Blog

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Love and Money… In Sync or At Odds? GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 48)

As a dating coach, I get many questions about love and money.  Today, I’d like to tackle one of the biggest:

What if my partner spends money differently than I do?

Your approach to finances, if it differs from your partner’s, can put tremendous strain on a relationship.  So whatever your views are on spending money, it’s important that you and your partner are comfortable with the other’s approach.

Are you the type of person who would cut coupons all day to save a few dollars?  Does cable TV just seem so unnecessary when you can watch your favorite shows online a few days later?  Or maybe you order one fewer drink than you want when out with friends for dinner?

On the other hand, perhaps you’re the type of person who likes to take extravagant vacations every year and blow your whole December paycheck?  Is it imperative that you’re walking around with the latest iPhone and iPad?  Maybe you buy new clothes whenever you feel a little sad?

Neither of these methods is wrong, or even mutually exclusive.  But they are different, and that can cause tension in a relationship.

About six years ago, I dated someone for a year and a half who viewed money differently than I did.  He wasn’t Jewish, and I thought that might be the biggest obstacle in our relationship, but when it came down to it, it was our difference in spending habits that led to our demise.  I work hard, and I like to reward myself.  I’m not talking about Tiffany bracelets and Louis Vuitton bags, but small conveniences.  For example, we used to argue all the time over valet parking.  If it’s cold out, and there is no street parking available, I think it’s worth the $10 or $15 for the convenience of walking right into the restaurant.  He, on the other hand, would rather drive around for 20 minutes, make us late, and walk a mile to avoid the cost.  Again, neither belief is right or wrong; they are just different.  But making sure that you’re compatible with your partner’s approach to money can save you from an endless tug-of-war over what’s important and what isn’t.

When it comes down to it, how you decide to spend your hard-earned money is a very personal decision.  Just like your values on politics and religion, your values on money will likely play a large role in your relationship, so it’s best to address these issues before they become overwhelming.  Rather than letting a monetary issue fester, bring it up to your partner before you become resentful of the other’s spending habits.  (In fact, this is a healthy way to handle most large issues that arise in a relationship.)  Some things you’ll be able to compromise on and perhaps overlook, and some you won’t.  For your relationship to go the distance, though, it’s important that you and your partner are on board with the other’s approach to money… and you’re both willing invest yourselves completely!

Erika Ettin is, as the Washington Post has noted, a “modern day Cyrano.” She is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people with all aspects of online dating.  Check out her interview on NPR here. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.

This article was also posted in JMag, the online magazine for JDate.com.

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Jews and Presidential Elections

Every four years we American Jews are honor-bound to write countless articles dissecting the Jewish vote in U.S. Presidential Elections.  This vote is almost invariably given to the Democratic candidate at around 78 percent, but had it gone otherwise in any past election, somebody surely would have predicted it in a pithy 700 word article filled with inside jokes such as “Whoever says ‘two Jews three opinions’ surely hasn’t witnessed American elections.”

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Some of us at Gather the Jews are just obsessed with the potential miniscule movements of the Jewish vote, and, accordingly, we will join the chorus of Jewish American political commentators and election seers.  But we’ll do so with a local twist.  Each week (to the best of our ability) starting today and ending in November, we will write one Jewish political article that talks about 1) Local Jewish political activity or opportunities for involvement Jewishly, and 2) The broader Jewish vote question.

If you have any information you think should be included in #1, or if you want to write something for #2, please let me know at stephen@gatherthejews.com

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Local

Over 100 gathered for the RJC’s July happy hour at Current Sushi in Dupont.

Democrat — The Democratic National Committee (DNC) will host an “Obama Shabbat” this Friday.  Speakers include Sixth & I’s Rabbi Shira Stutman Obama Campaign’s National Jewish Outreach Director Ira ForemanClick here to see how you can attend.

RepublicanThe Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) hosted a happy hour at Current Sushi in late July that attracted over 100 attendants.  The RJC is now encouraging local Jewish Republicans to participate in its September 9 + 10 Jewish outreach campaign in PA, FL, and OH.

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American Jewish Voter:  A Democratic Bloc
Stephen Richer

(A variation of this article appeared in the August edition of Italy’s pagine ebraiche).

It’s often said that “American Jews earn like Episcopalians, and vote like Puerto Ricans.” (Milton Himmelfarb)  Translated to more concrete terms, Jews are the highest earning religious group in the United States – 47 percent of Reform Jewish households earn over $100,000 per year; second place goes to Hindus at 43 percent.  (Pew Forum On Religion & Public Life)  Statistically speaking, wealthier voters tend to favor the Republican Party.  In almost every national election since 1988, voters with family incomes over $100,000 have favored the Republican Party. (The New York Times, Paul Krugman)

This is not the case for American Jews.  Despite their high earnings, American Jews vote like Puerto Ricans; that is to say they consistently, and overwhelmingly, favor the Democrats – the party of the American left.  Dating back to every Presidential Election since at least 1928, more American Jews have voted for the Democratic candidate than the Republican:  78 percent of Jews voted for President Obama in 2008; 76 voted for John Kerry in 2004; and 79 percent voted for Al Gore (and his Jewish running mate, Joe Lieberman) in 2000.  The lowest that Jewish Democratic support has dropped in recent years was in 1980, when only 45 percent of Jews voted for Jimmy Carter in his reelection bid.  However, this still outstripped Jewish support for the Republican candidate – Ronald Reagan – who won 39 percent of the Jewish vote that year.  (See Jewish voting chart, Jewish Virtual Library)

So how do we explain the Jewish voter’s Democratic disposition?  We’ll go into this in more detail in future columns, but here are a few simple explanations:

  1. Fear of the religious right.  Jewish voters still have a visceral fear of Christian zealots and the religious right, and these Christians are typically found in the Republican Party.
  2. Civil Rights.  American Jews played an important role in the 1960s and 1970s Civil Rights movement, and the Democratic Party was widely seen as more hospitable to this movement. 
  3. Social liberalism.  Jews are one of the most—if not the most—socially liberal groups in the country.  According to a study conducted in 2000, 88 percent of Jews are pro-choice.  In May, 2012, The New York Jewish Week reported that 81 percent of Jews support gay marriage.
  4. Secularism.  American Jews are highly secular.  A 2003 Harris Poll found that only 16 percent of American Jews go to synagogue at least once a month; 42 percent go between one and 11 times a year; and 42 percent go less than once a year. Secular Americans tend to favor the Democratic Party. (Gallup)

Reasons for Jewish Democratic support can be disputed.  So too can the likelihood of future Democratic support.  But what cannot be challenged is the Jewish voter’s steadfast historical support of the Democratic Party.

Year Candidate % of Jewish Vote
1928
Hoover (R) 28
Smith (D) 72
1932
Hoover (R) 18
Roosevelt (D) 82
1936
Landon (R) 15
Roosevelt (D) 85
1940
Wilkie (R) 10
Roosevelt (D) 90
1944
Dewey (R) 10
Roosevelt (D) 90
1948
Dewey (R) 10
Truman (D) 75
Wallace   (Progressive) 15
1952
Eisenhower (R) 36
Stevenson (D) 64
1956
Eisenhower (R) 40
Stevenson (D) 60
1960
Nixon (R) 18
Kennedy (D) 82
1964
Goldwater (R) 10
Johnson (D) 90
1968
Nixon (R) 17
Humphrey (D) 81
Wallace (I) 2
1972
Nixon (R) 35
McGovern (D) 65
1976
Ford (R) 27
Carter (D) 71
McCarthy (I) 2
1980
Reagan (R) 39
Carter (D) 45
Anderson (I) 14
1984
Reagan (R) 31
Mondale (D) 67
1988
Bush (R) 35
Dukakis (D) 64
1992
Bush (R) 11
Clinton (D) 80
Perot (I) 9
1996
Dole (R) 16
Clinton (D) 78
Perot (I) 3
2000
Bush (R) 19
Gore (D) 79
Nader (G) 1
2004
Bush (R) 24
Kerry (D) 76
Nader (G) <1
2008
McCain (R) 22
Obama (D) 78

 

 

 

 

 

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“Buttermilk” Fried Chicken

I just returned from a road trip through the Deep South, where even the vegetables have pork in them.  You’ll probably see a few trip-inspired recipes over the next few months, but for this week, I wanted to do one that fit with the last few weeks of summer/picnic weather.  Traditional Southern fried chicken is soaked in buttermilk to keep the chicken juicy.  That’s obviously a non-starter kosher-wise.  To get the same effect — while keeping Kosher — I made my own buttermilk using soy milk and followed a recipe from “Country Living” magazine for the rest.  The chicken turned out moist on the inside and crispy on the outside, with not a taste of soy to be found!

Total time: 45 min. active, plus 2-12 hours unattended

Yield: 8 servings

Level: Moderate*

Ingredients

  • 2 cups minus 2 tbsp unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Combine vinegar and soy milk and let rest for 5-10 minutes, until it begins to look curdled.  Stir in Dijon mustard, 1 tsp salt, dry mustard, cayenne, and black pepper. Place chicken pieces in a gallon-size zip-top bag, and pour the buttermilk mixture over them.  Turn pieces to coat.  Seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. In a 13-inch by 9-inch by 2-inch pan, whisk together flour, baking powder, dry garlic, and ½ tsp salt. Add chicken pieces and turn to coat thickly. Let the chicken stand 10 minutes, turning occasionally to recoat with flour. Shake off excess flour before frying.
  3. Add ¾-1” oil to a 12” heavy-gauge, non non-stick skillet, fitted with a thermometer.  Heat over medium-high heat to 360 degrees.  Add the chicken and fry for about 10 minutes per side, turning with tongs.  Keep an eye on the thermometer and adjust to keep it 350-360 degrees.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack on a baking sheet and place in 150 degree oven or tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat the procedure for the remaining batches. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*The steps of this recipe are not too difficult for a cook with reasonable skills, but you do need some equipment not everyone has: 1) a thermometer; 2) a non-nonstick skillet or deep, wide pot; 3) a wire rack to drain the oil (paper towels alone won’t work); 4) a splatter shield (not strictly necessary, but speaking as someone prone to burns, it’s useful).

© Courtney Weiner.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

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Go to Israel for FREE this winter with the DC Community Birthright Trip!

Two American Jews on his back… The camel don’t care.  He don’t give…

Sara Weiner is the Melvin Cohen Young Leadership Associate at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

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This winter, travel to Israel FOR FREE with fellow Washingtonians on the DC Community Birthright Trip!

Am I eligible?

  • Age 22-26 at the time of application (If you’re under the age of 22, visit www.birthrightisrael.com to find the trip that’s right for you!)
  • Have not previously participated in a peer-orientated Israel trip
  • Local to or ties with the Greater Washington area

What are the perks?

  • Get on our VIP list for priority registration processing!
  • Greater chance of being accepted!
  • Enjoy exclusive pre-trip events!
  • Have direct access to your DC-based Birthright Israel staff!
  • Expand your local network!
  • Travel through Israel with Israeli peers during the ENTIRE trip!
  • Receive personalized follow-up upon your return!
  • The trip is FREE.

Important Dates:

There will be trips in late January and February. Exact dates will be confirmed in September. Registration for the trip opens…

  • Monday, September 10 at noon for returning applicants
  • Wednesday, September 12 at 10 AM for new applicants

How do I register?
To register, please visit www.israelwithisraelis.com  and choose the “DC Community trip.” From there, you will begin to prepare for an unforgettable experience.

Please know that the registration process can be very competitive and only remains open for about a week, so it’s very important to register on the opening date and pay your security deposit as soon as possible. Once Shorashim receives your application, they will move forward with processing it and scheduling an interview. Once this is complete, you will find out the dates of your trip and further details.

Have questions?
To find out more about the Taglit-Birthright Israel: DC Community Trip (sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington) and get on our pre-registration VIP list, contact me at 301-230-7266 or at sara.weiner@shalomdc.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday Stephen!

27 years ago on this fateful day, the world was changed forever…

Stephen, you have inspired this generation to further explore our culture, traditions, and community.  Although GTJ was never actually your full time job, you invested endless hours creating, building, and strengthening our community and this organization, which has touched thousands of lives!

Wherever you go, may you continue to inspire those around you by the speed at which you run through life (and Dupont Circle), your commitment for success, and your unparalleled interest to help others achieve their goals!

We will miss you in DC, and hope that you come back soon to visit.

Text, Email, and Call (me maybe)

Happy Birthday!

Love the DC Jews

 

Rishay, Call Me Maybe – ORIGINAL from Casey Girard on Vimeo.

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High Holidays 2012

This High Holidays page is a work in progress.  Please check back for updates.  If you have  suggestions on what we can add, how to make it clearer, or what additional information you need, please email info@gatherthejews.com

……

ROSH HASHANAH

Sunday, September 16

Monday Morning, September 17

Monday Evening, September 17

Tuesday, September 18

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YOM KIPPUR

Tuesday, September 25

Wednesday Morning, September 26

Wednesday Evening, September 26

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are you a PSP or a DO? GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 47)

Which one are you?If you know me at all, you know I’m a happy person.  Like, sunshine and rainbows happy.  Lollipops and daffodils happy.  Springtime and gumdrops happy.  And I’m an eternal optimist, truly believing that the glass is half full (maybe with a nice cabernet?) and that everything happens for a reason.  But sometimes, just sometimes, I know that I can’t have too high expectations of people or situations because I may inevitably be disappointed.

Jeremy taught me a lesson very early on in our relationship: It’s better to be a “PSP” than a “DO.”  What the heck does that mean?  A PSP is a “pleasantly surprised pessimist,” and a DO is a “disappointed optimist.”  My first date with Jeremy was on a Friday night.  (I generally don’t recommend weekend evenings for a first online date, but it was the only night we both had available that week.)  The next day, he e-mailed me to ask when I was free to go out again (yay!), and I suggested the following Tuesday.  In his response, he asked if he was getting demoted, going from a Friday to a Tuesday.  My response back was that it was actually a promotion – I was giving him two dates in one week!  He explained that he was hoping that was the case, but he’d kept his expectations low so as not to be disappointed.  The lesson: It doesn’t hurt to go into new situations with no expectations because things can only go up.  If you go in thinking that everything will be rosy, you’re setting yourself up to be let down.  As optimistic as I am about life, I know that it was an important lesson to learn.

This lesson carries over to many aspects of dating:

  • Signing up for JDate for the first time.  Remember, finding the love of your life takes time (and work), and Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  • Going on a first date.  While you always hope that each one may be your last first date, just go in looking for great conversation and some things in common.
  • Going to a social event.  It’s okay if your future spouse doesn’t sweep you off your feet at the event.  Just go to have a good time and meet some new people.
  • Going to a wedding.  I know they say weddings are a great place to meet people, and one of my best friends actually moved cross-country to be with a wonderful man she met at a wedding, but it rarely works out that way.  If you’re going to a wedding solo, just enjoy the event, stuff your face with hors d’oeuvres, and partake heavily in the open bar if you so choose (but remember that too much may scare away that cutie sitting across from you at the singles table).

I’m a firm believer in looking at the bright side of things.  But do so with caution: In new situations, I’d rather be a PSP than a DO.

Erika Ettin is, as the Washington Post has noted, a “modern day Cyrano.” She is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people with all aspects of online dating.  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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Click here to meet the Rabbis who connect with our Young Adult community…

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Jewish News of the Week — 8/8/12

The Raismans: Just another pair of involved Jewish parents?

Welcome to Sara Abis, who will be taking over Jewish News of the Week!

With the Olympics in full swing, it’s been an interesting week in the news, with everything ranging from inspirational to depressing to unbelievable.

  • In case you missed it, Aly Raisman won her second gold, and a bronze, during the last events of women’s gymnastics in this Olympics. (NBC Olympics… and pretty much all other major news outlets.) After winning, Raisman, who tumbled to the music of ‘Hava Nagila,’ does what the International Olympics Committee failed to do — honors the Munich 11. (Huffington Post)
  •  Israel’s Blind Golf Star (yes, you read that correctly, and apparently it’s a big deal) won the national championship in Canada. (Tablet)
  • Meanwhile, in the political world, people are examining Romney’s recent controversial statements, and comparing them with similar statements by other famous individuals in the past:  Romney and Einstein: Racists? (Tablet)
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Job Searching with Twitter?? — Ask Dan

Twitter isn’t just a place to tell the world about Michael Phelps in 140 characters or less.  It can also be a tool to help you find a job!

Follow these steps to improve your job searching with Twitter!

1.  Set Up a Twitter Profile.

  • Use your real name for a username (instead of BieberFever1988), so that employers can find you.
  • Your bio is limited to 160 characters. Include your city, the type of job you’re looking for, and key words that describe your strengths. Although you’re limited, avoid abbreviations.
  • Include a professional-looking photograph. It can be the same photo from your LinkedIn account. Remember the school photos you used to get? It should look like those – zoomed in, no friends in the pic, and no solo cups in your hand.

2.  Follow Others.

– You can search for other people and groups and follow them.  Once you click “Follow”, their posts (“tweets”) will display on your home page.

  • When you find a person or group that posts tweets you find helpful, go to their profile and see who they’re following. Follow people or groups in this list if they have something in common with you.
  • Follow people in your industry, or a new industry if you’re trying to transition.
  • Suggestions of people/groups to follow:

General:

  • @Tweetmyjobs and @Twitjobsearch – both help job seekers find and organize job-related tweets

Local:

  • @tmj_DC_EDU – education and teaching jobs in DC
  • @TMJ_DC_it – Software Development / IT jobs in DC.
  • @DCPRJobs – Public Relations jobs in DC
  • @MktgJobsDC – Marketing Jobs in DC
  • @WDC_Jobs – Jobs in the vicinity of DC
  • @IdealistJobsDC – Jobs in the vicinity of DC
  • @MyDCJobs – Jobs in the vicinity of DC

3.  Follow Companies.

  • Employers use Twitter too.  Search for companies that you’re interested in and follow them. You’ll can read current developments and learn about job openings.
  • A few suggestions for local companies to follow:
    • @CapitalOne – financial products and services
    • @SAICJobs – job openings at SAIC
    • @BoozAllen – management and technology consulting
    • @FannieMaeJobs – Job openings at Fannie Mae
    • @FreddieMac – Provides services related to home ownership
    • @DanaherU – Product development/management – seeks MBAs

4.  L is for Lists.

  • Create lists in Twitter to combine people and groups with a common theme. For example, you could make a list of companies with marketing positions that you’re interested in.
  • Next to the “Following” button (once you’re already following a person/group), click the icon that looks like a head and shoulders.
  • Click “Add or remove from lists…”, and you’ll be able to create a list and add them to it.

5.  Twitter Job Search. 

Tweet My Jobs is a helpful job search tool for two reasons:

a) Resume upload.  Sign up, upload your resume and it’ll be sent to employers that want to hire.

  • You can link to your Facebook account and get notified if your contacts work at companies you’re interested in.
  • Enter your job preferences (role, industry, company, location).  The less you enter, the more results you’ll get.
  • Enter the frequency of job alerts (instantly, daily, or weekly).
  • Select the job channels you want to follow on Twitter from the list provided.
  • Upload your resume, or build a new one using their template.
  • Once the resume is complete, you can “Tweet your resume” or “Post to Facebook”.

Job Search.  Search by job type and/or location.

  • The search results include Twitter channels to follow.
  • Click “follow” for ones that you’re interested in, and you’ll receive updates from the group on your Twitter home page.

TwitJobSearch is similar to Tweet My Jobs, except it doesn’t have a veteran-specific section, doesn’t let you upload a resume, and doesn’t let you search for jobs in a specific city in the U.S.

Dan Pick is a member of the DC Jewish Community.  He was an officer in US Navy after graduating from Penn State. Now, he’s a consultant saving the world one powerpoint at a time. He’s currently an MBA candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and recently created a blog with a classmate to help military veterans transition (Switch). Dan enjoys traveling, running, triathlons, playing guitar, and volunteering in the community. All at the same time.  Dan’s previous column “Hire Me Maybe — Resume Advice” has so far received over 1,500 views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GTJ Events… A new approach

For months, hundreds (average attendance: 250) of you have enjoyed (or not enjoyed, but you came anyway) the monthly (ish) Gather the Jews Happy Hours.  Perhaps we shouldn’t mess with a working formula, but we… Because we want to keep improving.  So here’s the new deal regarding GTJ events:

Happy Hour Months:

We will now host our GTJ Happy Hours on the second week (Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday) of every other month.  For each of these happy hours we will feature a local DC Jewish organization — doing our best to make you aware of the impressively wide array of Jewish activities that this city offers.  For the August GTJ Happy Hour (Tuesday, Aug. 14), we’ll present Sixth & I Synagogue — the organization that many call “The Heart of Jewish DC.”

Non-Happy Hour Months:

We won’t be hiding during the non-Happy Hour months.  Just mixing it up.  Right now we have two types of events on the docket for these months:

  1. Community service event.  We’ve done our best to listen to what you, the DC Jewish community, want and community service opportunities seem to be very high on the wish list.  Accordingly, starting September, we’ll do our best to provide once-every-two-months a big opportunity to serve the DC community (Jewish some months, gentile others).  We’ll likely partner with another Jewish organization to make this happen.  Suggestions?  Ideas?  Email Jodi (jodi@gatherthejews.com) and/or Sara (sara@gatherthejews.com)

 

  1. Young Adult Speaker Series.  Also in the works is a Thirst DC-style speaking series that will take place every two or four months.  Here’s the basic idea:  Four speakers from our young adult Jewish community will give 10 minute speeches about topics relating to Judaism that are both educational and fun.  I, for one, will strongly petition the chance to speak on “Harry Potter and Judaism,” and I’m sure I we’ll be able to get Jonathan Horowitz to talk about “Famous Jews in Sports.”  If you have any ideas for how to make this speaking series a success, please let me know (stephen@gatherthejews.com).

In the meantime, see you on Tuesday!!!

 

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Spots for the Fall 2012 NeXus, Filling Fast!

Andy Kirschner is an Associate in the Young Leadership Division at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

…………

“I just want to get involved.”  Working in Young Leadership at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, I get to hear those words from young Jews across Greater Washington pretty much every day.  Well Greater Washington, how do you want to get involved?  Where do you want to get involved?  Does the idea of supporting the Jewish community now and for the future inspire you?  Maybe NeXus is a good place for you to start this next chapter in your Jewish journey.

NeXus is an interactive program that will teach you about the work of The Jewish Federation, further develop your leadership skills and introduce you to other leaders in the DC Jewish community.  Through six sessions that run from September through November, you will explore what it means to be an influential Jewish young adult and find ways to make a true impact on the world through your involvement with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

Interested?  Visit www.shalomdc.org/nexus to learn more and register.  Spots are filling quickly and as of this post, the course was already half full.

Still unsure?  Here is what some alumni of the program recently wrote about their experiences:

Jodi Tirengel

The program gave me a great opportunity to learn from inspiring speakers-I loved it!

Liza Lewis

NeXus was a great way to get involved in the DC Jewish community and meet a lot of new people. I would definitely recommend it!

Danny Rubin

I was impressed with the variety of topics we covered. By the end, I felt like I had a solid understanding of the Federation and its impact in DC. I also think the program is really well organized. All in all, time well spent!

Ariella Brodecki

[It’s a] great way to meet people, get involved in the DC Jewish community and learn about Federation! NeXus opened lots of doors both networking and activity-wise – if you have the opportunity to be a part of NeXus, take advantage of it!

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Rabbi Maroof

Name: Rabbi Joshua Maroof
 
What people call you: Rabbi Maroof
 
Congregation: Magen David Sephardic Congregation
 
Location: 11215 Woodglen Dr. Rockville, MD
 
Denomination: Sephardic (Member of the Orthodox Union)

Ordained from: Rabbi Yisroel Chait, Yeshiva Bnei Torah

Programs/Services you run/offer:  Shiurim/Classes, Daily/Shabbat/Holiday services, Shabbat dinners, hospitality, YAD-MD that provides a wide range of exciting activities and events for young professionals

Speciality within Judaism: Sephardic/Middle Eastern Liturgy and Music, maintaining tradition while embracing and accepting everyone for who he or she is without being judgmental or pushy

One DC Jewish event that you highly recommend: Anything sponsored by our synagogue or YAD-MD

Hobbies: I play the violin, write short stories and poetry, and enjoy singing

Fun fact about you: I know how to read and speak Hindi, and I am a certified expert in Classical Music, Rap and Hip Hop

Contact information: rjmaroof@yahoo.com, rjmaroof on Youtube, Joshua Maroof on Facebook, @rabbimaroof on Twitter, 301-770-6818 at the synagogue

Anything else: One of the most rewarding elements of my work in this community has been the opportunity to build very close relationships with so many of the young professionals in the area. I find myself chatting online with them late at night and during the wee hours of the morning, exchanging text messages and Facebook posts with them, and cultivating connections that are genuine friendships with them, not just professional interactions. I am accessible to them, one way or another, 24/7. To me, being a rabbi is not an ordinary job. It is a passion. You must experience a deep love for all of the members of your congregation and do everything you do from the heart, with sincerity and as an empathic and sensitive human being, not as a detached “professional”. I think that this manifests itself in the way I lead and relate to my community and particularly in my involvement with the young professionals.

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This Restaurant Week, Jews Wash Their Hands of Unsanitary Treatment of Workers

This woman needs a sick day!

Call us crazy, but we’re going to Restaurant Week 2012 to do something other than eat. We care about fair working environments and sanitary restaurant conditions, and we want everybody to know.

Starting on Monday, throughout Restaurant Week, members of Jews United for Justice, the Restaurant Opportunities Center, and the DC Employment Justice Center will mobilize to educate consumers about how the lack of paid sick days for restaurant workers is forcing waiters and cooks to work while sick, compromising the health of all of us. The campaign is called DC Paid Sick Days for All, and it strives to achieve both justice for workers and more sanitary conditions for consumers, with one fair and simple reform.

For those of us who care about the sustainability and healthiness of our food systems, it’s not enough to think about how animals are raised or how far our food traveled. Equally important is the question of how the people who cook and serve our food are treated.

Although the DC Council passed a law in 2008 that guarantees all workers in the District up to seven days of paid sick days, a last-minute amendment was made to the law, excluding all tipped restaurant workers from earning this benefit. Meanwhile, the minimum wage for tipped workers is just a couple bucks per hour, offering very little stability in the average worker’s paychecks.

A survey conducted in 2010 by the Restaurant Opportunities Center reported that over 80% of all restaurant workers in the city do not get paid sick days, and because they often have to choose between their health and their pay, 59% of restaurant workers across the city have cooked, prepared or served food while sick. According to ROC’s survey, even workers who are supposed to be covered under the current law still are not able to earn paid leave, either because they don’t know about the law or their employer simply does not comply.

Woong Chang, a local bartender, recalls serving drinks to customers while sick with the swine flu. “It was by far the sickest I had ever been in my entire life,” he says. After taking unpaid time off to recover, he returned to work, only to discover that he had lost his job.

The goal of the Paid Sick Days for All campaign is to ensure that all workers in DC are afforded access to paid sick days. Workers who lack paid sick days risk losing their wages or even their jobs if they stay home to take care of themselves or their families.

Nikki Lewis, Coordinator of the DC Restaurant Opportunities Center and a long-time restaurant worker and DC resident, says that “not only are earned paid sick days reasonable and possible, they’re necessary for the continued growth and sustainability of a healthy DC workforce and economy.”

Organizers are now gearing up to deliver flowers and get-well cards to restaurant workers across the city as a token of appreciation and sign of concern for the people who cook and serve their meals. On August 15th, organizers from JUFJ, ROC, and EJC will be stationed in Dupont Circle, U St., and Chinatown to let other customers know that as they go to enjoy their Restaurant Week deals, there is a good chance that their waiter could be sick, all because they couldn’t afford to take the day off and get better.

This is the first in a series of actions that will educate consumers, workers, and employers about the deficiencies in the 2008 law and encourage restaurant owners to implement their own sick leave policies, for the sake of their workers and the health of their customers.

So join us at Restaurant Week (for details, see the event’s Facebook page) or email organizer Monica Kamen at monica@jufj.org to demand better for the people who make and serve us food. Because sometimes leaving a good tip isn’t quite enough.

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Rosh Hashanah Event for Jewish US Troops in Afghanistan

The Chesed Project is hosting an event to donate food items and make holiday cards for US troops stationed in Afghanistan over Rosh Hashanah.  We did a similar event this past Chanukah and it was so successful, so for our final event, we wanted to support the troops again!

We are asking you to bring something from the following list of donations (cash is also welcome and checks can be made to Kosher Troops — donations are tax deductible):

  • Healthy snacks with a reliable hechsher (granola bars, trail mix, dried fruit).
  • Instant coffee or tea with a reliable hechsher.  These guys are adults and appreciate more adult creature comforts (although no alcohol is allowed).
  • Rosh Hashana related candy (not sure if this exists, but it if does, how excited will our Jewish servicemen/women be?!)
  • Construction paper, markers/crayons, scissors, glue, glitter — things to make some decorations and also cards for the soldiers. We’ll have some, but if you have extra supplies you’d like to donate, they are welcomed.

The event will be THIS SUNDAY, August 12, from 2-5pm, in the basement party room at 2000 N St NW (The Flats).

This will also be Samantha’s last Chesed Project event, before going to Israel, so we hope you’ll be there to help make it successful. Contact Samantha with any questions at daydreambeliever82 at gmail dot com.

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To learn more about Chesed Project, see these past GTJ posts:

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