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Rachel: What brought you to DC?
Hannah: I moved to DC to begin my job as an assistant rabbi at Temple Sinai. I was ordained at HUC-JIR in New York City last May. I have loved DC since I spent a summer coordinating the Machon Kaplan program at the Religious Action Center in 2009.
Rachel: You are a new(ish) rabbi at Temple Sinai. How are you enjoying it? What kinds of things do you do?
Hannah: I am loving being a rabbi at Temple Sinai. Its a vibrant, warm, and intelligent community, and I’m working on a great team. I get to do all kinds of things in my role as assistant rabbi, from leading Shabbat services and Torah study, to life cycle events and teaching children and families. I also recently taught at DC Beit Midrash and Moishe House.
Rachel: You challenged the government shutdown with a dreidel- can explain more?
Hannah: I was extremely proud to be featured on NY Magazine’s Blog “Daily Intelligencer” during the government shut down. (A close second to being nominated Jewish girl of the week!). After seeing the signs posted all along the mall protecting first amendment activities, they challenged someone to get out there with a menorah. A friend of mine sent me the article and suggested that I go for it and it was easier to go running with a dreidel than a menorah. It was a fun thing to do in an otherwise disappointing and unsettling time.
Rachel: What’s your favorite way to spend Shabbat?
Hannah: I’m a huge Shabbat dinner fan. I love getting together with friends and family and eating and drinking and spending time together. I also really enjoy officiating at Bar/Bat Mitzvah services. Its awesome to see kids work so hard and then get to share all of their hard work with their friends and family. And celebrate by doing the electric slide with their grandma.
Rachel: What is your favorite Jewish holiday?
Hannah: Passover! I was the first grandchild on both sides of my family and I took my four question asking very seriously when I was little. Last year, I helped organize a seder at Katz’s deli on the Lower East Side. It was a truly New York Passover experience and the food was delicious.
Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…
Hannah: We talk, study, learn, debate, sing, eat, dance, and laugh.