Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Year Come and Gone

Yesterday I celebrated my 30th birthday. I am officially not able to get away with public anyway. I am officially too old to still know where my blankie is (but I do). I am officially old.

I am now at the age that I thank God that my parents are still around. I am also at the age where I regret not seeing them more than I do. I am now at the age where my friends are moving on. We used to all live in the same neighborhood, now we are all dispersed around the US, with new families, new jobs, new educations and experiences. Some even in foreign countries.

I am now at the age where I can be proud of my accomplishments. I don't think its big headed or egotistical to look back on a year and smile at your merits. I won't say it was perfect. I'm sure I harmed people. I'm sure I didn't try hard enough to repair relationships that I'd damaged. I'm sure laziness and the flaw of wanting to take on too much too fast kept me from helping more people than I did. But, I did do good stuff too.

There have been a lot of changes in my life over the past year. Most importantly, I married my bashert Evan. He is absolutely the perfect match for me. He lets me be myself with no reservations and tells me every day how awesome I am. I pray that I put into this relationship at least a percentage of what I receive, because even that would be a ton. I loved my wedding. Not that I remember much about it, but it had been a long time since my whole family had been together. My fam doesn't have many opportunities to see one another. I got to see cousins that I hadn't seen in years and that was awesome. I am thankful that Evan has a large and loving immediate and extended family. They are all so great and have made me feel incredibly loved and accepted as one of them. Even if I am too busy to say it all the time, I know that Evan and I are very blessed.

I have worked hard to help others too, not just myself. Professionally, I am still working at NJOP and have been writing their @JewishTweets on Twitter. I love having this opportunity and getting to meet amazing Jews throughout the world that are using Twitter (of all places, right?) to engage in their heritage, whether by asking questions, telling jokes or sharing an inspiring story. I'm also interacting with fans on the Jewish Treats Facebook Page. If there is anything you want to learn about Judaism, let me know. If I don't know the answer, I have great people to ask for help.

Also this year I've worked on ParnasaFest (see blog I wrote on it here). What started out over lunch in Downtown NYC last February has turned into a internationally recognized grassroots initiative. After the mass layoffs in the Jewish nonprofit world, a couple friends and I asked ourselves, how can we help. A couple days later, we hosted our first ParnasaFest, a job networking event for those who need it. Whether they're in need of a new job opportunity, in need of new business contacts, or needing to meet people who are dealing with the same craziness in their lives that they themselves are dealing with, if nothing more than to shmooze and commiserate. Whatever their reason for attending an event or utilizing resources on our website, I hope they found utility in our work. I think they have, and that makes me happy.

I have also become a matchmaker on SawYouAtSinai's sister site YUConnects which is meant to facilitate matches amongst those in the Yeshiva University community. I love having this type of tool at my disposal to help Jewish singles. If you are on either of the sites, please seek me out on the matchmakers page and send me a message. I'd love to try to help you find your bashert!

Also, I was inducted into the prestigious ROI Community of young Jewish innovators and attended their summit in Israel this past summer. What an amazing collection of people to be grouped together with. It was a great honor.

And finally, I was honored last month to receive a nomination from a friend of mine in the United Jewish Communities' Jewish Community Hero contest. Its a huge honor. A lot of my fellow nominees are just like me. They desire to help their fellow Jews every day. A couple nominees who I'm voting for every day are Rabbi Moishe Engel who started the Gan Israel in my community that I attended every summer growing up and I attribute a lot of my religious growth to that experience and my friend Sharon Weiss-Greenberg who has just taken on the role of JLI Co-Director at Harvard where she and her husband are working with the Jewish students on campus. Then there is the Jewish Robot William Levin, my fellow ParnasaFester Dave Weinberg, and many more. So many great people on there that I'm happy are being recognized for what they do. Here is my profile, please check it out and shoot me a vote if you can. The prize money could be a huge help for the Jewish projects that I work on.

That's the year in review. I am so thankful for the friends and family in my life. I love you guys alot. Thank you thank you thank you. Shana Tova Umetuka, I hope you have a happy and sweet New Year. I hope you have a prosperous year full of opportunities to better yourself and those around you. I hope you receive all the things you desire at the right times. I hope you take advantage of your new clean slate and start filling it up with mitzvos and good deeds. And I will do my best to do the same. Gmar Chasima Tova, May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for Good!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sending Chaviva to Israel

Last year I participated from afar in a Jewish Blogger Convention. Now the Nefesh B'Nefesh Second International Jewish Bloggers Convention is coming up on September 13th in Jerusalem. I will be attending once again via the world wide web. I was reminded tonight after reading my friend Chaviva's blog that the next convention is soon approaching AND this year they're doing a special contest giving a blogger who wants to attend a free flight to Israel so he or she can attend in person. I think Chavi is the perfect blogger to win this opportunity. A) She REALLY wants to go B) she doesn't have a few extra grand to buy a ticket and hop on a flight (who the heck does nowadays?) and C) SHE'S AWESOME. I've met 1000's of people online via my social networks (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc) and honestly, there are only a few I'd desired to meet in person. Just from reading her blog and her tweets, I knew Chavi was a great gal. We've met IRL and remain buds. I even got to meet her boyfriend Tuvia. He's awesome too! If Chavi wins she'll get to fly on a real Nefesh B'Nefesh aliyah flight and matched with up with an Oleh/Olah/Family, who she'll be able to blog about. If Nefesh B'Nefesh is looking for a blogger who can flesh out the journey of an oleh, she's the one. After all, she's been on quite a journey herself (read her blog, you'll understand). :) Pick Chavi!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lend me a hand!

I wanted to thank all of my supporters in the United Jewish Communities' Jewish Community Heroes contest! I'm so appreciative! I wanted to offer a couple reminders. You can submit a vote for me EVERY SINGLE DAY through October 8th (every 12 hours to be exact). This isn't just a one time vote AND you can vote for as many other nominees as you want. Voting for me does not mean you can't vote for your other friends who are nominated. A ton of other incredible peeps are my fellow nominees so I encourage you to check them all out and vote for those who inspire you! If you haven't yet today, you can click here to vote for me.

Also, I'm trying to mobilize some friends and blog readers to help get the word out about me. I'd be so grateful if you'd email your friends/family, dedicate your Facebook status for a short time, or even tweet about my nomination. Anything you can do to help would be hugely appreciated.

Sample text: Vote for my friend Susanne who is trying to raise money for her worthy community projects. Just click here:

Thank you!


Susanne Goldstone Rosenhouse | Jewish Community Heroes

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Am I Your Hero?

Some things come up and demand a quick post. I know I'm behind on writing about so many different things that I've been meaning to get to but I have so little free time of late. But here goes... I was nominated by a buddy of mine for the United Jewish Communities' Jewish Community Hero contest. Its a great honor for those of us who selflessly devote our time, energy, and tiny paychecks to the Jewish Community. Sometimes a thank you is all I need to get through a tough and frustrating patch. Getting recognized like this can give me an even bigger push. Below is the text from my friend's nomination:

Tell us about your nominee. Why should he or she be recognized as a Jewish Community Hero?

Susanne is the Social Media Coordinator of the National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP), where she has been involved, since before social media was a normative means of communication, in reaching out to unaffiliated and loosely-affiliated Jews around the world, to engage them in their Jewish heritage. Originally a U.S.-based organization with a small reach into Canada as well, Susanne has helped to turn NJOP into a worldwide phenomenon, and has thereby touched the lives of millions of Jews worldwide, both directly and indirectly.

In her free time, Susanne co-chairs ParnasaFest, the international grassroots initiative providing job networking assistance for the Jewish community, teaches pro-bono social media classes at synagogues and organizations, volunteers as a matchmaker for Jewish singles, and has consulted for the World Jewish Congress.

What problem did your nominee identify in the community that needed to be solved? How has your nominee's efforts made a difference for others?

Through Susanne's efforts, NJOP has become a clearinghouse of information for Jews seeking to understand their cultural and religious identity. Previously, NJOP had a loose affiliation with synagogues around the U.S. that was most known for its Shabbat Across America program. Now, with over 4,100 followers on Twitter, a widely read blog, and growing networks among young and old alike, NJOP has transformed into a powerhouse for informal - and formal - Jewish education for all age groups and backgrounds. According to their 2009 report, NJOP, still a small organization with a dozen staff, "has successfully reached more than 1,054,000 North American Jews and engaged them in Jewish life," and its programs, "have been offered at more than 3,670 locations across North America and in 37 countries worldwide."

Some of my good friends are fellow nominees, including former roommates (Sharon that's you), my ParnasaFest partners Dave and Dani, fellow ROIers Tamar and Ari, and rabbis and community educators that I've become acquainted with via my work at NJOP. Every one of them is worthy of this honor for the incredible work that they do for their local communities.

I hope you'll find the time to take 30-seconds out of your day to click the below link and vote for me and other people who you think are deserving. You can vote once everyday through October 8th. Please encourage your friends and families to vote as well by tweeting my link or devoting your Facebook status update to my cause. Thanks for your support!!!


*Picture will be posted to voting site soon.
** Picture above shows how far I'd go for your vote. Even kissing babies on the campaign trail. ;)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Twitter and Hair Covering

Well here we are. Susanne's Blog reboot, Take 9.

This has been a whirlwind year with about a trillion things absorbing my time. I got married, acquired a new roommate (the new husband), became a "professional" shadchan on a not-sure-I-should-blatantly-name-the-site-especially-when-you-can-figure-it-out-on-your-own dating website, got extra responsibilities at work, and if that weren't enough, I've learned to spend around 10 hours of my day on Twitter. Twitter snags all of my deepest thoughts before I have a chance to blog about them. It has literally destroyed my will to blog. I blame Biz Stone on my non-blogging. Biz, you have my dedicated blog readers (okay, reader singular) to deal with.

Here's what I wanted to mention. I was just in the shower after Shabbos. I had in mind that I needed to do my hair for tomorrow since we're attending the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School Semikha Ceremony tomorrow morning. Some of our buddies including Rabbi Ben Greenberg and Rabbi Drew Kaplan (and others) with be graduating and off to save the Jewish community. Anyhoo, back to the hair. There is a mitzvah regarding the covering of a married woman's hair called Kisui Rosh. I practice this mitzvah basically by default. Just about everywhere I go is somewhere I want to cover my hair. Synagogue, work (I work in a religious office), and other Jewy things. Oh and softball. At softball I'm never not wearing a baseball hat but that mainly to block the sun, not for religie reasons. In the shower I tried to remember where my hair dryer is. When so few people get to see my hair it doesn't really inspire me to spend the time blowdrying it. What I've learned from this is that letting my hair dry naturally ends up looking just about as good as if I'd spent hours fussing over it. Had I not gotten married and had I not decided to practice this mitzvah, I'd still be wasting hours with my Conair3000 and there would be even less of a chance I'd have the time to post another blog. So enjoy my mitzvah keeping.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Purim Shpiel Vids

My shul Mt Sinai in Washington Heights did a Digital Shorts competition to enhance their shpiel. Shpiel was good other than the little too pointed skit about tensions on the Mt Sinai board (that was cringeworthy) and the making fun of my shpiel last year. The stand out of the night was the video done by Dov Friedman, Aviel Tamir and Dudie Silberman. This was brilliant my young kiddush club lads. Check it out below.

I also submitted a vid myself since I heard that they didn't have many entires. I was just going to forget about it since I am so busy working on ParnasaFest and I was on vacation at the time, but I did it anyway. So I wrote a script, filmed, and uploaded it all in 2 hours. It was meant for a target group of people I knew who'd be at the shpiel that are in love with the shows Avenue Q and In the Heights as much as I am (I didn't think incorporating Spring Awakening would be appropriate in a shul setting). I didn't expect anyone else to get the jokes. Those that did loved it. Those that didn't didn't. I'm just happy they used my idea of opening the shpiel with an In the Heights rap. That was the bomb. Anyhoo, here's my vid.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ParnasaFest is Global!

This economy is in trouble. No one is doubting that. No one had a "good year" (other than bankruptcy lawyers). Heck, even my mom's plastic surgeon is offering discounts (true story). No one is safe. A bunch of my friends started getting laid off. First the guys in finance lost their jobs. The recent financial scandal then rocked the Jewish nonprofit world. I interviewed about 5 years ago for a communications job at Hadassah. Had I got it, I probably would have been let go last month. I was killing for this one job in YU for many years. If I got that, I might have been fired last week. Who's next?

Who's next? That's the question that inspired my friends Dave Weinberg, Dani Klein and myself to stand up and do something. Two things that I care about are the Jewish community and the social media world. You might not think so but they have a common bond. Members in each of these communities care deeply for one another. Jews give tzedakah (charity) and aid to others in need. Social networkers happily offer free advice and support to strangers whenever it is asked for. We asked, why not bring the two communities together? The Jewish community is in need. Jews from all industries (business, non-profits, lawyers, even doctors!) are unemployed or are searching for new, better jobs at a time when it seems like there aren't any. Perhaps we can do our part by showing our Jewish friends and neighbors how to network and most importantly, help themselves.

I'm a strong believer in histadlus (basically, an effort). Everyone must make an effort if they want to see results. I often compare finding a job to dating. Think about it. To find a job, you need to put yourself out there in every way possible. Talk to people. Let your friends know what it is you are looking for. This is 2009, UTILIZE THE WEB (I met my husband online, why not my next job?). Most importantly, learn how to brand yourself. Make your next employer seek YOU out, not just vice versa.

ParnasaFest is Jewish networking during bad economic times. What we started over lunch during Jeff Pulver's SocComm has become an international grassroots effort to provide networking and job assistance opportunities for the Jewish people and the greater community at large. This is not only an event for the unemployed. So many of my friends have replied to me, "Thank you so much for thinking of me, but thank God, I am still gainfully employed". Even if you are in a job that you love, I encourage you to come to a ParnasaFest event in your city. Perhaps you might be the link between one of the attendees and their next job. Maybe you are a lawyer, but your sister works in an office that is hiring an accountant and you can refer someone their way. All that we ask is that you come ready to schmooze and eager to help a brother out. As the New York Lottery says, "You Never Know".

You can follow our most recent updates on Twitter and you can visit our new website, We are updating constantly with new ParnasaFest events throughout the world. What started 11 days ago with a small event at my synagogue in upper Manhattan is now a global initiative. We are now planning events in Jerusalem, London, Toronto and throughout the United States! (For a full list visit

Finally, we could use your support. We don't ask for much. If you are a believer in our cause, donate $5. Local, national, and even international sponsorships are still available. Contact us at if you have any personal questions, comments, suggestions or want tips on how to organize an event in your hometown. Remember, you are our partner in this effort. All it takes is the will to help your friends.

Make a donation today!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

25+ Random Things about Me

This list was too hard to narrow down so my 25, so I'm doing as many as I want. I'll just keep going until my life stops being interesting. Plus some may have subcategories. Be prepared...

1. I was kicked out of the Hebrew Academy in preschool for A) counting sweaters instead of learning the Aleph-Bet and B) Corrupting Lubavitchers. They punished me by making me rake leaves with the janitor Jose. I was 4. That school should have been shut down. Its better now I've heard.

2. I was then held back in kindergarten for:
A) Reckless endangerment of my classmates; One time I tried to stab someone with a #2 pencil during California Achievement Tests. I missed her and instead stabbbed myself in the pinkie. The graphite is still visibly embedded to this day. Ask to see it next time you see me.
B) Not being able to figure out how to tie my shoes the way my teacher prescribed. To this day I still tie them in the special way I devised when I was 5. No bunny ears for me!!
C) One day I told my teacher I changed my name to Susie because I couldn't write the letter N. More on that story here.
D) I kicked the Principal in the groin. Or at least, thats how the legend goes.

3. My brother Brian's favorite "Let's embarrass Susanne" story is...when I was 6 I asked my mom if I could walk to the store around the corner and get an ice cream. She said no. So I went upstairs and stole money from my dad's antique slot machine and snuck out to go to the store. My bro got home 20 minutes later and asked my mom, "why is Susanne walking down the street by herself with an ice cream cone in one hand and a king size Snickers in the other?"

4. My mom sent me to Camp Ramah for a month when I was 8. I refused to send her any letters because I was so enraged. She finally begged me to send her a postcard (see pic). So I started sending hatemail. Sending your homebody kid away for a month with no friends should be considered torture. I missed my Atari...

5. When I was 10 I devised a plan to runaway from home with my next door neighbor Rani Cohen. We were going to ride his scooter all the way to Mexico. Via the 405 Freeway. We stole nickels from the slot machine to finance our trip. We made it down the block before I got bored and told him to turn back.

6. I am OBSESSED with Archie comics. My Bat Mitzvah was Archie-themed with a real Pop Tate's Choklit Shoppe and souvenirs were sweatshirts with a cartoon of me, Archie, and the gang. I'm wearing it right now.

7. My mom refuses to give away the pink tallis I wore at my Bat Mitzvah. She says she wants it to be an heirloom for my children. Fine mom, but my son's will hate you forever if you make me pass it onto my kids because my daughter's sure ain't wearing it.

8. I seriously fear that my children will be as nuts as I was. I thank God everyday how even tempered my husband is. He'll keep them in line. Yeah, him and a strong prescription for Ritalin.

9. I was an Eader Beaver (an Eader Eagle once they discovered Eader Beaver sounded obscene), a Sowers Viking, an Edison Charger, and a Yeshiva Maccabbee!

10. My favorite foods growing up were McDonald's Chicken McNuggets, fried shrimp from Sizzler, and Chicken Parmigiana. Now that I'm kosher I haven't had them in over a decade.

11. I invented the game FTJ (Find the Jew) on a trip to New York in 10th grade.

12. I was kicked out of Bais Rivkah production in Crown Heights with Stacey Gluck for yelling out names of the performers. We didn't know any of them. We just kept screaming Go Chani! Go Rivky! Go Rochel Leah! figuring it was likely that someone on stage had that name. Mrs. Swerdlow the Principal stopped the show to get on the mike to yell at us.

13. Was at the finale of Spring Awakening on Broadway. In fact, saw the show 5 times in the course of 15 months. One time, I saw it sitting between my dad and boyfriend (now husband). Lets just say, the sex scene was more awkward than usual at that performance.

14. Worked for a year in an all Satmar office. Rachel Shtern told me I should have told them on the first day that I understand Yiddish. To this day I'm convinced they were talking about me constantly.

15. My celebrity look-a-like is Tipper Gore. Need proof? Here she is doing Susanne Face.

16. I still have my blankie that I got when I was born and my favorite stuffed animal (Mr. Buns). My husband says he doesn't mind. Good, because I've known them 27 years longer than I've known him. They'd win in a fight hands down. Blankie and I have been through a lot...

17. I was on Family Feud. Our episode aired on Thanksgiving Day 2000, the most watched episode of the year. We were one of the more ridiculous families to ever be on the show. There was twirling involved in the dancing at the end of the segment. Oh, and my brother did "the snake" across the stage. Oh, and Louis Anderson hit on him.

18. I was a first team all-league softball player in high school. Other members of the team now play for Team USA.

19. I have been married 5 weeks to the day. I met Evan AKA The Rabbi AKA @RavTex on the online dating website Saw You At Sinai. I am now a matchmaker on its sister site YU Connects. I once did a stand-up routine about how ridiculous I found it that I kept getting set up with Rabbis. Now here I am, a Rebbitzen.

20. I've been on at least 10 cruises. When Evan told me on our first date that his family is also into cruises, I knew then that he was the one.

21. I've been to 14 countries: Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and of course the United States. The next time I leave the country it will God-willing be to take my parents to Israel for the first time. My dad says he can't wait to go to Israel with his son-in-law the Rabbi.

22. I used to go to events at the Balboa Bay Club (setting for the fake Newport Beach Yacht Club on the OC). One year I was part of their annual Easter Egg Hunt. One special egg was painted gold and had $100 bill inside. I saw some little blond babe pick it up and put it in her basket then followed her around until it "accidently" fell out. I got in trouble for that one.

23. I have more than 3000 unread emails in my Gmail inbox.

24. I have never smoked pot.

25. I would have been a terrific lawyer but a terrible law student. Thats why I'll never make the big bucks.

26. Have lived in 8 different apartments in 11 years. That counts dorms...but still, thats a lot of packing.

27. Counting the seconds until I never have to live in an apartment ever again. I need a lawn and I need a backyard. I don't like the idea of having to mow them. I'd just like to know that they are there.

28. I'm nervous about what my husband will write in his 25 things. Oy, I better get a chance to proofread that.

29. I love my parents immensely and know that I should tell them that more often.

30. I am a big fan of PBR. Both the beer (Pabst Blue Ribbon) and the sport (Professional Bull Riding). I can identify many of the riders by face. Thats something I'd be embarrassed about if it weren't for the fact that my husband is able to identify the BULLS by face AND also knows the name of the bull's father (their lineage is generally well documented).

31. I am extremely uncomfortable going places (parties, events, etc) where I don't know anyone. I turn into a very shy version of Susanne. For those of you that know me, its hard to picture a shy version of me. That's because I have since developed a version of myself that makes it seem as though I'm comfortable in any situation, when I'm really freaking out on the inside.

32. I've been to at least 6 concerts that I thought were mindblowing.

6) KIIS FM Wango Tango, 1999. Dodgers Stadium. Ricky Martin, Britney Spears, Will Smith, 98 Degrees, Blondie, UB40, Shaggy, and Enrique Iglesias. The line up was just okay, the peeps I was with made it awesome. Including when Garza spilled her beer on the kids sitting in front of her and then spent the next 3 hours buying them snacks because she felt so bad.

5) KROQ Weenie Roast, 1999. Irvine Amphitheater. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Blink-182, Sugar Ray, Live, Kid Rock, Smash Mouth, Orgy, Pennywise, Moby, Lo Fidelity Allstars, The Living End, Freestylers, Lit. What an amazing line up. Plus, I can say I saw Metallica LIVE. Plus, Blink-182 is probably in my Top 10 favorite bands. Yup, me. Country girl loves Blink.

4) Dixie Chicks opening for Tim McGraw. Glen Helen Pavillion. First time seeing my two all-time favorites in one show.

3) George Strait Country Music Festival, 1999. Angels Stadium. George Strait, TIM MCGRAW, DIXIE CHICKS, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Jo Dee Messina.

2) Tim McGraw private show. South Street Seaport, NYC. For the release of Set The Circus Down. My first time meeting Tim in person.

1) Dixie Chicks private recording session. Time Warner Center, NYC. XM Satellite's Artist Confidential. As I told my boss when I explained that I needed to take the afternoon off. I was going to meet 3 of my idols. Read more about it here.

33. I love that something mundane like the "25 Random Things" note has finally gotten some of my funniest friends to write. Some of my least funny friends too, but hey, thats still awesome. Next step, start a damn blog. Its easy! Here's a link: (I'm Not enough time for long verse? Try a microblog like and find me @susqhb! And enjoy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Overheard in Shul

I'll say it again...Twitter has ruined my bloglife. I write on my microblog and then don't have the patience to come back here and expand on it. That added to being busy at work means my blog suffers. My poor baby.

But something happened in shul yesterday that was hysterical. My makom kavua (usual seat) in shul is a seat that is always empty when I arrive no matter how late I am. It has a lot to do with the fact that this particular row is very tight. Not a lot of space. But it also has to do with the fact that its directly in front of a group of old timers in shul who enjoy commentating during services. The exact thing I'll be doing in shul in like 50 years. The topic they are most likely to be discussing is the "young people" in shul who are rude and only there to socialize. This week I came to shul early (during the haftorah) because we were helping sponsor the kiddush after services that was commemorating the 5th yarzeit of my friend Mikey Butler (Mikey was the MAN!). Trying to alter this group of ladies' perception of the youngsters I always make sure to smile and wish them a "Good Shabbos" when I get to shul. They love me. This week I gave them my usual "Good Shabbos" and the ladies all looked at each other and smiled. Then one of them clapped me on the back and said "Now SHE always wishes us a Good Shabbos!" And another said, "She'll make a GREAT Rebbitzen!" And I laughed and laughed, all the way through Aleinu. I will make an excellent Rebbitzen.