Mitzvah Maker – Eva

Mitzvah Maker - Eva

Now that you are Mitzvah Maker, what celebrity/political leader would you like to call and congratulate you?
Of course Idan Raichel, my favorite Israeli artist.  The best part is I know he will call because he´s goodwill ambassador for Save a Child´s Heart.

What inspired you to start the Young Professionals Committee for Save a Child’s Heart in DC?
I had heart surgery as a baby and have always been a strong supporter of Israel. Save a Child´s Heart was the perfect platform. SACH was started in Israel by Dr. Ami Cohen who saw the need to bring children with coronary heart disease from developing countries to get operated in Israel in modern hospitals and take advantage of the first-rate facilities and expertise. Since then, SACH committees for young professionals have sprung up around the world. I noticed that people in DC are especially active and that this is a good cause, so I definitely wanted to set one up here.

What is your favorite Shabbat dish, and how does it represent Save a Child’s Heat?
My favorite Shabbat dish has to be chocolate babka. Oh, how does it relate to Save a Child’s Heart. Mmm…It’s sweet and swirly and everybody loves it!

If Save a Child’s Heart was a biblical figure, who would it be and why?
Miriam. She saved a Child’s Heart by sending off her baby brother Moses in a basket on the river to save his life.

GTJ has tribal leaders and tribal members, how do you join Save a Child’s Heart Tribe?
Normally we would have a ritual tribal dance to join, but we’ll let you off easy if you come to our next DC fundraiser in October where we will have a date auction among other things.  Be on the look out for more details.

Where can we find more information about Save a Child’s Heart?
Easy. Go to

Please join our SACH DC Facebook group

Jewish Girl – Jackie

Jewish Girl - Jackie(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

Jackie on why she should be Jewish Girl of the Year:

OY VEY! Where do I start…
I eat kugel, latkes, bagels & shmear,
Keep Birthright memories in my heart,
And sign on to JDate full of fear!

I rock my Jew curls at every Jew event,
Trivia, Reverse Mifgash, and happy hours galore,
Missing out on any of them gets me faklempt,
And you’ll probably see me at many more!

I loved my time as Jewish Girl of the Week,
And with your votes I’ll cheer out loud,
The title of Jewish Girl of the Year I seek,
So help me make my Jewish Bubbi proud

Jewish superhero by night.  What are you by day?
If I’m still rocking my Jew curls, can I also be Jewish superhero by day too?  Otherwise I’m not disguising myself too well for my desk job!

Best movie of the summer?  (If you say something other than Step Up 3, then an explanation is required)
Inception, by far – I’m a girl who loves a good action flick.  And Christopher Nolan is a genius.

I’m sad/happy [choose one] that summer is almost over because:
I’m sad that summer is almost over because now I have to wait another 363 days to celebrate my birthday!  Plus, the Florida girl in me hates putting away summer clothes and breaking out winter coats.

Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, or United.  Do you have a favorite?
Caps, for sure.  Those games keep me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Teach me what Judaism is while standing on one foot (unless you can stand on one foot for an inordinately long time):
“Let my people go” + 8 crazy nights + Bagels & lox & shmear… Oy vey!  (And that’s when my foot falls down.)

What would be your first initiative as president of the United States?
All new initiatives will be put on hold till I get a sweet ride on Air Force One!  Then possibly establish Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur as national holidays.

If you could step into one part of the Torah, which part would it be, and what would you do?
I would definitely go back to the story of Passover and allow enough time for the bread to rise.

What’s the best upcoming Jewish event in Washington DC?
Duh, the Gather the Jews happy hour tonight at Cafe Citron!  (And I’ll put in a plug for Reverse Mifgash coming up in November!)

Jewish Guy – Ari

Jewish Guy - Ari

Ari on why he should be Jewish Guy of the Year:
I should be the Jewish Guy of the Year because it’s all I’ve ever wanted.  My parents put me on this earth to be just this person and I will not deny them.

Who’s the greatest Jew born after 1900?
To me, that’s a no brainer.  Robert Allen Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan.  Hands down one of the best singer-songwriters in the history of the world and a Jew to boot.  The man is a wonderful lyricist and really plays a mean acoustic guitar and harmonica.  Name me a better Jew born after 1900.  Go on.  Try.

Do you have a theme song?
My theme song would have to be “There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You” by Ben Folds.  I think it’s taught me not to take myself too seriously and to remember that there is indeed someone else in this world who is cooler than yours truly.  The song helps to keep me humble on those days where I simply think I can’t do any wrong.

Which is best for going out?  DuPont, Adams Morgan, Chinatown, Capitol Hill, Foggy Bottom, or Arlington?
Adams Morgan on weeknights.  Close to my apartment and just has the right vibe on a weeknight.  Wednesdays take the cake with half priced grilled cheese and $3 Sierra Nevadas at Toledo Lounge before bluegrass night at Madam’s Organ.  Now that’s a fun night.

What is the best upcoming Jewish event in Washington, D.C.?
Any Moishe House DC Friday night dinner.  Just a super welcoming group of folks who have been a joy to get to know.  Food tastes great, the wine is flowing, and it’s nice to hang out with a bunch of similar-minded Jews.  Definitely one of my favorite ways to spend a Friday night in this city.

If you could live the life of any movie character, which character would you choose?
Peter Pan, more specifically, Robin Williams from “Hook”.  Probably the best movie ever created.  And it’s always been my dream to fly, play with the lost boys, and battle Hook to the death.  So definitely Peter Pan.

Jewish Girl – Mazal

(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

Mazal on why she should be Jewish Girl of the Year:
I’ve got Jewish pride and spirit and a super jewy name (both first and last). I consider myself a great representative of the modern Jewish woman and can make a nice brisket. I promise to bring much Mazal to Gather the Jews and would appreciate your vote :-).

Do you have a theme song?
I would have to say … “Siman Tov, Mazel Tov.”  Made my head turn at every bar/bat mitzvah.

If you were given 5 acres somewhere in the Dupont Circle area, what would you build?
A jousting field.  Equipped with horses, lances, an area for the commoners and all.

Where will you be for the High Holidays?
Going to Ft. Lauderdale beach for Yom Kippur – fasting in style. No plans yet for Rosh Hashanah (any suggestions 😉 )

Who’s the greatest Jew born after 1900?
Jon Stewart.

Which one of the Ten Commandments is most important?  Why?
Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Self explanatory.

Lebron James to Miami:  Love it, hate it, or don’t care?
Being from South Florida…. Love It!
(he probably could have done without “The Decision” one hour special though)

Jewish Guy – David

Jewish Guy - David

When not throwing it down at the local synagogue, what are you up to?
I am doing activist stuff.  I am human rights activist and am constantly making sure people are getting rights for what they do.  You can probably catch me on a conference call, at some sort of meeting, or hanging out with my girlfriend 🙂

If you could step into one part of the Torah, which part would it be, and what would you do?
I would step into my Bar Mitzvah Torah Portion, Behar in Leviticus and make sure it gained more importance in the Torah.  It was a point when it was expressed that there was equality for ALL people and I would want the world to know about.  I’m probably killing you with the human rights stuff at this point 😉

Why do you deserve to be Jewish guy of the week?
I should be the Jewish guy of the week because I am a Jew through-and-through.  I’m always talking about NFTY, teaching my friends all of our traditions and holidays, doing stuff for my synagogue youth group VYBS (the best youth group out there) and working for the Jewish cause.  I would love to be the Jewish guy of the week so I can have a title to go with how much I tell people about Judaism!

What do people usually notice or think when they first meet you?
Many people tell me that they see me as very determined and passionate.  I show passion for whatever it is that I do and people notice that and respect it.

2010 Congressional elections:  What will happen?  And does it matter?
The Democrats will lose some seats but retain a majority in both houses.  It matters because whatever your politics are, this is your future and it’s awesome if you can help shape it!

Jewish Girl – Yelena

Yelena(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

Yelena on why she should be Jewish Girl of the Year:

I try to be the person the Jewish community helped me become; accepting of all for who they are, welcoming and social, selfless in the support of others, and grateful for life’s gifts. My time volunteering and being a part of the Jewish community is unbelievably meaningful to me.

You recently transitioned from being a fairly passive Jew to being a super active one.  When and how did this happen?
Many people say their Birthright trip was life changing, but in my case, it really was! Two years ago, I went from having no concept of Jewish philanthropic work nor being a part of a Jewish community my entire life, to attending and helping create programs and events that bring the young DC Jewish community together.

If you had to add 5 Commandments to the original ten, what would they be?
Thou shall laugh every day.

Thou shall use all your vacation days, remember work can’t bring you chicken soup when you’re sick; friends and family do.

Thou shall help the community unselfishly, one day you’ll need it too.

Thou shall learn to drive and walk with the speed of traffic (get out of the left lane).

Thou shall dance in public without being embarrassed.

Favorite D.C. monument?  Why?
The Lincoln Memorial because as cliché as it sounds, honesty really is one of the most important virtues. I think there is something very powerful about being there and the reminder of what greatness in the face of adversity makes possible.

You have 1,902 facebook friends… That’s a lot…  How do you “Win Friends and Influence People?”
Haha, I  hadn’t realized until you said something! I don’t think I do anything to “win” or “influence”, I definitely have a “more-the-merrier” mind set. I love meeting new people, bringing friends together, and think no matter what you are doing, anything is fun with great company. I’ve said it before, and for me it’s true, I’m happy when my friends are happy!

Mitzvah Maker – 2239

Mitzvah Maker - 2239

What is the primary function of 2239?
The primary function of 2239 is to connect young Jews looking for friendship, love, and religious practice through exciting events and activities in and around DC.

Did you know that 2239 is a prime number?
Wow!  No, I did not.

What is going to be the best part about your BBQ this weekend?
Watching Celeste Starchild perform, as well as all the Jews having fun!

What one Jewish song would you play if you were DJ-ing the BBQ?
A rap/dance version of “Hinei Mah Tov.”  Does one exist?

If you were going to write a memoir about being the Chair of 2239, what would you title it?
“Jews Just Wanna Have Fun: The life and times of a 2239 Chair”

Where can we find more information about 2239?
For more information about 2239 join the 2239 Facebook group or click on the following link:

Jewish Girl – Abigail

(Jewish Girl of the Year Voting Page)

You recently moved to D.C., right?  How do you like it so far?  What about the D.C. Jewish community?
I love DC so far. There is such a vibrant young Jewish community here. And lots of cute and intelligent Jewish boys!

Thursday night:  Adams Morgan vs. Dupont vs. Chinatown vs. Arlington vs. Capitol Hill.  Discuss.
Dupont because it has the highest concentration of Jews and Front Page has great happy hour specials. Arlington?? People go out in Arlington??

Friday night:  Adas Israel vs. Sixth and I vs. DC JCC vs. Rosh Pina vs. Kesher Israel.  Where can we find you?
Sixth and I! It’s a great place to meet other young Jews. And the food is so good!!

Favorite biblical character and why?
I’d have to go with Rebecca. I admire her work ethic and generosity.

I understand you’re hosting a Jewish event in the next few weeks.  Tell me about it.
Yes! I’m hosting a young professionals’ happy hour for the Republican Jewish Coalition. Wednesday, August 4th at the Madhatter in Dupont. Email me ( for details!!!

I didn’t know that one could be a Republican Jew…  How does it work?
It’s actually very simple and fulfilling to be a Republican Jew. What kind of JGOW would I be if I didn’t enjoy lower taxes, support Israel, and have a crush on Eric Cantor?

Jewish Guy – Marcelo

Jewish Guy - Marcelo

I heard you’re from Puerto Rico, what do you miss (or not miss) most about it? And what’s the Jewish community like there?
There are certainly little things I miss about Puerto Rico, such as the old San Juan area, the FOOD, and the colors.  More importantly, I miss my family and friends!

I’m glad you are asking that question because a lot of people here in the States have no idea there’s a Jewish community in Puerto Rico.  And why would they?!  Here in the US, the Jewish community is certainly two things we are not in Puerto Rico: BIG and public.  There are around 3 synagogues in Puerto Rico and a Chabad Center. And although we have Ashkenazim, Sephardim (just like me!), and Mizrachim, the community consists of only approximately 2,000 families.  Acts of anti-semitism are rare in Puerto Rico, but they do happen, so the community certainly feels the need to keep its Jewish identity and traditions to itself.  I wish we were open about it though because I think at the end it just fuels feelings of ignorance and misunderstanding.

If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?
Without a doubt: mofongo!  Lots of meals in PR are plantain-based for the obvious reasons.  Mofongo is a oval-shaped meal made exclusively out of plantain, and then it’s filled with whatever you want, be it vegetables, chicken, etc.  Otherwise, I would settle for some bourekas.
Imagine you could hit up Adams Morgan with any biblical Jew, who would it be and why?
I think my Adams Morgan buddy would have to be Ruth, without a doubt! I would love to take her to a nice coffee place or even for falafels and ask her what’s her take on the conversion law in Israel.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be and why?
I’m probably a “No stopping anytime” sign. I’m constantly thinking of alternative ways of doing something, and I love having different plans for anything, even when I go out with friends. That being said, the same goes for partying: “no stopping anytime”.

Did you watch the World Cup? If so, any thoughts you’d like to share?
I’m completely obsessed with anything between two countries. So to answer your question: of course I watched the World Cup.  I was very excited to see lots of Latin American teams make it to the group of 16, although we all know by now what happened at the end.  I hope to see Israel qualify for 2014, and I hope the US and lots of Latin American countries will do well.
I also have to say I just loved the way this World Cup served to portray South Africa. I actually lived in the Cape Town area for an internship program in 2002, and I just felt in love with the country.  It’s not the Rainbow Nation for nothing.
Where can you be found on a Friday night?
I love Shabbat services on Friday night and the DC area certainly has a significant amount of options.  I regularly attend the following: Sixth and I (because it’s extremely welcoming!), TLS (because it’s the Dupont area), Beit Mishpacha (a great minyan with a LGBT perspective), Adas Israel (because it’s near my place and my boyfriend’s 😉 and finally but certainly one of my favorites Magen David in White Flint (It makes me feel closer to home).

Jewish Guy – Eddie

Jewish Guy - Eddie

If you were the eighth dwarf, what would your name be and why?
Worldly. I love to travel and I enjoy exploring new places locally and internationally. My last trip was to Armenia which was amazing – it’s a beautiful country with an extremely rich history.

What do you miss most about California?
The beach and a good burrito. Overall, DC is a great place to live, but this oceanless city is lacking in the Mexican food department.

What’s the biggest misconception about lawyers?
Where do I even begin….Lawyers are often portrayed as greedy, sneaky, or self-serving. But the truth is that a vast majority of lawyers are individuals committed to the furtherance of justice. The lawyers I know joined the profession not only because it was a good career path but also because it is a way to help others and make a difference. 

What do you like most about being a member of the AJC?
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) is an extremely dynamic organization. Amongst other things, AJC promotes pluralism and works to create bridges of understanding between Jewish communities and other religious and ethnic communities in the United States and abroad. AJC has been a tireless advocate for the Jewish people and has been at the forefront of the fight against anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry and intolerance.

What is your favorite memory of Hanukkahs past?
Homemade latkes and jelly donuts. What’s better than deep fried potatoes and donuts? 

If you were in the “Mr. America” talent competition, what would your talent be?
I’ve got a few. I can easily jump onto a 54” box and do a standing front flip. I can put a whole chicken wing in my mouth and pull out only the bone. Oh, and I can also juggle three of almost anything you can hand me.