Jewish Girl of the Week – Alana K.

1) You’re about to start law school. What do you plan to do with your degree?

I am starting law school at Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law this fall. I am in the Law and Public Policy certificate program, and plan to go into public service, specifically lobbying or governmental affairs. I have worked in governmental affairs for several non-profits and love communicating the organization’s message, and the message of its members, to Congress. Of course, there are three LONG years of law school and the bar exam to get through first!

2) You’re a foodie. What’s your favorite restaurant in D.C.?

I am a huge foodie–I love cooking, baking, and going out to eat. My favorite restaurant is Zaytinya in Chinatown, which is owned by the famous restauranteur Jose Andres. I went there for the first time about three weeks after I moved to D.C. four years ago, and its just amazing. It is Mediterranean small plates and the flavor combinations are really unique and amazing. There are a few things on the menu that are the best things I’ve ever eaten. Let me know if you need ordering advice or a companion.

3) You’re a big Michigan sports fan. What was the most memorable game you went to?

Michigan football is a part of the student experience at UofM. I’ve been to a lot of awesome games, but my favorite one, hands down, was the Michigan- Ohio State game in November 2003, my freshman year at Michigan. It was the 100th Michigan-OSU game, and we won by two touchdowns and went on to win the Big Ten Championship and go to the Rose Bowl. Late in the 4th quarter, people started passing roses down throughout the student section, and after the game we rushed the field with roses in our mouths. It was unbelievable. Hoping to repeat it this season :-) I’m also on the board of the University of Michigan Alumni Association’s D.C. Chapter, and we have HUGE game watches every football Saturday. Outside of the Big House (Michigan Stadium for all you non-football fans), it is the best atmosphere you can get. At our D.C. location, Buffalo Billiards, we have over 1,000 Wolverines come out for our big games! Stop by sometime and experience the awesome-ness!

4.) What’s your favorite Jewish event or Shabbat destination?

My favorite thing to do for Shabbat is to cook a nice Shabbat dinner and have some of my friends over to eat. I was raised always having a family Shabbat dinner every week, and I try to host a dinner to bring together friends to celebrate the end of the week and relax as often as I can. I make a mean brisket and a great matzo ball soup. Just practicing to be a Jewish mother!

5) You grew up at Jewish camp. Tell us about that.
I started going to Camp Young Judaea Midwest when I was eight. CYJ Midwest is one of the four junior camps of the Young Judaea youth movement, which also includes a senior leadership camp in New York, and Israel programs. I was a camper for nine years, before I spent the summer in Israel with Machon, and then came back as a counselor for three years. Camp, along with my year-round involvement, helped me form my Jewish identity and passion for Israel, and it taught me how to be a leader.  I’ve spent the last three summers coordinating the Day on the Hill program for Young Judaea’s senior leadership camp, Tel Yehudah.  Each summer, we bring almost 300 campers and staff to Washington, D.C. to meet with advocacy organizations and lobby on 15 different issues ranging from Israel and Iran to LGBT rights. Watching these campers become passionate about their issues and take that passion up to Capitol Hill to lobby Members of Congress is truly amazing and brings my experience with Young Judaea full circle to my life today. Of course, there are also the fun stories of a camper and counselor, but I’ll save those for another time…