Hi, my name is: Jackie Zais

Jackie Zais_small.jpg

Jackie Zais is the Community Engagement Director at GatherDC, an organization that seeks to connect those in their 20s and 30s to Jewish life in DC. When not working she is listening to podcasts, going to see live music or hosting people in her apartment.


1. What is one of your mini pharaohs?

Washington, DC is a very transient city and every year when people ask about my life plan, I say that I plan on being here... for two more years. Every year, it’s two more years. So now, I’m declaring: I don’t know how long I will be in DC, and that’s okay! I’m not sure what adventures are in store for me here, or exactly where my career and life will take me. But I’m releasing my mini-pharaoh of needing to know exactly what is next for me. Right now, life is good, and if that changes, I will let you know! We’ll all go to karaoke to say goodbye.


2. What intention are you setting for the week of Passover?

I think that on Passover we explore our history to better help us relate to other people. I want to spend time thinking about how we can help the stranger knowing that I am fully committed to the place I live.


3. What rituals or wellness practices help you follow through with your goals and intentions?

There is obviously a big eating practice that happens during Passover which I am still figuring out how I will honor. I will keep you updated


4. As we celebrate the Passover story of freedom, in what ways are you moving from narrowness to expansiveness this month?

I am just trying to continue to be my best self, improving where growth is possible and letting myself be flawed where they exist. By doing this I open myself up to being the truest Jackie I can be and available to my community


5. Which seder plate food are you embodying this Passover?

Bitter Herbs. So, I love celebrating Passover. Last year I even made my own Hagaddah. I come from an interfaith family and Easter usually falls on the end of Passover, but I love going home for events where my whole family gathers (a lot of ham and bread at that spread). This year, the first nights of Passover fall on Easter weekend and I made the decision to stay in DC to celebrate Passover instead of going home to my family. I haven’t been home to see my family in several months and I am very sad to miss this, but we’re more able to fully appreciate the highs after experiencing the lows.



This interview is part of our Community Interview Series for Passover!
Read more of the interviews here.