Girl of the Week – Jenn

NEW QUESTION:  “Why do you deserve to be Jewish Girl of the Year?”

I deserve to be Jewish Girl of the Year because I’m the girl everyone wants to know & I make a sinfully delicious sweet kugel that you just gotta try! Free kugel for everyone who votes for me!

 

 

Monday was Jenn’s birthday, don’t forget to wish her a Happy Birthday…

What does being Jewish mean to you?

My parents are both Jewish but come from very different Jewish backgrounds. My mother was born into an modern Orthodox family and raised on Long Island, New York. Her family kept strictly kosher, she was shomer Shabbos and she attended a Jewish day school. In contrast, my father is a native Washingtonian and was raised reform. His family didn’t keep kosher and only went to synagogue on the major holidays. Growing up with two very different ideas and practices of Judaism in my home, I had to carve out my own Jewish identity. In middle school and high school I was active in B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) and United Synagogue Youth (USY). During high school, I had the opportunity be part of the inaugural USY on Wheels Mission Mitzvah Bus where we traveled all over the United States performing different mitzvahs and service projects in various Jewish communities. Being raised in a family that has so many different traditions has made me feel comfortable in any Jewish setting and has given me a greater appreciation for my Jewish background!

How did you decide to become a wedding and event planner?

Actually, I didn’t know that I wanted to a wedding and event planner until college. I changed my major from elementary education to hotel and restaurant management right before my freshman year at the University of Delaware. Growing up my parents always threw elaborate birthday and holiday parties. I can recall decorating heart-shaped cookies for our Valentine’s Day party and decking out our house with Halloween decor. Friends and family who know me well tell me that being an event planner is the perfect career for me because I am outgoing, creative and I am always planning the next adventure! The best part about my job is getting to know my clients personally. I enjoy showing them the party room before their guests arrive-their reactions are priceless and makes all the hard work and many months of planning worthwhile. I am very grateful I have a career that I am passionate about and in doing my job I create spectacular parties for my clients!

Have you always loved to travel?

Yes! I was always enthralled by the stories my grandparents told me about their travels to exotic and distant locations. I wanted to travel and see the world from a very young age. While my friends were attending summer camp my grandparents took my family to places like Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore, Pikes Peak & the Petrified Forest. During high school and college we visited Australia, Israel, Brussels & Amsterdam. Most recently I had the opportunity to travel all over India and Nepal with my mom and grandmother. I love visiting my grandmother’s home in New York because it reminds me of a museum with all of her masks, dolls and souvenirs from her travels. On our recent trip to Nepal we had the rare opportunity to visit the Chabad rabbi and his family who run the Chabad Center in Kathmandu, Nepal which is the most remote location where Jews reside. I cant wait to see where my next travel adventure takes me! In the future I would like to venture to Ankgor Wat, Cambodia; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Lake Baikal, Siberia; Papua, New Guinea & Machu Picchu, Peru-if you’re interested in being my travel partner, let me know!

What do you like to do when you’re not planning parties?

I am always on the go! I love going to the theater, concerts, museums and I am a avid moviegoer. I am always willing to try something new. I just attended my first opera at Kennedy Center where I heard Andrea Bocelli sing and was quite impressed. I attend many Jewish social events at Adas Israel and Sixth and I Synagogue with my friends. I often volunteer at Sixth and I to help with their events. I love a good barbeque, dining with friends and trying new restaurants throughout DC. Whenever I have the time, I take the bus to New York City to visit with family and friends and to see a Broadway show! I like being outdoors and enjoy activities such as swimming, hiking, running & ziplining. I also enjoy bar hopping with friends or checking out a local wine bar. With all the cultural & social events going on in DC and Maryland I have a tough time deciding what to do next!

When you aren’t in Maryland, where can we find you?

My brother, his wife and their two adorable daughters live in Boca Raton, Florida. I love being an Aunt to my nieces and enjoy watching them grow up! Im very excited about an upcoming trip to Florida to celebrate my niece’s 1st birthday. When I am not visiting Florida I am on my way to New York City which has a special place in my heart! I spent a summer interning as an event planner at the Convention and Visitors Bureau of NYC and know the city very well. Getting together with family and friends is always the highlight of my trips to the Big Apple! I take the subway to Soho to dine at my favorite restaurants and shop in all the local funky stores. I like shopping at the little kiosks along the street and I am always up for a good bargain. Florida and NYC are great places to visit but I love returning to my home in Maryland!

Jenn, thank you for taking that extra step to Gather the Jews…  We heard you brought co-founder Aaron Wolff to his first on campus Shabbat dinner at the University of Delaware (shout-out to Rabbi Sneiderman and his family).  Jenn, as a result of your actions, you helped inspire Aaron to share Shabbat and Judaism with others.  We wonder how many other Jewish souls you have inspired?!