our original interviews! Erika gave us some updates on what she has been doing since our original interview:

Where I am today

Wow!  A lot can happen in a mere six years… where to begin:

– I quit my job to start A Little Nudge.

– I was the dating columnist for GTJ for over four years.

– I put my dreams of becoming an actress on hold (turns out I’m not very good!) in favor of doing media for my business and performing in various storytelling shows (The Moth, Perfect Liars Club, Mortified).

– I ended a long-term relationship and then started practicing everything I preached when I started dating again myself.  (And, in a funny turn of events, I became much better at my job when I had more empathy for my clients.)

– I still make my grandma’s kugel recipe for all major Jewish holidays (miss her to pieces).

– I travel to NYC for about a week every month to meet with my New York-based clients.

– I moved around town a few times, landing in Shaw (love it).

– I rescued a dog, Scruffy, my sweet (and moody) terrier/dachshund mix.

– I still love a good spreadsheet!  (Talk nerdy to me, baby.)

– I’ve grown a lot, both personally and professionally, in the last six years, becoming much more comfortable with myself, the advice I give, and what I have to offer.

Update from October 13, 2016

Read Erika’s original article from 2010!

ErikaHow have most people responded, post 2008, when they discover you work at Fannie Mae?
To be honest, they’re amazed I still have a job!  I’m a Financial Economist, and I do research for the mortgage market.  That’s my left-brained job, anyway.  My right-brained side is singing and taking acting classes on the side.  It’s funny – we did a personality test at work recently, and I was the only person in my division to come out “sunshine yellow” – extroverted and social.

Word on the street is that you’re gearing up to be an actress.  That’s quite the change in profession.  If you could have any role in a movie or t.v. show, which would it be?  And what type of gig do you hope to land in the future?
This one’s too easy… GLEE!!!  I’m mildly (ok, majorly) obsessed.  I even sent in an audition video online.  I may have also applied to be on The Apprentice, The Next Food Network Star, and American Idol.  My dream is to be a household name, either singing or acting.  ‘Til then, anyone need to know how mortgages work?

You’re one of Rick Recht’s regular singing assistants at the special Sixth in the City Shabbats.  Do you know any of his secrets?  What’s he like?  Nice?
As much as I’d love to start a scandal and say he’s a real jerk behind the scenes, Rick is so talented and humble.  I went to his Songleader Bootcamp in May, and he’s very passionate about what he does and more than willing to share his secrets with people like me.


How does one get an invite to the special Jewish holiday get-togethers that you host?
Are you in my family?  You get an invite!  The rest is a game of space.  I once had 50 people over for Break Fast… big mistake.  I scaled down this year to 25 people.  All of my get-togethers have something unique – a new food idea, holiday trivia, and the infamous Yom Kippur “Erika Cake.”

If an alien came to earth and wanted to learn about American Judaism through one movie, one book, and one food item, what would you give him?  (Yes.  The alien knows English and Hebrew).
The food item is easy – kugel!  I make it with my grandma’s recipe, and I remember her saying in my ear, “Erika, never skimp on the butter.”  For the movie, I’d say “Prime” – partly because I love the movie, but partly because Meryl Streep really wants her son to marry a “nice Jewish girl.”  As for the book, I read the relevant chapter of “The Jewish Book of Why” before every holiday to brush up on why we do the traditions we do.  I mean, did anyone know there is technically more than one Jewish New Year??

You’re one of the most excited-to-be-Jewish people I know.  How can Gather The Jews and other awesome Jewish organizations get more people super excited about Judaism?
Give them free food?  Just kidding!  (Sort of.)  Make it an event that people would rather go to than just a regular night out.  In other words, make it fun.  And I might actually be the most excited-to-be-Jewish person I know too.  I guess that’s why I’m the JGOTW!  😉