Want to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on GTJ? Nominate him/her at email@example.com.
Aaron: What brought you to DC?
Eryn: Like Evan, this week’s Jewish guy, I was the nice Jewish girl who came to DC to attend a Jesuit school. Evan and I actually met during one of my first weeks at college at Shabbat services. The Jewish community at Georgetown was small, but tight knit. It’s really great to have been able to make my friendship with Georgetown Jews, like Evan, extend into post-college life as well.
Aaron: What do you do on a Friday night?
Eryn: Friday night Shabbat is my favorite part of the week. I lived in Israel on a Kibbutz after college. The experience of living in Israel and incorporating Judaism into my daily life led me to start keeping Shabbat back in the States. When I came back to DC, I wanted to find a way to include my non-Jewish and non-observant friends in my Shabbat celebrations. Therefore, I started throwing big Shabbat dinners for friends and friends of friends. I love kneading Challah dough, using my weekly CSA (community-supported agriculture) box to make bountiful vegetarian entrees, and sharing with others my love of Shabbat.
Eryn: Yes, that’s right, I’m a Jewish Texan. My family has been in Texas for over 100 years and that’s what I love the most about home. All of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents (all four!) live within a ten-minute drive from my house in Houston. I grew up with Texas-sized Shabbat dinners and even bigger holiday celebrations. Even though I’ve lived in DC for close to 8 years, I’ll always be a sucker for the Lone Star state. (See picture from my aunt and uncle’s ranch out in West Texas).
Aaron: If you could start any business, what would it be?
Eryn: I would want to launch a hybrid business that uses a for-profit model to address social sector problems (e.g. health and nutrition). My ideal business would be focused on increasing access to low-cost, tasty, cooked-from scratch meals in the inner city (maybe kosher too?). There are several businesses already working in this space. Check out DC Central Kitchen’s work and Revolution Foods with healthy school lunch.