The Magenta Yenta! – Gather the News – 11/7

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to gather we go!

  • Recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in Colorado and Washington state.  How will this affect the War on Drugs?  In other news, the University of Washington’s application rate skyrocketed today.

Shout Out to the Reporters – Gather the News – 10/31

Hurricane Gather!

  • All joking and Gangnam Style rain dance memes aside, Hurricane Sandy pounded the east coast- our hearts go out to those who are still without power and  those who have rebuild their homes, businesses, and lives.

Weekly Update with Rachel — 9/12

Giraffe at the Smithsonian!
(I’m a little obsessed with giraffes…)

Hi, everyone! I cannot express how ecstatic I am to be a part of Gather the Jews.  If you ever see me out at an event, or anywhere else in the city, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself.  I’m brand new to DC and can’t wait to meet everyone.

Last week was my first official week as Director of Operations.  I wrote up my first “Gather the News” and sent out my first newsletter (and the world did not implode so I guess I didn’t do too badly!).  I also jumped into Jewish events this week, starting with the Jewish Federation’s Nexus.  Nexus is a course designed to explore what it means to be an influential young Jewish adult, and how to impact the community through involvement.  Nexus was a great opportunity to start meeting members of the Jewish community as we shared with each other our respective Jewish journeys.

I spent my first Friday Shabbat at MesorahDC’s services and dinner.  The food was delicious and everyone, including Rabbi T and Rabbi Berkman, made me feel extremely comfortable.  The next night, with some new friends from Mesorah, I headed out to Clark and Shaina’s engagement party.  Sadly, I missed Clark’s flash mob proposal. Overall, I would say a highly successful first weekend in DC and I’m looking forward to many more. If you are not busy Sunday, September 30, you can come out, meet me, and help make another one of my weekends awesome by joining me in building sukkahs for GTJ’s first ever community service event!

I’m exceedingly thankful for how welcoming everyone has been, but I also want to be here for all of you. If you ever need help finding a place to go to services, want to know about a Jewish event, or want to find someone to go to an event with, let me know and I will do my best to help you out. Also, while I have my own ideas for GTJ, I would also like to hear from all of you. Compliments, constructive criticism, and new ideas are always appreciated.

Have a great week!


Gather the News – Jewish News of the Week – 9/10

We’re big fans of gathering around here.

  • Canada includes Iran’s hostility towards Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric as

    Drake’s Bar Mitzvah

    reasons for severing diplomatic relations.

  •  Jews and Muslims demonstrated in Berlin over a new law that restricts male circumcision. The new law requires the procedure be carried out by a doctor. Traditionally it is performed by a Jewish mohel, most of whom lack the medical training required under the new law. Politicians in Denmark, Norway, and Finland have also called for a ban on circumcision, though so far there has been no legislation.
  • Here’s an interview with Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum who supported gay rights at the recent Democratic National Convention.
  • A new facebook app, called “Jewish Geography,” gives you a Jewish connection score based on your Facebook profile and friends. We’ll let you decide on this one…
  • And in sports news, the Israeli lacrosse team has earned eligibility for the 2014 Lacrosse World Championship. Israel competes in lacrosse? Who knew?
  • Whether or not you’re voting for Romney, this pin is pretty cool.
  • Seinfeld is something every Jew can take pride it. Paste Magazine released a list of the 25 best episodes, do you agree with their rankings? Let us know in the comments!

Gather the News – Jewish News of the Week – 9/5

Art Heyman

Didn’t gather the news this week? Don’t worry, we did!



DC Jewish Blog Round Up

Shalomnova's Samantha challenges Erika's most recent GTJ post.

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

The Blog at 16th and Q:

  • Labor Day—Good for the Jews : Lili Kalish Gersch links to a number of pages that “link” Judaism and Labor Day.  Each of the links makes me twitch a little bit—we’ll see if I have time to write some rejoinders this week.

InTheMoment (Moment Magazine):

  • Singing a New Song: Steven Philp (who spells his name incorrectly) disagrees with one of MTV’s music award picks and suggests instead that those looking for the theme of hope in music should try a new Matisyahu song.  But if it’s hope you’re going for, I still recommend “All I do is win.”  Think about it, if you work really hard, you could win… all the time… like the U in the 80s…

Jewish Policy Center:

Washington Jewish Week:

  • Shake-up on J Street: Adam Kredo writes about the departure of one of J-Street’s top officials: Hadar Susskind.  J-Street has yet to name a replacement – my name is conspicuously absent from the short list.

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



Gather the News – Jewish News – 8/15/11

Let’s do some Gathering…

  • Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Melanie Laurent, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Rachel Weisz, just to name a few…. Is Hollywood converting?
  • Hebrew University researchers discover biomarkers that predict the likelihood of developing brain tumors and introduce a new treatment method for brain cancer.
  • The research is prospering at Tel Aviv University as well, where two university scientists invent a personal sensor that can detect the presence of date rape drugs in your drink.[1]
  • Intensive group therapy sessions combined with sightseeing tours in New York is one Israeli group’s method for helping Israeli soldiers move past traumatic wartime experiences.
  • And Hillel will set up its own tents as well at 20 campuses across the U.S. this fall as part of an initiative, Talk Israel, to discuss Israel and Middles East issues.

Candace Mittel is a GTJ summer associate


[1] Approximately 200,000 women were raped in the U.S. with the aid of date rape drugs in 2007 alone.

Gather the News – Jewish News – 8/1/11

Considering U.S. headlines were a bit overloaded this week[1], I had to search extra hard for my Jewish/Israel stories… but nevertheless, here’s some debt-free news:

  • In the race to replace Anthony Weiner (read: to be Israel’s better friend), former Democratic Mayor Ed Koch endorses Republican Bob Turner in order to send a firm message to President Obama on Israel, but Democratic opponent David Weprin may have just one-upped Turner: Senator Joseph Lieberman goes to bat for his fellow Orthodox Jew.
  • Doggy diapers are on their way! Brought to you by an Israeli company, NUFAR Natural Products, this new product solves the “dog poo problem” and may clean our sidewalks for good!

Candace Mittel is a Gather the Jews summer associate

[1] What does the debt crisis mean for Jewish service groups?

[2] Regretting your decision yet, Mohammed Alirezaei?

[3] Yet another serious political development that merely began as a modest facebook protest!

[4] What do you think?  Should facebook allow these pages to stay up or not? Send your opinion article to

Gather the News – Jewish News – 7/18

Bachmann accuses President Obama of having a lot of "choot-spa." See below

Harry Potter is over (see Stephen’s Harry Potter goblin-Jews article), but Gather the News is still here!

  • With the recent introduction of Google+, millions of online chatters have found themselves conflicted between the trusted and always handy Facebook chat and Google’s newest chat innovation.  Leave it to Israelis to develop an application that reconciles the two by integrating the two services so that you don’t have to leave either one behind.
  • From technology to medicine, there really is no limit to Jewish nerdy capabilities: scientists at Hebrew University have identified the molecular basis for the breakage of DNA, the trademark of cancer cells – a major breakthrough which hopefully will lead to new approaches to the prevention and treatment of cancer in the future.
  • Israel’s new Boycott Law stirs controversy in Israel and abroad, as many Israeli and Jewish groups express concern over the constitutionality of the law.  Netanyahu remains adamant, however, that the law was a product of a democratic process in a democratic state and doesn’t mar Israel’s image in the least.[1]
  • The world stock markets may be in turmoil, but Israeli indices seem to be doing just fine.
  • Forest fires break out in 4 different locations at once in Jerusalem, and it is suspected that arsonists may be the cause.
  • Ed Koch, former New York mayor, may endorse a Republican to replace Anthony Weiner in order to “put a shot across Obama’s bow,” Koch said in reference to Obama’s stance on Israel.
  • Could Andy Samberg be the United States’ first Jewish feminist male comedian?[2]

They say to save the best for last, so…

  • Michele Bachmann declares that President Obama has a lot of “choot-spa!”[3]
Candace Mittel is a summer associate at Gather the Jews.

[1] What do you think? Submit an opinion article to

[3] Isn’t Bachmann the one with all the chutzpah to think that she could ever possibly be President…?


GTJ welcomes new blog editor: Noa Levanon

Gather the Jews is pleased to welcome Noa Levanon to her new position as co-editor of the GTJ blog (along with Stephen Richer).

Noa’s involvement will add both editing expertise and a knowledge of Israel to the GTJ blog.  After receiving a BA from Princeton University, Noa moved to Israel where she served in the Israel Defense Forces for three years.  Noa extended her to stay in Israel as both a masters student at Hebrew University and as an editor at Ynet, an Israeli news website.  Noa is now pursuing a doctorate in conflict management at the John Hopkins School for Advanced and International Studies (SAIS).

Although Noa has been part of the GTJ staff for several months now, we are still extremely pleased and excited to welcome her to her new role as co-editor of the blog.

If you have any story ideas, or if you would like write for the Gather the Jews blog, please contact

Submitted articles should be no more than 600 words (preferably around 400 words) and should focus on issues pertaining to the Jewish community of Washington, DC.

Gather the Jews now serves over 2,000 young professional Jews in the DC area and receives approximately 2,400 visits per week.