Archive for October, 2009

#90 Taking a Year Off

(idea submitted by Marla L.)

One of the demographic characteristics of the Jewish Young Adult community is a general trend toward being financially stable, not necessarily from their own hard work or volition.  This offers the JYA ample opportunities to exercise their freedom of choice and explore various outlets and facets.  Over recent decades JYAs have taken this freedom to heart, sometimes to deleterious extremes, and what has emerged is a tendency to explore this freedom by taking a year off.

JYAs will pursue a bevy of possibilities when taking a year off.  Some will come to Israel to find themselves on a number of various year long trips.  Some will look to volunteer for a year for institutions like Teach for American, even if they have to pay for it.  Some, particularly Israeli JYAs, will disappear into year-long drug-filled hazes in South America, India, or Thailand.  Still others will pursue academic goals, like Seattle based JYA “Dave”, who spent a year studying Chinese Medicine in Sydney.

There are plenty of reasons why JYAs take a year off, but one unifying theory is that they simply can.  Whereas the generation of Jewish Adults had a more limited scope of possibilities (doctor, banker, or lawyer preferable, maybe a professor even), JYAs of today have too many options at their beck and call, and the means to go explore them.  So they do.


JYAs in Peru - exploring their tolerance for Pilsen Callao

It is also important to note at in recent years it has also become socially “acceptable” for JYAs to take a year off well into their early to mid thirties.  It has also become “acceptable” to take multiple trips.  As an example, Israeli JYA “Oren” took a trip to Central America for nearly 10 months at the age of 32.  When asked why he was taking the trip, “Oren” answered matter-of-factly “I’ve already been to India when I was 25”.

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#89 Brunching

(idea submitted and written by Samantha H.)

What’s more Jewish than a Sunday brunch of bagels, lox and shmear? Brunching is one of the greatest traditions of Jewish Young Adults, but it is a trend that may have actually been stolen brunch from Jesus-loving counterparts.  Apparently, brunch, which combines the greatest foods from breakfast and lunch, was a big meal eaten by Christians after attending mass.  Regardless of its roots, Jews have hopped on this trend like white boys from the suburbs dig Kanye.

But why is this meal different from all other meals?  Brunch is an excuse to meet up with friends when you’re still hungover, then drink beverages like Bloody Mary’s and exchange stories of last night’s shenanigans with the goyfriend.  Plus, it’s like two meals for the price of one; and JYAs love bragging about their bargains.

Whether it’s eggs benedict, whitefish, or homefries, brunch is one of the greatest traditions most JYA’s were brought up with.  Beginning with extravagant brunches after a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, trying to reach for some fruit salad between the deafening “Mazel Tov’s” from long-lost relatives.  Since then, through college, and into adulthood one of the greatest constants has been brunches with family and new and old friends, regardless of the city.  JYAs have been spotted brunching the world over; Saturdays in LA or NYC, Sundays in London, or Friday’s in Tel Aviv.  A cup of coffee, a big glass of OJ, and two hours of gossip makes everything seem more bearable.


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