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The Best Galentine’s Day Ideas For You & Your Lady Friends

My very favorite time of year is the week after the New Year.

Why?

Because every year, one day that week, I celebrate my love for my galpals and get to revel in the fact that I am surrounded by so many talented, strong, and beautiful friends inside and out. We brunch, we bond, and we fight over the coolest present during our belated white elephant gift exchange.

For the past 10 years, this girl-bonding time has been my beloved tradition. And today, it appears that this concept of celebrating your favorite ladies has evolved into its own holiday – Galentine’s Day – in much part due to Leslie Knope, Amy Poehler’s “Parks and Recreation” character. Galentine’s Day, for those who are not aware, occurs every year on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day and is a time to get together with your girlfriends and celebrate how much you love one another.

No matter what day you celebrate, it’s always nice to take time to honor your friendships and enjoy good company. So, whether you want to kick it over waffles and leave your partners at home like Leslie, or create your own tradition – here is some inspiration for your next girlfriend gathering.

How to Celebrate Galentine’s Day This Year

Throw a party for your whole squad: Pretty invites, fun activities, festive food, gift exchanges…bring on the friendship fete of the year. Check out these comprehensive guides  for DIY party or an HGTV inspired soiree.

Go on an adventure

Find a last minute travel deals or stay in the city and take a flower arranging class, celebrate powerful women, or head to drag brunch.

Connect to Judaism

Rosh Chodesh, a minor holiday that marks the beginning of every Hebrew month, has long been a time for Jewish women to gather for a wide variety of activities. According to MyJewishLearning.com, women come together to recite traditional liturgy, share a meal, discuss Jewish ethics, or work for social change according to. This is a perfect time of the year to form a group of gals to meet every month.

Snag a spot at GLOE’s Torah and Sexuality class, “Exploring Esther & Female Sexuality in Judaism”

Make some more lady friends!

Check out Sixth and I’s Not your Bubbe’s Sisterhood or Jewish Women International’s Young Women’s Leadership Network

Host or attend a Galentine’s Day Shabbat dinner.

Moishe House Bethesda is hosting a Galentine’s Day Shabbat (nourished by OneTable), and check out others – or get money to host your own – here.

Take some time to connect

Why not use Galentine’s Day as an excuse to reconnect with old friends? Send snail mail to your BFF from college. Facetime with your new-mom friend so you can catch up, and read her baby a bedtime story. Tell your running buddy you’ll be there to cheer for her on and off the track.

No matter how you celebrate, I hope you have a fun Galentine’s Day celebration and enjoy the friends that make your life so wonderful!

 

 

 

 

About the Author: Stacy Miller is a part of our “Gather the Bloggers” cohort of talented writers who share their thoughts and insights about DC Jewish life with you. enjoys entertaining her large Jew crew at her home and is currently the Director of EntryPointDC, the 20s and 30s program of the Edlavitch DCJCC. She represents all things Northern Virginia as the Founder of NOVA Tribe Series and is a former GatherDCGirl of the Year Runner-Up. Most importantly, she wants you know she LOVES this community a-latke.

 

 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Jewish pride is not a sin

Pride is one of the seven deadly sins.  Fortunately, that septet is a Christian invention.  And I’m a Jew.  A proud Jew.  And I’m proud to be a proud Jew.  To be a proud Jew isn’t wrong – as Halley C. at the DC JCC suggests.  Rather, pride in Judaism is the only way we can save American Judaism.

On July 27, Joel Alperson wrote at the JTA that “the non-Orthodox way of life is falling by just about every metric we have at our disposal.  … We’re losing Jews and the commitment of Jews far too quickly.”  Mr. Alperson’s remarks are disturbingly familiar; the number of Americans identifying as Jewish has been on the decline for a long time – between 1990 and 2000, the number of self-identified American Jews fell by five percent.

The only way to reverse this trend is through more Jewish pride.  We proud Jews must share the smart, funny, great, cool, innovative, and powerful Judaism with our children, friends, and colleagues.  Otherwise they will not join.  They will not join because of Torah – sacred texts are no longer sacred in America.  Nor will they will join through stories of the holocaust – pity and sympathy are not club-joining adjectives.   We can only win the allegiance of tomorrow’s Jews by showing them that they are members of an impressive club with an illustrious history.

That this strategy works cannot be doubted.  Sociologists tell us that emotions are contagious: pride will beget pride.  Marketers tell us that people want elite products: Mercedes cars, expensive wines, and Ivy League degrees.  And Washington, DC tells us that people like winning teams: Capitals hockey games are sold out; Nationals baseball tickets are $5 after six losing seasons.  We Jews have a winning team, but nobody will know our record if we never tell a newspaper.

This marketing should of course be done in good taste, and the majority of the marketing should take place within the private Jewish community.  And marketing shouldn’t be put ahead of the product.  Our first responsibility as communal Jews must be to continue to succeed in all dimensions we can.

But we can no longer afford to raise American Jews who are afraid or embarrassed to admit they’re Jewish.  These Jews don’t know that Judaism is a shared bond with many of the smartest, richest, and most successful in the country.  And it’s these Jews that walk away from Judaism.

Pride is not a sin.  If we accomplish great things, then let us share our accomplishments, and let it be incentive to keep pushing.  A Rabbi once praised the biblical David because “where he walked, the ground shook.”  We Jews need to shake the ground and make some tracks.  In doing so, the next generation will know where to follow us.

Stephen Richer is co-founder and president of Gather the Jews.  This blogs reflects only the opinions of Stephen.

Have something you want to write on?  Email Noa at Noa@gatherdc.org