Our Stories

Alumni Spotlight: Rachel Federowicz

December 10, 2015 by Vered Asta (Faculty and Staff)

The Federowicz familyRachel (Levitt) Federowicz can be dubbed a woman of firsts. During the week, she is often the first one in the JPDS-NC South Campus carpool line to pick up her son, David. On Fridays, she is one of the first faces many staff members and students see as she sorts and delivers challahs to the classrooms. Rachel is the first of our alumni to send her child to JPDS-NC, and was a student in JPDS-NC’s very first class. Today, Rachel is also the first Alumni Spotlight interviewee!

We sat down with Rachel in JPDS-NC’s South Campus. The South Campus is where her journey as a JPDS-NC parent began, and her son David has already built his own JPDS-NC memories. Rachel’s first memories of JPDS-NC date back to the school’s time at Adas Israel, the very first location.

Rachel recalls that there were only seven students when she was a student and that, “the school was run by devoted parent participation.”

“My mom would come in to run hot lunch, my dad would come in for storytelling, Jack Lew would come in to tell us about the treasury, and all the parents would come in whenever they could. JPDS-NC felt like family.” When comparing those early days to today, Rachel immediately says, “JPDS-NC’s warm feeling is still the same. Parents still volunteer and want to help make the school the best it can be for their kids.”

One of her fondest memories was waiting up for her parents to come home from the Purim Ball, and share with her what they won!

“As a kid,” she recalls, “I always imagined what the Purim Ball was like, and wanted so badly to attend. Now I have that opportunity.” Not only was Rachel an attendee at last year’s Purim Ball, but she volunteered to work with young alumni volunteers to orient them to their various roles throughout the evening.

When asked about the school facilities compared to those early days, she declares, “The [differences] are tremendous! We were only seven kids back then, and we did not have a dedicated space for the school. The school has grown significantly, and the facilities with it!” Rachel expresses great pride in the fact that Washington, DC has a Jewish school that is vibrant, academically challenging, and provides opportunities for her son to excel.

Currently, Rachel serves as JPDS-NC’s Challah Delivery Chair and a Ru’ach Campaign volunteer. She also serves as Beth El’s Pre School’s Vice Chair, a member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Women’s Philanthropy board, and a trustee of the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation.

Rachel is married to Pete with whom she has two children, David, 6 and Lila, 2. Pete works in commercial real estate and is involved with JPDS-NC’s middle school effort. He is also involved with AIPAC and the Jewish Federation National Young Leadership Cabinet, and is an alumnus of the Wexner Heritage Program.

As an important member of JPDS-NC’s past, Rachel is now helping to shape the future as well. Her children will be among some of the first to attend JPDS-NC’s middle school. As we talked about the future of “the little school that could,” Rachel shared with us her wish for JPDS-NC:

“JPDS-NC today has a caring, warm and supportive Jewish community, terrific leadership, phenomenal staff and thoughtful and insightful teachers. The school environment provides superb academics, coupled with strong Judaics and a love of Israel. Children are truly happy. My wish for JPDS-NC is to continue their tradition of excellence in all the areas listed above for future generations to come!”

Amen to that, Rachel! We look forward to sharing many more firsts with you and your family!