It’s the Little Things in Life – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 67)

Heart_Text_MessageI went to my college reunion this weekend, spending time reminiscing about how many hills (in the snow) we had to climb to get to class, how many hours we spent sleeping on the desk in the library (which my parents never seemed to get), and how many whole pecan pies we stole from the campus dining hall (my answer: one).  Ah… the good ol’ days of college.

At the reunion, I ran into a friend whom I hadn’t seen in 10 years.  When I asked about his love life (I’m allowed to do that since my job is in the dating industry!), he told me that he had been seeing a girl for several years, and she came as his guest.  When his girlfriend went to get a drink, my friend looked at me with mischievous eyes and asked, “So, what are some of the dating questions men ask you anyway?”  I laughed because the questions run the gamut from things about texting all the way to sex… and everything in between.  (Please tell me you know there are things in between.)  A few of the memorable ones are below, with my responses.

Flummoxed Texter in Flushing

Flummoxed Texter in Flushing: How many days should I wait before I text my date to tell her I had a good time and want to see her again?

Erika: Text her the next day saying you had a great time and that you’ll call the following day to set up plans… and then actually call!  Bonus points.  (Double bonus points if you text her right after the date making sure she got home okay.)

Flummoxed Texter in Flushing: What if she doesn’t respond to the text?

Erika: I’d still call as planned.

Flummoxed Texter in Flushing: And if she doesn’t return the phone call?

Erika: Barring some unforeseen circumstances, she’s not interested.  Move on.

Note: Women, if you are not interested, please do respond saying that you didn’t feel a connection or some variant of that.  No one likes to be ignored.  The same goes for men.

Shorts-lover in Springfield

Shorts-lover in Springfield: Do I have to wear pants on my second date?

Erika: What?!

Shorts-lover in Springfield: No, I mean, can I wear shorts, or do I have to wear pants?

Erika: Are you going out to dinner? 

Shorts-lover in Springfield: Yes.

Erika: Then yes.  Wear pants even if it’s a hot day.  It takes the same effort as the shorts, but it looks like you tried harder.  Points for you.

Clueless in Cleveland

Clueless in Cleveland: Where do I take a girl on a first date?
Coffee or a drink.  Remember,
you can always add dinner, but you can’t take it back.

Clueless in Cleveland: Okay, but where specifically? 

Erika: Ask what part of town is convenient for her, and then choose something around there.  Let her know that chivalry isn’t completely dead.

Dateless in DC

Dateless in DC: I don’t understand why I can’t get a second date.

Erika: How does the date usually end?

Dateless in DC: Sometimes a handshake, sometimes a little hug.

Erika: Do you ever offer to walk her home or wherever she’s going?

Dateless in DC: You’re supposed to do that?! 

Erika: Try this on for size… When the date is over, give her a little hug (handshakes are for business meetings) and ask if she’d like you to walk her where she’s going.  Whether she accepts will be a good indicator of whether she likes you.  And if you’d like to see her again, follow the advice for Flummoxed Texter in Flushing.  (I’m also not against kissing on a first date if the moment strikes!)

In all of the scenarios, it’s the little confident touch at the end that makes the difference.  Whether that confidence is real or you’re just “talking the talk,” it shows that you know how to take control of a situation, not in a rude way, but in a decisive way.  If she is not receptive to you, she can decide that on her own, but you’ll know you’ve put your best foot forward by calling when you say you will, wearing pants, choosing a date place around her, and offering to walk her where she’s going.  None of these things takes very much time or thought, but the effects are huge.

After I told my friend all of this, he looked at me and said, “I had no idea!  I guess I’m lucky my girlfriend’s been with me for so long!”  Don’t leave your relationship up to luck.  It’s the little things in life that go a long way.

This article has also been featured on JMag, the online magazine for Date. 

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people stand out from the online dating crowd and have a rewarding experience. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.


Masa Israel Featured Internship: Publishing Internship, Haaretz

Interested in a career in journalism? Haaretz newspaper, one of the oldest and widely read, in Israel is looking for a publishing intern!

Haaretz is looking for an intern to be a part of the team producing an English version of the paper. Your role will be to assist in research, revision, and content. There will also be opportunities for you to publish your own reports and articles. For those seeking a career in journalism, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain experience and get published.

Haaretz is the oldest, and one of the most widely read newspapers in Israel that is produced in both Hebrew and English.


GTJ Satirist Brian F. – Jewish Baseball Slugger Ryan Braun Used Steroids in Preparation for Bar Mitzvah

ryanMILWAUKEE, WI – (FACEBOOK: @TheComedyNews)  Jewish baseball player Ryan Braun has confessed to using illegal steroids in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah in 1996.  This comes on the heels of a story breaking that the All-Star outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers also used performance-enhancing drugs on the baseball field. 

“Although I vehemently deny using performance-enhancing drugs during my baseball career, I do regretfully admit that I used steroids when preparing for my Bar Mitzvah,”  Braun confessed at a press conference.

When asked why he engaged in such reprehensible activity at the innocent age of 13, Braun explained that the pressure to be awake and alert at 10:00 AM on a Saturday to read Hebrew from the Torah really got him anxious.

Braun continued, “Also, I needed some way to keep composure when I had all of these people I never met before, all congratulating me profusely for some reason, giving me an insincere ‘mazel tov’, and then handing me a Hallmark card full of cash.  Hard times, I’m tellin’ ya.”

The press conference concluded with Braun also admitting that he engaged in underage alcohol consumption at the ceremony as part of the after-service Kiddush.

Although investigators have not released the official list of illicit substances that Braun utilized in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah, many around the Mission Hills, California Jewish community have dismissed the allegations.  Sources close to Braun allege that the then-13-year-old Braun likely didn’t use anything more serious than a little bit of Adderall, Mountain Dew extract, and the now-defunct soda, Surge.

According to Rabbinal scholars, Braun’s illegal steroid use in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah has resulted in his adulthood being nullified.

Brian Fishbach is a writer and comedian.  He is also a Jewish Brewers fan from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.    You can read Brian’s weekly satire news articles at, and enjoy his late-night jokes at  Join The Comedy News’ Facebook page for updates.


10 Reasons to Come to Black Tie Trivia Night on June 20

On Thursday, June 20, we’re puttin’ on the ritz and pulling out all the stops for 6th in the City Black Tie Trivia Night.  Why is this trivia night different from all other trivia nights, you ask?  Well, it’s our first-ever young professional fundraiser, and there’s a lot more than meets the tie.

Here are 10 reasons to team up for Black Tie Trivia Night:

1. The last time you got this dressed up was your senior prom.


2. By coming to Black Tie Trivia Night, you’ll have more of everything… mo’ prizes, mo’ food, and Mo Mandel!



3. You’ve been looking for a way to use your vast knowledge of trivia subjects for a good cause: to support your favorite 6th in the City programs (like Trivia Night, for instance). Seriously, these things don’t run themselves.


4. You’ve been practicing this pose…and finally have a reason to show it off!


5. This is your chance to suit up to win a birthday card signed by Josh Radnor in our silent auction! Other items include VIP Tickets to a Wizards and Capitals game, tickets to Tracy Morgan’s show at the Warner Theater, and more. 



6. You’ll finally have a reason to sing Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” while actually wearing a suit and tie.



7. You want to compete for the ultimate grand prize: a year of FREE Sixth & I events. You heard us—A YEAR.


8. Wine and beer! (This time, it’s unlimited. No drink tickets required.)


9. It’s sure to be one of our better parties.



10. It’s time you treated yo’ self to a classy evening.


Now that you’re convinced, here’s the link to buy tickets.



There’s an App for That!

photo 2Washington, DC is known for its blend of old-school tradition (seersucker suits and old-boys’-club power lunches) and new-school innovation (smartphones and social networking).  However, technology innovation is no longer just for the secular world.  It was only a matter of time before the combination of yesterday and tomorrow came to our cultural and religious institutions.  Enter ShalomLearning, a way of bringing Jewish education in line with how today’s youth learns.

You know the story: “My one-year-old son/grandson/nephew knows how to unlock the iPad and play a game of Angry Birds, all by himself.” If kids are “digital natives,” using technology at home, in their secular classrooms, and socially, technology should be integrated into their Jewish education as well.

Most synagogues know they need to do more to capture their young congregants’ attention; however, at the same time, they struggle with basic technology infrastructure, let alone the ability to bring technology into their Hebrew school curriculum. Even those congregations with the resources often do not know where to start. ShalomLearning set out to change that by customizing and packaging existing technology for synagogues, building a pluralistic curriculum that is engaging, relevant, flexible and fun.

Todays’ tech-savvy, overscheduled kids benefit from ShalomLearning’s “flipped classroom” format.  This model blends new (online) and traditional (in-classroom) educational methods. Students access online videos, slideshows, worksheets, texts, and other aids prior to class.  When the kids come together – in person or online – they are then able to participate in meaningful discussions and interactive lessons, rather than trudging through content.

One of the tools included in our curriculum is the Prayer Player app for the iPad, which allows students to learn individual Hebrew phrases by playing interactive mini-games before progressing to teaching entire prayers in sequence. The app is ShalomLearning’s answer to the outdated way of learning prayers by attempting to rewind that mp3, CD, or (more likely) cassette tape in order to get the line just right. The app was developed with our younger students in mind, but we have received tons of great feedback from adults who just need that quick refresher before going to services on Friday night or to a family member’s bar or bat mitzvah. You can get the free app here.

In early 2013, I was recruited to be the CEO of ShalomLearning. As its first CEO, I am committed to realizing the company’s mission to positively disrupt supplemental Jewish education (“Hebrew school”) through a unique blend of innovative curriculum and cutting-edge technology.  Our goal is to partner with synagogues and families to impact teaching and learning in new and exciting ways.

We are growing at an exciting rate and plan to continue our partnerships with Jewish educators and institutions to offer more content and more applications. ShalomLearning has a 100% renewal rate with our current synagogues from the past academic year, and we now stretch from Virginia and Maryland, to Illinois, New York, and up to Toronto. For the unaffiliated families, ShalomLearning is offered at the JCC of Greater Washington in Rockville.

We have big plans for the for the 2013/2014 academic year, including offering a streamlined, fully online version of the curriculum and to expand vertically and horizontally to reach more JCC families, camp families, military families, international families, and the broad base of unaffiliated families.

For more information on ShalomLearning, please visit our website

Follow us on Twitter: @ShalomLearning
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The 2013 Jerome J. Dick Young Leadership Award Recipients – Michael Plostock

Tomorrow night the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington will be hosting it’s Annual Meeting.  Each year, the Jerome J. Dick Young Leadership Award is awarded at the annual meeting.  The Jerome J. Dick Young Leadership Award has been given out for 44 years to individuals in their early forties, or younger, in recognition of their dedication to the Jewish community and capacity for leading and motivating people.  Recipients of this award have gone on to become major players in the Greater Washington Jewish community. A full list of recipients can be found here:

This year’s recipients are Josh Stevens and Michael Plostock.  Below is our interview with Mike. Read Josh’s interview here.


302824_10151302091010861_2081075962_nCan you tell us about your experiences that culminated in the award?

From an early age, my parents instilled in me the importance of playing an active role in the Jewish community.  Celebrating the holidays, learning about our history, and helping the larger community was something that became a part of me. Growing up I was involved in Young Judaea, a Zionist youth movement and summer camp.  Young Judaea helped me develop my strong connection to Israel and the Jewish people.  The values instilled by my parents and Young Judaea helped me focus my volunteer work with GLOE, the GLBT Outreach & Engagement program at the DCJCC, and Federation.  I am just wrapping up a year serving as co-chair of the Israel Engagement committee and about to begin two years as Co-Chair of Young Leadership.

You currently serve as the Israel Engagement Committee Co-Chair- what do you do?

Thankfully, I had the pleasure of working with an incredible co-chair, Wendy Rudolph, who has been involved with the Israel Engagement committee for a number of years and was able to show me the ropes.  In this role, I’ve also been able to work with our amazing community Shaliach, Anton Goodman, who helped implement the ideas our committee came up with.  Whether it was figuring out ways to expand the congregational shlichim program, hosting delegations from our partnership region, or developing a roadmap for an Israeli film series facilitation guide, we tried to develop ways to connect members of the DC community with Israel.

You’ve also been involved with Federation’s work overseas and participated in a YL mission to Moscow. What was that like?

The YL mission to Moscow was definitely what helped me realize that the work the Federation does is important and something that I want to be involved with.  Traveling with a dozen other Washington young professionals to see the impact Federation is making in Moscow was inspiring.  Today, when I make a solicitation on behalf of Federation, and explain what we’re doing to make a difference in Moscow, I have a name, a face, and a story to relay.  Incidentally, there is an opportunity for others in the community to participate in an upcoming Federation overseas mission.  The Israel Your Way Mission is a unique journey through Israel with 3 different excursions to choose from, culminating at The Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly where we’ll have an opportunity to hear from Prime Minister Netanyahu.  The mission will take place from November 4-13 and I’ll be co-chairing the Culture excursion where we’ll take a journey through the robust art, dance, food, and wine culture of Israel.  For more details, visit, or give me a shout!

What do you do when you’re not being a Jewish powerhouse? What is your day job?

Thanks for the compliment!  I am committed to maintaining my status as a “Jewish Powerhouse,” but I still have a full-time job to pay the bills.  I’m currently a Senior Liaison Officer at the Department of Homeland Security in Secretary Napolitano’s office. It’s been an incredible job and a great opportunity to contribute to an organization with an incredibly important mission. If I’m not working or volunteering, you can usually find me hanging out with friends and my amazing 4 1/2 year old Pug/German Shepard  mix, Efrat “Effie” van der Woodsen Plostock

If you could change one thing about the DC Jewish community, what would it be?

This is a tough question because my first instinct is to say I would like our community to be less transient, but on the other hand it is one of the things that makes our community so unique.  We invest a lot of time and resources to build a community and because of the nature of Washington, where people often come for short stints in school or public service positions, we have to say goodbye to community members just as we’re getting them truly engaged.  However, while there are downsides to this transient community it also provides an opportunity to touch a lot of people and build a huge network.

Describe the DC young professional community in three words.

Passionate, Connected, Capable


The 2013 Jerome J. Dick Young Leadership Award Recipients – Josh Stevens

Tomorrow night the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington will be hosting it’s Annual Meeting.  Each year, the Jerome J. Dick Young Leadership Award is awarded at the annual meeting.  The Jerome J. Dick Young Leadership Award has been given out for 44 years to individuals in their early forties, or younger, in recognition of their dedication to the Jewish community and capacity for leading and motivating people.  Recipients of this award have gone on to become major players in the Greater Washington Jewish community. A full list of recipients can be found here:

This year’s recipients are Josh Stevens and Michael Plostock.  Below is our interview with Josh. Read Mike’s interview here.


photoCan you tell us about your experiences that culminated in the award?

Throughout the past 6 years or so I have become increasingly involved in the Jewish community through programs and mentorship provided by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.  What initially attracted me to the community is their investment in the 11,000 plus Birthright Alum that live within the Greater DC area, and their belief that by engaging them they will not only create a continuation of their transformative Birthright experience, but also enhance the local Jewish community as well.  This was the catalyst towards my involvement in Birthright NEXT, and subsequent participation in the development of such programs as the Reverse Mifgash, Birthright Alumni Leadership Mission, NEXUS, Impact DC, as well as many other programs that engage young Jewish professionals.  From these experiences, I have learned so much about the work of Federation and their investment in both the local and global Jewish community.  I have also become increasingly involved in the strategic planning and a summer employee at JFGW’s partner agency Capital Camps.  Causes that truly resonate with me.

I love this community.  I am forever inspired by the older generation of leaders that helped create this community, the professionals that work so hard every day to make sure we have the money and resources to sustain it, and my peers that follow their very own passion in finding new and innovative ways to enhance the community.  These are the people that keep me involved, wanting to invest every available free second to something that I truly believe in, and continuously learn from those that came before me.  I believe that the more I know about this community, the better ambassador for it I can be.  So I try to go to every program, event, and meeting that my schedule would allow me to attend.

You serve as the Young Leadership Co-Chair- what do you do?

I work in partnership with the Young Leadership professionals at Federation and lay leaders to educate and engage the DC-area young adult community in the work of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington by: Providing opportunities for personal growth and leadership, supporting new and innovative avenues for outreach, and identifying individuals with a desire to make an impact on the Jewish community and connecting them with meaningful opportunities.

You’ve taken an active role in the Birthright alumni community. What motivated you to do so? 

I’d like to say that I am a product of Birthright.  I went on a DC community Birthright trip in the summer of 2005 and like many others, was truly transformed.  Being so moved and inspired by the impact it had on both me and so many other participants, I felt compelled to become involved.  There were thousands of Birthright alumni just like me who came back from their 10 day trip to Israel with a new sense of Jewish identity and desire to feel more Jewish in their day-to-day lives and/or continue their connection to the state of Israel.  I grew up in a very reform and unaffiliated Jewish family.  While my parents always reminded me of my Jewish identity and threw me an amazing Bar Mitzvah, I never felt part of a Jewish community.  Following the summer of 2005, I felt an instant connection to this thriving community of Birthright alum and compelled to be involved in the further development of it.

What do you do when you’re not being a Jewish powerhouse? What is your day job?

I am a 5th grade teacher at Bradley Hills Elementary School in Bethesda, MD.  I also teach Hebrew School at Beth Ami Synagogue.  During the summers, I am a village leader (unit head) of 8th and 9th graders at Capital Camps.

If you could change one thing about the DC Jewish community, what would it be?

I would want to clear people’s misconception that Jewish communal events are just designed to make people more Jewish and that the Jewish philanthropic events are designed to take people’s money.  Programs are created to engage young professional in the Jewish community.  This is done with the idea in mind that our community is made up of eclectic individuals seeking different things out of the community around them.  Our community offers programs focusing around religious education, business networking, current Israeli issues, Jewish culture, Philanthropy, leadership development, volunteer opportunities in areas of need within the community, social events like happy hours, classes for interfaith couples, and much, much more.

Describe the DC young professional community in three words.

Thriving, Inclusive, Innovative


Masa Israel Featured Internship: Software Development Intern, Google Israel

Software Development Intern, Google Israel – Provided by Career Israel

Google Israel is looking for a passionate, motivated software development intern to work in their Tel Aviv Office!

If you are passionate, motivated, and looking to get your foot in the door in the field of software development and engineering, Google Israel has a spot for you on their software development team. As a Software Engineer, you have a penchant for solving complex and interesting problems. Google is much more than search, and the mission has much greater scope; to handle information at the scale of the web requires ideas from just about every area of computer science, including information retrieval, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, distributed computing, large-scale system design, networking, security, data compression, user interface design, etc. You will work on many projects that carry varying responsibilities.

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Since the beginning, Google has focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether by designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, the company takes great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve users, rather than internal goals or the bottom line.


The Jewish Version of “Girls” Exists

Taken from the "Dude, Where's My Chutzbah" Facebook page (

Taken from the “Dude, Where’s My Chutzbah” Facebook page (

Dude, where’s my chutzpah?” has been compared to the HBO series Girls by Jewcy.  The web series, created by Jessie Kahnweiler, follows the story of Jessie who must live a Jewish life for one year in order to receive her inheritance from her recently deceased Bubbe.  In the second episode, you learn that Jessie’s idea of living a Jewish life includes haggling at a sample sale, shopping at Bloomingdales, going on a date with a Jewish doctor, eating Chinese food, and dancing the Macarena.

Take note, this series is not for the easily offended Jew (at least not at he beginning).  Jessie plays off all the typical Jewish stereotypes and jokes on her path to Jewish discovery.

Beneath the crude humor and Jew jokes, there is a level of seriousness to the series.  On the series’ website, Jessie posts podcasts of interviews she’s done with members of the Jewish community, including rabbis, concerning their own Jewish journeys.  According to a Huffington Post article about the series, we can expect some interesting moments on the show.

Only three episodes have been posted so far, though according to Jessie’s blog the next episode – “Going Ortho”- will be up in the next 24 hours.


GTJ Satirist Brian F. – Meteorologists: DC Interns Are the Cause of DC Humidity

intInflux of Unpaid, Obnoxious Interns Found to Attract Sweltering Summer Weather 

WASHINGTON, DC – (@TheComedyNews) – Meteorologists at the National Weather Service have released a study finding that the sweltering summer humidity in Washington, DC is due to the influx of unpaid summer interns.

“We have analyzed data dating back to 1799, when the first summer interns were commissioned to help with the labor of governing the United States,” according to Dr. Roger Patrick, the lead meteorologist on the study.  “Interns were originally the children of only Congressmen,  clergymen, and bankers, and their parents wanted them to come to town to learn about running the government before any of the other general public did.”

The study notes that before 1799, the District of Columbia had very mild summers with average temperatures rarely exceeding 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and virtually no humidity at all.

Over the years, as the size of the federal government expanded, more and more interns came to DC to spend their summers working at unpaid jobs—and have thus caused the humidity that engulfs the nation’s capital from May until September.

Today’s interns attract more atmospheric moisture than ever.  Interns are seen in droves crowding the Metro train, dancing obnoxiously at the worst bars in town,  boasting about Fraternity and Sorority obligations, and are overheard in the hallways having the most arrogant conversations amongst each other.  When these unfortunate things happen, there is a hormone released when such human smugness reaches astronomic levels.  That hormone, called arrogantimone, is then released into the atmosphere and lingers in the form of humidity for six to eight weeks.

Even as this article is being composed, two interns exchanged in typical humidity-causing banter:

“Hey Lisa, we need to go to McFaddens tonight, I hear it’s a really fancy place so no wearing any of your polarbear Midwestern cardigans.”

“Oh you wish you were Midwestern, Brynn.  You don’t have college football on your campus.”

“Tufts University has football, but no one cares about it.  Also, Tufts is in Boston, that’s the same place where Harvard is.  Besides, you’re not Midwestern, you’re from Miami.” 

“I go to Michigan, and Michigan’s in the Midwest, so therefore I’m Midwestern.  Michigan also has the largest football stadium in America.”

“Well, you work at a non-profit, that’s gotta be lame.  My intern coordinator at the House of Representatives says that I get to take a picture with the Congressman at the end of the summer.”

“How many more stops until Foggy Bottom/GWU subway station?”

As this conversation went on, the windows of the Metro train began to slightly fog up.  An entire DC Summer interns blog has been set up to document such incidents.

Some estimates say that the 110,000 or so interns that will come to DC in the summer of 2013 will make this year one of the most humid on record.

One of the more intriguing findings during the National Weather Service’s research of the correlation between unpaid interns and DC summer humidity was the emergence of America’s first intern.

George Washington had who is now known as the first intern in the history of the United States.  His name was Jebbediah McMonica and he was a “Generals Apprentice”, a civilian servant tasked with drawing copies of maps, making lists, and preparing morning coffee for President Washington.

According to primary sources, many of these Generals Apprentices often complained of a wet, murky undergarment defect they would get in their clothing after working long unpaid hours.  In the late 1700s, this was known as “Foggy Bottom”.  Today, this aliment is now known as “swamp ass”.


Obstacles to the First Date – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 66)

We all know what an obstacle is.  According to good ol’ Merriam-Webster, an obstacle is, “something that impedes progress or achievement.”  Now, what if that “something” is you?

In dating, there are so many potential obstacles to that first date:

  1. Emailing someone online
  2. Talking on the phone (I actually never recommend this… article coming on the topic soon.)
  3. Text messaging before the date

Each of the obstacles listed above is a potential rejection point for your date to decide not to go out with you (and vice versa).  Now, I know I’m a former economist and all, but you don’t need to be a math whiz to know that by removing one of these potential rejection points, your chances of getting to the date are greater.

Let’s look at a few scenarios below:

Obstacles to the first date


At each point, the date is presumed to have messed up in some way, but there may be an explanation for all of it.  For Endless Emailer Eddie, perhaps he just doesn’t know how online dating works.  Give him the benefit of the doubt and (gasp!) even suggest meeting him.  For Chatty Cathy on the phone, perhaps she just gets nervous and talks too much, but as she gets to know you, she’ll calm down a bit and actually breathe between talking about her precious cockatoo and her trip to Iceland last year.  And for Texting Tommy, maybe he’s just excited to go out with a great catch like you.  It’s better than the alternative – not contacting you at all.  Simply saying, “I’m not really a huge texter,” should do the trick.

Do Eddie, Cathy, and Tommy hit a bit close to home?  Or maybe you’ve dismissed one of them in your dating days.  My advice?  Remove the obstacles to the first date.  You never know if you’ll have chemistry until you meet in person, so don’t get in your own way by setting up all of these rejection points.  A couple of emails back and forth should do the trick, and then get right to the date.  As a client just emailed me this morning, “What came across in emails was not there in person.  I guess that happens quite a bit and the more experience I get at this, the sooner I will try to get to a meeting so I don’t have to [spend] my time emailing.”  Obviously, this can go either way – better in person or worse – but you have to actually meet to find out.

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people stand out from the online dating crowd and have a rewarding experience. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.


GTJ Satirist Brian F. – ‘Creepy Guy on Subway’ Upgraded to ‘Guy I’m Interested In’ After He Backhandedly Reveals He’s Jewish

metNEW YORK, NY – (@The Comedy News) – Today on the morning rail commute, a tall, dark-haired guy sitting across from Anna Silverman began to stare at her for a good fifteen seconds.

Anna thought to herself, “he’s kinda cute, I give him a seven-point-five out of ten.  But… aww no, he’s still staring, now I give him a seven.  No, six.”  A moment later Anna’s inner monologue evaluated the guy again, “Four.  He’s a four.  Cute but a creeper.”  Anna sighed.

In an instant, the creepy guy stood up and walked towards Anna.

Oh no, please don’t talk to me, please don’t talk to me, please don’t talk to me,” Anna thought.

“Hi I’m Benji,” the creep began as he sat down next to Anna.

“Oh no!”  Anna screamed internally.

“I was just wondering,” continued Benji,  “Does this jacket smell like cabbage?”

“Eww, what?” Anna responded as she reached for her pepper spray.

“You see,” Bejji said.  “I bought this jacket last month when I was in Israel, and last Friday, I left it hanging at coat check at a Shul in Yonkers, and I’m convinced that the jacket smells like cabbage now.”

Anna put her pepper spray back in her purse.

“Were you on Birthright?”  Anna asked Benji as she began to re-evaluate him.  “Jewish, bold, self-conscious.  That’s kinda cute.  Six-point-five…”

Benji eagerly answered, “Yeah, most inspiring trip ever!  Have you been?”

“Yes! Twice last year!” Anna rejoiced.

“That’s hot, I’ve been meaning to go back to Israel all year, but I have been doing so much traveling to visit my brother who just became a Rabbi in Paris.”

“Oh my God, eight.  I’m interested!  Wait…NINE!” Anna made her final evaluation.

Benji and Anna exchanged contact information.  They will be expecting their first child at the end of February 2014.

Brian Fishbach is a comedian, writer, political satirist, former GTJ JGOTW, and musician specializing in social and political commentary.  You can read Brian’s weekly satire news articles at, and enjoy his late-night jokes at  Join The Comedy News’ Facebook page for updates.


B’nai B’rith International Opens Disaster Relief Fund to Aid Victims of Oklahoma Tornado

Severe Weather(Washington, D.C., May 21, 2013)—B’nai B’rith International has opened its Flood, Tornado and Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund in the wake of the devastating tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on May 20, killing at least 24, injuring many more and flattening much of the town.  The death toll is still expected to rise.

The funds raised will be used to help the victims of the tornado as they look to rebuild their town, which has been described by many as now resembling a war zone.

The tornado moved across a 20-mile stretch with winds of at least 200 mph. In the path of the deadly storm were a hospital and an elementary school, both of which were destroyed. Rescue workers labored throughout the night searching for survivors amongst the wreckage.

This is the third major tornado to devastate the area in the last 15 years.

“No amount of advanced warning could have prepared the people of Moore for the horrors this storm has brought.  We’re going to do our best to help these people get back on their feet,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said.  “B’nai B’rith has helped disaster victims since 1865.  Each disaster we help with has its own unique challenges.  As always, we will carefully evaluate needs and provide assistance to address immediate needs and longer term rebuilding efforts.”

The B’nai B’rith Flood, Tornado and Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund aided victims of Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012, as well as the victims of tornadoes in the South and Midwest. B’nai B’rith disaster relief funds have  also provided aid to victims of the famine in East Africa, the 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti; and provided humanitarian assistance to the Somali refugees fleeing violent conflict to Kenya.

“The images of Moore are absolutely gut-wrenching.  But as bleak as things look right now, we need to press on and help our fellow citizens rebuild their lives,” B’nai B’rith Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said.  “We will work with representatives of agencies and our members on the ground to provide assistance where it is needed in the wake of this tornado.”

To help, donate online at our secure website by clicking here.<>

You can also call 800-573-9057 to make a credit card contribution over the phone. Or, you can send a check payable to the B’nai B’rith Disaster Relief Fund to:

B’nai B’rith International
Flood, Tornado and Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund
2020 K Street NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20006

B’nai B’rith International, the Global Voice of the Jewish Community, is the oldest and most widely known Jewish humanitarian, human rights and advocacy organization. Since 1843—now in our 170th year—B’nai B’rith International has worked for Jewish unity, security, continuity and tolerance.  Visit


Arrested Development Season 4- THIS WEEKEND!

adIf you’re like me, you’ve been counting down the days until Arrested Development Season 4 finally hits Netflix.  AD has at times played with Jewish motifs (most notably, George Bluth Sr.’s conversion after seeing a shadow in the shape of a Star of David in solitary confinement).  In honor of AD’s new release 7 years in the making, here are a few of the Jews involved in the making of the show:

Mitchell Hurwitz – Writer and Producer (also a Georgetown alum!)
Jessica Walter – Lucille Bluth ( I don’t understand the question, I won’t respond to it.)
David Cross – Tobias Fünke (I blue myself!)
Jeffery Tambor – George Bluth Sr. (There’s always money in banana stand, knk knk.)
Bob Einstein – Larry Middleman, George Bluth Sr.’s surrogate
Jeff Garlin – Mort Meyers, the Tantamount Studios executive that believe Maeby to be older than she is
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Maggie Lizer, the “blind” and “pregnant” lawyer that Michael has a relationship with
James Lipton – Stefan Gentiles, the warden of the Orange County Prison (NO TOUCHING) where George Sr. is held
Henry Winkler – Barry Zuckerkorn, the Bluth’s incompetent lawyer
Seth Rogan – Young George Sr. in season 4!

Some of  these characters are a bit obscure if you’re not an AD fan, so here’s the AD wiki to help you study up in the time for the fourth season.  And here’s a supercut of the 18 Best Running Jokes (unless you’re…chicken).

Happy watching!


The Dog Days of Dating – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 65)

puppyThis past weekend, I planned to adopt a dog.  This was a huge step for me since, as a young girl, I was bitten by my neighbor’s dog (and still have a scar to prove it).  So, after reading and taking notes on “Dogs for Dummies” and spending several months petting dogs to get comfortable, I was ready to bite the bullet and invite a pet into my life.  I searched the list and fell in love with little Bashful’s pictures.  She was just so darn cute!  I read her bio, and she seemed to have everything I was looking for – the right age, the right size, and a nice coat of brown fur.

On Sunday morning, I went to the adoption event, pages of notes in hand so I would know what to buy at the puppy store once little Bashful was mine.  When I got there, she was just as cute as her photos… maybe even more so.  And she was sweet, walking right up to me and sitting in my lap.  What more could I want?

So, I was told to buy a collar while they got the paperwork ready.  I opted to sit with her for another few minutes instead, saying things like, “I’m going to be your puppy mommy.”  (Yes – I’m a total sap.)  As the forms were coming my way, and I was really starting to bond with my new friend, a supervisor came over to me and said (while Bashful was still in my lap, mind you), “So, we decided that we’re not going to let you adopt this dog.  She can only go to a home with other dogs.  And by the way, she can’t live in the city, either.”  Had any of that that been in her bio?  No.  Had they told me that before I started to get excited and bond with her?  No.  Would I have even chosen her had I known this was the case?  Of course not.  So I left, feeling sad that I was not getting the new best friend I wanted and deceived that something so important (a deal breaker, if you will) had not been stated upfront.

As I walked away, I thought to myself that the situation sounded oddly similar to online dating.  I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation where a profile says exactly what we want it to say.  We meet our date and everything seems to be going fine until…

BAM! – Your date tells you he doesn’t want children.

BAM! – She’s really just separated and not divorced… and still living with her ex!

BAM! – She has five kids but she only listed two.

BAM! – He said he’s not very religious and has no dietary restrictions, but when I ordered a pepperoni pizza, he almost disowned me.

In online dating, it’s so important that your deal breakers are out there front and center.  If you don’t want children, that’s fine!  Just make sure you check that box off in your profile.  If you’re extremely religious (or not at all), that’s ok, too!  Don’t underplay that simply to get more dates.  The last thing you want is for someone to go out with you only to be disappointed because you didn’t disclose something really important in your profile.  So don’t be bashful.  Be true to yourself.  You may go on fewer dates, but your dates will want you for the real you rather than for the person who is trying to appeal to everyone simply by not sharing the truth.

And this goes for searching, too.  As hard as it may be, try not to fall in love with someone’s pictures and profile (merely words on a page) before meeting in person.  I know I’ll keep that in mind when it comes to any future pets, too.  I want a dog who loves me for me – living in an apartment in downtown DC, having no other pets (besides Sir Quackers, my childhood stuffed duck), and just wanting to show him/her love and affection.

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people stand out from the online dating crowd and have a rewarding experience. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.

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