Jewish Girl of the Week – Kara

photo (2)Want to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on GTJ? Nominate him/her at

Rachel: What brought you to DC?
Kara: I am a Washingtonian!  I was born in DC.  Three out of four of my grandparents were also born in DC.  I grew up in Potomac, Maryland.

Rachel: You work for the Hebrew Home.  What is that like?  Any interesting stories?
Kara: I am a geriatric social worker and love working with older adults in the Jewish community.  It is fun and fulfilling.  My residents’ stories are incredible.  There is so much you can learn from seniors who’ve lived long and full lives.

Rachel: We heard you’re attending the HaLev Israel’s Welcome Event for AIPAC Policy Conference on March 1st.  Can you tell us more about it?
Kara: I am and am looking forward to it!  It’s a great way to get the young professionals (the future) involved with Israel advocacy and also to have a great time.

photoRachel: Have you been to Israel?  Do you have a favorite memory?
Kara: I have been to Israel many times.  I worked for Amazing Israel, a Taglit-Birthright trip provider, for many years.  Then, after spending a year in the Ukraine, I lived in Israel for almost two years, working at a senior center for Alzheimer and Dementia patients. My favorite memory?  Wow I have so many!  I love the country, it will always be my home.

Rachel: What’s your favorite way to spend Shabbat?
Kara: I love hosting Shabbat and having friends over for good food, good wine, and great conversation!  It’s the best way to unwind at the end of a week.

Rachel: What is your favorite Jewish holiday?
Kara: This is a tough question.  There are so many great holidays.  When living in Israel, I loved Purim.  Living in America, I love Hanukkah!

Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?
Kara: Golda Meir

Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…
Kara: it’s a Jew crew!

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.

Jewish Guy of the Week – Eli

Eli - newWant to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on GTJ? Nominate him/her at

Rachel: What brought you to DC?
Eli: I came to conquer the United States, and stayed to conquer mimosas at Sunday brunch.

Rachel: How would people describe you?
Eli: I’m like your stereotypical James Bond Russian villain.  I like to work hard, play hard, and take an occasional body shot from a Jewish sorority girl or summer Hill intern.  But I’m always home in time to put a kippa on for Shabbat and to attend an RJC event.

Seriously, I originally came to college at GW because I was really interested in politics as a kid.  And, I ended up staying for law school and work.  I guess I like the city that much.

Rachel: What’s your favorite part of DC?
Eli: If anyone wants to schmooze with me, you can almost always find me at the Georgetown Waterfront on Sunday nights.

Rachel: We heard you’re attending the HaLev Israel Young Professional Welcome Event for AIPAC Policy Conference.  Can you tell us more about it?
Eli: As you probably know, AIPAC holds a conference in DC every year.  People from all over America, along with nearly every pro-Israel congressman, come to the conference.

This year, HaLev Israel is throwing a great event for young professionals who are going to the conference and for those in the DC Jewish community.  It will be a great way to meet other people who care about Israel and learn more about the AIPAC conference, while having a fun time!

Eli 3The event will take place at Capitale – one of the best venues in DC – on March 1st, the night before the conference.  If you’re attending the conference, the event is free – you just need to register.  If not, the tickets are only $25 until February 15, 2014. So, check out .

Rachel: Any cool/hidden talents?
Eli: I’m great at getting to know people’s dark secrets – like a more Jewish, slightly less crude Howard Stern.

Rachel: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?
Eli: I love celebrating Passover with my family, and all of its traditions.  These days, I particularly enjoy helping the younger kids plot to steal the Afikoman.  I try to resist re-hiding it when they’re not looking.  For me, Passover is also a great reminder about how Jews had to run away from evil over and over again throughout history, and why Israel is so important.

Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?
Eli: Sheldon Adelson.  Besides helping American veterans and Israel, he seems to have an awesome attitude for dealing with haters.  Plus, who doesn’t love a man who bankrolls Birthright from casino winnings?

Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…
Eli: When Jews gather…you get a million opinions, a full belly, sharp wit, and a great time.

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.