Jewish Girl – Erika E.

(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

Erika on why she should be Jewish Girl of the Year:
I should be Jewish Girl of the Year because my local claim to fame is singing at 6th and I, I make a mean kugel and brisket… not to mention the winning Erikanishes! I’m always smiling, and I’m not afraid to talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything! Vote for me.

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.

Erika

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!  😉