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I was at another gathering of intelligent Jews committed to Jewish life, identity and spirituality, all of them networking and talking about the issues that brought us together, when I heard a familiar sentence. “I’d lived on the Upper West Side for nearly 20 years before I found the perfect one.”
I recently came back from a West Coast tour of sorts, which included participation in an L.A.-based conference for Jewish leaders in their 20s and 30s. The Professional Leaders Project (PLP) called participants “talent,” in perhaps an intentional evocation of “the industry.” But our talents were celebrated and cultivated in a very un-Hollywood-like way: through intensive peer leadership, networking and professional mentoring. No casting couch required.
Good food, candlelight, wine and conversation after a long week is the quintessential (hoped-for) weekend plan, whether it’s for a night out, or — as it is for many Jews — for a Friday-night dinner. But for married couples that host weekly Shabbat dinners, each Friday night also represents an opportunity to help singles who might otherwise go unfed physically, spiritually or romantically.
Half a world away from her home, a bronchitis-stricken American writer stumbles into her cousins’ apartment in Jerusalem to recuperate in the embrace of her Israeli family. Technically a guest, she feels more like a patient, but in this moment, certainly not a singles columnist. She sits in the kitchen, drinking tea, which is pretty much all her beleaguered throat can handle right now. And as the veil of Hebrew pulls back and her ear adjusts to the language, she slowly becomes aware of some oddly familiar phrases.
For many Orthodox singles, the road to marriage is like Snake Hill Road in Staten Island — a twisting-turning street that forces drivers to speed up, slow down, then make a few sharp turns until finally clearing the divider and proceeding (hopefully) with smooth sailing. But the “shidduch road” is not only a jerky ride at times; it’s also fraught with an endless array of rules — bewildering to even the most seasoned shidduch dater, since there’s no agreed-upon rulebook.
Jacob Strumwasser, 24
Young hedge funder who grants micro-loans to Jewish Argentineans
For Jacob Strumwasser, it all began with a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip when he was studying at the University of Michigan. The trip helped him connect with his Jewish past and inspired him to take an active role in building the Jewish future in Argentina.
Haim Romano will be retiring at the end of this month after nearly five years as president of El Al, the national airline of Israel.
Romano, 55, said he would reveal his future plans next month. Retired Maj. Gen. Elyezer Shkedy, who commanded the Israeli Air Force from 2004 until 2008, was appointed by El Al’s board of directors to succeed him.