Shout Out to the Reporters – Gather the News – 10/31

Hurricane Gather!

  • All joking and Gangnam Style rain dance memes aside, Hurricane Sandy pounded the east coast- our hearts go out to those who are still without power and  those who have rebuild their homes, businesses, and lives.

Jewish Girl of the Week – Eryn

Want to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on GTJ? Nominate him/her at

Aaron: What brought you to DC?
Eryn: Like Evan, this week’s Jewish guy, I was the nice Jewish girl who came to DC to attend a Jesuit school.  Evan and I actually met during one of my first weeks at college at Shabbat services.  The Jewish community at Georgetown was small, but tight knit.  It’s really great to have been able to make my friendship with Georgetown Jews, like Evan, extend into post-college life as well.

Aaron: What do you do on a Friday night?
Eryn: Friday night Shabbat is my favorite part of the week.  I lived in Israel on a Kibbutz after college.  The experience of living in Israel and incorporating Judaism into my daily life led me to start keeping Shabbat back in the States.  When I came back to DC, I wanted to find a way to include my non-Jewish and non-observant friends in my Shabbat celebrations.  Therefore, I started throwing big Shabbat dinners for friends and friends of friends.  I love kneading Challah dough, using my weekly CSA (community-supported agriculture) box to make bountiful vegetarian entrees,  and sharing with others my love of Shabbat.

Eryn: Yes, that’s right, I’m a Jewish Texan.  My family has been in Texas for over 100 years and that’s what I love the most about home.  All of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents (all four!) live within a ten-minute drive from my house in Houston.  I grew up with Texas-sized Shabbat dinners and even bigger holiday celebrations.  Even though I’ve lived in DC for close to 8 years, I’ll always be a sucker for the Lone Star state. (See picture from my aunt and uncle’s ranch out in West Texas).

Aaron: If you could start any business, what would it be?
Eryn: I would want to launch a hybrid business that uses a for-profit model to address social sector problems (e.g. health and nutrition).  My ideal business would be focused on increasing access to low-cost, tasty, cooked-from scratch meals in the inner city (maybe kosher too?).  There are several businesses already working in this space.  Check out DC Central Kitchen’s work and Revolution Foods with healthy school lunch.

Jewish Guy of the Week – Evan

Want to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on GTJ? Nominate him/her at What brought you to DC?
Evan: I came to DC many years ago as the trailblazing, first Jewish student from my high school to go to a Jesuit university.  I then left DC and joined the Peace Corps, landing in the Dominican Republic.  I’ve been back in DC now for two years for my job, and I am also attempting to moonlight as a travel writer after publishing a guidebook based on my Peace Corps experience called Other Places Dominican Republic.

Aaron: Why did you decide to stay?

Evan: Obviously the major reason was that I got to live with Eryn, this week’s Girl of the Week, and three other fabulous roommates in a gorgeous four-story, exposed-brick, slanty-staircased townhouse in LeDroit Park.  There are two decks and an accessible roof, French doors, and absolutely no insulation.  I’m on my third place of employment in the city – now as an Editor at LivingSocial – and I love DC for its convenience, atmosphere, and young, spirited population.  Of course, the pull of the Motherland (New York) is strong, but I’ll be here for a little while.

Aaron: We heard you have a farm in the city?

Evan: Much like our ancestors in the shtetl, our house has a 4×8 foot plot of land at the local community garden (okay, not much like them at all).  We grow items from a monster mint plant to adorable yellow pear-shaped tomatoes to three types of basil.  We always have extra, just ask.  Goes great on everything.

Aaron: What do you do on a Friday night?

Evan: The best of Fridays, I come home after a day of editing deals for the Midwest to a house filled with alluring aromas of roasting veggies, just-baked challah, and EVOO heating on the stovetop – all from the hands and heart of Eryn.  I’ll help make salad, set the table, open some Kosher wine (preferably Argentine, thank you), and wait an hour for late guests to show up.  We’ll enjoy hearty vegetarian fare, thoughtful conversation, meeting new people, and opening additional bottles of wine (this time, American is OK).  I’ll then pack up and head to Nellie’s.

Aaron: What is your favorite part about being Jewish?
Evan: Our shared history and community, and indomitable faith, have carried me through both the most joyous and the most difficult times.  I am always proud of my identity.  Of course, being able to plumb the depths of Jewish humor doesn’t hurt either.

GTJ Leadership Team Meeting!

Ever want to impact the world, but you weren’t quite sure how?  Well, we can’t promise you the world, but we can promise you the DC Jewish community!

Come join us for the GTJ Leadership Team Meeting and be a part of Gather the Jews.  We’ll be meeting at  1729 Swann Street NW  on Sunday, November 11 at 8 pm and the meeting will last about an hour.  There will also be kosher snacks!

Grab a friend, and come help us gather!






ADL’s In Concert Against Hate Honors Four “Ordinary” Heroes

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.   ADL’s 2013 Concert Against Hate will be a featured event in the celebration of ADL’s Centennial.  For more information about the Concert please visit

On Monday, October 15th the Anti-Defamation League honored four heroes in the fight against hate and intolerance at The 18th Annual ADL In Concert Against Hate at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.  The event annually recognizes individuals for extraordinary acts of courage in confronting intolerance, injustice, extremism and terrorism.  This year’s Concert featured celebrity hosts Jeff Daniels of HBO’s The Newsroom and Madeleine Stowe of ABC’s Revenge.  Daniels and Stowe narrated the stories of this year’s honorees – Irene Fogel Weiss, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, Police Officer Moira Ann Smith, and Amardeep Singh Kaleka – interspersed with music from the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Emil de Cou.  The evening also featured 2012 Concert Patron Chairs Dr. Tina Alster and Mr. Paul Frazer.

The event was attended by over 2,000 community members from the Washington, DC region and by philanthropic and civil rights leaders from across the country.  This year’s Concert focused on the stories of four “ordinary” people whose extraordinary struggles against hatred and extremism were captured in iconic photographs:

The Concert opened with the story of Irene Fogel Weiss, a Holocaust survivor who, at thirteen, was deported to Auschwitz by the Nazis.  Years later she would learn that her arrival at Auschwitz and the fate of her parents and five siblings had been captured in photographs taken by the Nazis.

ADL also honored Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a Freedom Rider and civil rights activist who participated in the sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Jackson, Mississippi in May of 1963.  The photograph of a mob surrounding the three sit-in protesters is regarded as one of the most iconic images of the Civil Rights Movement.

Police Officer Moira Ann Smith, who is credited with saving the lives of hundreds of people at the World Trade Center on September 11th, was also honored.  For her bravery, she was posthumously awarded the New York City Police Department’s Medal of Honor.  Her husband, Retired Police Officer James Smith, and thirteen year-old daughter, Patricia Mary Smith, accepted the award on her behalf.

The evening concluded by honoring Amardeep Singh Kaleka.  On August 5, 2012, a white supremacist attacked the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six people, including the temple’s founder, Satwant Singh Kaleka.  As the tragedy unfolded, and in the days and weeks that followed, Satwant Singh Kaleka’s son, Amardeep, emerged as the voice of the Sikh community of Oak Creek.

ADL In Concert Against Hate is ADL’s flagship fundraiser for the Washington, DC region, which includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.  The event raised close to $850,000, funding ADL’s programs to combat bigotry, hatred, and extremism throughout the region.


Indian Spice Hummus

Trapped inside by Sandy, I looked to my pantry for this week’s recipe and found chick peas!  Two of my favorite chick pea dishes are hummus and the Indian staple, chana masala.  With apologies to the hummus purists out there, I decided to combine the two.  My tasters deemed my culinary fusion a success!

Total time: 50 minutes, plus soaking time

Yield: 8 servings

Level: Easy


  • 1 cup dried chick peas
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp amchoor powder*
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp salt, or more to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp tahini


  1. Place chick peas in a pot and soak in water for at least 30 minutes.  Drain and rinse the chick peas.  Repeat.  After rinsing the chick peas the second time, refill pot with water and boil for approximately 40 minutes, until the chick peas are soft.  Remove chick peas from pot, reserving cooking liquid, and place in a food processor.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to food processor.  Process to combine.  Add cooking water by ¼-cupfuls and process until desired consistency.

*Amchoor is mango powder.  It can be found in specialty/spice stores.  Or, you can add extra lemon juice.

© Courtney Weiner.  All Rights Reserved.



Make an Impact with the Second Annual Impact DC!

The second annual Impact DC is on Thursday, November 15, 2012, 8:00 p.m. at The Howard Theatre, 620 T Street NW, Washington, DC.  A $50 couvert and a $100 minimum gift to The Federation’s 2012 Annual Campaign and can be bought at  Cocktail attire.

Young Leadership of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is hosting a night that celebrates the next generation’s dedication to leadership, charitable giving and, volunteerism.  This is a generation of leaders who are shaping the future of our Jewish community.  Individually they make an impact; together they will change the world.

At this second annual event, Impact DC’s hundreds of attendees will have the opportunity to show how they make an impact in the community and will network and engage with other young adults who are making a difference in the Greater Washington area’s Jewish community.

Impact DC Co-Chair Andrew Friedson said, “An effective Jewish Federation is integral to a thriving Jewish community, and engaging young leadership is key to sustaining that strength. I’m honored to co-chair this event to celebrate our generation’s impact on the community today and to inspire continued and increased involvement tomorrow.”

“Impact DC serves as a platform to showcase our generation’s young leaders who are passionate about leaving a strong Jewish legacy. As co-chair, my hope is that through this year’s event, which will be held at the historic and newly renovated Howard Theatre, Federation will be able to embrace and inspire Jewish professionals with fresh ideas looking to strengthen their connection to our community,”  stated Impact DC Co-Chair Ariana Heideman.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington cares for those in need, deepens engagement in Jewish life and strengthens the bonds among Jews in the Greater Washington area, in Israel and around the world. With more than 42 local partner agencies, The Federation offers opportunities to make an impact in our community – whatever inspires you, the Federation has a program to help you make the world a better place.

Impact DC Co-Chair Jessica Sher concludes, “November 15th will be a night to celebrate what we, as a community of Jewish young professionals, have accomplished so far and challenge one another to continue to make an even greater impact. IMPACT DC recognizes those in our community committed to building a vibrant Jewish community through philanthropy.”

The Green Line is the New Red Line

Last month, I discussed the dramatic effect that the influx of young professionals into the District has had on our local real estate market.  This month, let’s shift our focus to the equally remarkable effects of the migration of young professionals and development dollars within the district on the property values and the lifestyle amenities available in many reemerging Washington neighborhoods.

It doesn’t require forty years of wandering (or wondering!) to understand the exodus of young professionals from upper NW DC to neighborhoods farther east.  When I was shopping for a condo in 2003, I looked at a unit in Logan Circle but decided that the area was “not ready for prime time” and was therefore too risky of an investment.  Since 2003, home values in Logan Circle have soared 60% and Logan has become one of the city’s most desirable locales.  A few more investment decisions like that and I might be joining Big Bird in the unemployment line!  What I failed to realize at that time was that the waves of young professionals that were continuing to stream into DC had to live somewhere and housing in Upper NW was simply becoming too expensive.  Just like air flowing from an area of high pressure to one of low pressure, over the past ten years young professionals and development dollars have increasingly flowed east within the city seeking to find and profit from more affordable housing options.  This infusion of youth and capital has brought with it a renewed focus on modern urban design – emphasizing transit-oriented development, sustainable building, and increased access to retail , nightlife, and community resources – to some of DC’s most historic and beautiful neighborhoods*.


With 32% of all new 18-to-34-year-old households in the District since 2000** concentrated within ¼ mile of its stations, the tremendous growth around the Green Line is representative of the eastward migration of young professionals and development dollars as well as the District’s efforts to foster the growth of “Live, Play, Work” communities throughout the city.  Here are three Green Line neighborhoods that have seen and will continue to see dramatic changes to their look, feel, and property values:


Petworth (20011)
• Between 2009 and 2011, four major residential and commercial developments delivered near the Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metrorail station.  Park Place (161 apartments and 17,000 sq. ft. of retail space), Residences at Georgia Avenue (72 apartments and a 11,500 square foot Yes! Organic Market), The Griffin (49 apartments), and 3Tree Flats (130 apartments) have created a new neighborhood center.  Furthermore, Safeway is planning to replace its current 21,000 square foot store with 220 residential units above a modern 62,000 square foot grocery store.***

Shaw (20001)
• Home to the 2.3 million sq. ft. Washington Convention Center that hosted 204 events and more than one million people in 2011.  The historic Howard Theater recently reopened after a $24 million renovation.  Cultural investment has also been made with the opening of the new, award-winning, Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library and new public art throughout the neighborhood.  CityMarket at O Street, a $260 million development, promises to be the neighborhood’s new epicenter in 2013 and will be anchored by a 72,000 square foot flagship Giant Food supermarket, a 182-room Cambria Suites Hotel, 626 residential units and 560 parking spaces.  The 1,167-room Marriott Marquis convention center hotel is under construction and scheduled to open in 2014.***

Southwest Waterfront (20024)
• The openings of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the newly expanded Arena Stage and the new 55,000 square foot Safeway are just part of the cultural, hospitality, and retail offerings that enhance the urban vitality of this rapidly developing neighborhood.  The master plan for The Wharf ( includes 1,200 residential units, 400,000 square feet of office space, 200,000 square feet of retail space, 625 hotel rooms, 100,000 square feet of cultural space, a 400?–?500 slip marina, 12 acres of open space and 1,900?–?3,050 parking spaces.  The project will be a part of the USGBC’s LEED Neighborhood Development program and the first LEED-Gold certified mixed-use project in DC.  Phase I is expected to start in late 2012.***

*While this has resulted in tremendous property value increases and investment returns for early movers, it is important to note that the changes that have already occurred and those that are planned in the near future have had and will continue to have very real and not always positive repercussions for long-time residents of these areas. A recent study examining housing trends found that the ZIP codes covering Shaw, Ledroit Park, Bloomingdale, Columbia Heights, Mt. Pleasant, and Logan Circle are three of the top twenty fastest gentrifying ZIP codes in the entire country.
**GreenPrint of Growth, January 12, 2012 by RCLCO.
*** Source: Washington DC Economic Partnership (


David Abrams, a new GTJ contributing columnist, is a native of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area.  He received his M.B.A. from Emory University in 2009 and currently works as a realtor specializing in DC’s emerging neighborhoods with the BergerSandler+ team ( at Evers & Company Real Estate.  David is licensed in DC, MD, & VA.