Mission Statement

Gather the Jews facilitates Jewish life in Washington, DC by providing up-to-date and accurate information about all of the city’s Jewish social, religious, and learning opportunities.  At Gather the Jews, we bring Jews to organizations, organizations to Jews, and Jews to Jews.  We bridge the gap between young adults (22 to 39) and the DC Jewish community.

Gather the Jews does not promote one form of Judaism over another (see our policy of non-discrimination).

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact us at info@gatherthejews.com.

Organization History

Gather The Jews launched in late February 2010, just before Purim.  The original effort was the result of a long brainstorming and snowball-building session during D.C.’s “Snowpocalypse” between Joshua Kaller and Aaron Wolff, who then joined forces with Stephen Richer and the Jewish events listserve that he had started with his friends.

The organization at first featured a calendar of events, a weekly newsletter, and Jewish Girls and Guys of The Week.  Unlike Genesis, Gather’s first person of the week went to a female (Aliyah).  The first male (Eddy) followed shortly thereafter.

In September 2012, thanks to a grant from Emanuel J. Philanthropies, Gather was able to hire its first ever full-time staffer Rachel Giattino.

Thanks to the continued support of Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies and the Friedman-French Foundation, Gather found a home with GW Hillel on April 24, 2013.  GW Hillel will provide Gather with the stability and support it needs to continue to grow and thrive.

Following a transformative grant from a funding collaborative that includes The Morningstar Foundation, Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies, and the The Jewish Federation’s United Jewish Endowment Fund, Rachel Gildiner was hired as Gather’s new Director.

Why we’re called Gather the Jews

In the book of Esther, Chapter 4, Verse 16, Esther tells Mordechai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Shushan, and fast for me.”

This passage – issued in opposition to the genocidal plots of Haman – represents the fighting spirit and strength of the unified Jewish people.

It is this same spirit that Gather the Jews tries to capture.  Founded just days before Purim – the holiday during which the book of Esther is read – Gather the Jews seeks to unite the Jewish community for positive effect.

Read more about why we chose to reclaim the term “Gather the Jews” for positive association. And about what it means to “Gather the Jews.”