Social Media Internship

Are you a student in your final years of a degree in marketing or media? Do you love social media and have a good following on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account?

Do you have a few hours a week to spare and a flair for social media?  Would  you love to help out a small not for profit Jewish organisation to kick start their social media campains to reach new audiences?  If this sounds like you please email michelle@j-junction.org.au

Hub

We are seeking someone to lead a committee of their peers (20 to 30) to plan and arrange exciting social experiences for small groups. This is a casual role, hours negotiable and most suited to someone with a wide circle of influence in the Sydney Jewish community and experience in event planning.

If you make the short list we will introduce you to the new kids on the block.

For further details contact michelle@j-junction.org.au

Melbourne coordinator

Reporting to the manager, this role is for someone with great interpersonal skills and the ability to lead, inspire and motivate a small team of volunteers. Ideally the Melbourne

coordinator will also be happy to volunteer some hours as a matchmaker working alongside the team and understanding their roles from personal experience. High level of computer literacy is essential.

Initially two half days a week, there is scope to grow this position by developing the organisation’s reach into the Melbourne community.

Applications in writing to michelle@j-junction.org.au

Pull Up A Chair Guest Survey

Thank you for joining us at a Pull Up A Chair dinner.

In a bid to continually make improvements we would like your feedback and suggestions.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.

We value your opinion on what worked and what we need to do better.

 

Pull Up A Chair Guest Survey

We would like your feedback and suggestions on what works and what needs to be improved in the Pull Up A Chair guest experience.
  • Please share with us your thoughts and feedback

Chanukah Sameach

Wishing all our members, our supporters, friends and family a bright and joyful Chanukah. Our team will be at work throughout the summer holidays to answer your emails and calls.

 

Burning Candles

Do you get dating anxiety?

 

 Quick question – how do you handle it when someone you like doesn’t call when you’d hoped, doesn’t invite you to an important event or does         something else that makes you feel rejected?

 Do you fly off the handle? Or shut down in a sulk? Leave things be to see how they work themselves out? Or ask for clarification? How you             handle these little dating landlines can be the difference between building a relationship that lasts    and ending up back in the dating pool again.

It’s not secret that a calmer state of mind will give your perspective – even when the other party does something you don’t like. Heightened               emotions on the other hand, will be the biggest undoing to your success in dating – even if the grievance seems warranted. Dating anxiety can         make you feel suspicious, defensive, persecuted…even if your poor paramour meant no offence in their act or statement. Whereas if you can         handle a situation with grace, calmness and a cool head, you’ll show that you’re the class act everyone wants to be around.

Can you think back to a time you over-reacted to something – and it turned something small into a big fight or a drama? Yep, that’s your drama       hook. You may have been hasty to act, break up, slam down the phone or write off an otherwise awesome person. What a waste! Imagine now if   you were cool, calm and rational – and all that loss could have been avoided.

 Very few situations – especially in the early stages of dating, are unsolvable. If you have a tendency to over-react, now is    the time to calm down.   If your emotionality is ruining your love life, it’s a mistake to bury your head in the sand and say  “hey this is just me, accept it”. These dramatic       outbursts are not your truth and it can make something seemingly innocuous suddenly poisonous and wrong.

Do some exercise, meditation or even chat to someone to get your anxious emotions under control. You will be amazed how much more innocent   and normal your relationship appears under your new found perspective!

We all want to be in a partnership that expands who we are and brings out our best self. If someone is always a hotwire or bringing you down,         attacking your for things you didn’t do, would you want a lasting relationship with that person? My bet is on ‘no’.

Both men and women can be guilty of this. My client Gabrielle* used to be very sensitive and emotional in dating. She was always freaking out       over what guys were doing ‘wrong’- and scaring the men off with it. If she had stability and perspective, she would be able to see that nothing bad   was going on – if a guy took an hour to text her back, he was just   busy. And if he was genuinely slacking off, she had the inner power to make a   joke about it or let the relationship go before she was too invested. Thankfully, we were able to do the work together to create exactly that. With       some honest chats, she got to see the error of her ways and look at situations with a fresh perspective. She’s now able to enjoy dating and have     fun with the dynamic in such a way that it creates attraction.

Emotionality, can totally happen for men too – albeit in a more sneaky way. Take David*, who was rather highly strung. There was nothing his new  dates could do right – he was constantly comparing women to some perfect stereotype in his head. So of course, these gorgeous and unassuming  women were for some odd reason, failing! David was in a bind, because he desperately wanted a relationship, yet his ego was so strong that he  was pushing it away. Through some coaching chats, David discovered that his high standards were in fact internal. Through learning to relax and  take it easy   on himself, he took the pressure off the women too. As a result, he is loving dating and has recently told me he’s met a girl who is  perfect in his eyes – no complaints.

So relax, enquire and cut people some slack don’t over-react in dating and  sabotage your relationships before they’ve even begun.

  Enjoy your month!

  Alina B x

ALL THE SINGLE LADIES

In June 2013 a group of eligible Jewish bachelors, expats from all over the world, waited in Hong Kong to meet the 22 single Australian Jewish women, who flew there to meet them. The first of it’s kind, an international match-making adventure was arranged by JJunction chief matchmaker, Michelle Lewis who approached Rabbi  Asher Oser from Ohel Leah Synagogue in Hong Kong.  Together with Carla Green, an Australian expat living in Hong Kong with her husband and two daughters and Vicky Gonda of Jetset Rose Bay they organised a girls long weekend in the bustling city of Hong Kong. The worst that could happen was that the 22 single girls would come back with a full suitcase from days spent shopping,  some clarity around what they wanted in a partner and a new group of single girlfriends. At best some might meet the man of their dreams.

Leah Greengarten ventured to Hong Kong on a husband seeking holiday, here is the story of her adventure.

Diamond dealers, merchant bankers, entrepreneurs, property moguls and sex-shop proprietors… that’s just a selection of the 40 bachelors waiting in Hong Kong to meet the 22 single Australian Jewish women who have flown in looking for love.

Traditionally, a Jewish woman will only marry a Jewish man, but with Jews making up only 0.2 per cent of the world’s population
– and just 112,000 living in Australia – finding Mr Right isn’t easy. And I should know. I’m Jewish, single and 31. I’ve only ever dated Jewish men, because I know that’s who I want to marry. It’s important to me (and my parents), because I want to raise my children the way I was, in a Jewish home. I’m not religious, but I am a traditional Jew, as are most of the women on this trip.

In Hong Kong there are a large number of Jewish expat men, and not enough Jewish women. For many Orthodox Jews, Jewish continuity is of paramount importance. If you choose not to marry a Jew, you can’t be married by an Orthodox rabbi in a synagogue.

When Asher Oser, rabbi of the Ohel Leah Synagogue in Hong Kong, became concerned about the number of Jewish men marrying out of the religion, the women of Australia offered a solution, and 
an idea was hatched. Together with Rabbi Oser, chief matchmaker Michelle Lewis from JJunction (a bespoke Jewish matchmaking agency based in Sydney that boasts 13 weddings in one year!) organised a long weekend away in the bustling Asian city for single Jewish women aged from early twenties to late thirties.
We arrive late on the Thursday evening.

Our hotel in Lan Kwai Fong is slap-bang in the heart of the nightlife – there are three nightclubs and bars in the hotel alone. We are right by Wyndham Street, where revellers flood out onto the streets each evening, drinking tequila shots and cocktails. When we check in, we’re presented with a packet of earplugs and I realise I won’t be getting much sleep on this trip.

As we chat at breakfast the next day, I discover most of the women are active daters in their own cities, with brilliant stories to share. Every morning we exchange hilarious tales, gradually building up a blacklist of men in each respective community.
 One such tale is so funny that the rapture of our laughter raises 
the disapproving eyebrows of our fellow breakfasters, as one of the girls, Naomi, re-enacts one of her experiences – a blind date. She tells of how she’d planned to meet Paul at a local pub one evening. She was running late and couldn’t find a parking space when she arrived, so she drove past the pub calling out “Paul!” A gentleman walked over. Frazzled by the cars beeping at her to drive on while she tried to explain, she invited him to get in so they could look for parking together. The guy did and, after a few moments, asked her who she was. It turns out that while his name was Paul, he wasn’t the Paul
she was meant to be meeting. After parking the car, Naomi made him walk back to the pub on the other side
 of the road so ‘her’ Paul didn’t think she was
 arriving to their date complete with a date – 
or worse, a chaperone.

The Jewish community being what it is,
the story had already made its way to Shabbat tables all around town, leading to a chorus of “Oh my god, that was you?” from the other girls.

In the end, Naomi dated both Pauls – the ‘other’ Paul managed to track her down after the date story spread. Unfortunately, both relationships ended up being unsuccessful. Paul is, apparently, not Naomi’s lucky name.

Later, we’re eager to meet our future husbands and we head to the Ohel Leah Synagogue – a beautiful shul in the Mid-Levels
of Hong Kong Island – for a service. The name Ohel Leah commemorates Leah Sassoon, the mother of the Sassoon brothers, Jacob, Edward, and Meyer, who donated the land for building the synagogue. The Sassoons were among the earliest Jewish merchants from India to settle in Hong Kong during the mid to late 19th century, and a relative of these early settlers just happens to be one of the eligible bachelors on the program.
After the service, we move on to a large dining room.

We enter the room and there are men everywhere! My roommate, Sara, comments, “It’s like an awkward school dance; girls on one side
and boys on the other.” My friend Lauren tries to break the ice by referring to the “terrible kosher champagne” – it doesn’t go well, and she laughs awkwardly. A laugh I hear many times over the next few days. She’s forever happy and loves to engage a crowd with a good (dating) story, an embarrassing fall or an impromptu purchase.

We are seated at tables of six; three men and three women. After each course, the men move to the next table while the women stay where they are. It’s our first taste of Shabbat speed dating.

Throughout the evening, wine flows freely and we all loosen up and get to know one another. The conversations are interesting and intelligent; the men are very well-spoken, driven and successful. The dinner goes on past midnight, and a few carry on to the nightclubs.

I decide to go to bed and dissect our evening with my roommate. Both of us have had a positive experience, Sara commenting, “If you put a bunch of Australian Jewish guys in a room, the standard would have been completely different.”

On Saturday, the day of rest for Jewish people, we are able to go to shul if we want to – but most of the girls, being non-religious, skip it and head out shopping.

It may sound strange that I’m not religious, yet hope to marry a Jewish man. But for many of us, being Jewish isn’t just about a religion; it’s about the rich tapestry of traditions associated with it. We know that if we don’t marry a Jewish person, these traditions will slowly be lost. One of the girls comments that her dad is so keen for her to marry a Jew, he paid for her plane ticket!

That night, we attend a private party where we capitalise on the open bar. People start to become friendlier with one another, drifting off to the outskirts of the bar in pairs while others carry on dancing to nostalgic ’90s music.

Word has spread around Hong Kong that there are single Aussie girls in town and the men in the group have doubled in numbers – a whole new picking pool for us.

The party moves on to another bar, where we continue to dance the night away. The guy I was speaking to the whole evening suddenly does a disappearing act on me and I’m left looking for friends. I accidentally bump into a guy while wandering around the bar and he turns out to be Jewish and from Miami. There’s something I find very easy about hanging out with Jewish people I don’t know, so I’m drawn to him instantly.

When sheets of rain begin to pour down outside,
I call it a night. Mr Miami walks me to my hotel, and we go our separate ways – after some non-kosher kissing and exchanging our details.

Next on the itinerary is a day out on Victoria Harbour. The shul has organised two luxury boats to take us out for the day – both boats are owned by people in the synagogue’s congregation. Now familiar with the men
in the group, I ask them questions about their personal lives and what stage in life they’ve arrived at. Those who are new to Hong Kong are happy having fun, whereas the guys who have been away from home for years are looking to settle down – and, thankfully, a move to Australia isn’t off the cards. These are men who have experienced success but don’t have someone with whom to share it. For them, finding a Jewish partner is also very important.

After a day of leisure cruising on the harbour, it’s time to say our goodbyes – our stay all too brief. In the taxi back to the hotel, one of the girls, Freya, remarks, “It’s all been good fun, even if we didn’t walk away with a ring.” Our confidence is boosted and we’ve met some great people. Being single has never been so much fun!

None of us know whose flings will last or if relationships will blossom. Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure – what happens on tour, stays on tour… And to that end, all names – and potentially the outcomes of some of the girls’ interactions with the men – have been changed to protect the innocent, and the guilty.

 

Don’t let your first words be your last…

By Odile Faludi

If you are single and looking for love why not choose the language of quality conversation. No I don’t mean texting, emailing or Facebooking. I actually mean picking up the phone and starting a conversation with someone you would like to get to know better. Yes you heard me right, being bold and brave. Let’s face it, you carry your phone with you 24/7; what return are you getting on your investment? Are you speaking to as many people as possible to heighten your chance of finding the one?

When a relationship is new and has just begun, there is no better way to set that relationship on fire than by having a great conversation over the phone. Whilst texting, emailing and other forms of communication are convenient they are impersonal and often messages can be misconstrued. Why not just use social media or email as a means to set an appointment to call.

The truth is in this judgmental world having the opportunity to impress without the pressure of looking good is a refreshing change. Can you imagine being in your PJ’s and knocking the socks of your potential date with your charm and good wit. It means, like the successful Australian reality television singing competition show The Voice, no-one is prejudiced by appearances. Your voice is your best friend and mirrors your personality. It is the raw essence of who you are that causes sparks to fly, an explosion of laughter and two minds to connect.

Okay so potential love interests may have checked out your photo already on social media before this first conversation; but let’s face it how many people have the same photo they had ten years ago. Photos can be deceiving.

Create a connection mentally before your first meeting. A quick or long catch-up on the phone can be a great icebreaker and serve as a tantalising appetiser to any date. It has been heavily documented that most people enjoy the sound of their own voice. So much so it has been reported it is the equivalent to eating chocolate or having sex. It arouses and excites. This is a fertile playground for feelings to ignite.

So what makes a great conversation and how do we achieve it?

Having a great conversation with a stranger, like everything in life, requires a little bit of effort. In business and in social situations, “research and relevance” is the key. Know something about who you are speaking with and what they would find interesting to talk about prior to starting the conversation. It will avoid awkwardness. Social media platforms like LinkedIn are very useful for some “inside” scoop on who you may be speaking with. Not only do you find out where they work, what they do, but everything from the university they attended to their favourite hobbies or interests. It opens up a new avenue for starting a conversation. You start from an informed position. Also get valuable advice from your j-junction matchmaker. That is why they are here to help you. Your aim is obviously not to behave like a stalker but someone who really is interested. Through an engaging conversation you can quickly get a sense of what is alive in the other person. It may be their work, family, hobby or a new venture. The important thing is that both parties are given the opportunity to speak. Conversation is like a ping pong match. It must be two ways so that both sides feel empowered and enriched by the experience. In our personal and business lives we are drawn to others based on common interests, chemistry, likeability, and other intangible qualities. This can all come across effortlessly in what we say.

The driving force in progressing new conversations is unfamiliarity. The need to want to know more about this new person. Being born curious is a wonderful attribute and by asking lots of questions shows you really care about the other person and what they think. Therefore when asking a question it’s important to ask then… shut up and listen. As Stephen Covey says, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

So how can you ensure that your first words won’t be your last? Odile suggests these hot tips in starting conversations:

1.       Be generous with your time and wisdom, and help others without any expectation of receiving something in return.

2.       Start a relationship by having a great conversation, not by trying to show the other person how smart you are. It’s really irritating when someone you’ve just spoken to keeps trying to show off how “intelligent” and insightful they are.

3.       You connect with people by finding things in common, understanding what issues they maybe grappling with and sharing ideas.

4.       Cultivate your interests so you are interesting to others.

5.       Be authentic and be yourself.

6.       Ensure you sprinkle words which display your honesty, discretion, reliability and consistency. These are very attractive traits especially in the early stages of building a relationship.

7.       Don’t let everything that enters your eye gate or ear gate come out of your mouth gate. Most people can’t stand babblers!

8.       Have a sense of fun.

9.       The greatest compliment you can give someone is your time and friendly ear.

10.   Keeping the love tank full has a lot to do with the way we speak to each other.

It’s important at the end of the conversation to say, “Thank you for calling.” Let the other person know if you enjoyed the experience. This builds confidence within the relationship and creates good feelings which will spur on further communication. If you forget to thank them you can always drop them a line via email, text or social media. Try to keep the communication flowing. Make each other feel good!

Solomon said, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” When starting a conversation smile and show you really care – the listener picks up on your good mood and being happy is an attractor in conversation.  As the relationship progresses use often encouraging words. The word encourage means “to inspire.” Notice the changes in the emotional climate of your relationship once you start having more frequent conversations person-to-person and over the phone. Words are a powerful tool… use them to strengthen all your relationships and notice the difference.

Make 2014 the Year of the Smile and be Happy!

Please listen to this YOUTUBE – guaranteed to make you feel happy!

About Odile Faludi

Odile Faludi is a passionate freelance writer and a business development consultant. She is trained in “Crucial Conversations” through Vital smarts. Vital smarts has helped  300 of the Fortune 500 realise significant results using a proven method for driving rapid, sustainable, and measurable change in behaviours.