GTJ: The Next Episode

Traditional Judaism sees time as a spiral:  what happens at one period in the Jewish calendar is connected to what happened during the same period 100 or 1,000 years ago.

Gather the Jews (GTJ) has fit this model pretty well.

During the ancient time of Purim, Esther told Mordechai, “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Shushan, and fast for me.”  It was during Purim (March) 2010 that we launched Gather the Jews and similarly started gathering Jews (though not fasting).

Rosh Hashanah celebrates the Jewish New Year.  Around the time of Rosh Hashanah 2010, GTJ celebrated a new website.

Now we’re celebrating Passover — a time of transition and change for the Israelites who would become the first Jews.

And so it’s similarly time for GTJ to have a “passing-over” of our own.

I will be leaving Washington, DC this summer and Aaron (The WOLFf) will be taking on new, non-directly-Jewish projects.  This will take both of us out of the day-to-day GTJ game.

Our departure, however, will not be the end of GTJ.  It will simply require a new model.  We’re in the process of exploring which model is best, but, because this has been, and will continue to be, a community project, we want to open it up to the community to let you know what we’re thinking.  And we want your advice.

Two ways forward for GTJ:

  1. Keep GTJ independent by establishing a Board of Directors and raising the necessary funds to pay one full-time staff member.
  2. Become part of an existing DC Jewish organization.
For more information on these two ideas, please see this document.


If you have any ideas or suggestions, or if you know anybody who would really like to see GTJ continue to gather, please email me at


This isn’t quite yet our swan song — I plan to be out of here by mid-July or early August — but I did want to take a second to let you know or ideas and to thank you for your support over these past 110 weeks — it has been a blast to run GTJ.


Stephen Richer
Gather the Jews



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