Abigail grew up in South Pasadena, California, a city with a hometown feel only minutes away from Los Angeles (and all the food it has to offer). She then attended Rice University in Houston, Texas, and majored in Cognitive Sciences and Religion. Besides cramming for exams, Abigail worked in a microbiology lab, did some freelance writing, and hosted many Shabbat dinners for friends.
Her mixed interests in science and culture launched a career in public health; after getting an MPH from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Abigail moved to north Texas to work as a Regional Epidemiologist for Denton County Public Health. As an Epidemiologist during the COVID-19 pandemic, she became interested in technology solutions to integrate and streamline health services.
Abigail now works for Cityblock Health, a healthcare start-up that aims to provide primary care services for Medicaid enrollees. She is excited to get involved in DC’s Jewish Community, share many meals with Abrahamic House’s guests, and figure out where the best bagel is in DC!
1. Like everyone else, Abigail went through a fermentation phase during the pandemic and brewed many rounds of extremely strong kombucha.
2. Abigail grew up with seven chickens in her backyard in L.A. They scream every time they lay eggs.
3. Abigail’s favorite Jewish holiday is Shavuot because she loves all things dairy. She also loves Channukah though, because she loves all things fried.
4. Abigail ran her first, and maybe last, marathon in 2019. She needs a little motivation to start thinking about a new one.
Kelly Molzen is a secular Franciscan, Registered Dietician/Nutritionist working in public health, and tireless advocate of making connections between food, faith, and social justice. In addition to being a program manager for the Institute For Family Health’s Bronx Health REACH initiative, where she has worked since 2010, she is a co-convener of the Interfaith Public Health Network. She is also Professional Development Co-Chair with the Religion Member Interest Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and she is a member of the Ecumenical/Interfaith Committee of the USA Secular Franciscan Order.
Kelly was a 2015 Re:Generate Fellow with the Food, Health, and Ecological Well-Being Program of Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity. She received her Master’s of Public Health Degree from New York University and undergraduate degree in Nutritional Sciences & Dietetics from the University of Delaware. Kelly was recognized as part of Hunter College’s NYC Food Policy Center 40 Under 40 Class of 2020, and has also been privileged to be on the steering committee of the Center for Earth Ethics’ Faith + Food Coalition, which formed in early 2021 leading up to the UN Food Systems Summit.
1. Favorite food: Eggplant parmigiana.
2. Has met climate activists from around the world during Catholic and interfaith conferences in Kenya, Panama, and Rome.
3. Favorite sports to play growing up: softball and gymnastics.
4. Favorite recently read book: We Will Feast by Kendall Vanderslice.
Haima Askari is from the diverse town of Harrisonburg, VA where he grew up working alongside other cultures and faiths to improve the community. Haima recently graduated from The University of Virginia with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy. He has worked and studied in five different countries and has experience with policy and data analysis. More recently, he has worked with the Virginia state government’s Europe office conducting business outreach to firms based in Europe.
1. Has an embarrassingly long playlist of national anthems.
2. Wanted to be a skyscraper window washer as a child, for the views.
3. Favorite soup is lentil soup.