Jewish Girl of the Week – Derika

What does being Jewish mean to you?
To quote one of my favorite author’s, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis: “The Torah teaches us that G-d built the world on acts of loving kindness.  There are few things that make sense in our earthly existence, but that which makes life precious and worthwhile is the ability to give, to reach out to others, and to continue G-d’s creative process through fostering generosity and committing to acts of loving kindness.”

Therefore, to me, being Jewish means I have the responsiblity to be an extension of G-d’s generosity, compassion, and loving kindness. Also, I figure the earth is a pretty difficult thing to build, and whatever G-d used has to be the best stuff on earth! I wonder if that’s what’s in snapple…

What would you like to do when you grow up?
I think I’m grown up at a measly 5’1. But in case I’m not, I would secretly love to be a comedic actress. So if anyone knows anyone, who knows anyone in the business keep me in mind!

You can invite 4 people to go on a trip to Israel, who would you invite and why?
That’s easy. My hair stylist, make up artist, wardrobe stylist, and manicurist. Totally just kidding!

Besides, I can do all that myself. I have never been to Israel, but I would probably take a friend who doubles as a GPS so I don’t get lost, because I am known to do that. I should have another friend be very spiritually knowledgeable so very “Rabbiesque” so I can maximize my trip’s holiness factor. My 3rd friend should speak Hebrew in case I run into a “no English” situation. And my last friend should know a lot of nice single men ages 27-35 in Israel, so I can meet my beshert and make aliyah. So I need a GPS, Rabbi, Interpreter, and Match Maker.

What will you do if you become Jewish Girl of the Year?
Is there an awards ceremony and a crown involved? I’m working on my wave just in case.

Besides flashing my pearly whites, I would work towards world peace one Mitzvah at a time! I’ve watched enough Ms. America’s to know the drill…

How has GTJ impacted your Jewish life?
The website content is great, the Gooey (I’m in IT) is super easy to use, and the newsletters are so relevant to being Jewish in DC!

But the best part it’s not just a website, it’s a way of life which allows us transients to make a Jewish family for ourselves in this crazy city away from home.

Did you ever go to Jewish Summer Camp?I did not just go as a camper I was a counselor too! I also met my best friend at summer camp and we are friends to this day! Thanks JCC of Niskayuna for my best friend!

Where can we find you on a Friday night?
On a Friday night you could usually find me at Mesorah or Chabad. I absolutely love spending my Shabbats here. I have made such amazing lifelong friends and connections to Jewish life here it’s hard to imagine my Shabbats not being spent here. And as a bonus, Rebbetzin T’s cholent is soooooooo delicious!

When is your going away party?
I am moving to NYC for a job opportunity and I am so sad to leave DC! I’m having a few send off parties, I am having a going away happy hour on Wednesday September 14th and a last night in DC party on Saturday night the 17th . Not sure of the venues yet, but of course I will keep GTJ posted!