Amy Lummer has been involved with Jewish life in Northern Virginia for a long time. As a member of Congregation Adat Reyim, Director of Family Engagement at the Pozez JCC and PTO President at Gesher Jewish Day School, she’s worked in various communal positions and played an important role in strengthening the local Jewish community.
What are your responsibilities as family engagement director at Pozez JCC?
I manage the J-Family ambassador program for Northern Virginia, and I have six ambassadors that meet families throughout Northern Virginia. I also do programming for those [who are] eight and under. We do holiday programming, we go to libraries, we have ‘Hanukkah Hop to the Donut Shop’ coming up, we have ‘Menorahs and Milkshakes,’ we do ‘Sukkah Hops’ and all those sorts of things so that everybody can be connected to Judaism wherever they are.
How did you get this position and what drew you to it?
When my son was born, I was a federal government budget analyst. I left that job and started teaching Jewish preschool and I found that I really loved it – I have a Master of Education in Curriculum Instruction from George Mason. Since my children were born, I have loved giving preschoolers that base on which to stand because there’s so many places in the world where there is nobody else [to provide them certain skills] so they can go out and feel confident in themselves. And this job just allowed me to do that on a bigger scale.
How did you get involved with Pozez JCC?
When my daughter was little, we started going to the events that Growing Jewish Families puts on, which is our [Pozez JCC’s] programming arm. And when a job became available to work for the program that had been such a blessing for us, I loved it. I wanted to be able to give those programs to other families.
What’s something that you love about your job?
The thing I love most is connecting families to one another and building the spider web of Northern Virginia. I like to show that while we’re all really spread apart, we [can still] become connected to one another.
You’re also the PTO President at Gesher. How did you get involved with that?
My daughter started there in kindergarten. It’s just such a warm and welcoming place and I want to contribute to the places that make me feel good. And so, I joined the PTO. And after a couple of years, I became president – I think I’m in my fourth year of being PTO president now.
What do you enjoy outside of working?
I love reading and cooking and baking anything in the kitchen. I love having people over for dinner and just to have fun. I love trying new things in the kitchen.
What is the importance to you of bringing the Jewish community closer together and how does it feel being able to play an important role in that process?
The more connected we are to one another, the stronger the community [becomes]. The more we’re connected to each other now, the more honor we pay to our ancestors and the more we get to pass it on to the next generations.
What is the importance of your Jewish identity to your day-to-day life?
It’s woven really in all parts of my life. Both my kids have gone to Gesher Jewish Day School. So, they can now talk to each other a little bit in Hebrew, and I have no idea what they’re saying. But it’s just interwoven in really all the pieces of our lives. The things in my china cabinet are Judaica, the decisions we make as a family often have to do with a [Jewish] value. We can connect to Jewish values no matter where we are, right? Everything is good as a Jewish value in some way. But it’s just part of it. It’s where my kids go to school. It’s where I go to work and it’s how we like to make decisions and do things at home as well.