Jewish Girl of the Week – Leah

1.) You manage Jewish youth philanthropy programs. What does that entail?
Introducing teens to amazing nonprofit organizations that are doing great work locally and internationally in both the Jewish and secular communities while empowering them to be active participants in philanthropy. Teen participants review grant proposals from organizations and visit those nonprofits to help them select the organizations who will receive their grants. All the participants contribute to their group’s grant pool and their tzedakah contributions are matched by donations from members of the community – creating a grant pool of $10,000-$20,000!  I applied for this job because I thought it would have been awesome at 14 or 15 years old to be involved in awarding $10,000 in grants to amazing worthwhile organizations! At the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning, I manage 5-6 groups a year so what it really means is that I’m great at making lists, using Facebook and multi-tasking!


2.) You’re an avid zumba dancer. How did you get into that?

I love dancing, especially salsa! My good friend Brooke is also a big salsa dancer and she introduced me to zumba as a way to get my salsa “fix” in between nights out. I’m completely addicted now but I’m really picky. There are some amazing instructors out there but, as with most things, there are some not so amazing instructors. If you tried it and didn’t like it, try somewhere else because I promise it is fun!

3.) We hear you know where to find a mean martini. Is this true?
Nah, I just know people that know where to find a good martini. Since it’s summer, my favorite drink is white wine – Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling preferred.  For a good glass of wine and yummy cheese, Ripple in Cleveland Park is my current fave!

4.) What Jewish events are you known to frequent?
I love music, art and comedy. I keep up with Sixth & I’s and the Washington DCJCC’s e-mails and I go when I see something that will still leave me smiling after dealing with the metro ride home! I also like excuses to learn something new. I took Capital Kabbalah (at 6th & I) and never knew you could learn so much about the idea of “nothing.” My two favorite Jewish educators are Dr. Erica Brown and Avi West – if you get a chance to learn from either of them, I promise you will not be disappointed!

5.) You were at the beach this past weekend. What is the funniest thing that happened on your trip?
Considering all my friends managed to keep their bathing suits on while jumping over waves and no seagulls pooped on anyone’s head, I’m not sure I have a good story. I was swimming next to three kids (probably around age 10) who were very busy analyzing waves. If you don’t know, there are actually three categories of waves – gigantic, ginormous, and killer. I apparently do not know the difference but it was very clear that these kids did. When one of the kids got hit by the wave, she stood up and asked, “Which one was that?” and the other kids answered “Killer.” I tried to avoid those!