Important information for this weekend

This weekend (August 10-12, 2018) marks an unfortunate anniversary.

It has been one year since the violent Unite the Right rally took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. This upsetting rally, and the racist incidents that have occurred since, have highlighted that bigotry, racism, and anti-Semitism are still very much alive in our country today.

Like many of you, this realization shakes us to our very core.

On Saturday, August 12th, 2018, this same hateful group will be assembling here in DC. While many of us are filled with fear for what this group will bring to our hometown, we know that the loving individuals that make up our community will have the courage to remain strong and combat hate with unity and kindness.

The young adults of Jewish DC are filled with compassion for those of all races and hometowns. We are working to build a community that denounces hatred in all of its forms in hopes of creating a more just world. We are grateful for the many strong leaders of our community who are joining together to express these Jewish values we hold dear, and offer vital information in preparation for this insidious rally.

Here are a few important guidelines from our partners at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC):

Safety is key. In light of the violence that arose from last year’s rally, we strongly recommend distancing yourself from Foggy Bottom to Lafayette Park this Saturday.

Do not confront or engage with the protesters. This will only advance their media attention goals.

Notify the police immediately if you feel or see someone being physically threatened.

– If you need support, reach out to a community member, or attend one of these unity-focused programs this weekend:

1. Friday, August 10th at 3pm: Teach-in On White Supremacy: A Regional Townhall with Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton & Jaime Raskin at Washington Hebrew Congregation
2. Friday, August 10th at 6pmShabbat Service: A Shabbat of Peace at Washington Hebrew Congregation concluding with a special candlelight vigil honoring the lives lost one year ago in Charlottesville
3. Friday, August 10th at 6:30pmReturn Again to Shabbat Service at Adas Israel Congregation.

Click here to see JUFJ’s comprehensive list of unity events, and keep checking back as there will be more events organized later this week.

No matter where you are this weekend, we encourage you to offer acts and prayers of love and healing into our fractured world. Let us create a sense of solidarity across Jewish DC against hatred and toward love, against violence and towards peace, and a shared commitment to do acts of loving kindness for our neighbors, friends, families and those in most need.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at or Rabbi Aaron Potek at with questions.

Wishing everyone a Shabbat of peace,

Rachel Gildiner
Executive Director, GatherDC

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again. – Anne Frank

See DC Like Never Before!

Camp Nai Nai Nai and Sixth & I are teaming up for an ‘Uncover DC Scavenger Hunt.’ Clues and ridiculous tasks await all daring individuals as you uncover DC treasures. Using a mobile app, teams will traverse Chinatown and explore Jewish history, art, and culture in our beloved metro scene. Come with your friends and a ready-made team or be adventurous and join a team of new friends when you arrive. P.S. This scavenger hunt uses a super cool app developed in Berlin, no pieces of paper and markers needed!

Expect the Unexpected!


Random acts of kindness? Yup! Food from a country you’ve never visited? Yup! Jewish Deli in DC? YUM and most definitely yup!

Wrestle with clues, discover historical sites, and compete in absurd team challenges!

Ever invented an odd job and tried to get paid for it? How about cheering on strangers for simply crossing the street? As you venture through Chinatown, we promise to show you a side of DC rarely explored!

What will YOU find?

Do you like puzzles and logic games? Do you like to dance in the streets like nobody’s watching? Synagogues become churches…and back again? Uhhh, yup! Several synagogues in DC have become churches over the decades and some have even come back to the tribe. We promise you will see the same streets you walk every day in a brand new light.

Camp Nai Nai Nai & Sixth & I believe that Jewish ritual and culture should be vibrant, relevant, and exciting. We don’t know how many clues you’ll solve, but we do know that you’ll find  a group of people who enjoy spending time together in this beautiful city of ours. “Uncover DC” is an opportunity to meet fun new people and become a part of a brand new community.


$$$, SWAG for the Winners

Why do this? First of all, everyone that shows up will get a Sixth & I tote bag, and we ALL need more tote bags for walks home from Trader Joe’s! Second, it will be a guaranteed raucous good time. Third, the winners will get exclusive and fabulous Camp Nai Nai Nai swag and 50% off registration for Camp Nai Nai Nai.


Camp Nai Nai Nai is a Jewish Summer camp for adults, taking place over Memorial Day weekend, May 25 – 28, 2018, in Waynesboro, PA (1.5 hours from DC). Camp Nai Nai Nai gives you a chance to relive the curious and courageous days of youth through spirited song sessions, creative play-shops (there’s no work at camp), color wars, festive meals, and more. This inclusive and pluralistic weekend getaway is your canvas to connect with new and old friends and recharge your city-worn spirit. Camp busses will be leaving from DC, and we would love to see you all there!


RSVP and Invite Friends on Facebook

Sign up for the Uncover DC Scavenger Hunt

Sign up for Camp Nai Nai Nai

Check out Sixth & I


The above is a sponsored blog post. 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.

DC Jewish blog round up

Iranian delinquents. Picture from The Jewish Policy Center

In case you weren’t able to read the other local Jewish blogs this week, here’s a few of my favorite articles:

  • No Plus One on Tu B’Av:  Samantha continues to bemoan her status as a single female Jew in DC, stating that “a person without a plus one feels like it adds up to zero.” (Carrie Bradshaw).  Sorry Samantha!  Hope you find Mr. Jewish Charming soon.  I recommend the Gather the Jews Happy Hour this Thursday – bound to be some single guys there.
  • 50 days until Rosh Hashanah: It’s Shul Shopping Season!:  Jen reminds us that Rosh Hashanah is on the way, and she has some tips on how to select the perfect shul for High Holidays.   50 days away…  Yes, yes, Gather the Jews will soon be putting together a guide to High Holiday options.

The Blog at 16th and Q:

InTheMoment (Moment Magazine):

  • The AJC, the Supreme Court, and Jennifer Rubin:  Theodore Samets assesses whether the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin is right to be mad at the American Jewish Committee’s “refusal to join eleven other Jewish organizations in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of M.B.Z. v. Clinton.”

M.B.Z. v. Clinton is the case that the Supreme Court will hear this fall brought by Naomi and Ari Zivotofsky, American citizens who wants their young son’s U.S. passport to list his place of birth as ‘Jerusalem, Israel,’ instead of simply ‘Jerusalem.’”

Jewish Policy Center:

  • Iran: Where a Water Fight is Illegal: Samara Greenberg points out the latest bit of evidence that Iran is a freedom-loving country:  In response to a water fight in which Iranian “boys and girls [were] drenched in water and girls with their madatory hijabs coming off … the police arrested ten youths and officials criticized the event as inappropriate.”


Want to recommend a DC Jewish blog that we should be reading?  Email







Mr. Yogato is turning three years old this Saturday (June 25)…yay!!!  In celebration, Yogato is hosting a free scavenger hunt from 7 – 9 pm. Registration opens at 6:30 and recommended team size is 3-5 people.  FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE HERE.

Why is this relevant to the GTJ website?  It is a little-known fact that the debonair Stephen Rishay (editor’s note:  Richer), a GTJ co-founder, is the only unpaid intern in Yogato history, while the vivacious Noa Levanon, co-editor of the GTJ blog, is part of the exclusive Mr. Yogato 30-Day-Champion club.  Thus, there is a clear (i.e. tenuous) connection between GTJ and Yogato.  With that, here are the top 10 reasons to attend:

1.      The clues are reeeallllyyy fun and involve doing very goofy things…one of said clues might involve a dreidel!

2.      The prizes are amazing, including prize-packs from SpaceX (put an object into a space capsule plus merchandise), Tesla Motors (VIP pack including 4 test drives and merchandise), and Mr. Yogato (we will name a a flavor or combo after a team-member, plus merchandise)!

3.      After the Hunt, there will be an a cappella concert!

4.      There will be free whoopie pies for all contestants (thanks to Berkeley at Whoopsies)

5.      There will be free Capri Sun for all contestants!

6.      Drink specials at local bars following the party for all contestants

7.      It is free!

8.      See addendum below*

9.      See addendum below*

10.  See addendum below*

We are really excited to reach our 3-year birthday and hope to see you there!

*Reasons 8 to 10 have been omitted because I just received an email from Noa Levanon harshly scolding me about missing my deadline for this blog entry.  Thus, I must submit before finishing and hereby retract my earlier compliment about her vivaciousness.

Editor’s note 1:  Steve Davis — the author of this article, and the owner of Mr. Yogato — is a former Jewish guy of the Week and finished first in Round One of Jewish Guy of the Year).

Editor’s note 2:  Since Steve is too lazy to finish out the ten, I’ll try three of my own:

8.  Get in touch with our ancestors by wandering around for a while (hopefully not 40 years… and Dupont is no desert…)

9.  Because a very high percentage of Jews are lactose intolerant, and Mr. Yogato is one of the few yogurt stores in the city to offer free Lactaid pills.

10.  Because the next Afikomen Scavenger Hunt is only 10 months away!  Time to get training!

What to do tonight and tomorrow.

To keep you from harping all night on the next round of the Jewish Guy and Girl of the Year Competition (I know, I know… it’s coming… the submissions will be made public tomorrow), I suggest occupying yourself with one of these events:

1) ADL Happy Hour Fundraiser; 6:00 to 8:00 PM; Dirty Martini (1223 Connecticut Ave.)

2) Making the Crooked Straight — The story of an exceptional, life saving Jew. Tonight; 7:00 – 10:00 pm; E Street Cinema (555 11th Street NW); Movie and discussion; facebook; register.

3) Latke-Hamentasch Debate; Tomorrow; 7:30 – 9:30 PM; Adas Israel;

The snowball-fighting spirit of DC has not melted

Snowball fightMichael Lipin is a GTJ staff member and the chief organizer of 2010’s giant snowball fight, the snowball fight last week, and the Dupont Circle screening of the World Cup.

The snowball-fighting spirit of Washingtonians is still alive! On Wednesday night, about 200 people answered a call to arms issued by social media, and turned up in Dupont Circle Park for a battle to celebrate the city’s first snowstorm of the winter.  It was the first organized snowball fight in Dupont since last February, when more than 2,000 people massed in the Circle for Washington’s biggest battle on record.

The mega snowball fight of February 6, 2010 grew out of a Facebook group that I created weeks earlier to mobilize my friends for a face-off at the Circle, the next time a snowstorm would hit. As the February 6th blizzard approached, I thought it would be fun to try spreading the word to complete strangers, and recruited two of my friends from the DC Jewish community, Ami Greener and Denis Baranov, to lead a social media campaign. To our surprise, the idea resonated so widely and so quickly that 5,000 people joined our Facebook group in a two-day period, helping to create a spectacle that made national and international news.

Since I grew up in a place where it doesn’t snow (Hong Kong), any storm that brings a few inches or more of the white stuff to Washington gives me the chance to enjoy some of the fun that I missed out on as a kid. So as this winter unfolded, I was hoping that the battle of February 6th, and a smaller re-match that we organized four days later, would not be the last.

With the help of a new Facebook page, the Washington DC Snowball Fight Association, we sent out the call for Wednesday night’s rumble in the Circle at around midday, and were thrilled to see that people really did want to make this a Dupont tradition. The goals are the same as before: to bring community members of all ages together for some friendly, outdoor frivolity on rare snow days in the Nation’s Capital; and, in the process, to make the neighborhood a fun place to live, visit and do businesses. We hope you will join us for the next snowstorm, whenever that is!