Jewish Guy of the Week – Steve

Steve on why he should be Guy of the Year:
I have an enormous crush on a local Jewish girl.  Unfortunately, I cannot impress her with my strength (I am weak) or my speed (I am slow).  Thus, my best shot to win her heart is to claim victory as Jewish Guy of the Year.

What’s your greatest Jewish achievement to date?
During the Passover Seder, there is an amazing section called “Shulchan Orech.”  I believe the translation is “We eat the festive meal.”  I was always really good at that part.

If you could go into business with any Jew, historical or biblical, whom would you choose?
It would be awesome to open a Putt-Putt golf course in DC, so I guess my answer is “the owner of Putt Putt golf.”  I assume he is Jewish.

Word on the street is that you have some control over the flavors at Mr. Yogato (17 and P) — what’s your all time favorite flavor and what did in consist of?
Original tangy with raspberries, pineapple, granola, and honey.  Since I am going to get slaughtered in the Jewish-Guy-of-the-Year competition, should I offer yogurt discounts to try and level the playing field?

What’s your favorite Jewish food and why?
See above – original tangy with raspberries, pineapple, granola, and honey.  If that is not Jewish enough, we can add a bit of maror.

Tell us about the “dyslexic bar mitzvah”:
I think that you should be bar-mitzvahed at 13 and dyslexic-bar-mitzvahed when you hit 31.  I wonder at which age you are better at Coke-and-Pepsi?  Do the kids these days still do the Electric Slide?

Jewish Guy – Gaby

GabbyYou are the last Jewish Guy of the Week for 2010, Mazel Tov!  We know why we picked you, but tell us in your own words why you are receiving this momentous honor.
The rumors I’ve heard are that Tila and Abby are plotting a last-ditch effort to make me Jew Guy of the Year so that way the devious and conniving Stephen Richer doesn’t self-impose that glorious title onto himself. But if that’s not the case… maybe you were just desperate? Ha, well I did just get back after spending a year working in Jerusalem, so I have at least some Jew street cred.

As the (secular) year comes to a close, tell us your top 5 favorite moments about 2010.
Okay here goes:

5) Drinking entire bottles of Arak and “orange drink” (a.k.a NOT orange juice) at night on the beaches of Tel Aviv with my Israel roommate (this was a perennial event….wash, rinse, repeat).

4) Finally convincing my parents to stop feeding my now 20-pound chihuahua fatty slabs of pork, buckets of shellfish, and other not-so-kosher-friendly food products.

3) Smoking more hookah than normal people breath air in the Old City of Jerusalem.

2) Learning to be a gourmet chef extraordinaire – I’m talking curries, stuffed peppers, shakshuka, risottos, and a really mean matzah pizza. This aint yo average matzah ball, son.

1) Booz cruise to Cyrpus. ‘Nuff said.

If you could make a toast to the Jews of DC, what would you say?

Word on the street is that you have a blog. What’s it about and who are your biggest fans?
Wellllll…. not to get political, but I write about Middle Eastern affairs when time allows. Check it out and follow my blog:

Where is your favorite place in the world that you have traveled to?
Hmm… that’s a good one. I’ve been to Israel, Egypt, Argentina, and some parts of Eastern Europe… but I guess when it comes down to it there’s no place that serves crisp golden-brown falafel like Yerushalayim. Not even at Falafel Frenzy (where, to my dismay, had no falafel).

Everyone has a theme song–that song that gets them really pumped up. What’s yours?
Timbaland’s The Way I Are. Oh yeah.

Heading home to North Hollywood to escape the cold this Winter?
Good question. In fact, I’m not. I’m actually going to Vegas for New Years….with my mom. Yeup. Just me and my mom. In Vegas. Woot.

We know your lifelong goal is to be Jewish Guy of the Year for Gather the Jews. Finish this sentence: “As Jewish Guy of The Year, I solemnly swear to….”
I will solemnly decree in the land of GTJ that all us GTJ peasants shall receive an infinite amount of matzah balls, vats of hummus, and Jew gold. No one, really NO ONE, can top that.

Girl of the Week – Ricki

(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

Ricki on why she should be Jewish Girl of the Year:
Friends all over the US – and abroad, too – now know about and are intrigued by Gather the Jews.  By sharing the mission of the site, many have been inspired to become more involved in their own communities, and above all else, to keep on gathering.

Much like the plot of a current animated movie, Zach and Ricki, two Jewish superheroes, spent the first years of their lives in the same area before being scattered for college.  Only recently did they reunite in Washington, D.C. at a Shabbat meal.

Note: Although they look incredibly adorable sitting side-by-side in the photograph below, Ricki and Zach are actually not dating.  But many thanks nonetheless to the friends from Massachusetts who have already congratulated them on finding each other.

GTJ: Did you know Zach was Jewish Guy of the Week material when you first re-met him?  Or did it take a little while to discover?
R: Jewish Guy of the Week at first sight – that’s a bold statement right there.  But in all seriousness, Zach was definitely a Jewish Guy of the Week at first sight since everyone I meet seems to know him, including my home and camp friends, as well as several college friends who are now in DC.

GTJ:  And Zach, you must have met a bunch of other Jewish girls at the Shabbat dinner where you two reunited… What set Ricki apart from the other ladies?
Z: There’s not a single person that I know that she doesn’t already know.

GTJ: You two grew up in the same area, have a ton of the same friends, and went to Jewish camps in the same foundation.  How did you manage to miss her during the first 18 years of your life?
Z: I think our paths actually did cross a couple times in Marblehead, MA – but I was 2 or 3 and don’t remember much from those years.  Other than that, I think it can be largely attributed to Ricki’s broken ankle and our mean camp director.

GTJ: Was Zach as dashing at 2.5 years old as he is now?
R:  Oh, absolutely.  When 2.5 year old Ricki met 2.5 year old Zach, dashing was definitely the first word that came to mind.

GTJ: He stayed in Massachusetts for school; you went to Chicago.  Who made the right decision?
R: This might be a biased answer – but although his winters were slightly better than mine, I’d have to say I made the right decision because it made me realize I want to ultimately end up close to home.  It was also great to spend 4 years in a completely new city and pick up some Midwestern habits, like learning to not always be in a rush (which is always a challenge for us east-coasters).

Ricki and ZachGTJ: But Zach, wouldn’t you say this gives you a slightly higher claim to being the better Patriots fan?
Z:  Of course I would say that.  I think my Tom Brady desktop, the picture of him I carry in my wallet, my attempt at the Tom Brady hairdo, and my overall die-hardness give me this edge, too.  I also think that Ricki’s decision to study in the city of the Bears, the team that handed the Patriots a crushing Super Bowl loss in the 1985 season, raises some questions about her allegiance.

GTJ:  Wow, quite the accusation…  Ricki?
R:  Hey, I have my Brady jersey!  B
ut no, I don’t carry a picture of him in my wallet so Zach gets a couple extra points right there.

GTJ:  If you had to marry Zach off to a female biblical character, which would it be? Why?
R: I’m no biblical expert, but after a little research I think I’d go with Esther.  Aside from being the best person to dress up as for Purim, Esther had a strong spirit, was strikingly clever, and seemed to embody the Jewish values that govern our
lives.  Esther obeyed the orders of King Ahasverus but always stood her ground and knew the ‘right thing to do’; she seemed to epitomize what we would call a true mensch.  Above all, she proudly identified herself as a Jew (once Haman was out of the picture, of course) and led Ahasverus to give Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.  These seem like pretty admirable qualities, but if nothing else, I can totally see Esther as a Patriots fan…

GTJ:  Zach, do you accept?
Z: Esther? How could I say no? Age difference might be tough though.

GTJ:  You recently invited Ricki to a group Shabbat dinner at your place.  What dish did she bring?  What do you think this says about her?
Z: Ricki brought a bottle of wine.  Ricki has been quoted as calling this a “cop out.”  In some books this may be true.  But in the book o
f Friday night dinners, this must mean that Ricki loves the Shabbos.

RickiGTJ:  If you’re together chosen as Jewish Guy and Girl of the Year, and win the $1 million prize that had to be used together, what would you want to do?
Joint response after some discussion:  Of course we would invest one quarter of the winnings back into Gather the Jews. We would put a $250,000 down payment on the project to fund Fenway Park renovations.  We’ll send Sam Zuber through med-school in exchange for free medical care for life.  The rest will b
e used to take all of our friends on a wicked trip to Israel.

GTJ: Oxford American Dictionary recently named Sarah Palin’s “refudiate” to be the invented word of the year.  If you could add one word to the English Dictionary to better describe Ricki or a thing she does, what would it be, and what would it mean?
Z:  Jwoww – Jewish Woman of the Week. Wooo.

GTJ: What do you want to say to the Jewish community on the last day of Hanukkah?
Z: Since Hanukka
h fell so close to Thanksgiving this year, I’d like to mention 8 of the many things that we can be thankful for as Jews: 1) Latkes 2) “bubbe, bubkes, chutzpah, feh, klutz, nosh, etc…” 3) GTJ 4) Shabbat 5) Amare Stoudemireand Shyne 6) Rabbis 7)Israel 8)Jdate
R: When you lig
ht candles tonight, think about Jews all over the world who are doing the exact same thing, reciting the exact same prayers – it’s pretty neat.   And, of course, I hope you found some time to get together with friends to eat latkes and play some dreidel.


Songwriter Immanuel Shalev

Songwriter Immanuel Shalev

March 8, 2011 Update: The Maccabeats Purim Song

In this special Q and A, Gather the Jews interviews the Maccabeats as this week’s mitzvah maker of the week, creators of the viral Youtube hits Candlelight and Cover of “One Day”. Candlelight appeared on GTJ’s list of top new Chanukah videos.

How has becoming a YouTube sensation changed your lives?

We were totally taken by surprise that this video exploded like it did. I’m not sure any of us were ready for this, but for this week we have been extremely busy with the response to the video. We have been contacted by people all over the world telling us about the impact it has had on them and on their communities. Knowing that we have inspired people and created a sense of Jewish pride in many is an exciting and meaningful thing for us.

They flip their latkes in the air sometimes.

They flip their latkes in the air sometimes.

What do you have planned next?

We’re not sure what the next move will be. We haven’t had much time to think about it due to the unbelievably large response to this video.

What type of gigs have come as a result of your song?

We have been asked to do all different kinds of performances as a result of the video.  People from every walk of life have been contacting us to discuss the video and ask if we are available for a bar mitzvah, concert, or other type of event. [Editor’s Note: Even a wedding proposal!] It has really been an incredible reaction.

Why are you called the Maccabeats?

Let's Make an A Cappella Group!We liked the name Maccabeats because it represented Jewish and musical themes while also being quite catchy.

What is your favorite song to sing?

Probably “Candlelight” because it has been enjoyed by such a large audience.

How many members in your tribe?

We have 14 members in the group.

Where is the coolest place you sang?

The coolest place we sang was the CBS Early Show this Monday morning. Singing on national television was something we never anticipated, and having the ability to reach a nationwide audience to deliver the message of Chanukah was truly fulfilling.

Maccabeats play dreidel

Sayin ayy ohh, spin the dreidel!

If you could have any biblical character in your group, who would it be?  Why?

We would take Moshe Rabbeinu because of his singing experience in Az Yashir.

What is the best night of Chanukah and why?

All nights are equal, but I think I’d have to say I appreciate the first most because it represents the fact that the beginning of any venture sets the tone for the rest of it. This is one of the reasons we celebrate eight days even though the first day of the oil burning was not exactly miraculous because there was enough oil for one day. Starting on the right foot is an important lesson we can learn from the first day of Chanukah.

Where can we learn more about you?

You can learn more about us at our website, and book a gig with us by sending an e-mail to The Maccabeats have iTunes, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter presences, and T-Shirts and CDs are available.

The Maccabeats

Jewish Guy – Spencer

SpencerSpencer on why he should be Jewish Guy of the Year:
I am a Global Jew. This year alone, I have visited over a dozen countries from Uganda to Senegal to Venezuela. You can find a Jewish connection and purpose everywhere. Next stop: Ethiopia to bring the remaining Jews to Israel and then on to Rwanda to help genocide survivors.

Spencer and Rachel are team JGOTs this week; they answered the questions together.  Congratulations on the engagement!

Which biblical character best describes you and why?
Spencer: I don’t know about me, but when I think of Rachel, it’s obvious—Ruth. There are many parallels, including Ruth being a truly righteous and committed convert—in fact, rabbinic tradition considers Ruth the first convert—and her dedication led to millennia of ever-strengthening Jews through to King David and all the generations beyond. Rachel recently underwent her official conversion, but like Ruth, her devotion to the Jewish people came long before… and like Ruth, Rachel has affected thousands of Jews through programs she has started and as an integral leader in our community. She’s totally the Ruth of our generation.

Which famous movie star would you want to play you in your made for TV movie?
Rachel: There is only one famous person who could ever play Spencer in a bio-pic – – and that is none other than Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek.  Even Spencer’s own father agrees he had to look twice during those triple axels just to make it wasn’t really Spencer.

If you had to have a Jewish MTV Real World, which people would you want living with you?
Shia LaBeouf, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sacha Baron Cohen, Seth Green.

Spencer: I like to laugh. I like funny Jews. Adam Sandler, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Seth Rogen…  oh and Rachel’s brother Michael Bradley Cohen is also hysterical and will one day be a famous actor so he should live with us too.

You have a crush on which Biblical character?
Spencer: Refer back to question about which biblical character describes you & why…

If you won Jewish Guy/Girl of the year, what would you do with the prize money?
Spencer: I look at my own life and realize how fortunate I am to have so many opportunities. Then I think about my mother and her parents moving here from Germany after narrowly surviving the holocaust, having lost everything and everyone. I can’t live such a privileged life without realizing where I came from.

I feel connected to the children of Rwanda. Living in the aftermath of genocide, they too deserve hope and opportunity. I am planning a mission to Rwanda to bring that hope, build important bonds, and instill the Jewish values of bettering the world (tikkun olam) in the Jewish trip participants.

Prize money would be nice, but I’ll make sure it happens either way.

Spencer, that fits pretty well with what we’ve heard about you spending your free time reuniting Ethiopian Jewish families. Can you tell us about that?
My life’s passion involves traveling the world. I’ve vowed to visit every country before I die and I make more progress every year. This year included trips to Uganda and Ethiopia. Currently I am writing from Peru… and then am on my way to Venezuela, Costa Rica, Turkey, and Pakistan (long story). Believe it or not you can find Jews just about anywhere—even if there is only one left. I often try to find foreign Jewish communities in my travels—it’s one big family all over the world.

The Ethiopia story is ongoing, but to make a long story short, a friend and I went to the old Jewish/Falasha village near Gondar, Ethiopia. Israel airlifted most of the Jews out of Ethiopia during Operations Moses and Solomon, but we found one Jew left in that village who knew all of the customs and was incredibly passionate about moving to Israel. I hunted down her family in Israel… progress… but there are still questions of her actual genealogy. It seems she was adopted by this Jewish family… so stay tuned for what happens next…

Rachel tells us you decided to build your future home out of Biblical materials. Explain.
For many weeks, we had been struggling with the decision of what materials to use to build our home. Vinyl siding? Stucco? Brick? Wood? If wood, what type of wood? We seemed to change our minds every day. What we didn’t know was that Judaism could answer this question for us in a truly beautiful way…

The Talmud (Gittin 57a) records a charming custom about marriage: “When a boy is born, a cedar tree is planted and when a girl is born a cypress tree is planted. When they grow up and get married, the wedding canopy, the chuppah, is made of branches taken from both trees.”

The combining of these two trees symbolizes the union of the bride and groom. Moreover, the chuppah is used in the wedding ceremony to symbolize the house that the bride and groom build together. So there was our answer.

When I proposed to Rachel on that empty plot of land, I said that this is where we will build our house together, our life together, and our family together. Now as the building takes shape, combining cedar and cypress will forever symbolize our everlasting union.

Rachel, you just started a new job. Can you describe it to us?
I am very excited to have been named the Director of Young Adult Initiatives for the Schusterman Family Foundation.  Our mission is to spread the joy of Jewish living, giving and learning, and we do this through supporting programs that ensure vibrant Jewish life by empowering young Jews to embrace the joy of Judaism, build inclusive Jewish communities, support the State of Israel and repair the world.

In this new role I will oversee initiatives to cultivate a growing network of young innovators, professionals and program alumni to work collaboratively to create meaningful Jewish experiences for themselves, and their peers.

Rachel, Your upbringing is unique. Tell us about yourself.
I’m likely the only Rachel Cohen you’ll meet who grew up singing in the church choir, a child of an interfaith marriage, and the proud descendent of seven generations of United Church of Christ ministers and missionaries.

I was lucky enough to participate in the very first Birthright Israel trip in the Winter of 1999-2000 – and as cliche as it sounds, it changed my life forever.

I wish I could say that my decision to go on the trip was motivated by a deep sense of longing for an understanding of Judaism or connection to my Jewish roots. It wasn’t.  I applied because I had never had the chance to travel abroad and it didn’t hurt that the trip was free.

Once in Israel I fell in love with a culture, a people, a country and a religion.  As much as I felt out of place having little knowledge of the traditions, practices or beliefs associated with the Jewish people- – I also felt part of a giant global family.  Needless to say, my family was quite surprised when I returned to NJ committed to exploring my Jewish identity.

Ten years later both my little sister and brother have gone on Birthright Israel and I now belong to a Jewish family!  Spencer led us all in a Passover seder last year at my sister’s college – no doubt the first of many we’ll share together.

And what of the “other side” of my family?  This has not been a journey I’ve been on alone by any means, and my family has been pretty incredible in the interest they have taken in learning about my newfound Jewish faith.  My Christian cousin regularly attends events with me at 6th & I – my aunt, who is a Minister, has started participating in weekly Shabbat programs at a Reform temple near her – and my 90 year old grandmother (also a minister) even went to shul on high holy days this year!

Mitzvah Maker – Dreidel Man

Dreidel Man

Dreidel Man poses in front of the National Menorah

Dreidel Man is a perennial favorite at the National Menorah Lighting organized by the American Friends of Lubavitch. In an exclusive interview with GTJ, we get to the root of the question “Who is Dreidel Man?”

What is the Menorah Lighting on the Ellipse?
Probably the largest annual Jewish event in Washington – and the premier celebration of Chanukah in the country. Over 30 million people saw it last year – in the US alone.

How many people usually come, and who will be there?
Anywhere from 2000-3000. This year we gave out over 4000 tickets. WH Budget Chief Jack Lew will light the menorah, and Itzhak Perlman will perform, as well as the Three Cantors.  We also expect the new mayor-elect, Vince Gray, and other officials.

How fast can you spin?
If before some L’chaim, not so fast. If after L’Chaim, not to mention my bubby’s latkes, I really can’t tell…

What is the best part about being a dreidel?
Being apolitical in the city of spin. And falling on gimmel and making people happy. Some people say if I fall on Gimmel at the Fed, I might help Director Lew balance the federal budget. We just need some extra Chanukah Gelt to make it happen.

What is your favorite letter to land on?
See above.

How many dreidels are there in the world?
Dreidels? Millions. “Spinners”? Probably too many.

What is your favorite Channukah food?
Sufganiyot. They taste fantastic, especially if there is moderate jelly inside, as opposed to the explosive, compressed two-pounders they sometimes pack in. When I try to sneak a donut at lunch, I inevitably end up with the wrong one – the one which oozes way too much jelly on my shirt to present at the next meeting, so I just go home and light my menorah.

What is your favorite night of Chanukah?
First one, it reminds us again of the ability to create light where there is darkness. And the last night shows incremental but significant progress, which is encouraging. The story of Chanuakh in the Talmud is way more about the oil than the war, because Chassidic thought explains how oil represents refinement and elevation (it floats above other liquids), inspiring us to become more refined and uplifted, not to mention spiritually elevated, in these days.

Jewish Guy – Uri

Uri on why he should be Jewish Guy of the Year:
If I could explain why I should be GTJJGOTY in under 50 words, would I deserve such a prestigious title??? Briefly, I’m working with rabbis on a book that reunites science/Torah, I’ve got 5 guitars, great hair, and I can stand on my head. What else could you possibly want???

Have you ever straightened your hair?
I wish you hadn’t asked me that. Yes, I did straighten it once in high school. I was so disappointed that I subsequently shaved it off, but only after dyeing it bleach blonde and surprising my girlfriend at work with it. In retrospect, I don’t understand why she didn’t dump me immediately. But I will point out that she helped me shave my head.

Where do you live and why?
Moishe House Silver Spring!!! WHY?? Because it is the most awesome place any Jew could live and/or hang out this day and age. Duh. We organize and host events for all Jews (and friends of Jews) to attend, i.e. Shabbat dinners, book clubs (I’m currently running a book club on science and G-d), hiking trips to Shenandoah, open-mic nights, etc etc etc.

It seems like you have been in school for a really long time…why?!
Because I don’t want to grow up and work in the “real world”. In all seriousness, one of my favorite things about Jewish culture is our emphasis on education and learning. I hope to be in school forever, but while a biophysicist grad student’s stipend isn’t too terrible (ok ok…yes it is pretty bad), I would much rather get paid a professor’s salary. I’ll keep you posted on my progress towards that goal…

What is the coolest part about being an Israeli in the US?
The fact that I’m so atypical. I thrive on not fitting in and having a unique place and perspective in the world. I also like that someday I can get US research grants but do collaborative research with labs in Israel – US scientists have lots of money to spare compared to Israelis, and I’m really excited about being able to give back to our homeland someday.

Can you count to 10 in Hebrew?
I hope you’re joking.

Who is your favorite living Jew?
My sister. She’s an enigma wrapped in a conundrum, but somehow she’s so lovable.

Where do you spend Friday nights?
Lately I’ve been trying to leave lab early enough to make it home for Shabbat, whereupon I’ll go to services at Ohev Sholom, or just chill at home and read and hang out with my Moisheketeer roommates. As mentioned before, we also often host Shabbat dinners. You should come!

Who is the coolest Jew in DC?
I would say Rahm Emanuel, but apparently he’s heading back to Chicago to run for mayor, so poo on him. Since I’m assuming “myself” isn’t an option, I’m gonna to have to go with Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz. She revolutionized modern biology by using microscopes to image living cells and their moving parts, and her sense of awe with the miraculous world of the biological cell is absolutely contagious and inspiring. The fact that just trying to understand things that “look cool” can help cure disease is why I love being a microscopist, and she epitomizes the potential of our profession.

Jewish Guy – Sam

Jewish Guy - Sam

So what’s it like being an Israeli in the district?
It’s great to be part of a larger community than just the one you live in. Being an Israeli in the district, thanks to the many different programs (i.e. Gather the Jews), has allowed me to make both friends and acquaintances rather quickly. Even though I am really new to the DC area, I fit in quickly and made life long friendships thanks to my being Israeli and there being countless programs to help Israeli’s/Jews do exactly that.

We’ve heard rumors that you’re an opera fanatic. True or false?
I do love opera! In fact, I hit up the Opera House just last week! The Kennedy Center is one of the largest national centers for art and it would be a shame to not use it and go and see the wonderful productions that are performed there.

What is your favorite Jewish holiday and why?
Purim. It’s always fun to dress up, make loud noises, and it is a good excuse to celebrate in the middle of dreary March.

If you could choose to play ping pong with one of the biblical characters, who would you choose?
I’d definitely play ping-pong against Samson. The reason being, when I beat him, it would give me pretty good street cred. in the ping-pong world.

Every person has a pump-up song, that song that really builds them up and makes them happy. What’s your pump-up song?
This probably sounds sad, but I love the early “Subliminal and the Shadow” rap. Whenever I hear their “HaFinali” song it gets me super pumped-up.

What is your favorite place you have traveled to?
It’s hard to choose a favorite place. So many different places are great for so many different reasons and there is always all the places I haven’t visited yet. But, in Costa Rica, I stumbled upon a small barely inhabited beach that had the most breathtaking view I have ever seen before and since. In terms of vacation, that’s probably one of the places I would choose to go and visit again.

Jewish Girl – Abby

Jewish Girl - Abby

If you could meet any biblical character, who would it be?
If I could meet a biblical character (old testament, obviously) I’d have to say I’d want to meet Adam (of Adam and Eve).  That way when people say to me “You don’t know me from Adam!”, I can say “Yes I do!!”

Who is your favorite Jewish friend?
My favorite Jewish friend is my best friend Pailey. I know you said “no lame responses,” but in this case I just have to be honest.  She and I grew up in Dallas together and she sang Shalom Rav with me on the bima at my Bat Mitzvah.  Love you, Pay!

Which living Jew would you want to spend Shabbat with?
I’d want to spend Shabbat with Aaron Wolff because then he’d gather all the Jews so we could all spend Shabbat together.

What is one secret about you that nobody knows about until now? (FYI all the Jews in DC read this)
Sometimes when I am stressed I go to Walmart and just walk around. Sometimes I buy things, sometimes I don’t, but there’s just something so soothing about a discount store with smiley faces plastered everywhere.  Try it sometime when you’re stressed; you’ll thank me later.

What’s your favorite Jewish dish?
Brisket. Nuff said.

Lulav or Etrog?
That’s like asking “Laverne or Shirley?” You just can’t, they both made Nick at Nite what it is today. Shake it Shake it Shake it!

If you did Dancing with the Stars, who would you choose as your dance partner?
Emmitt Smith.

Jews have been known to wander, where is the most exotic place you traveled?
I took a random roadtrip to Nebraska once but the most exotic place is probably Greece. The beaches of Santorini and Mykonos are just beautiful.

Would you ever make your own Sukkah?
Of course! When I was little my family used to make our own “sukkah” by putting leaves and branches over the monkey bars on our swingset. I think at this point I’d need a bigger swingset but yes, absolutely!

Favorite part about being Jewish in DC?
There are so many different groups and activities to do to meet other YJP’s!  Stay on the look out for Service Shot, my own little organization starting up in mid-October!

What is your favorite food to dip in honey?
Do people really say anything besides apples? I mean, I love a good peanut butter and banana sandwich with a drizzle of honey, but that’s not exactly dipping.

Why were you chosen to be featured as Jew of the Week?
I saw Aaron walking down the street and literally yelled “That’s GathertheJews-Guy!” He was a great schmoozer and took the time to meet me and my friends, even the non-MOT’s (members of the tribe). Thanks, Aaron!!

Jewish Girl – Rochelle

Jewish Girl - Rochelle

(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

We hear you work for Deloitte along with a couple other Jews in the DC community.  I’m quantitatively challenged, so can you explain to me in simple words what you do there?  Do you dominate?
I’m a Recruiter for the Federal Consulting Practice at Deloitte and I love it!  I get to talk to all kinds of people all day long, and I get the satisfaction of extending job offers to candidates which is always exciting.  The most rewarding part of my job is helping to place people in a job that they are passionate about.  Almost everyone is excited when I extend them a job offer so it makes me feel good to deliver the good news.

Tell us about the Sukkah Hop and what you’re doing for it.
I’m one of the Co-chairs this year for the Sukkah Hop and helping to plan and organize the event.  This event is always a sellout, so I’m happy to take part in it.  Everyone meets at 6th and I Historic Synagogue and then we get on buses and tour some of the finest Sukkah’s in DC, and there will be different food and drink at each stop.  You should come!!

Even though all our Jewish Girls of The Week are perfect, what one thing do you want to do even more perfectly this Jewish year? I’m sure many of the other lovely Jewish Girls of the Week are perfect but I’m far from it.  I definitely have my flaws and quirks, and I’m the first to admit it.  One of the things I’m going to try and focus on this year is being more thoughtful and giving to others.  It makes me feel good to do things for my family, friends and even strangers just because I want to and not because I expect anything in return.

The Washington Nationals play the intro or a segment of a song for each Nationals batter that goes to the plate.  The song has to pump the batter up and it has to represent him some way.  What would your music clip be?  (FYI:  Mine would be the first 20 seconds of “All I Do Is Win” – DJ Khaled )
My music clip would totally be Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” Even though the song has been played out I know it would definitely get me pumped up.  And who wouldn’t want to Just Dance anyways?

Where will you be for the High Holidays?
I’ll be in DC for Rosh Hashanah and then I’m going home to Virginia Beach for Yom Kippur to spend it with my whole family.  I can’t wait for my mom’s Noodle Kugel!