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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.

All Aboard: Why I Joined JWI’s Young Women’s Leadership Network

board 1Washington, D.C. and I are about to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. A lot has changed for me in those five years: I have had 2 great jobs, started graduate school, seen friends move here and then move away, met a great guy (and endured some less-than-quality time on OK Cupid…), and seen the streetcar finally carry passengers up and down H Street. Some of these five years have felt all over the place, but one of the most important constants for me has been my involvement in Jewish Women International’s Young Women’s Leadership Network (YWLN).

JWI’s mission is powerful: to end violence against women domestically and abroad, and to ensure that women and girls are empowered to control their financial futures. JWI staff are just as likely to be found in the halls of Congress educating Senators about the intersection of domestic violence and gun violence prevention as they are to be training young women on college campuses about how to manage their finances or negotiate their first salaries. The Young Women’s Leadership Network is just one way in which JWI has shown its commitment to supporting women at every phase of their lives. As a founding board member of YWLN, it has been immensely satisfying to create a space for young women to learn professional skills while meeting their personal needs, targeting themes that range from how to quit your job and start a business to how to merge divergent Jewish traditions with a significant other or roommate.

To me, DC has always felt hyper-focused on self-serving professional opportunities. But YWLN is different. Memorably, in our first year we hosted a breakfast with a corporate leader at Scholastic. I watched as a conversation between our speaker and a young engineer began with how technology can encourage education reform, but quickly morphed into advice on how to negotiate a promotion, and ended with a broader question about how to create a more personally fulfilling career. This is just one example of how, in intimate settings, YWLN provides the space for women at the top of their fields to “pay it forward” by melding personal and professional advice in the same way that it is melded in the real world. Our members are empowered to serve as mentors to each other within our network as well, helping each other through the seemingly minor but often difficult decisions of building a career and a life.

In the United States, almost 85% of those who serve on boards of non-profits are over the age of 40. Many wait to join a board until they consider themselves professionally successful or wealthy enough to donate monetarily. Conversely, being on a board at the beginning of my career has provided me with a way to continue to educate myself, build my professional network, design programming that speaks to me and my peers, and begin to instill the habit of giving time when money is not as available. Without the daily pressures or bureaucracy that come with working on the staff of an organization, YWLN has given me the opportunity to take the “30,000 foot view,” engage in strategic conversations about innovative programming, and establish the mission and vision of our young organization.

I hope you will consider joining me on the YWLN DC board and help us as we continue to expand. In just the past year we have opened a new chapter in NYC, baked babka with a well-known chef, learned about public service from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and celebrated Mother’s Day with a fundraiser that benefitted survivors of domestic violence. Be a part of what happens next! Applications will be accepted from now through June 1 and can be found here!