Falafeltaschen Recipe

With Purim gone and Passover coming up, I decided to make a savory Purim treat that will both be delicious and help me use up the puff pastry dough in my freezer before Passover.



  • Puff Pastry
  • Falafel
  • Egg
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Choice of toppings (hummus, tzatziki, etc.,)

Enter the Falafeltaschen

  • The first step is frying the falafel balls in oil on the stove as you would usually.  I used the Osem Falafel Mix for mine, but you’re welcome to use a different mix or even make your own from scratch.  While you’re doing this, I recommend defrosting the puff pastry dough sheets as they need to be quite defrosted to do the folding.
  • Once the falafel balls are fried, preheat the oven to the puff pastry’s required oven time and start folding!  I found it easiest to put the falafel ball in the middle first and fold from the back, forming the long end of the triangle first before pressing the front point together and rounding out the sides so it forms a familiar hamantaschen-like shape.  After you do this and line all of your falafeltaschen up on the oven tray, crack the egg in a bowl and brush the egg wash on the surface of the puff pastry – followed up a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds.
  • After this, place your falafeltaschen in the oven for 15 or so minutes, until the puff pastry has properly browned.  Once you pull them out, be sure to let them cool before adding your desired toppings as you don’t want your toppings drying out.  I had used Sabra brand Olive Tapenade hummus, but you’re welcome to be creative here – Israeli salad, different hummus, tahini, skhug, and tzatziki are all great choices for them.

A special thanks to Aimee from JSwipe.  Without your baking expertise, this couldn’t have worked out like it did.



brett borenAbout the Author:  Brett Boren is a Conservative Jewish guy who loves his mother’s challah, but could do without her latkes.  Originally from Miami, he appreciates arroz con pollo as much as double-chocolate babka, though preferably not together.  When he’s not experimenting in the kitchen, he can be found with his cat, Youpi, or sampling shawarma at Max’s.








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.

Meet Emily: Jewish Arlingtonian of the Week!

I met Emily Mathae back when I worked at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Since then, I’ve been blown away by how her presence has brought so much sunshine to Jewish DC and Northern Virginia. Besides making our bellies happy with her incredible talent for whipping up Jewish baked goods, she also makes our community happy with her warm smile and contagious kindness. Although Emily is soon moving out of the Moishe House Northern Virginia (MoHo NoVA), she’s not going far. So if you don’t know her yet, now is your chance!

P.S. If you’re interested in taking Emily’s spot in Moishe House NoVA, let them know!


Allie: What brought you to Arlington?

Emily: I was born and raised in Arlington; I’m what you call an Arlington native through and through.

Allie: I hear you’re soon moving out of in Moishe House NoVA! What’s been the best part about being a Moishe House resident?

Emily: I’ve been living there for almost two years and it’s been amazing. It’s been a life-changing experience. I get to create really meaningful relationships with community members and put on programs that I’m personally excited about.

Allie: What programs have you hosted at Moishe House that you’re most proud of?

Emily: I love to bake, so it’s been incredible to host programs related to that. I’ve hosted a round challah bake for Rosh Hashanah, babka-making, sufganiyot, hamantaschen, and traditional challah baking events.

I also love Rosh Chodesh and celebrating Jewish women and our lives together as a community. We’ve been doing Rosh Chodesh events since last July. It’s a very strong group of women who are very supportive of one another. I’m curious to see how things will turn out when I move out, but I’m hoping to continue to do the Rosh Chodesh events with Moishe House Without Walls (MHWOW).


Allie: What’s your perfect DC – or Arlington – day from start to finish?

Emily: It would be April 25th; not too hot, and not too cold. All you need is a light jacket! Yeah, hopefully it would be a beautiful day outside, but not too much sun because I get sunburnt very easily. I would go out to Leesburg and visit a couple of wineries and just relax. Maybe I’d go for a long walk or hike. If my favorite band Judah and the Lion was in town I would go see them. That’s one of the bands I will never get tired of.

Allie: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Emily: I had struggled with my faith for a long time. I was very active in my former faith community, but started questioning some of the things that were told to me and asked some really deep questions that they just didn’t have the answers to. It felt like destiny that I wound up doing my study abroad in Israel where I studied conflict analysis and resolution. While there, I also worked at BINA and loved it so much.

When I returned home, I wrote my senior thesis on young American Jews and their relationship with Israel. This was so impactful for me that I wound up applying to work at some Jewish nonprofits after graduating. At that point, I was halfway through my conversion process. I got the job [that I currently have] at The Jewish Federation and have constantly worked to become a leader in the Jewish community since then. By working at Federation and living in the Moishe House, I feel like I’ve found my place.

Allie: What’s your favorite Jewish food?

Emily: I have a fabulous challah recipe that I stole from the Mega Challah Bake I went to in NoVA. I also love bagels.

Allie: What’s your perfect bagel?

Emily: An everything bagel with vegetable cream cheese, with onion, cucumber, and tomatoes. Please don’t hate me for not liking lox…

Allie: Favorite Jewish holiday?

Emily: Shavuot. I love dairy and because of the story of Ruth. It connects back to my own Jewish journey and I feel like I’m Ruth in a way.

Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…

Emily: They have a grand old time.


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 Dog of the Month: Sammy!


Sarah: What is your name?

Sammy Ruth.

Sarah: Where did your name come from?

Sammy: I’m originally from North Carolina, but my mom and dad took me in after I was rescued from a hoarding situation.

Sarah: What is your favorite way to spend a day in DC?

Sammy: I love meeting other dogs and sniffing their bums. I also love watching my mom and dad play softball. My favorite thing to do is swim, especially at the Shirlington Dog Park. I’m not very coordinated on land, but in the water I’m a doggy olympian.


Sarah: What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Sammy: People tell me that I’m so pretty all the time. I know people check me out when I’m walking around Arlington with my owners. I’m a catch and I know it.

Sarah: What is your favorite thing to do when you think no one is looking?

Sammy: Eat trash off the street. It’s the best!

Sarah: Who is your best friend?

Sammy: My dad. He wrestles with me, which is so much fun!

Sarah: What is your spirit animal?

Sammy: A sloth, I’m super lazy.

Sarah: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday and why?

Sammy: Passover. I really like the yummy fish we get to eat!

dog of month

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.

Your DC Passover Guide 2019


If avoiding carbs and retelling a several hour long saga about slavery – while indulging in horseradish and shank bone – doesn’t qualify for the best holiday ever, than I don’t know what does!

Since this beloved holiday is right around the corner, it’s time to start making your seder plans. Because, lucky for us Jews, we get not one – but TWO – nights of seders. WOO WOO! Can you say PARTAY?! Alright, enough small talk. On to the Passover happenings.

But first, Jon Stewart.

Oh, and if you know of an awesome Passover shindig not on this list, let us know.


Sunday, March 31st

Tuesday, April 2nd

Monday, April 8th

Tuesday, April 9th

Sunday, April 14th

Tuesday, April 16th

Wednesday, April 17th

Thursday, April 18th



Friday, April 19th (Seder, Night #1)

Saturday, April 20th (Seder, Night #2)



Wednesday, April 24th

Friday, April 26th

Saturday, April 27th

Sunday, April 28th




Local Restaurants with Passover Menus/Catering


P.S. If you’re not sure which of these events is the right fit for you? Email the GatherDC team!

P.P.S. Want to host your own Seder this year? Check out Moishe House Without Walls or OneTable (either to get nourishment to host your own or find seders to attend).

Meet the Israeli Couples Coming to DC to Get Married at “Three Weddings and a Statement”

We confess we have a soft spot in our hearts for a good love story. We also have a soft spot for Israel. Unlike chocolate and peanut butter in a Reese’s candy, however, love (and marriage) in Israel don’t always go great together. You see, the State of Israel will only recognize a marriage if it’s performed by the State-sanctioned religious authority. For Jews, this means that a wedding must be an Orthodox ceremony performed by an Orthodox rabbi. In today’s modern times, when love comes in all shapes and sizes, some 800,000 Jews are unable to obtain a legally recognized marriage in the Holy Land.

This rigid control over marriage forces many Israeli couples to go abroad to say, “I do.” When any couple is legally married abroad, their marriage IS recognized by the Israeli government.

We want to introduce you to three couples who will be traveling next week to get married. Rather than traveling to get married in Cyprus or Europe (common choices for many Israeli couples), they are schlepping all the way to Washington, DC, where they will be officially and legally married on Tuesday, March 26th at a once-in-a-lifetime TRIPLE WEDDING at Washington Hebrew Congregation.

The event, a partnership between the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist Movements, is called “Three Weddings and a Statement” and will bring people from around the world (and around the corner!) to celebrate love and show their support for marriage equality in Israel.

So, without further ado, let’s meet the lovebirds who will tie the knot here in our nation’s capital on the 26th…

Ilia and Sahar

Ilia, who was born in Russia and made aliyah to Israel with his family in the late 1990s, and Sahar, who was born in Netanya and raised on a moshav (cooperative farm community), met at a conference for alumni of the Shlichut program run through the Jewish Agency for Israel. As schlichim – young Israeli emissaries who live and work in the diaspora – Ilia was based in Toronto, and Sahar spent two years here in DC – at Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation, Ohr Kodesh Congregation, and Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital. (Welcome back, Sahar!)

Despite their different backgrounds, worldviews, and perspectives on Israel – from inside and outside the country – Sahar and Ilia both feel a strong connection to Judaism and feel strongly that Judaism should embrace equality and tolerance. For these reasons, they want to have a Reform wedding, which is something they can’t do in Israel.

They hope that by participating in “Three Weddings and a Statement” they will inspire others to have a wedding ceremony that works for them, rather than the one sanctioned by the Israeli government. On the lighter side of things, Ilia and Sahar are big foodies who love picnicking in the park and sunning along the Mediterranean beaches.

Aviad and Tsion

Aviad and Tsion grew up a 10-minute walk from each other but didn’t meet until eight years ago when they were college students. It was at the Be’er Sheva Pride House, an LGBTQ organization in the south of Israel that organizes social gatherings. Their connection was instantaneous!

They fell in love, graduated from university, and began their careers: Aviad is a pharmacist at the headquarters of Maccabi Healthcare, and Tsion, a chemist doing research and development work as he pursues his Ph.D.

The couple wanted to be married, had a commitment ceremony in Tel-Aviv surrounded by family and friends in 2014. Sadly, their marriage is not recognized by the State of Israel, and their IDs still say “single,” but they live as if they were married. They have purchased a home in Be’er Sheva and have an adorable dog named Archie.

Both men are very active in Be’er Sheva’s LGBT community and with the Be’er Sheva Pride House in particular, where Tsion served as a board member, and Aviad was a youth guide. In their spare time, they enjoy being with friends and family, walking Archie, and snuggling on the couch, watching TV. They are ready, not just for their official wedding, but for their next journey – parenthood – and are exploring the option of surrogacy.

Anat and Shmuel

Anat, a special education teacher from Kiryat Yam, and Shmuel, an assistant manager at a computer and technology store in Haifa, met online and have been together for nine years.

Shmuel was born in Israel to a deaf couple originally from Romania. His mother, who was Christian, converted to Judaism before marrying his father. Together, made aliyah, were given Israeli citizenship, and raised a Jewish family.

It was only when Shmuel’s mom passed away and he went to make funeral arrangements that he discovered the State of Israel did not recognize her conversion to Judaism back in Romania. This is because, according to the ultra-Orthodox Chief Rabbinate’s interpretation of Jewish law, people who are hearing-impaired cannot convert.

Since his mother was not considered Jewish, Shmuel was classified as a “person without religion.” So, despite being circumcised, becoming a bar mitzvah, and serving in the army, Shmuel could not marry Anat in Israel unless he had an Orthodox conversion. Shmuel did convert, but it was a Reform conversion – a movement where both he and Anat feel more accepted – and they want to have a legally recognized Reform wedding.

In their free time, Anat and Shmuel love movies and always make time for weekly family dinners. They also love to travel and will be heading to Japan for their honeymoon.


About the Authors: Samantha Loss and Jennifer Millstone are Communications Managers for Washington Hebrew Congregation. Jennifer is a firm believer that chocolate can help turn around any bad day and Samantha is usual happiest when she’s up in the air — rock climbing or swinging on the flying trapeze!


All are invited to come celebrate with these couples on March 26th at Washington Hebrew Congregation. Learn more and RSVP. If you are unable to attend, you can live stream the ceremony.
Three Weddings and a Statement is generously supported by the Elizabeth & Richard Dubin Family Heritage Fund. It is presented jointly by Washington Hebrew Congregation and Adas Israel Congregation in partnership with the Israel Religious Action Center, the Union for Reform Judaism, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.

Really Remarkable Hamantaschen Recipes You Need to Try

I love hamantaschen. However, I’m not a huge fan of the traditional version, because I’m not what you’d call a traditional Jew. I’m a new-ish MOT (member of “the Tribe”) and I ate my very first hamantaschen about four years ago. It was so mind-blowing that a couple weeks later, I decided to go all out and make seven different recipes: triple chocolate, mint chocolate chip, pumpkin chai, s’mores, fluffernutter, cookies n’ cream, and of course traditional.

Only one of those recipes really stood out to me though – fluffernutter! It’s a well-known fact that I am a HUGE fan of peanut butter, so this was immediately my new favorite version of hamantaschen. I have now made my fluffernutter recipe every Purim because it’s so gosh darn delicious. It’s chewy, yet a bit crispy, and the filling is to die for.

I am currently a resident of Moishe House Northern Virginia, and we recently hosted a hamantaschen baking and mishloach manot (sending gifts) making program, where we made both the fluffernutter recipe and a super duper simple and delicious traditional recipe. The cookies were a total success and were so much fun to make with friends! Below are both of the recipes we made. I hope you’ll try them out and enjoy them as much as I do!


Fluffernutter Hamantaschen

Originally by Miriam Pascal

Makes about 40 cookies


  •       ½ cup oil
  •       1 cup peanut butter
  •       ¼ cup light corn syrup
  •       ¾ cup sugar
  •       1 cup light brown sugar
  •       1 teaspoon baking powder
  •       1 teaspoon vanilla
  •       2 eggs
  •       2⅓ cups flour
  •       1 cup peanut butter for the filling
  •       1 cup marshmallow fluff for the filling


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the oil and peanut butter until smooth.
  • Add the corn syrup, sugar and brown sugar and beat until smooth. Mix in the baking powder, vanilla and eggs. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour. Beat until the flour is incorporated.
  • Make the filling by combining the peanut butter and marshmallow fluff until smooth. Set aside.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about ⅛ inch thickness.
  • Cut out circles of dough and place about a teaspoon of the filling in the center of each one. Fold the corners together to form the hamantaschen shape. (Dough will be delicate, so handle with care.)
  • Place hamantaschen on a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
  • Hamantaschen will be soft when they come out of the oven, but will firm up as they cool, so don’t be tempted to overbake them.

luffernuter hamantashen3

Super Duper Easy Hamentaschen Recipe

Originally by Marsha Golden

Makes about 2 dozen


  •       4 eggs
  •       1 cup oil
  •       1 ¼ cups sugar
  •       1 tsp. vanilla
  •       3 tsp. baking powder
  •       ½ tsp. salt
  •       1 tsp. almond extract (optional)
  •       5 ½ cups flour


  • Mix all ingredients except flour.
  • Add flour gradually and mix thoroughly. Knead until smooth.
  • With floured hands, take a piece of dough the size of a large walnut, roll it into a ball, and flatten it into a circle with your palms. (Note – You don’t have to do it by hand. If you’re a perfectionist, go ahead and use a rolling pin and a cookie cutter!)
  • Place 1 teaspoon of filling (whatever you want!) into the middle and pinch the edges together to form a triangle.
  • Place hamantaschen on a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until pale gold at the bottom.



emilyAbout the Author: Emily Mathae lives, breathes, and oozes Jewish community building, through working at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and living in Moishe House Northern Virginia. She is NoVA girl through and through and absolutely loves DC and the young Jewish community within it. Outside of Moishe House and The Jewish Federation, you can find her at trivia night, heading to concerts/singing in her car at the top of her lungs, baking delicious treats, crafting, or at events around the DC area.








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.

Meet Jason: Jewish Abstract Artist of the Week

I met Jason Lessans a few weeks because he was selling paintings at an art event that my mom was also a part of. I was absolutely blown away by the beauty, intricacy, and emotion that was palpable in his artwork. When I met him, I was shocked this was just an after-work hobby and not his full-time job. More than that, I couldn’t believe how humble and down-to-earth he seemed about his insane talents.

Enjoy our 1:1 interview with this gifted Jewish artist, and then check out his Instagram to follow along on his journey.


Allie: How did you wind up living in DC?

Jason: I actually live in Vienna, by Tysons Corner. I moved here from the Baltimore area to be closer to my office after I changed jobs and started work at Alarm.com as a data engineer.

Allie: Outside of work, you create some amazing art. What kind of artwork do you do?

Jason: I primarily focus on abstract painting using different techniques and styles. For some of my paintings, such as cityscapes, I use palette knives, brushes, combs, and various other tools to create different effects. For other paintings, I use fluid art techniques, pouring a paint mixture directly onto the canvas. I also enjoy working with other media like metal, ceramics, and glass.

Allie: What motivated you to become an artist?

Jason: I’ve been interested in art since I was a little kid. I went to art camps growing up and took a few classes in high school and college. Although, I would say most of what I’ve learned was just by practicing in my spare time. I wasn’t actually motivated to sell paintings until recently. I would get very attached to my paintings and didn’t want to part with them. In the past year or so I started painting more frequently and ran out of room to hang them. When they started piling up, I knew I had to start selling them.

jason lessans

Allie: What do you love about painting?

Jason: I find it very relaxing and therapeutic. I listen to music and just kind of zone out and let my subconscious take over as I paint.

Allie: What is your favorite subject to paint?

Jason: A lot of my paintings don’t have a subject. I like how they mean different things to different people. I also found that I like to paint abstract cityscapes after I made one by accident. I’d been playing with a new technique and noticed it resembled a skyline reflected on water. Since then I’ve made more and improved on the technique.

Allie: What painting(s) are you most proud of?

Jason: That’s a tough question to answer. I have a lot of paintings that I’m pretty attached to. I think sometimes I’m the most proud when I do one unlike any that I’ve done before. There is one portrait I did years ago of Arya from Game of Thrones that I really like, mostly because I never do portraits and it came out much better than I expected. I also really like the first geometric painting I did, along with some of my recent black, white, and gold pour paintings where I create a tree-ring effect. [Note: Check out Jason’s artwork on the ‘Gram @lessans_in_abstraction!]


Allie: How do you find time to paint outside of your full time job?

Jason: I try to set aside an hour or two most nights before bed. It relaxes me and has kind of become part of my bedtime routine.

Allie: Who are your artist role models?

Jason: I would say Wassily Kandinsky – his work is incredible and unlike anything before him. He is generally considered the father of abstract art.

Allie: Do you have any other hidden talents?

Jason: I’m a really good whistler. I’ll admit, it’s a pretty useless skill and but I can basically whistle any tune.

Allie: What is your favorite Jewish food?

Jason: Oh man – so many good ones. I’ll go with brisket – I never get sick of it.

Allie: What’s your favorite flavor Hamantaschen and why?

Jason: Maybe strawberry. Anything other than prunes.

Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…

Jason: Bagels don’t stand a chance.

jason great falls


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 Therapist of the Week: Naomi!

At the risk of sounding incredibly basic and maybe even a little creepy, I have a major friend crush on Naomi LeVine (pronounced Lah-vIne). *Hi Naomi!* I met her on the Jewish Spirituality Camping Trip this past fall (planned by GatherDC’s Jewish Outdoorsman of the Week – Daniel, Jewish Camper of the Week – Mark, and the phenomenal Natalie Birnbaum who has not yet been featured, but not to fret – her day will soon come).

I was immediately drawn to her positive spirit, laid-back energy, and heavenly singing voice. After guiding us through hours of ukulele filled jam sessions around the campfire, I knew she had to become the Jewish Person of the Week. Lucky for me – and now YOU – we have an exclusive 1:1 interview with Naomi right here.


Allie: How did you wind up living in DC?

Naomi: I moved here in 2016 to start my master’s in Couple and Family Therapy at University of Maryland.

Allie: Why did you decide to become a couple and family therapist?

Naomi: I had been doing a lot of work with kids, and realized that while that work was really incredible, those kids would then go home and see things that would reinforce negative patterns. So, that shifted my interest into working with families and couples. I feel like that’s where I can make the most lasting change.

Allie: What inspired you to become a therapist in the first place?

Naomi: The passion to make changes at the root of the cause coupled with the importance of individualized work and being able to talk about issues in a personal way.

Allie: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Naomi: When I see or hear about a positive interaction that somebody had that feels different than an interaction that they’ve had before. I get to see that something is different and that the work we’ve been doing is worth it.

Allie: What is one quick tip you would give to help couples who might be reading this interview?

Naomi: Don’t lose sight of why you like each other. You have to be friends first. You’re going to have moments of conflict and moments when you disagree, but try to keep that base level of respect for the other person and understand their perspective – even if you don’t agree with it.


Allie: Outside of work, I hear that you’re currently a part of GatherDC’s Open Doors Fellowship. Tell me about that!

Naomi: It’s a fellowship where DC Jewish young adults come together to learn how to form intentional, one-on-one relationships with Jewish 20s and 30s across the DC-area. I believe in personal relationship-building being the key way we can make our Jewish community feel smaller and more welcoming. So if anyone wants to grab coffee, let me know! It’s on Gather.

Allie: What would be your dream free day in DC?

Naomi: I would wander around Eastern Market for a bit, and then head over to the American Art Museum. If it’s nice out I would spend time reading outside on the Mall. Then, I’d grab some dairy-free ice cream at Jeni’s on my way home!

Allie: What are your go-to ways to relax?

Naomi: I love playing music. If I have a long day, I pick up a guitar and play or write something. I also love reading, and doing yoga or going to spin class at Zengo. And a good, long shower.


Allie: Tell me more about your guitar playing/songwriting!

Naomi: I come from a very musical family, both of my parents play a wide variety of instruments. They had me in piano lessons when I was little, but after a few years I quit because I hated it. In eighth grade, I picked up my dad’s guitar and he showed me how to play. That rekindled my interest in playing instruments. So, now I play guitar, ukulele, and tried to pick piano back up. I love to sing.

Allie: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?

Naomi: Tu B’shvat. My family went all out for Tu B’shvat. We had a huge seder with all different kinds of fruit and vegetarian food. There’s singing, reading, it’s so much fun, and everything is very intentional about it.

Allie: With Purim coming up, do you have a favorite hamantaschen flavor?

Naomi: The only time I ever bake is for Purim. I love baking hamantaschen! Last year I made a cookies & cream hamantaschen and a matcha white chocolate hamantaschen. I also made a samoa one that had the coconut caramel filling and then dipped in chocolate. This year, I’m going to do a fruity pebbles hamantaschen. I love experimenting with different fillings.

Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…

Naomi: We play a wild game of Jewish geography!


Homemade by Naomi


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.

Celebrate Purim, No Hangover Guaranteed

Purim is almost here! Around town, you will usually find hundreds of young adults gathering at local synagogues and bars while dressed up in their favorite costumes, doing lots – and lots – of drinking. On Purim, we’re actually told by the Talmud to drink to the point of not knowing the difference between Haman and Mordecai. But, as much as some may love a stiff Raspberry Hamantini, others may choose not to imbibe for a variety of reasons.

For all those who want more Purim and less alcohol, I present to you a roundup of alternative Purim celebration ideas that provide plenty of festiveness without giving you a headache the next day.

Mishloach Manot

Grab your crew and make these or these creative mishloach manot (Purim gift baskets) for friends or family, or make snack bags for a local non-profit such as Martha’s Table.


Hamantaschen Baking

Host a Hamantaschen bake-off and try unique flavors like gingerbread apple spice, cappuccino, and caramelized onion and goat cheese.


Purim Masks

Discuss a Purim theme such as the “masks we wear” or show off your creative side with a photo shoot at EntryPointDC’s Umasked: A Purim Celebration & Service Project.


Booze-Free Purim Party

Attend a Dry Purim party with Moishe House Columbia Heights and enjoy snacks, games, and some delicious mocktails.


Murder Mystery

Need an excuse to dress up and put on a costume? Host a Purim Mystery dinner and assign characters to your guests.

murder mystery

A Very Beatles Musical

Take a road trip to Philly or Brooklyn to witness the interactive musical and sing-a-long A Very Beatles Purim.

the beatles


Who knew Purim without the liquor could be so much fun?

Share your #alternativePurim ideas on Instagram and make sure to tag @e_dcjcc and @GatherDC.



About the Author: Stacy Miller is 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.

Spotted in Jewish DC: Supper Club @ Call Your Mother Deli!

1:1 Interview with Andrew Dana, Co-Founder/Owner of Timber Pizza Company


You might remember Andrew Dana from that time he was named Jewish (Call Your Mother) Deli Owner of the Week; or when his restaurant Timber was featured in Gather’s Ultimate DC Vegan Pizza Rankings; or perhaps when he told The Washington Post how he likes to add chicken tenders to his pizza?

Well, he’s back…

This time around, Andrew is bringing his foodie soul, laid-back spirit, and witty repartee to the dinner table. And you’re invited.


Allie: Alright, so tell me about these Family Dinners at Call Your Mother?

Andrew: It’s a fun dinner party; super fun, super delicious. Kind of like a supper club, but less formal and fancy. It’s 18 people who come in to share a meal, share the space. It’ll feel like you’re going to dinner at your friend’s house with bottles of wine on the tables, big platters of food, like a fun, chill neighborhood gathering.

We want a total mix of people, so we cap the amount of tickets you can buy. [This way], you can get to know some new people in the neighborhood. We want to open up that sense of community in DC.


Allie: How often are you hosting these dinners?

Andrew: 3 nights a week. Tuesdays are pasta night. Wednesdays are a gourmet take on fast food. Thursdays are Southern comfort food.

Allie: Let’s talk about the food…

Andrew:  Dani [AKA: Chef Daniela Moreira] is the best chef I know, she’s super talented. On Tuesdays for pasta night she’ll make three types of pasta from scratch, salads, and homemade cannolis. On fast food nights she’ll make homemade french fries, smash burgers or we can make the Impossible Burger if you’re vegetarian, and an apple pie flavored McFlurry. On Thursdays – Southern Night – she makes a chicken fried burger, peel and eat shrimp, black eyed peas, rice, homemade bread, fruit cobbler, and sweet tea. We’ll do different menus in the summer.


Allie: Why should a GatherDC reader splurge on this?

Andrew: Great community, good food, good times, it’s the best. And it’s at a Jewish deli – win-win-win. There might be a little Jewish twist in these meals, I don’t want to give anything away.

Allie: Okay, I’m sold. How do I get my ticket?

Andrew: Online here. It’s $68.50 which includes all the food, booze, tax, and tip. We’re already sold out for the month of March!


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