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Jewish Journal

Jewish Journal Holiday Party

by Elliot Steingart

December 20, 2012 | 11:39 am

Morry's Fireplace

My girlfriend complains I don’t teach her about Judaism but it’s not for a lack of trying.  During Chanukah I explained that the candle burned for eight nights.

“It was the oil, not the candle.” She corrected me.

Like she was there!  She asks me to take her to synagogue, a big step for someone who wants to learn more about Jewish culture but refuses to watch even a moment of Billy Crystal hosting a special edition of SportCenter.

The point is I’m trying. I invited her to the Jewish Journal’s holiday party, which made for a teachable evening about Jewish culture.  When else would she attend a function at one of LA’s hottest nightclubs, “Morry’s Fireplace?”  Before the party I prepped her on a few basics such as talking with her hands and using the phrase “you’re kidding” when at a loss for words. I even gave her a short quiz.

“How many questions are there in Passover?” I asked.

“Three?” she guessed.

As I mentioned, it was a short quiz.

Before the party we stopped for dinner at Factors, a signature deli on Pico. We ate pickles, ordered matzah ball soup and drank root beer then walked to Morry’s Fireplace complaining about the cold.

I was excited to meet many of my contemporaries. The rumors swirled about which Jewish Journal stars would arrive. Would the enigmatic Morry make an appearance? Blog Coordinator Jared Baker, perhaps?  To my delight, the event was star studded with Jewish Journal celebs like Blogger Ilana Angel of Keeping the Faith; entertainment reporter, Danielle Berrin aka the Hollywood Jewand even, Tamara Shayne Kagel of the controversial blog Tattletales.

We drank kosher wine and chatted about each other’s blogs. An older women approached me, “Are you Jay?”

While I very well could have been Jewish Journal Web Editor Jay Firestone, I politely said, “No. I am Elliot. ”

“Where’s Jay?” I was pressed.

Because I established that I am Elliot I was therefore not Jay. I could only answer, “I don’t know, but I’m sure he will be here.”

We met a very lively and wonderful new blogger named Michelle Azar. “I write Yoga Breaths” she shared. “It sounds like Yoga breasts,” she laughed. “It’s breaths.”

Also an actress, Michelle has appeared in numerous television programs and recently played the role of “Jewish Woman #3” on Community. She introduced us to her husband, Rabbi Jonathan Aaron of Temple Emanuel, a very friendly and down to earth Rabbi who complained about his Passbook App not working to find his seats for VH1’s “Divas Live.”

“I’m interested in learning more about Judaism,” my girlfriend said to the Rabbi.  “My boyfriend doesn’t tell me anything about texts and the traditions.”

Not wanting the rabbi to look down upon me, I introduced him to Zite, my favorite news aggregator for the Droid/Iphone.

With no sign of Morry, Jay, the man of the hour, finally arrived with his girlfriend, Julia.

"A lot of middle aged women want to meet you" I told Jay.

I complimented him on the Journal’s reporting of the Wilshire Blvd Temple bomb scare earlier in the week. I also suggested we take a group picture with all of the writers and bloggers posing with pen and note pad.

“Can we also get all the writer's to sign a copy of the print edition?” I requested.

I thanked Editor-in-Chief Rob Eshman for the opportunity to blog and bade farewell to the rest of my contemporaries.

“What did you think?” I asked my girlfriend when we returned home.

“It was really nice; thanks for taking me.” She said. “I really like the Matzah ball area of town.”

At least she didn’t refer to us as  “you people.”  Even if she calls Pico/Robertson the “Matzah ball area” she is becoming more educated, slowly but surely. She knows the meaning of “schlep” as in I have no plans to shlep to synagogue. She ought to know I am happy to expose her to other aspects of Jewish culture. Our next lesson of Jewish culture is a Netflix introduction to the films of Charles Grodin.

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That is the best part of relationships you learn from each other. That would have been a great party. I have never heard the term “Matzah ball area of town”
Ilana Angel and you are on my favorite bloggers!
Do I comment too much? It that weird? I like your work!
Thank you for doing a great job!!

Comment by dawnnotyourgirlfriendsmother on 12/20/12 at 7:13 pm


i like your comments, Dawnnotyourgirlfriendsmother. thanks for being my #1 fan.

Comment by elliot on 12/21/12 at 8:12 am


Thanks!! made my day!!!

Comment by dawnnotyourgirlfriendsmother on 12/21/12 at 12:56 pm


Sorry I couldn’t make it. I was busy traipsing about in Ohio snow and doing those other things us Midwesterners do when visiting the motherland this time of year. Sounds like you all had a blast!

Comment by Jared Baker on 12/24/12 at 9:56 am


Thanks for the shout out and thanks to Fawn for reading!

Comment by Ilana Angel on 1/06/13 at 2:42 am


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