Jewish Girl – Karen

Jodi T.: You’re a Mitzvah Hopping Co-Chair. Tell us about the program and how we can get involved.
Yes! Mitzvah Hoppin is actually the product of the Birthright Alumni Leadership Mission that I was fortunate enough to have been selected for last summer. I’m on a team of 7 amazingly committed individuals planning out bi-monthly volunteer activities. So far we’ve volunteered at a Senior Center for Hanukah festivities, the DCJCC for their Hunger Action program, and we have 2 really great programs coming up this summer with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue and Behrend Builders. For more info, join the Mitzvah Hoppin’ facebook group!

SR: It’s called Lucky Dog…?  Weird… See New Orleans

JT:  You’re from New Jersey. Tell us about this.
I hesitate to admit this but my iPod (which was given to me as a gift) actually says, “We don’t pump gas, we pump our fists” on it, haha. One thing I will NOT hesitate to admit though is I love Jersey Shore (the place and the show), but only one of them is actually from New Jersey, so they pump gas as well as their fists. When I was younger and people would ask my mom what I wanted to be, she used to say “Italian.” I went to high school with 90% Italian kids so I just started to blend. I’ve been to Italy twice now (once on a high school trip and then studied abroad there in college) and if pressed, I might still be able to have a basic conversation. When you think about it, Jews and Italians really aren’t all that different: we both love food and family…and talking with our hands.

JT:  We hear you like theme parties. Explain.
I love themes, and I love dressing up – Halloween has been my very favorite holiday for as long as I can remember. I used to have a Halloween party in the summer as an excuse to wear a costume! I usually start planning my Halloween costumes around August and start planning my Halloween party around the same time. For anyone that knows me, I’ll find any excuse to wear a costume: Santa Bar Crawls, Oktoberfest, Legwarmers concerts, Tuesdays, j/k.

JT:  I’ve been fortunate enough to join you at one of your Sunday night dinners. How did this tradition get started?
I love cooking, trying out new recipes and putting my own twist on them. My family gets together on Sundays for dinner so I think it was my way of paralleling and replicating that with my own DC family. It’s a good way of getting together at the end of the weekend to recap what happened and also relax before a new week begins. There are three rules to Sunday dinner though: you have to like Frank Sinatra; you have to like wine; and stay out of my kitchen!

SR: Invite?

JT:  Being an event planner, can you tell us about a time when something came up that you didn’t exactly plan for.
I’d love to tell you about a time where everything went according to plan, those are more rare! I had an event the Monday after the “government shutdown” debacle with more than a dozen federal officials who were integral to the success of the event. I literally had plan a, b, and c mapped out for if the government shut down or not. Luckily, it didn’t and everything went smoothly, but man were those a tense few days!