A New Digital Age: Jared Cohen and Eric Shmidt at Sixth and I

googleWhat happens when one of the world’s most successful businessmen and one of our generation’s technological thought leaders comes to Washington, DC?

Last week hundreds gathered at Sixth and I to hear Jared Cohen, Director of Google Ideas, and Eric Shmidt, former Google CEO, speak about their book The New Digital Age.

The two spoke about how the world is rapidly evolving with billions more internet users expected within the next 5 years.  They shared stories of previous trips to emerging economies and their future plans to continue to provide technological resources that will further advance business, education, and lifestyle as more of the world comes online.

The men also spoke about the glass ceiling of women in leadership roles, and why Google places value and recognition of women in a leadership role.  Schmidt said that “the secret is to recognize that the glass ceiling is real…” as he addressed that “professional women face a host of hidden biases…and it is difficult for the white male people to unclench their hold of this stuff and the model is that this next generation of women can in fact achieve their personal objectives.”

Ultimately Cohen and Shmidt addressed how “diversity is a mindset” and how the new digital age will impact humanity in science, business, and politics. We hope that they will come back soon to continue to share their insights and goals as Google and its projects continues to push the boundaries of community and society.


DC Purim Events!

Purim-Food-DrinkGet those groggers going- it’s Purim time! Below are the Purim events around DC that we’ve gathered. See something missing? Let Rachel at know.

Thursday, March 6th:

Sunday, March 9th:

Wednesday, March 12th:

Saturday, March 15th:

Sunday, March 16th:


International Marketing Internship, Ma’agan Real Estate Development

Ma’agan Real Estate Development is looking to expand its marketing channels to an international audience.

Interns will gain experience in the following areas: mapping and understanding the local community and its populations, focusing on the potential buyers/local real-estate agents who promote Israeli real estate; locating in each community the Point Of Contact specializing in Israeli real estate; identifying real estate fairs in each community; and other duties.

Ma’agan is a real estate development firm that is now working on promoting their luxury building Home on Habima – a boutique project that provides a perfect living experience with a high quality of life, unique location, designed for comfort, peace and quiet, and for entertaining guests, with an original Tel Aviv atmosphere.


Be part of the new Moishe House in Capitol Hill!

Moishe-Logo-HorizonMiddleMoishe House is seeking a group of 3–5 dynamic young professionals and/or graduate students between the ages of 22–30 to live together and create their ideal Jewish community in Capitol Hill!

The Moishe House Capitol HIll residents will host 5–6 diverse programs each month and create a welcoming space for a greater young adult network in Capitol Hill.  Program examples include Shabbat dinners, holiday celebrations, book clubs, arts outings, movie nights and much more.  The residents will ultimately choose the location of Moishe House Capitol HIll, in a central location, close to hot spots for young adults.  Qualified residents may come from a wide range of Jewish backgrounds and all should be passionate about creating a unique Jewish community in return for a rent subsidy, programming budget, educational resources, and training.

We encourage groups of potential residents to apply together.  For more details about Moishe House Capitol Hill, please contact: Rebecca Bar, Senior Regional Director, at

Moishe house is an international organization with 60 houses in 13 countries around the world.  Our innovative peer-to-peer, home-based model successfully engaged more than 79,600 participants in 2013 alone.  We are thrilled to bring Moishe House to Capitol Hill and want you to be a part of this exciting growth!  You can find out more about Moishe House and our role in supporting Jewish community for young adults at


More Talking, Less Snooping – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 84)

computer-loveOn two separate occasions in the last month or so, a male client in DC and a female client in NY called me to ask very similar questions: “What should I do if I saw that the person I’m dating is still active online?”  The DC gentleman had been dating this person for two months, and the NY woman’s “relationship” (for lack of knowing what to call it) was going on for about four months.  Of course, my next question inevitably was, “How would you know this unless you went online yourself to snoop around?”  Silence.

When it comes to taking down your online dating profile, is there a right time?  Should it be after a certain number of weeks or months of dating?  Maybe it’s after you’ve had “the talk” to figure out where you two are going as a couple?  (We all know that you have to DTR at some point.)  Perhaps it’s after you’ve changed your status to “in a relationship” on Facebook, the ultimate way to make something official?  Or, is it enough simply to unsubscribe from receiving emails through the online dating site?

While I’m a firm believer in dating many different people initially to see who’s out there and hone what you’re looking for, at some point, when you think you’ve found someone you’d like to date exclusively, it’s time to scale back on your online dating life and start to enjoy your offline dating life.  I know many people get what I call “grass is greener” syndrome, always looking for the next best thing.  All I can advise you to do is to recognize what you have… and enjoy it.

Unfortunately, there’s no defined rule as to when it’s appropriate to take down your profile.  If you’ve already gone to great lengths spying on your new belle or beau, as my clients did, rather than jumping to conclusions (which they also both did… one even went as far as to send me new pictures she wants to use when she goes back online for real!), just have a conversation about it.  We could speculate day and night about the situation (and many of us do), and the reality of it is that we often don’t know where the other person stands unless we explicitly ask.  Ask this person what he or she is looking for.  Open up the conversation.  Whether you get the answer you want or not, at least you won’t have to resort to entrapping someone based on his or her online dating usage.  Maybe, for at least one of my clients, the answer might be, “I was only on there to see if you were still on there!  This is silly!”  Insert big laugh here.  So stop guessing, and start talking.

Many people assume exclusivity without actually having the conversation.  For example, some people (generally women but certainly not always) think that after sleeping with someone or going on a long weekend together, the two of you are exclusive.  That’s not always the case, and it’s not fair to get angry with someone for not being on the same page if you haven’t actually discussed it.  The only surefire way to ensure you’re both on the same page is to openly discuss taking your profile down.  Generally, a few things are synonymous:

Exclusivity = No more online dating = Boyfriend/Girlfriend = Couple = Being Together

Heck, you could even have a “profile deletion party” with a drink in hand.  That actually sounds like a pretty darn fun date to me!

erika ettin-49381 Cropped (1)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.





What Are Your Priorities For the District?

jufj new color_logoThe opinions reflected in this article do not represent the views of Gather the Jews or its staff. GTJ is a non-partisan organization.

Jews United For Justice is doing something unprecedented (as far as we know): We’re asking Jewish residents of D.C. about their views on a range of local political issues. We want to know what you, the estimated 25,000 voting age Jews in Washington D.C., care about. We’re bringing these issues to the forefront in the April 1st primary elections.

That’s why we’re asking you to take our 2014 D.C. Issue Survey! The survey asks for your opinion on challenges facing our city, like affordable housing, fighting poverty, and progressive taxes. We’ll bring your responses to the candidates, and make sure this is an issues-based election.

This is a powerful way to show just how progressive our community is. Often we have to fight hard at the D.C. government for progressive change – even when those changes are extremely popular with voters. Now is the time when candidates are most open to hearing our voices, and most likely to respond to the people they hope to represent. That’s why we need you to share your opinion right now.

Thank you!

Nathaniel Eisen
Online Organizer, Jews United For Justice


Masa Israel Featured Internship: PR & External Relations Coordinator, Microfy

The intern is responsible for developing Microfy’s online presence (Facebook, website, online donation sites) to raise awareness of their work among potential clients, donors, and volunteers, and to garner support for the organization’s goals. The intern is also responsible for developing Microfy’s media capacity – monitoring media for relevant stories, proposing responses or feature articles and writing and submitting items together with staff.

The intern will also support staff with fundraising and general external relations – writing proposals, reports, seeking new sources of funding etc.Other roles within the work of the organization can be discussed depending on the interests and skills of the intern, and Microfy’s needs.

Microfy is a not-for-profit organization helping refugees and low-income Israelis living in South Tel Aviv to become economically independent and realize their business dreams. Microfy accomplishes this through business training, consultancy and small loans.


Masa Israel Featured Internship: Assistant to the Director, Amnesty International

This internship will involve assisting the Director in leadership of section-wide tasks, providing logistical support to the senior management team, and project leadership and coordination.

Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of members and activists to achieve internationally recognized human rights for all. To obtain this goal, the organization produces campaigns and displays of international solidarity. Amnesty International has more than 3 million members and activists in more than 150 countries. They mobilize this support to strive for justice on a wide range of issues while recognizing that human rights know no boundaries.


The Super Bowl and SodaStream Ad

sodaConversion Rate:  A Monthly Column from a DC Young Professional on the Israeli Economy (and other Misc thoughts…)

It has been a couple years since I was a finalist for GTJ’s Jewish Guy of the Year.  Although my rap skills haven’t improved much since then, I’ve definitely explored a lot of what the DC Jewish community has to offer.  I’ve been to many young pro trivia nights at Sixth & I.  I’ve networked at Jewish Federation of Greater Washington programs.  I’ve visited countless embassies and the United Nations through B’nai B’rith to advocate on behalf of the global Jewish community.  I helped the DCJCC host a great Hanukkah on the Hill and was a part of the team that raised $20k at the Falafel Frenzy to fight hunger in DC.  I’ve begun to make a direct investment in the Jewish State’s future – and my own – through purchasing Israel Bonds. I’ve lobbied on behalf of Israel through AIPAC. And I adopted a dog and renamed him Shekels.

Last Sunday I watched the Super Bowl with Shekels. Our first together.  Seattle’s defense was simply impressive.  I watched a lot of Seahawks games throughout the season as I had Marshawn Lynch on my fantasy team. Beast Mode helped me get to the finals, but I didn’t win.  I also watched a lot of Broncos games because Peyton’s season was historic.  What I picked up from the Seahawks season and their Super Bowl performance was that sometimes a good defense is a good offense. Richard Sherman.

So as I’m watching the Super Bowl and anticipating the SodaStream commercial with Scarlett Johansson, I was wondering what all of the hype was about… I had streamed — no pun intended — the banned commercial ahead of the game, which now has nearly 12 million views on SodaStream’s YouTube Channel.  And I had been keeping myself up-to-date on Johansson’s comments against BDS and the decision that she made to step down as an Oxfam Ambassador for their hard-line stance.  But what was all of the hype about???

Johannson describes SodaStream as, “a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights.”

I was at a loss – like my fantasy football team and the Denver Broncos.  How was Scarlett Johannson put on the defense for supporting an Israeli company, competing in the global market, providing jobs to Palestinians?  The company’s Super Bowl commercial was not political at all.  And if it was, the political statement would be a positive one of equality and opportunity.

Controversy sells though.  And all of the added hype has given SodaStream considerable free earned media – on top of their Super Bowl ad time.  And to add to my earlier list of DC Jewish accomplishments that I’m proud of, these commercials and Scarlett Johansson’s pretty face has also created one more sale of SodaStream.  They’re now on the offense because I am looking forward to support a local small business in DC and an Israeli company as I head to Eastern Market to pick up a SodaStream at Hill’s Kitchen this weekend.  Who’s with me?


The V-Day Shuffle – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 83)

cupidAh, Valentine’s Day.  Depending on where you are in a relationship (or where you’re not), it can be a day of roses and chocolates, love letters and hearts, uncertainty and stomach pangs, or leftover Pad Thai and a whole bottle of wine to drink solo.  Whatever your situation this Valentine’s Day, I want to provide some date ideas for any stage in a relationship:

Couples in very long-term relationships (including marriage):

At this stage, you may have already exhausted your cute and romantic ideas when you were trying to woo each other at the earlier stages of your relationship.  (If you still have a few tricks up your sleeve, good for you!)  Something as simple as a romantic dinner out (especially if you have kids) to spend some quality time together will still be a great date idea.  Oftentimes, once people enter long-term, committed relationships, they forget that the “dating” part is not over.  (I personally think it should never be over.)  And a well-thought card expressing your love for each other goes a long way.  Don’t take this stage for granted.

Couples in new relationships:

This is probably the most fun place to be for Valentine’s Day.  You likely get butterflies just thinking about spending your first V-Day together.  If you want to buy into the holiday (and I do partially mean literally, with the cards, flowers, and chocolate), then go for it!  Why not?  Go for a romantic dinner, take a weekend trip, feed each other chocolates.  And if that’s not your style, then go crazy watching (or making fun of?) other people doing this stuff!  Or just keep it low key if that’s more your thing, and declare it your own celebration.  Maybe you’ll go ice skating or to see a movie, but you’re still doing something to acknowledge the day.  Just have some fun – there’s nothing to lose!

People who just started seeing each other and aren’t sure where it’s going:

This is where things may get a bit hairy.  I’ve had clients ask me, after having gone on one or two successful dates, “What do I do for Valentine’s Day?  Do I make a big deal of it?  Do I even acknowledge it?  Do I buy something?”  This holiday adds so much undue pressure on things, pressure that is not necessary.  I would treat your next date like any other second or third date, without the “V-Day pressure” creeping in.  Maybe you’ll go to a comedy show, or maybe you’ll go play Connect Four at a bar.  If you want to go out with someone on Friday, great!  If not, great!  I wouldn’t buy into the hype when things are so fresh.  The best thing you can do, whether you go out on V-Day or not, is to simply say, “I’m really excited to see where things go.”  It’s honest, sweet, and simple.

Single people:

Do not fret!  Some people think that being single on Valentine’s Day is the kiss (or lack thereof, as the case may be) of death.  It’s not.  Do you know why?  You don’t have to pay a fortune for these fixed-priced menus, you won’t gain weight from eating the entire heart-shaped box of pecan clusters in one night, and you don’t have to read through all of the sappy Hallmark cards at CVS to try to pick just the right one.  This holiday can be what you make of it, and I encourage you not to make a big deal of it.  It’s just a day after all.  Go out like you normally would on a Friday night.  Have a ladies’ night or a guys’ night.  No need to make faces at all of the people in couples.  Instead, remember all of the blessings you have in your life… most importantly right now, your freedom.

Whatever you decide to do this Friday, stay true to yourself, and don’t let the pressure get the best of you.  If you’re with the right person, have a ball, and if you’re not, well, have a ball, too.  It’s Friday night, after all.  (Plus, for anyone who knows me, while I’m both a dating coach and a sucker for romance, my favorite 14th is actually in March.  I love Pi Day!  Any excuse to let my inner nerdom come out is okay with me!)

websize (5 of 6)TinyErika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people stand out from the online dating crowd and have a rewarding experience. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.







Masa Israel Featured Internship: Teaching Internship, College for All

As an intern at College for All you will have the opportunity to teach kids and teenagers (ranging from the 3rd grade until graduation) from impoverished neighborhoods, to assist them in reaching their goals and providing the extra help necessary to fulfill their potential.

College for All will guide interns in the special educational methods they use in helping the youths of their organization.

College for All was established so as to provide equal educational opportunities for all children, while narrowing social gaps within Israeli society. The founders of College for All realized that motivated and talented children from economically distressed neighborhoods rarely receive appropriate support and encouragement and often fail to complete their education. A large percentage of pupils from impoverished neighborhoods identified as high achievers in elementary school have to deal with economic adversity, family hardships and social difficulties and do not receive appropriate support and encouragement. Many end up without a high school diploma and do not continue towards a higher education.


Letter to WSJ Editor Compares American Politics to Nazi Germany

newspaper-subThe opinions reflected in this article are that of the author and do not represent the views of Gather the Jews or its staff.

As it turns out, having a sense of anthropological, historical, and even sometimes anecdotal context can be useful in the field of journalism.

To frame Tom Perkins as senescent and ill-spoken barely helps to defend his recent comments in which he compared President Obama’s economic policies to the Holocaust in a letter to the Wall Street Journal titled: “Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?” (Jan. 24, 2014).  Following that day’s print, the Journal received comments that “drop(ped) anvils on Tom Perkins” for writing what the Journal’s editorial board described as the most-read letter to the editor in the paper’s history.

While many assiduous Journal readers in this country and across the world might expect a respectable publication to properly address such excoriating backlash from its readership, the Journal threw us a curveball by devoting an entire editorial to defending Perkins.  If Paul Gigot, Editor of the Editorial page, planned to ease us in to the controversial waters his steering produced, the title failed to deliver: “Perkinshacht: Liberal Vituperation makes our letter writer’s point.”  The pique continues: “The irony is that the vituperation is making our friend’s point about liberal intolerance—maybe better than he did.”

Perhaps now a reference to the importance of cyber security, and a reminder to change your work computer password each week?  Lest we think the United States’ most widely-circulated newspaper is defending the words of a man who seems to have slipped into a state of confusion (or delusion), we learn this was no hack:

“I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent,” wrote the legendary venture capitalist … Mr. Perkins called it “a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendant ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?… Maybe the critics are afraid that Mr. Perkins is onto something about the left’s political method.”

The comparison is unfortunate, as the editorial ultimately admits. If this brand of journalism constitutes business news, then comedy has been relegated to tragedy.  And there was no shortage of laughs in the Review section that day.  The most painfully funny item was the grand finale: “Mr. Obama doesn’t merely want to raise taxes on the rich to finance the government.  He says “millionaires and billionaires” simply make too much money and deserve to be punished.”

Jonathan Chait, writing for, says it best: “One good clue that somebody is mischaracterizing a source’s words is if they omit important context from the quote.  Here the Journal hasn’t merely omitted context, they’ve omitted the entire quote.  Or, rather, they quote three words — “millionaires and billionaires” — and then simply assert the parts about Obama thinking the rich make too much money and need punishment.  They truncated the entire quote.”

The Journal’s defense strategy is borderline genius, but it is more so a sad explanation for printing and then defending a blatant affront to Jews, Americans, the literate population, or any human that has any sense of historical context.

Just last week, my friend Aaron Qayumi and I wrote a piece describing how our recent Birthright trip to Israel reignited our intellectual curiosity surrounding our culture, others’ histories and cultures, and most importantly, how different cultures mesh, interact with each other, and collaborate to create a functioning society.

Maybe Mr. Perkins needs to get out more.

Brian Block is a Penn State graduate with a passion for Italian food and his hometown, Philadelphia, most specifically the Phillies. Following campaign stints in New York, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, he’s lived in DC for nearly two years working in government relations and financial services.


Rabbi Deborah Reichmann

IMG_5225Name: Rabbi Deborah Reichmann

What people call you: Rabbi Debbie

Congregation: none

Location: DC Metro area (technically Rockville, MD)

Denomination: post-denominational/Jewish universal

Ordained from: Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute (JSLI)

Programs/Services you run/offer: Weddings and premarital counseling (Jewish, Interfaith and same-sex), Bar/Bat mitzvah training and services, baby namings, funerals and memorials, lectures and discussion leading

Hobbies: Stone carving

Fun fact about you: was a health policy attorney for 10 years (JD, MPH), and now working on a doctorate

Contact information:,, (202) 302-3137

Anything else we should know? Licensed to perform weddings in DC & VA (and Maryland)


Meet the Moishe House Arlington!

970712_161666084029515_1838975323_nMoishe House Arlington has some great programming coming up this month including Love, Pizza, Judaism, and You, Bottomless Mimosa Brunch, and Game Night @ Moishe House Arlington ft. Masa Israel.

Rachel: So who lives in the Arlington Moishe House?
Will: Avi F., Orly H., and Will C.

Rachel: How long has the MH Arlington existed?
Will: September.  February is our 6th month.
Orly: It feels like three years already.

Rachel: Did you know each other before?
Orly: Avi and I knew each other, but Will was set up with us through the application process.  That sealed the deal because he makes amazing pizza, which is all a roommate could ask for.
Avi: That and baked goods.

Rachel: Is it true you planted etrogs in your backyard?
Will: We haven’t planted them… yet.  But out house is full of etrog saplings.  If you came to our Tu B’Shevat seder you might have even took one home!
Orly: Hopefully they’ll be fruiting in 3-4 years – selling etrogs is our back-up retirement plan.

Rachel: What is the funniest thing that’s happened since you guys have moved in?
Orly: We have a neighbor with a chihuahua who likes to party.  Her name is Coco Chanel.  Anytime Coco comes over things get pretty hilarious.
Avi: That and our Murder Mystery Shabbat.  Watching a bunch of Jews play 20’s mobsters is not a site you see often.

Rachel: What events are you most excited to plan/have already planned?
Orly: We did a gleaning in the fall that was a lot of fun, and we’ve made some really good beer.  But we’ve got a volunteer program we’re starting to do on a monthly basis that I’m excited for!
Avi: We had a showing of The Hebrew Hammer, along with 5 different homemade popcorn flavors, which was a blast.  That movie just cuts to the core of what it means to be an Ashkenazi Jew.  We also had a discussion of Jews and Tattoos over homemade pizza that was really awesome.

Rachel: What would you say the vibe of the house is?
Orly: We’re very relaxed.  We like to see our friends, and we like to meet new people.  We like to feed people, and we like beer and whiskey.  When there’s no one else here, sometimes Avi does yoga with me in the living room while Will laughs.  Will laughs a lot.


Catfish Isn’t Just What You Ate For Dinner – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 83)

fishWhen people hear the term “online dating,” they don’t always know what it means.  Here’s what it doesn’t mean:

  • Having a virtual girlfriend or boyfriend
  • Dating in your pajamas for the rest of eternity while eating a pint of Chunky Monkey
  • Sitting behind your computer and assuming that you just had a “hot date”

In many ways, “online dating” is a misnomer.  It could instead be called “online introductions” because the actual “dating” part should still be in person.  Period.

It’s easy to fall in love with someone’s online dating profile, isn’t it?  In fact, a client who lives in MD just told me this morning that she “really likes everything about” this guy in NY based on his JDate profile.  I reminded her that this person is not real until she’s had a face-to-face interaction with him.  It’s just words on a page and a picture until then.

People join online dating sites for many reasons: To find an activity partner, a friend, a date, a one-night stand, a long-term relationship, or marriage. All it takes is the click of a button to list what we’d like to find in our online dating adventure.  Curiously enough, “pen pal” is not an option.  Why?  Because people do not join online dating sites to simply email back and forth with no end in sight.  People are looking to form a real relationship, not an “e-lationship.”

It’s not too forward to ask someone out for a drink or coffee after one or two emails back and forth.  (And I generally recommend that the guy does the asking.)  If a woman responds to your email or reaches out to you on her own (which I strongly encourage women to do), she’s probably interested enough to meet in person.

Of course, some people don’t know when it’s appropriate to move from the email to the date and err on the side of caution (aka waiting too long), so in this case, I recommend saying something like, “I’m really enjoying these emails.  Should we meet for a drink next week?  I’m free Monday or Wednesday if either works for you.”  If they take the bait or suggest a different day, then that’s great!  If the answer is simply no (or there’s no answer), then it’s time to move on.  If someone is perpetually busy, either he or she is secretly the President of the Universe or is trying to get out of meeting in person for some reason.  Don’t dwell on it.  It wasn’t meant to be.

If meeting in person is not feasible for some reason (perhaps you don’t live close enough to meet in a timely fashion), then the best thing to do is to suggest that you Skype or FaceTime.  It takes just as long to dial someone’s number and chat for a few minutes as it does to sit down and email each other, so if someone declines this offer, that is a major red flag.

My advice?  Meet offline as soon as you can.  If you like each other, you’ll be glad you didn’t waste all that time emailing.  And if you don’t, you can move on and also be glad you didn’t waste all that time emailing.  Win-win!  Don’t be the next story on Catfish: The TV Show.

erika ettin-49381 Cropped (1)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.



Page 5 of 89« First...34567...102030...Last »