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 […]
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
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 […]
Where and how we give reflects who we are and what we value. This is true for every individual, but it’s also true for communities. Just over a month ago, GatherDC finished its first ever “Gather Giving Circle,” which brought together seven Jewish 20s and 30s to discuss Jewish perspectives on giving and to decide […]
When I say “Jewish History,” what’s the first word that comes to mind? I asked this question at Gather’s Beyond the Tent Retreat last weekend. Not surprisingly, the most recurring responses were “Holocaust,” “sad,” “oppression” and “depressing.” I half-joked that this makes Judaism sound like a tough sell for those on the fence about getting […]
I remember a teacher once said to me: “Want to know what you really value? Check your internet browser history.” I don’t think that’s the best way to understand yourself (most of my time is not spent on my computer), but our online activity certainly reflects a part of who we are – sometimes a […]
The hardest part about being in a relationship is navigating differences. But those differences also give each relationship its dynamic, creative energy that ultimately sustains it. This past week, I was in Israel helping to lead a group of 18 couples on a program called Honeymoon Israel. Of each couple, at least one of the […]