Sometimes I wonder why I started this…

I initially re-started blogging as a way to test out WordPress while I did research for my then supervisor to start his own blog.  Naturally I went with WordPress, I loved the interface and the ease of posting.  Predictably I stopped blogging while he has become quite prolific.

Why did I stop?  It’s not as if there’s a lack of things for me to spontaneously comment about.  I mean, I tweet a LOT…surely I can work more diligently to expound on the 140 character limit.

I’m going to think about this, but you never know, I could get back on the blogging trail sooner than later…


Stay tuned.

Where were you 10 years ago…

I apologize.  I haven’t been blogging much, mainly because in the last month I have started a new job and gotten a new car, two monumental steps in my life that I’ve just been dealing with …it’s not personal, it’s just how things have gone.

This weekend marks the 10 year anniversary of 9/11.  September 11, 2001, a day that changed everything.

I was a junior in college, just about two weeks into the fall term.  I had my car on campus for the first time.  UConn had this rule about underclassmen having a car up on campus so I felt like I was king of the world.

10 years ago tomorrow, I woke up at around 7:30am (I have this thing about waking up early, makes me feel productive).  As I lay in bed listening to the radio I was dreading going to class that day.  It was a social psych class and I hated pysch.  I don’t do well with the sciences, and that’s what a lot of psych was to me.

The radio station I listened to at the time did these stupid prank calls, I think they called them phone scams, and it just so happened that the radio came on just as the scam would have taken place.  I heard the DJ say that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center…

I’ll be completely honest – I thought it was a joke.  I thought that the DJ was actually pranking a random caller.  I was so disgusted I immediately turned off the radio and started to get ready for the day.  In the men’s room, as I was shaving and whatnot, a hall mate of mine came in and told me to get to a TV.  Now.  I finished up and went to my room and turned on the TV.

There it was.  The World Trade Center.  On fire.  Remnants of a plane BURNING in the middle of the iconic building.  Not long after I started watching, a second plane hit.  TWO crashes.  TWO buildings.  What was going on?  WHAT WAS GOING ON?

We live in the United States, no way does this stuff happen to us.

By now a bunch of us were congregated in a friend’s room, glued to the TV.  Since it was a New England school, many of us shared roots in the New York area.  I had to go to class and I promise you that I had never walked faster to a class in my life.  EVER.  Thankfully the professor allowed us to watch the news, clearly we weren’t going to be able to concentrate anyway.

We all know how the rest of it goes.  10 years have passed, a lot has changed, and I will never forget where I was that day.

Tomorrow morning, it’ll be 9/11/2011, I’ll pile my stuff in the car and head out to the first Mishpacha (the family ed program I teach in) session of the year.  Some will argue that it should be delayed a week…out of respect for the anniversary.  I am mixed on the issue.  On the one hand, it’d be nice to respect the event in that way, on the other, I think we’re respecting it by going to work.  We’re going to sing and pray and learn together, creating a community and starting a year of great times and fond memories.  In the back of my mind, I’ll keep 9/11/01 in my prayers, and strive for a better tomorrow.

Zichronam Livracha, may the memories of the righteous be forever a blessing…

Social Media critics need to take a seat….

I apologize for the lack of blog posts.  Starting a new job, getting ALL the information together, it’s just a lot.

A lot is made today about the world of social media, it’s benefits, and it’s negative side of it.

I, as you may or may not know, am a huge fan of it.  This love was confirmed yesterday.  Yesterday, at around 11:30am PDT I was sitting at my desk when all of a sudden my Facebook newsfeed and my Twitter stream went into overdrive about an earthquake.

It wasn’t a California quake though (perhaps, the norm here?) … But it was a quake in New York…and DC…and Boston… a 5.8 tremor sent waves (no pun intended) throughout the social media world.  I saw the news, on Twitter, and immediately phoned my dad who was working.

He was incredulous when I asked him if everything was okay.  He couldn’t believe that his California based son knew what was happening in New Jersey, almost instantly after it happened.

Further proof that social media isn’t all that bad!

It’s a brand new day…

A week off can be great, but it’s time to get down to business.

Today was my first day at my new job here in LA!  While it was mostly filled with orientation style stuff (with an epic 10 minute safety video) I was overall very pleased with my day.  I have my own cubicle, which I now need to decorate and really make it my own, but that will all come in time.

As Monday goes, a nice start.  I’ll be more coherent and will be able to write more presumably, later in the weeks as I get more comfortable.


I love when Jewish themes make it to TV…

Since I’ve had the week off I’ve taken to getting myself organized, cleaning, and just mentally ready for the task(s) ahead of me.  During the breaks in that process though, I have caught up on some old TV shows that I never got to watch.  One of them is Sports Night.

The late 90s show, created by the legend Aaron Sorkin, centered on a sports talk show, that was nightly and the focus was on both the anchors of the show and their production teams.

Throughout the two seasons of the show (tragically cut short for reasons I can only assume were ratings based) there were holiday episodes (christmas) and even a Passover episode.

I love it when tv shows have these episodes because it can potentially represent a great opportunity to provide nice teaching moments to an audience that may not know much about Jewish tradition(s).  The Passover Sports Night episode was great, the characters were assembled for a seder, and the Jewish characters, played admirably by Joshua Malina and Josh Charles, led the others.

It was a really sweet moment, complete with the cast reciting the kiddush blessing (led by Malina, an observant Jew).  It was nice to see a scene like that done properly and tastefully.

Costco is the greatest…

Give me an opportunity to talk about places that involve buying anything in bulk, I will tell you that Costco is where it’s at.

I am not sure if I’ve written about it before, but even if I had, it wouldn’t matter because today took Costco to a new level!

I didn’t grow up going to Costco, we had Sam’s Club…same style, but only since I’ve lived in LA have I gotten a deep appreciation for the massive warehouses where things can be purchased for less (over time).

Today I had to get a tire replaced – this was annoying for several reasons, mainly because I hate spending lots of money on my old car – but also because I am on vacation and don’t want to wait for repairs to be done.

This all changed today when I went to Costco – to get my tire replaced!  Not only did it come in about 1/2 of what I would have paid my mechanic, but I spent the time waiting by walking around Costco, eating samples and getting lunch.  It was so great!  I know it seems weird, but true story – I ate a hot dog, churro and had a soda and paid less than 3 dollars for it.  At Dodger Stadium that costs $15!!!

So here’s to you Costco!  Proving once again, you can get anything you want at the massive warehouse!

The best laid plans…

I had grand ideas for this week off.  I’m funemployed for the week, yeah I know it’s not a real word, but go with it.

I was going to do a trip up to NorCal, a place where I have yet to visit, but none of my friends can take off work mid-week.  I was going to do day trips, maybe take a ride up to Santa Barbara, which I have also not visited.

Instead though, I found out that I had some issues with my car, cosmetic mostly, nothing TOO serious, but definitely something I need to take care of before I start working again next week.

So in the meanwhile, I’ll plan a future weekend away and focus on getting my life together, cleaning, purging old stuff and getting set for my new journey.

The best laid plans may not always work out as you thought, the key will be how you adapt!

Count your blessings…

A short and sweet blog today –

I am blessed in countless ways by having wonderful people in my life.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a week off, and while I was leaning toward taking a trip up north, I think I will stay here and get my life in order.

Either way, I am blessed.



It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later…

Tomorrow is my final day of work at Temple Israel of Hollywood.

I’ve never left a job for another job.  In fact, the first job I had out of college, I had for 4 years.  I left to come here, to graduate school.  Come to think of it, it was 4 years ago.  Tomorrow I’ll leave my professional role at TIOH after nearly 2 years, only this time, it’ll be to assume another role in a different organization, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

I am and will always be appreciative of the TIOH professional and lay communities for allowing me to work with them over these last 20 months and while I won’t be there daily, I look forward to participating in what I can there as a member of the community.

Onward and upward, and with immense thanks…

Culmination day…

Today was Culmination.  The finish of an HUC summer is this culmination ceremony.  Yesterday I blogged about the Summer Salon, but today was the official conclusion of the summer school year.

There were a lot of quality speeches today (you can follow the stream online with the twitter hashtag #sjnmculmination or #sjnm11, both tags should get you info.

It was great to be back on campus and see this year’s class (almost) finish their education.  One of the takeaways from today was the following “If you don’t have passion, you’re just another employee working for low wages”.  This came from the student perspective – remarkable right?  It’s true.  My friends and I don’t do this Jewish nonprofit work for the money, if we wanted to make tons of money, we’d have gone to law school or something.

We do what we do to make a difference, because of that little fire in our gut that screams at us to stand up and make a change in the Jewish community for the better.

We all have the passion.  When my classmates and I were in school, we used to joke and say that our class would be the one to change the world.  That we would do the work that needed to get done to affect real change.  Many of us are now changing jobs, friends are still in the Jewish sector but are changing organizations.  A classmate of mine and I were chatting earlier today and she remarked how funny it was that a bunch of our class was starting new jobs.  I said that it was awesome and I firmly believed that it was symbolic of us taking the next step in changing the world.

If today was any indication, we’re also changing the world because we have passion.