Girl of the Week – Rachel

You interned for Gabrielle Giffords during college. Tell us about this experience.
While in many ways working for Gabby was the typical intern experience, answering phone calls and recording comments from constituents, there is something special about her office. Congresswoman Giffords and her staff have a genuine concern for their constituents, and work long hours to ensure the citizens of Southern Arizona are satisfied with their local government. It takes an incredibly selfless individual to dedicate their career to serving the public. The time I spent in her office had a huge impact on my decision to get my Master’s in Public Administration. I feel honored to have worked for such a self-sacrificing, caring, and hard-working individual, and can only hope to make a fraction of the impact she has made in the public sector.

You’ve spent time on both coasts. Do you have a preference?
The weather in California is fantastic and I will definitely miss that, but it’s the people I’ve met during my seven months in DC that makes the east coast my preference. I think it goes without saying that the people who live here have the most interesting jobs in the world. I suppose that makes me a bit of a traitor, considering I spent the majority of my twenty-four years (from age 9 to 23) on the west coast. I was born on the east coast, so moving to DC has felt like a homecoming of sorts for me.

You attend a CrossFit gym. Explain.
CrossFit is all about functional fitness. Everything we do has real-life applicability, the movements provide you with the strength and knowledge to lift things off the ground or push things overhead without injuring yourself. Beyond that, the community is fantastic. It’s great to go the gym and chat with your friends before a workout, and the competitive aspect pushes you to work harder than you might otherwise if you were working out on your own. Although I’m relatively new to CrossFit, it’s become a huge part of my life and I can’t imagine working out any other way.

You recently took the NeXus leadership class. What made you decide to participate?

Being new to DC, I wanted to find a way to better connect to the Jewish community and meet like minded peers. I’ve completed the program now and have met some amazing people that have reinforced how important it is to maintain a relationship with my Jewish roots.

You recently had a birthday. How did you celebrate?
For me, birthdays are all about spending time with the people closest to you. I went to dinner with friends at Ardeo/Bardeo in Cleveland Park, which is a fantastic restaurant, I highly recommend it. Afterwards, I had some friends over at my apartment before heading out to Rumors in Dupont Circle. It’s not for everyone, but I love that place because it’s so similar to the bars in Tucson, Arizona, where I went to college.

To contact Rachel, email info@gatherthejews.com.