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Masa Israel Featured Internship: Digital Media Internship, Kahena Digital Marketing

Kahena is looking for people with a background in marketing. The intern will be exposed to what goes into building a marketing strategy by participating in company discussions, meetings, idea sessions and more. The intern will receive full training in SEO-related tasks, involvement in Kahena’s social media campaigns and the opportunity to develop a personal marketing portfolio.

Kahena Digital Marketing is a young, innovative, full-service digital marketing agency. Kahena specializes in SEO, paid search marketing, web analytics, reputation management and social media. Located in the JVP Media Quarter, the hub of the Jerusalem hi-tech startup scene, Kahena prides itself on being an integral part of Jerusalem’s web community, and also has close partnerships with companies in Tel Aviv, London, New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. http://www.interninisrael.org/digital-media-internship-kahena/

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Don’t Judge Yourself: Let Others Do It For You – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 70)

gavelI’m a lawyer.  It’s true.  But I promise I’m not the typical one!

I guess you’ve noticed that I’m a vegetarian, but don’t worry – I won’t get upset if you order a steak in front of me.

Even though I have to get up early for work (at 5:15 AM), I swear that doesn’t mean I can’t stay up past 10 PM.

How many times have you seen lines like this in someone else’s profile?  Perhaps you even have one like this in yours.  The common theme here is that the author is compensating for (and judging) something in his or her own life that is assumed to be a turn-off.  Seemingly innocuous lines like these can actually be very off-putting for someone reading your profile because underlying the “but,” “don’t worry,” and “I swear” is a thinly veiled sense of insecurity.

Let’s take the first line, for example.  For context, let’s say that there is, in fact, a stigma towards someone who has an “Esq.” following his or her name.  (As a side note, this article is no commentary on how I feel about lawyers.  In fact, my dad’s a lawyer, and he’s the best dad around!)  In this example, the person writing this profile, let’s call her Shelby, assumes that her occupation could be a deal-breaker for her online dating soul mate and immediately tries to compensate for that fact.  But what she’s actually doing is buying into the (mostly untrue) stereotype that people dislike lawyers.  Shelby thinks that the second someone reads her profile, he will dismiss her because of this one thing.  But rather than being turned off by the fact that she’s a lawyer (and an impressive one at that!), many people will instead be turned off by the fact that she presumes to already know how they feel about it!

In addition, Shelby is calling more attention to something that may not play a large role, or any role, in someone’s decision-making process.  By saying, “I’m not a typical one,” she has not only called attention to her job, but she has also made it the focus of her profile.  Is that her sole defining factor?  She’s essentially saying, “My job defines me, but please don’t hold this against me!”

As most of us know, online dating can be pretty daunting, and writing the profile is perhaps the scariest part.  There’s so much uncertainty, and people are often very uncomfortable with uncertainty.

What if people assume I have no life outside of work?  What if they think I will always argue until they agree with me?  What if they decide I’m a total dork because I go to a weekly law discussion group called the “Legal Eagles,” and we all wear shirts with the scales of justice on them?  (Ok, maybe that one’s warranted.)

So, Shelby would prefer to assume that we already have these preconceived notions about lawyers rather than leave it up to chance that someone may not care or, and perhaps more likely, absolutely love the fact that she’s a successful lawyer!  What they won’t love is that she’s downplaying it.  So don’t judge yourself.  Own it, be confident, and then move on.

I’m a lawyer.

I’m a vegetarian.

I wake up at an ungodly hour every morning.

How did your potential future J-Mates react?  Who cares?  Don’t assume they feel a certain way.  All you did was state the truth.  Leave the rest up to the powers that be.

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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Hezbollah, The EU & You

2_1On Monday morning, the United States awoke to the announcement that after decades of gruesome bombings and terror attacks worldwide, the European Union has voted to designate the “military branch” of Hezbollah a terrorist organization. This unanimous decision was voted on by foreign ministers representing the 28 EU member states and should hinder Hezbollah operations across Europe. Although the distinction between Hezbollah’s “political” and “military” wings is tenuous and should be dismissed, this designation must be viewed as a success for those who work to combat anti-Semitism and promote peace across the globe. As such, the American Jewish community should welcome the announcement.

For those of us as the American Jewish Committee (AJC), this designation came none too soon. Over the past several decades, Hezbollah has singled out Jewish institutions and communities worldwide while orchestrating their attacks. Last July, Hezbollah carried out a bloody terrorist attack on a bus in Burgas, Bulgaria in which five Israeli tourists and the Bulgarian bus driver were killed.  Hezbollah was responsible for the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in 1992 and the AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) Building in 1994. These attacks, which both took place in Buenos Aires, together killed 114 civilians and injured numerous more. Furthermore, in 2006, Israel found itself under siege as Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets and missiles into the northern region of the country. Designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization serves to protect the state of Israel and the Jewish people worldwide.

For the past several years, AJC leaders across the globe have been working tirelessly towards this designation. We’ve engaged in direct diplomacy with senior officials of EU member states. We’ve published op-eds in major media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and El Pais. We’ve expressed the urgency of this initiative on the CBS radio network. And here in D.C., leaders of ACCESS, AJC’s young professionals’ arm, have participated in the diplomatic engagement that makes moments like this possible. From group meetings with leaders of European countries to substantive one-on-one conversations at our annual ACCESS SummitACCESS DC leaders contributed to the diplomatic advocacy that ultimately played a significant role in the European Union designating Hezbollah’s “military branch” a terrorist organization. As Nelson France, vice chair of ACCESS DC, remarked: “as an ACCESS leader, I have had the privilege of being in private meetings with several EU Ambassadors and Diplomats here in DC, and I can tell you, they are all familiar with AJC’s work on this issue.” This is global Jewish advocacy in action.

We encourage you to join ACCESS DC and become a part of the forefront of global Jewish advocacy. To learn more about AJC, please click here.

Alyssa Bogdanow serves as the Goldman Bridge Fellow for the Washington Regional Office of the American Jewish Committee (AJC). In this capacity, she works primarily with ACCESS DC, AJC’s young professionals’ initiative in the Greater Washington area.

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Program Coordinator, Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) – Provided by Tikkun Olam Tel Aviv-Jaffa

As the Program Coordinator at SACH, you will be given the opportunity to work directly with children and parents seeking medical care in Israel.  In addition, you will work with the administrative staff in the areas of fund-raising and public relations.

Save a Child’s Heart is an Israeli-based international humanitarian project, whose mission is to improve the quality of pediatric care for children from developing countries. SACH achieves this work by bringing children with life-threatening heart diseases from the developing world to undergo heart surgery in Israel, while also training doctors from those countries to perform such surgeries. http://www.interninisrael.org/program-coordinator-save-childs-heart-sach/

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GTJ Satirist Brian F. – Girl Singing Really Well at Services Just Showing Off

annoying singer liza minelli loud singerAUSTIN, TX – (@The Comedy News) – At around 7:45 PM this past Friday night, congregants sitting in the center pews of Congregation Beth Ra’ash noticed a distracting noise during the opening prayers: the awkwardly loud and polished singing voice of Jill Pearson trumping the mood.

“I knew it was Jill Pearson,” a congregant Jonathan Weinfeurter griped. “Every time I go to services, no matter where I am in the sanctuary, I can hear her staccato voice polluting the air.”

Other congregants note that Jill often chides the service leaders’ performance behind their backs following services. And in addition to looking around mid-song to see if anyone is marveling at her over-produced audible chanting from the pews, Jill also tweets her vocal pride:

“@DayenuDiva613: Adam Levine may got moves like Jagger, but I got a voice like Hachem.”

No congregant could confirm what Jill’s musical training has been—likely due to no decent soul being capable of tolerating her blatant narcissism.

However, a quick Google-search has shown that Jill has been classically trained singer since age 4, has auditioned for season 2 of The Voice, studied at the Julliard School in New York, and even sung the Star Spangled Banner at a Dallas Cowboys football game.

Still, after all of those accolades, Jill still can’t resist the urge to show off her self-proclaimed “voice that flows like wine”, even during modest opportunities such as Shabbat.

It was also reported that the only time during the entire service that Jill’s melodic caterwauling was not heard was during the reciting of the Shemah. It was later revealed that at that time, Jill Instagramming a selfie with her free hand over her eyes, one winking.

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 www.TheComedyNews.com, and enjoy his late-night jokes at www.BrianFishbach.com.  Join The Comedy News’ Facebook page for updates.

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Mr. Yogato Owner and Former JGOTW, Steve Davis, Opens a Bar!

IMG_3965Steve Davis, owner of Mr. Yogato and former JGOTW, is opening a new lunch-spot and bar- Thomas Foolery.  We asked Steve a few questions about Thomas Foolery, but to learn about all the quirks (think Mr. Yogato, but instead of yogurt there’s adult drinks!) read the Washington City Paper article, “12 Craziest Things About Thomas Foolery, Opening Wednesday.”  Or follow Thomas Foolery on Facebook and check it out for yourself on July 17th!

Rachel: We heard Thomas Foolery features Mario Kart and an Etch-a-sketch wall.  What else can customers expect?
Steve: There is a cool “Throne” seat in the corner…whoever sits there has to wear a crown but also has direct Walkie Talkie access to the bar and to Table 4 (random table).  I also love the “Plinko your Smirnoff Ice price game”…there is no set price for Ice and whatever number the Plinko disc falls under is the price you pay.

Rachel: Where did you get the idea for so much coolness in one bar?
Steve: Not sure “coolness” is the right word…but thanks!

Rachel: Was the bar named with anyone in particular in mind?
Steve: It was either that, “Up Up Down Down Left Right,” or “Call Me Maybe.”  Easy decision.

Rachel: Any shout outs?
Steve: Our food truck vendors are awesome…Patrick from the Big Cheese and Kirk from Captain Cookie are providing most of the food.  Thus, we will be a lunch/dinner/late-night spot…and it just so happens that their products classify appropriately as “Little Kid food!”

CHECK OUT SUPER COOL PICTURES! (Photo credit to Washington City Paper)

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The soft launch!

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The Shomer Chronicles: Talking Honestly About Shomer Negiah

hands451This article originally appeared on Jewcy.  You can check out The Shomer Chronicles here.

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If I could choose my job title, I would be a Professional Conversation Starter. I want to start awkward conversations with Jews who are looking for an outlet to speak. I want to discuss the scary and judgment-filled topics that drive individuals in Jewish communities to silence. I want to talk … I want to talk about shomer negiah.

Shomer negiah literally means “guarding one’s touch.” It refers to the practice of refraining from physical contact with members of the opposite sex outside of marriage. It’s a choice reflecting the decision to reserve the intimacy of physical touch solely to be experienced with one’s spouse. The practice manifests itself in an incredible variety of ways for different people. Some individuals who define themselves as shomer negiah struggle with whether to shake the hand of an opposite-gendered professor or whether to give a friendly hug to an acquaintance at a party; others struggle with drawing the line between kissing and more intimate acts.

I have watched my fellow Jews navigate the delicate field of negiah observance throughout my life, but my interest in this institution and Jewish sexuality in general really started in college. I grew up attending Orthodox day schools, where the extent of my sex education was a single class in sixth grade during which a teacher told me that getting my period was my body’s way of practicing for childbirth. As a senior in high school, we girls were pulled aside for a week of classes about the laws of nidah while the boys had study hall. I entered Brandeis University a prototypical clueless, sheltered Jewish girl.

I applied to join an organization that provided counseling and educational programming about sexual health and sexuality. I was accepted and received a 70-hour crash course each fall on every aspect of sexuality, from birth control options to sex toys. The field quickly became my passion.

I taught educational programs to campus groups and first-year halls and held one-on-one counseling sessions in the office. My sophomore year, members of the Orthodox community began discussing relationships and sexuality with me when they learned that I’d grown up in an Orthodox community. I began holding workshops specifically geared toward Orthodox girls and answering their questions. These conversations and my workshops led me to realize that Orthodox girls wanted a venue where they could discuss negiah and how it impacts relationships, intimacy, and sexuality. Like me, they did not grow up with an outlet to discuss these topics in a safe, non-judgmental setting and clearly it was something they wanted to discuss.

Shomer negiah poses challenges for both women and men. Individuals interpret its exact boundaries differently, which can lead to judgment between friends about the legitimacy of others’ practices and choices. A friend once explained to me that she and her friend both wanted to discuss a change in how they practiced being shomer negiah, but neither one brought it up for fear that the other would judge them.

Inevitably, people’s shomer negiah statuses—the particular way they choose to practice, including how strict they are and from whom they permit touch—become known within their community. This means that, in addition to thinking about the personal implications of the practice, individuals must be prepared to respond to others’ assumptions about their level of general observance based on their shomer negiah status. A person can find his or herself judged for being “too” shomer, not shomer enough, or for making exceptions that are not to the judging party’s taste. Furthermore, members of an Orthodox community frequently keep tabs on one another’s shomer status as an important factor in choosing whom to date. Dating somebody who feels differently about the observance of negiah within a relationship can create questions and complications for otherwise-compatible couples.

All of these phenomena are evident just from sitting on the kosher side of Brandeis University’s dining hall. Upperclassmen scrutinize freshmen to ascertain their shomer negiah status. Opposite-sex friends give each other “shomer hugs” (a hugging motion that stops just short of contact). A table discusses whether the couple two tables over is “shomer” behind closed doors—the Orthodox equivalent, in some ways, of questioning whether a new couple is having sex, except that the judgment that accompanies it impacts a person’s social and religious status in the community.

The combination of my experiences as a student and a sex educator made me want to learn more. I floated the idea to friends of starting to collect people’s stories. I asked people who were shomer negiah if they thought it was a good idea, if they thought people would contribute, and if they thought it would be a helpful outlet to discuss these sensitive issues. The answer was a resounding yes.

So, I started The Shomer Chronicles. People either email stories to theshomerchronicles@gmail.com or submit them through an anonymous form on theshomerchronicles.com. I then post the stories on the website’s blog. I want to give people an outlet to speak to an audience that understands them. A contributing storyteller (who gave me permission to use her information), Jessica Kasmer-Jacobs, a master’s student in English Literature at NYU, explained the premise best when she said, “There has never before been an outlet where the readership understands the issues without having to preface the piece with, ‘Well, in Judaism we do this weird thing where we don’t touch each other until we’re married.’”

The stories have come from both girls and guys with ages ranging from 18 to 30. My biggest fear is that people will interpret my posting stories about people’s struggles as an effort to unilaterally discourage or bash the institution of shomer negiah. A friend, for example, asked me whether the site would be just a bunch of angry girls posting about how terrible shomer negiah is. That is not my goal. My goal is to give people an outlet to discuss their emotions openly and without judgment. I will not downplay people’s experiences or censor their stories to preserve a certain image of shomer negiah, or go out of my way to highlight negativity.

The stories illustrate the vulnerability and questions that come with being shomer negiah. One storyteller discussed the difficulty of explaining her decision to become shomer negiah, to her friends. “Almost instantly,” she wrote, “I noticed a change in our friendship—I was perceived as the naïve and innocent one. It was spread around, naturally, and while I was usually comfortable discussing it, I noticed that people began trying to talk me out of celibacy.”

Another wrote about the struggle to reconcile her beliefs with her desire for intimacy. She writes, “I lace my fingers through [your hair] until I reach the yarmulke at the top of your head and feel its threaded, circular edges. You wear it, like the others do, as a reminder of your duty to God. … Sinners, they call us? What kind of covenant am I breaking in loving a man of God?”

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GTJ Satirist Brian F. – Wedding Guests Can’t Agree on What Estimated Cost of Wedding Is

planning-your-weddingSANIBEL ISLAND, FLORIDA – (FACEBOOK The Comedy News)  Wedding guests at the nuptial ceremony of Joseph and Penny Goldmann were deadlocked last Saturday on estimating how much the entire production cost.

In a setting featuring rare flowers flown in from Guam, a 10-piece band featuring a Frank Sinatra impersonator, an open bar, and even souvenir folding chairs for each of the 300 friends and family in attendance, everyone seemed to be celebrating the occasion.  And as the frills kept coming throughout the night, guests could not help but estimate quietly amongst each other just how much their good friends had spent on celebrating the occasion.

“Look at this New York strip steak,” said Dylan Siebelson, a former roommate of the groom, as he fisted a shitake mushroom into his already-chewing mouth.  “This has got to be $80 a plate!  I say $105,000, tops!”

A pair of distant cousins of the bride offered their input.

“We always thought Penny was stingy, no offense, but she always has been,” Sara the cousin offered.  “Dinner was okay, and they only offered two choices for vegetarians.  I say $10,000, maybe $15 but that’s pushing it.”

The close family and friends began to dance to “Havah Nagila”, while the debate moved over to the whiskey-tasting bar, where the debating guests befriended Joe’s boss from work, Edward McCarty.

“Believe me, I’ve been to a lot of these weddings.  Tonight, there’s plenty of food, plenty of liquor, no herky-jerky DJ playing soft rock and hip hop— a real band.  This wedding costs $78,000,” McCarty estimated.

As the gaggle of debating guests continued to deduce a total cost by scrutinizing each and every detail of the wedding, the bride’s brother, George—visibly inebriated—approached the group.

“Hey, hey, hey my love buds!”  George blurted, hugging the debating guests.  “Guess who just got to base number deuce with one of the wedding planner’s assistants just now!”

The debate came to a halt.  McCarty then wrapped his arm around George’s shoulder.

“George my man, I will buy you a whiskey drink of your choice if you can ask that wedding planner’s assistant what the whole cost of the wedding is.”

Still trashed, George turned around and sauntered to the wedding planner.  Upon returning, George reported back to the cost-estimators, “the cake should be out in about 10 minutes.”

At that point, the four debating guests looked at each other, grabbed their souvenir chairs, and got on the shuttle bus back to the Hotel where the four of them proceeded to have a 30-minute makeout session.

The cost of the wedding remains a mystery to this day.

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Every Bad Date is a Good Story – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 69)

ushiWhen online dating, some dates are less, well, desirable than others.  We all know the importance of being accurate in your photos and presenting yourself well, but sometimes these bad dates can’t be helped.  At least you can regale your friends with your stories later!  As for me, I would say that my best worst date/good story combo is below:

Déjà vu

I was what you’d call an early adopter of online dating.  I started doing JDate in college when I was home in Cherry Hill, NJ for the summer, well before it was free of the stigmas associated with it.  I remember my parents being terrified.  “What?  Who are you going out with?  From a website?  Is that safe?”  (Years later, by the way, my parents begged me to let them pay for me to be on JDate.  It’s amazing what a few years can do.)  Anyway, in that first venture into the murky waters of online dating, I met Gary.  We went out for sushi.  (I didn’t know at the time that dinner was a terrible idea for a first online date.)  He seemed nice enough, albeit totally nerdy.  Now, I’m a nerd in my own right (Boy, do I love a good spreadsheet and a rousing game of Scrabble!), but he had a huge cell phone on his belt buckle well before cell phones were universally used.  And to this day, no one should wear one on his pants.  Ever.  That said, the conversation was fine.  He ate one sushi roll.  What man only eats only one sushi roll!?  Now, I know I’m petite, but I can eat at least two or three rolls!  And so, that was the first, and I thought last, date with Gary.

Fast forward six years.  I lived in DC, was working at Fannie Mae at the time (my former career), and was going to business school at night, so there wasn’t much time for going out and meeting people.  Once again, I decided to join JDate for the 6.37th time, and I wrote to a guy who seemed nice.  He wrote back, and we started having a great, witty conversation.  He noticed that I loved musical theater.  Did I even say that in my profile?  He seemed attentive and interested in the fact that I used to live in Cherry Hill.  So, we decided to meet.

Given that I was in school at night, the only night I had free was Saturday.  Strike one for me.  Then, he asked me out for dinner, sushi nonetheless.  Strike two for me.  We met at the Metro, and he seemed nice enough, albeit totally nerdy.  He had a bomber jacket on that definitely went out of style somewhere in the late ’80s.  But I could look past that.  We got to the restaurant, and just as we were about to sit down, he looked at me and said, “I have something I have to tell you.”  You just met me – what could you possibly have to tell me!?  He continued, “I think we went on a date six years ago.”  Things went downhill from there.  Not only did he recognize me from my pictures, but he didn’t tell me because he knew I didn’t like him the first time around!  He had traded the cell phone for the jacket, but everything else was the same, down to the sushi.  And how did he know I loved musical theater?  Because he remembered from the first date that I did community theater with his cousin.  He had even e-mailed her to confirm that it was me!  This time, you know what I did?  I ordered three sushi rolls!  That’ll stick it to him!  I’m eating all the spicy crunchy tuna I want!  By 8:30, I was done.  I got in a cab, told the driver the whole story, and was in my jammies by 9.

So next time you’re on that bad date, remember that you might be telling the story for years to come.

Feel free to share your worst date/best stories in the comments for the rest of GTJ-land.

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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Masa Israel Featured Internship: Graphic Design Intern, NU Campaign – Provided by Real Life Israel

NU campaign is looking for an intern with a background in graphic design and art. The intern will be exposed to the industry by participating and contributing to the company’s projects. This intern is given a lot of responsibility and experience in the field of marketing and will have the opportunity to be a part of an important and meaningful cause.

NU Campaign, located in Jerusalem, aims to create a global community of ambassadors for important charitable causes through unique designer t-shirts. On the inside of every NU t-shirt, a unique message about the cause is printed close to the wearers heart, so that you literally carry the story close to your heart and represent it to the world every time you wear the shirt. http://www.interninisrael.org/graphic-design-intern-nu-campaign/

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Why do we mourn on Tisha B’Av?

destruction_temp_2_galleryA beloved father and husband embarked on a long journey overseas.  The ship upon which he traveled was reported lost at sea. The vessel was presumed sunken, and all of its passengers dead.  The man’s family was shattered.  His friends were shocked, but with the passing of time their memory of him grew dimmer and dimmer.  His family though refused to be consoled and never stopped grieving. After some time, seemingly out of nowhere, the man returned home alive and well.  All of his friends were delighted and wished him well.  His family though, was ecstatic and celebrated jubilantly.  The home that for so long was filled with bitter mourning was now filled with overwhelming joy.

We Jews are in the midst of a period of morning.  Each year three weeks of the Jewish calendar, beginning with the 17th   of the month of Tamuz and culminating with the 9th of the month of Av, are designated as a time to reflect and to actively grieve over the destruction and loss of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem because during these days Jerusalem was sieged and the temple was burned to the ground.  Many of the mourning practices are similar to those of a person who has recently lost a loved one.  We don’t make weddings or listen to music.  Many don’t shave, take haircuts, or buy new clothing.  On the last of these days, Tisha B’ Av, Jews around the world will fast, sit on the floor, and cry.

Why all the tears?  What do events that happened thousands of years ago have to do with me?

The Beit HaMikdash, Holy Temple, was a remarkable edifice.  Architecturally it was one of the wonders of the world.  What we lost though, was much more than a building.  The Beit HaMikdash was the place where God’s presence rested amongst our people.  With the destruction of that special resting place within his people, God’s presence, in a way, was removed.  Our relationship with God became more of a long distance relationship than the close intimate one we once enjoyed.  God is still actively involved in every aspect of our lives, but some of the benefits of closeness have faded away.  What God’s presence afforded us, as much as anything else, was quality of clarity in life.  Think about any trial, tribulation, challenge, or difficulty we may encounter in our lives.  What is most troubling about that challenge?  Is it the difficulty itself?  Is it the pain we that we experience?  If we honestly reflect we may realize that what really challenges us is that we simply don’t understand why we are being challenged with the trial at hand.  We lack the clarity to see the whole picture.  God’s presence would illuminate our lives and allow us to see and understand.

This is why we cry.  For thousands of years we have sat in exile.  Not simply expelled from a land or evicted from a precious place but love sick for an intimate relationship with our creator that has very much slipped away.  A relationship we once knew that once allowed us the vision needed to properly navigate the obstacles of life.

Our sages tell us that in a future time, Tisha b’ Av, the saddest day of the year will turn to a joyous festival.  Like the family who refused to forget their beloved father, always pained by his absence, may all of our people be filled with joy and celebration when God’s holy presence returns its proper place amongst us, his children.  Speedily in our times.

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The Chosen Online Daters: JewDate – The Web Series

Noah, the protagonist of the JewDate - The Web Series

Noah, the protagonist of the JewDate – The Web Series

We’ve all been there- or at least contemplated it.  Online dating.  Jewish online dating.  Who doesn’t know at least one couple that met through OK Cupid or Jdate?  In the past few years, online dating has gone from being taboo to socially acceptable, even encouraged.  But online dating doesn’t come easy, there are mismatches and awkward moments galore (or so I’m told…).  It was only a matter of time before a truly awesome web series was created about the Jewish online experience.

JewDate, a new web series, chronicles the highs and lows ( a lot of lows) of Jewish online dating as it follows, “A young man’s perilous quest to find his soul-mate through online dating.”  Signed up for “JewDate” by his best friend to help him get over a girl who has friend-zoned him, NJB Noah navigates through his fair share of dates-gone-wrong.  While the dates are hyperbolic, anyone who has been on a set up, online, or blind date can identify with Noah.  Refreshingly, the series does not rely on tired Jewish stereotypes for its humor.

In addition, all music included in the web series is featured on the JewDate website.  You can also follow the series on Facebook.

Only four episodes have been posted so far so we’ll have to wait and see if Noah finds his b’sheret.

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Masa Israel Featured Internship: Finance/Business Analyst, CAR2GO

The finance/business analyst intern will assist the CEO in management of company’s finances.

CAR2GO is a car sharing service in Tel Aviv and Gush Dan. Members of the service can access a fleet of diversified vehicles. Cars be taken from a few hours to a few days, and customers only pay for what they use. Fuel, parking, insurance and all the hassle is on the company. http://www.interninisrael.org/financebusiness-analyst-car2go/

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Join the World of Ideas in New York City

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If you could spend a week with some of the world’s leading experts on some of the world’s most interesting topics—U.S. and Israeli foreign policy, economic theory, Jewish thought and history—which ones would you choose?  You should give some thought to this pleasant dilemma, and soon, because a new series of funded seminars that will take place in New York City this fall makes the question more than academic.

The Tikvah Advanced Institutes will give accomplished individuals of any nationality, from a broad range of professional disciplines, the chance to participate with fellow professionals and leading thinkers in their choice of advanced courses on policy and Jewish thought, on a schedule designed for people who do not have much time to spare.  The seminars will take place over periods extending from four days to four weeks; and participants will be given stipends of $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the seminar’s length, to cover their travel, lodging, and investment of time.

The faculty roster features professors at leading universities, renowned rabbinic scholars, and former government officials who have held top-level positions in the fields they will teach.  The extraordinary list includes Elliott Abrams, former Deputy National Security Adviser to the U.S. President; Uzi Arad, former head of Israel’s National Security Council; Ruth Wisse, professor emerita of Yiddish literature at Harvard; Rabbi Meir Soloveichik of Yeshiva University; and Yuval Levin, founding editor of National Affairs.

The Institutes will provide time for study and consideration of big ideas and great texts.  Faculty and participants will delve into some of the foundational questions of modern society, exploring American or Israeli grand strategy, the ethics of modern war, and the theory, critics, achievements, and problems of democratic capitalism.  Advanced Institutes on Jewish issues and questions will probe the biblical and Jewish views of human nature and study the great leaders and key decisions that have shaped Jewish history and the Jewish State.

The Tikvah Advanced Institutes are a project of The Tikvah Fund, a New York-based foundation that specializes in educational programming in Jewish thought and public policy.  As with the Fund’s Tikvah Fellowship, a year-long fellowship that offers young professionals a funded period of work and study, the Advanced Institutes have several aims: to provide useful knowledge that participants can apply to their professional endeavors, to create a network of leaders who will work with Tikvah and with each other to advance the interests of the Jewish people and the Jewish State, and to provide a gateway for men and women who may wish to take a major new step or pursue a significant new direction in their careers and lives.

Application deadlines are approaching soon.  So, click here to get more information and apply.  If you have more questions, please contact tai@tikvahfund.org.

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GTJ Satirist Brian F. – Top 10 Most Patriotic American Films Since 1776

topUNITED STATES OF AMERICA – (@TheComedyNews) –   It is that time of year where the patriotic Americans come out in droves to celebrate their country’s independence from Great Britain in 1776.

And the only thing more Patriotic than watching high-budget patriotic films is making a top ten list about them.

Honorable Mentions

Braveheart (1995) – Although the film does not depict Americans winning independence, it is still a depiction of a group of oppressed rebels kicking some British Royal ass.

Super Size Me (2004)- Big Macs are basically synonymous with America. What can be more patriotic than eating copious amounts of McDonald’s for a month?

Almost Heroes (1998)- A big fat American, Chris Farley, beats the British (and Lewis and Clark) in a race to the Pacific Ocean in 1803. His public relations team is not that good, so Lewis and Clark end up taking all of the credit.

Glory (1989) – America’s favorite truant student grows mutton chops and leads America’s first all-black military regiment against the Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army.

Top Gun (1986) – Unnecessarily glorifying Tom Cruise is pretty damn American.

Armageddon (1998) – When the end of the World is upon us, a team of American deep-sea crude oil drillers led by Bruce Willis will save the day.

Ghostbusters 2 (1989) – The Statue of Liberty takes a stroll through Manhattan, and then destroys the ceiling of a goulish art museum.

Miracle (2004) – Kurt Russell shows the world that a bunch of college boys from Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin can whip the Soviets in their bread, butter, and borscht: ice hockey.

Top 10 Most Patriotic American Films Since 1776: 

10) True Lies (1994) – Arnold Schwarzenegger has to stop Key West from becoming the next Hiroshima.

9) Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (2008) – The sequel to the greatest road trip film of all time features a Homeland Security agent asking, “Is it freedom o’clock?”

8) The Patriot (2000) – This is the only film on this list that actually depicts the Revolutionary War.  Mel Gibson defeats the Redcoats and helps America win Independence.  In an alternate ending only on a limited edition DVD, Mel Gibson gets beaten to a bloody pulp by a regiment of his own Jewish soldiers.

7) South Park Movie: Bigger, Longer And Uncut (1999) – America fights Canada over a petty dispute about cartoon profanity. And when you can’t decide on a good villain to unite against, always be sure to default to Saddam Hussein.

6) Saving Private Ryan (1998) – If films could fight a war, Steven Spielberg’s epic World War II film would duke it out with Shakespeare In Love (1998) for the Academy Award for Best Picture…and then lose for some reason.

5) Beerfest (2006) – Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” This film is the epitome of what it is to be young and careless in America— chugging obnoxious amounts of beer to prove who is the coolest kid in high school.

4) Die Hard I-IV (1988-2007) – Bruce Willis defeats the Germans twice and puts down two rebellions in America. Yippee-ki-yay [Mister Falcon].

3) Independence Day (1996)- Bill Pullman gives the greatest wartime Presidential address since Gettysburg. And the combination of the Fresh Prince’s witty one-liners, the annoying bastard from Jurassic Parks I and II, and Randy Quaid destroying a 9-mile-diameter spaceship dramatizes America’s ability to fend off an alien invasion. In the immortal words of Captain Steven Hillard, “Welcome to Earth!”.

2) National Treasure (2004) / The Rock (1996) / Con Air (1997) – Nicholas Cage is what every American jockstrap bonehead aspires to be:   explosive, awesome, and a buried in a slurry of box office cash and rotten tomatoes. These films include fire, car chases, convicts, gratuitous gun usage, and Disney-esque happy endings.

1) Rocky IV (1984) – The perennial underdog, Rocky Balboa, battles Communist Russia’s top boxer—a steroid receptacle named Ivan Drago.  While behind enemy lines in the U.S.S.R., Rocky wins the Cold War without dropping one nuclear bomb. Ivan Drago, on the other hand, goes on to serve as the inspiration for Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Hulk Hogan, and other patriotic American heroes and role models.

Brian Fishbach is a writer and comedian.  You can read Brian’s weekly satire news articles at www.TheComedyNews.com, and enjoy his late-night jokes at www.BrianFishbach.com.  Join The Comedy News’ Facebook page for updates.

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