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.


Click here to meet the Rabbis who connect with our Young Adult community…


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)

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:


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


  • @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.













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 ( and/or Sara (


  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 (

In the meantime, see you on Tuesday!!!



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 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!


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 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.


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 to demand better for the people who make and serve us food. Because sometimes leaving a good tip isn’t quite enough.


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.


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


What is “Yalla Yalla”?

At 9:30 pm on Saturday night Expo Bar will be temporarily transformed into a Tel Aviv nighclub for “Yalla, Yalla Part Deux.”  In case missed Part Un and don’t know what to expect, here’s a brief sketch of the night provided by one of the event’s co-hosts Jen N.

SR:  What does “Yalla Yalla” mean?
JN:  Colloquially, it’s used as “Come on, let’s go!”  So, in this case, you should all listen to us and come to the party!

SR:  What’s going down on Saturday night?
JN:  Well, we think that DC is seriously lacking in good Israeli pop music (by seriously lacking, we mean that there is none at all.)  So, we’re having an awesome Tel Avivdance party on U Street, to remind everyone of their fun nights out in Tel Aviv.  Our goal is both to put on an amazing party for everyone who wishes to experience Tel Aviv for a night, and at the same time to contribute the funds we earn to an Israeli organization that does meaningful and effective community service.

SR:  How is this related the previous “Yalla Yalla” party held in dc?
JN:  The first Yalla Yalla party back in November was a huge success, and we’re hoping that this second one will be the start of a continuing tradition. This party should offer the same vibe as the one in November — same location, same DC, same music, but this time we’re donating the proceeds to a different charity (Shalva, see below).  We’re hoping to continue these parties once or twice a year, bringing the Tel Aviv spirit to DC and helping some worthy organizations at the same time.

SR:  Do you feel likeyou’re cheating on Moshe I. by having this party without him?
JN:  Moshe cheated on us first by moving away!!  Just kidding — we have an open relationship with him, it’s cool.  But seriously, Moshe will definitely be there in spirit and hopes everyone has the best night ever.

SR:  What are you doing to add Israeli flavor to the party?
JN:  The music will be Israeli, the DJ is Israeli, we invited some of our Israeli friends, and the proceeds are all going to an Israeli community service organization.  It’s safe to say that everyone at the party has some connection to Israel.

SR:  What gives the three co-hosts Israeli street cred?
JN:  Well, Yoni is actually from the hood (Tel Aviv style), and he eats hummus by the spoonful, literally.  I (Jen) run on Israeli time, and Hillary just looks really Israeli.  But actually, all three of us are very connected to Israel and have spent a significant amount of time living there.

SR:  Will American Top 40 make an appearance? That’s how I get my dance on…
JN:  Of course!  They play American jams in Israel too!  It will be a perfect blend of Israeli and American top hits.

SR:  It says it’s $5 atthe door and all proceeds go to shalva.  That sounds good, but what’s Shalva?
JN:  Shalva is an amazing organization that offers individualized therapy to specials needs children in Israel, at no cost to the families. The therapies are tailored to each specific child, helping each one reach their full potential. To learn more visit


Moishe House featured in The Economist

Like Moishe House?  Like British accents?  Like The Economist?  If you answered “YES” to at least two of the three of these, then you should check out this video report on Moishe House from The Economist.

The brief video explains how Moishe House has grown rapidly since its genesis in Oakland, California in 2006.  Moishe House brings together Jews of different religious stripes, challenging denominational notions and simply encouraging young adults to connect with Judaism in whatever manner feels comfortable to them.

Although the Washington, DC area is home to two Moishe Houses (Adams Morgan and Montgomery County), the British-based Economist perhaps understandably ignored the awesomness of the houses run by our peers and intead focused on the Moishe House in London.

This video is part of a larger series that The Economist is for some reason running on Judaism and Jews.  Here are some of the articles/reports they’ve recently run:

Be sure to look for Moishe House (DC and MoCo) events on our new calendar!




GTJ Former Featured Entertainer Keeps Wowing Audiences

As readers know, we at GTJ like to keep up with our former Jewish People of the Week. Last year, we interviewed Adam Ruben, a multi-talented area resident who, in addition to being a practicing molecular biologist, is a successful stand-up comedian and comic author.

GTJ president Stephen Richer and GTJ blog editor Noa Levanon enjoyed watching him last year in his Capital Fringe Festival one-man show, Please Don’t Beat Me Up. (Ruben will be performing this material later this year on Sunday, November 4 at the United Solo Festival — Theatre ROW / Stage Door, 407 W. 41st St., New York, NY.)

Ruben didn’t disappoint at this year’s Capital Fringe Festival, which took place last week. The comedian-and-molecular-biologist put on six packed shows of Dr. Science’s Science Time Science-va-ganza!  For reviews of this awesome show, which many attendees said was their favorite show of the festival, click here and here. Ruben will also be performing this show at the Wilmington Fringe Festival in Delaware (times and dates TBD).

Check out his hilarious book, Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision To Go To Grad School and/or click here for recent videos of his stand-up.


From Bad to Worse, 2nd Edition — GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 46)

Get excited… today I’m sharing the second edition of the “From Bad to Worse” series, showing actual photos, profiles, or e-mails from various online dating sites that are too good (as in, too awful) not to show.

In online dating, making a good first impression is the key.  For this reason, it’s important to always put your best foot forward, especially when it comes to your photos.

As a reminder, below are the five rules of thumb for your online dating photos:

  1. Less is more: 3-5 good pictures are better than 10 mediocre pictures.
  2. Have at least one clear “face” photo: Since you first come up just as a thumbnail, you want to make sure that you give someone a reason to click.
  3. Be by yourself in the shot: No need to allow someone to compare you to someone else in your own profile.
  4. Have one photo where you’re doing something interesting: Give someone an excuse to e-mail you… to ask what you’re doing in that picture.
  5. Be accurate: You won’t win someone over by lying about your looks.

Even if you don’t follow the rules above, some photos should never make it onto your online dating profile.  All of the photos below miss the mark.

I get being afraid to reveal too much online, but come on!

Has anyone heard of cropping?

Is it true?  Yet another fanny pack!

Seriously?  She’s showing a picture of herself from her first wedding!  So wrong!

This was the only picture he had.

If you’d like to contribute any photos/profiles you find or e-mails you (or friends) receive to “From Bad to Worse,” please e-mail

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.


Upcoming Deadline for Jeremiah Fellowship

The following is a guest post by Rachel Cohen, a 2011-12 Jeremiah Fellow for Jews United For Justice.

Last fall, I was sitting in Ben’s Chili Bowl with a group of friends and colleagues when a prominent DC historian posed the question: “Gentrification, good or bad?” As I sat there thoughtfully composing a list of pros & cons in my head, several of my friends soundly rejected the premise of the question itself. It’s not that simple. You can’t ask us to make that sort of decision. Who are we to say?

This scene took place during the Jeremiah Fellowship, a leadership program run by local community organization Jews United for Justice. The Jeremiah Fellowship challenged me this way for nine months, and continues to do so. It has also given me the skills and knowledge to build my organizer and activist toolbox.

During our semi-monthly evening meetings, we had the chance to learn with seasoned activists and advocates from the immigration, labor and affordable housing movements. We brought each other up to speed on the most pressing social and economic justice issues facing our DC community, from the drastic drop in affordable housing over the last decade to attempted enforcement of the so-called “Secure Communities” immigration program.

But we didn’t just study current issues. We delved into Jewish texts that relate to these issues and we explored how to take action to make a difference. We learned, for example, about “cutting an issue,” a community organizing term for defining the goal of a campaign strategically to maximize your group’s power in the long term. We also analyzed campaigns from concept to execution by mapping the powerful people and players working on an issue. We practiced the vital skill of fundraising and strategized to build a network of active supporters.

However, perhaps more important than the hands-on skills training, Jeremiah introduced me to a network of activists and advocates who connect me to local issues and politics in DC. My fellow Fellows and our guest speakers are an invaluable resource – and source of inspiration – for my work moving forward, as I participate in grassroots campaigns and events to make our city and region a better place. I am already working with one of these groups, a local volunteer-run grantmaking fund called the Diverse City Fund, which nurtures and supports community leaders and grassroots projects that are transforming DC into a more just, vibrant place to live.

For me, it was important that the Fellowship addressed the challenges of a life-long commitment to activism and organizing, which is a potentially exhausting line of work, whether you get paid for it or not. Many of our speakers and facilitators spoke about how to sustain a life of activism, avoiding burn-out by balancing professional and volunteer work with family and social life, and building a strong network of support. These lessons will stick with me as I consider graduate school, delve more deeply into activist work outside of my “day job,” and think seriously about how I prioritize the activities and the relationships in my own life.

That moment at Ben’s Chili Bowl set the tone for our year – we saw time and again that the big questions about our city and society have no easy answers. My Fellowship experience was, and still is, full of challenges. That constant questioning is, of course, part of what makes Jeremiah a Jewish experience. In the asking, we begin to build community, and that community leads eventually to positive change.

“Seek the well-being of the city in which you dwell,” says the prophet Jeremiah, the Fellowship’s namesake, “for in its peace, you shall find peace.” That well-being will not be easy to achieve, but now I know better how to seek it. Now that our year with the program  has ended, I am carrying forward the need to continue challenging myself, my peers and my city, striving not for absolute answers but for the right questions, the difficult conversations, and for the moments when we do find ways – big and small – to make our city and our world just a little bit better.

The Jeremiah Fellowship is a nine-month program for young Jews in the greater DC area. Fellows come together twice monthly to learn different models of community organizing, to meet with Jewish and activist leaders, and to study Jewish texts and traditions. Participants leave the Fellowship with leadership experience, concrete skills, a deepened connection to our city and region, and a valuable network of peers and mentors. For more information email Monica Kamen at or see the application and qualifications at Applications are due August 5th.


Giving Time – 60 Seconds, One Day, and Many Years of Terror

While watching the Olympics in the upcoming days, read this piece by community member Jason Langsner on the IOC’s decision not to honor the massacred Israeli athletes and on recent and upcoming ADL efforts to combat anti-Semitism and terror worldwide.

A couple of weeks ago, I started my day by joining nearly 100,000 other individuals in signing the petition that asked for one minute of silence in the ’12 London Olympics to honor the victims of the ’72 Munich Olympics.  11 athletes and officials were slain by Black September for being Israeli and Jewish forty years ago.  The minute is an appeal by Ankie Spitzer, widow of one of the athletes, to honor the fallen.

I spent my afternoon following news reports about the Bulgarian terrorist bombing that took the lives of at least five Israelis and wounded 30 more. This act was perpetrated on the 18th anniversary of the attack on the Argentine-Israelite Mutual Association Jewish Center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and injured hundreds.

I concluded my day by joining 100+ like minded young professionals that want to end this violence.  They want to end the terror.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), now entering its 100th year, is the largest non-governmental body that partners with law enforcement to combat terror, anti-semitism, and all forms of hate.  They help train every new FBI agent and hosted the off-the-record evening program on July 18th to educate the DC, Maryland, and Virginia young professional community.

The ADL encouraged attendees to be vigilant in this era of Terror 2.0.  We all have a role to play to combat extremism and the expert speakers shared real world examples of how social media and the web are being used for hate.  They discussed the changing culture of law enforcement and the tactics that they take to combat the threat.  You can learn more about fighting all forms of terror — domestic and international — at the FBI webpage dedicated to partnerships and outreach and the ADL website’s terrorism landing page.

For young professionals interested in giving more than 60 seconds or attending a two-hour event, the ADL’s Glass Leadership Institute is now accepting applications for their 10 month fellowship program.  Apply by August 10th for consideration or attend an information session meet-and-greet with Glass Alumni on August 1st at Tabaq Bistro.

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