Jewish Girl of the Week – Lauren

You’re from the area–tell us about that.
I am a native Washingtonian–a rarity, I know!–having been born in Washington, DC, and raised in Potomac, MD. Currently, I live in N. Bethesda, MD. I’m lucky to have a close relationship with my family. My parents still live in the area, as does my brother. It’s been quite interesting to see how the DC area has changed and grown in terms of the population and land development.

What’s it like to be a social worker?
I have a big heart and a passion for helping others, so it’s no surprise that I work in a helping profession! As an undergrad, I started out in graphic design (which I still dabble in!), then transitioned to psychology. I went to on get a Masters in Social Work. I’m currently working in the health field as a medical social worker, helping patients and their families through the discharge planning process. While my work can be stressful and draining, it’s very interesting and extremely rewarding to help people in need, especially in the DC area community in which I was raised.

When you’re not working, where can we find you?
In my free time, I enjoy swimming, reading, music, movies and theater. I have a love for art and I love going to craft/art/jewelry shows. I used to make beaded jewelry, but now I want to learn how to knit–which my friends are going to teach me! Traveling is one of my favorite activities. Some of the places I’ve been to include Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Aruba, London, Canada, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Hawaii and most recently, Alaska.

What does being Jewish mean to you?
I was raised in a Reform Jewish home and had a Bat Mitzvah. I’ve visited Israel once through Birthright Israel, but would love to go back someday and explore and experience the country more. While I still identify myself as a Reform Jew, I consider myself more culturally Jewish than religious. To me, being Jewish means community, traditions and customs, Jewish foods and holidays, and an overall shared connection and identify with fellow members of the “tribe!”

Which Jewish events will we see you at?
I really enjoy going to the many social events for young Jewish professionals in the DC area at synagogues like Adas and Sixth & I. It’s always a great opportunity to meet new people and enjoy time with friends. My favorite event is Shir Delight at Adas, which I plan on attending again next month (GTJ: first Friday of each month)!