Interviewed by Rachel Kohn
Valerie Bluestein is a native Washingtonian: She was born in Georgetown, grew up in Bethesda, received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, and currently resides near Logan Circle with her husband, Max. In addition to her job as a realtor with the Heller Coley Reed team of Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc., she works as the marketing and events coordinator for 2239, Washington Hebrew Congregation’s young professional group.
What was the last book you read?
I just finished reading “The Last Time I Lied,” by Riley Sager. Next up is “A Simple Favor,” by Darcey Bell. I enjoyed the movie, but the book is always better, right? I can’t get enough of thrillers, and even started a thrillers-only book club with some friends.
Chanukah is coming up. What is your favorite aspect of the holiday?
I love to watch the DC Jewish community come together for the numerous Chanukah events! My particular favorite annual event is Hanukkah: A Festival of Lasers, an adult laser tag event that will be held this year on Thursday, Dec. 6, at Ultrazone in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia. My husband came up with the idea in 2014, and it has been going strong ever since! 2239 is thrilled to co-sponsor this year’s event with NOVA Tribe, Moishe House Columbia Heights, and Rodef 2100.
Why is Washington Hebrew Congregation’s young professional’s group called 2239?
Because it is a fantastic way for young Jewish adults between the ages of 22 and 39 to meet one another and deepen their Jewish identity! I’m currently working on our 2019 calendar and plan to incorporate a mix of religious, social, and service events. I run the organization alongside Rabbi Aaron Miller, but we work with a fantastic steering committee that comes up with creative event ideas that I’m excited to implement.
What do you love most about your jobs?
Real Estate: Matchmaking! I love the process of “matching” my buyer clients with their dream home and my listings with a buyer. I work hard to make the experience as much fun and low stress as possible.
2239: Matchmaking! Just kidding. I love getting to know the “2239-ers” who come to our events and who make the DC Jewish community so vibrant.
My favorite parts of both my jobs are the relationships that I develop and cherish.
You are stranded in your apartment during one of our annual “snowmagedons.” Who do you want in there with you and what would you do until the snow plows set you free?
I really hope we don’t have a lot of snow this winter! But, if we do, I’d want to be stranded with my husband and lots of hot chocolate and good books — thrillers, of course.