You don’t have to look very hard to find an excuse for not wanting to connect Jewishly. Many of us can find one by simply thinking back to childhood: -You hated Hebrew school. -Synagogue was boring. -Your Hillel was too religious. -A rabbi once said something offensive or hurtful. -Being Jewish made you feel like […]
About Aaron Potek
Reb Aaron, our Rabbi in residence at GatherDC, loves to help people find new ways to think about Jewish identity, understand themselves, and process the world around them. There are many ways to be Jewish, and he wants to help you find a path that works for you. (Read some of his thoughts on this very topic here.)
He spends most of his time outside of the GatherDC office, meeting with people in coffee shops and bars to have relaxed, meaningful discussions about what it means for someone to be Jewish in their 20’s and 30’s.
When Reb Aaron isn’t meeting with community members, hosting a Mini Gathering, or leading GatherDC’s Beyond the Tent experience, he’s making people laugh at an improv show, or being active on the tennis court or hiking trail.
Entries by Aaron Potek
Today is Yom Hazikaron, the memorial day for Israel’s fallen soldiers. Its scope has evolved and expanded since it was passed into Israeli law in 1963. In 1980, it was expanded to include Jewish fighters killed in pre-State battles. In 1998, the commemoration was expanded to include Israeli victims of terror. Beginning 12 years ago, some […]
If you haven’t listened to the S-Town podcast yet, you should.
Not only because everybody else is doing it (though that does seem to be the case – it’s the fastest podcast to ever reach 15 million downloads or streams on Apple Podcasts). And not necessarily because it’s the greatest podcast of all time. (I think it’s a great piece of storytelling through journalism, but it’s neither revolutionary nor profound.)
Maybe I don’t know how to relax. While most people choose to spend their vacations on a beach, last week I spent my vacation in the West Bank. Through an organization called Encounter, I was there facilitating a group of American Jewish leaders who came to learn about Palestinian narratives. Encounter is non-partisan and has […]
It’s easy to dismiss the famous story in this week’s Torah portion of the Israelites making and worshipping the Golden Calf. I mean, do you or anyone you know really struggle with the temptation of bowing down to a statue? This story may have been relevant thousands of years ago, when people worshipped idols, but […]
Confused? Good. This was a joke in honor of the holiday of Purim, which begins this Saturday evening, March 11th. Purim is known as the day we eat triangle shaped cookies (hamentashen) and read the story of Esther in the megillah out loud. It’s also known as a day we turn everything upside down by […]
I love happy hours. I know there are so many of them here in DC, but not enough, if you ask me. Honestly, I wish every hour of the day was a happy hour. Think about how many people I could talk to about my job and where I’m from. And so many opportunities to […]
Last evening, about thirty alumni of select GatherDC experiences convened at the Takoma Wellness Center – a medical marijuana dispensary owned and run by a rabbi, Jeff Kahn. It is one of only 5 dispensaries in the District, and the only dispensary in the country run by a rabbi.
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day – a time to appreciate a partner if you have one, or a time to feel lonely if you don’t. Feeling lonely is, ironically, something we’ve all experienced, if not this Valentine’s Day then at some point in our lives. It’s a hard feeling to sit with – in fact, the […]