Newish and Jewish Leads to New Friendships

A few months ago, I attended Newish and Jewish Happy Hour – a networking and community-building gathering hosted by the Federation's Young Adult Division (YAD) – as both a representative for Be’chol Lashon, and as a Jewish young adult who had recently moved back to the Bay Area after graduating college. Other than my job at a Jewish nonprofit organization, I was having trouble reintegrating into the Jewish community, looking to make lasting friendships, and find additional organizations to expand my social and religious circles as I settled into the Bay Area lifestyle once more. I was nervous to enter into a space where I did not know anyone, but excited to meet new people.

To my surprise, I met three people at the event who have become my closest friends – Andrea, Gabi, and Emily. I can’t imagine the past few months without these incredible women, and have Newish and Jewish to thank for the introduction!

Andrea ended up driving Gabi and I home the same night we all met. When we were in the car, Gabi told us that her birthday was the following week. Seeing as she had just moved to the Bay Area a month prior, she didn’t have any birthday plans until we suggested dinner and drinks. She recalls that “the biggest mistake I could have made during my first month in the Bay would have been skipping out on Newish and Jewish. I met my closest friends that night and my whole experience here has been better because of it!” The following week, Andrea, Gabi, Emily, myself, and a few other friends met up for Gabi’s birthday dinner and now we are inseparable.

Since meeting at YAD's Newish and Jewish, the four of us have attended countless other Jewish events as well as explored the Bay Area together. We’ve also been fortunate enough to celebrate all four of our birthdays with one another in 2017, and are excited for what 2018 has in store for our friendship.

The Young Adult Division (YAD) of the Federation offers young Jewish adults (ages 22-40) a broad range of social, educational, outreach, philanthropic, and leadership development activities. The primary focus of YAD is to develop a vigorous and vibrant local community of young Jewish adults, to engage and develop future volunteer leaders, and to raise funds to support the neediest within the local, national, and international Jewish community. Interested in learning more or getting involved? Fill out this form, or contact us at

Categories: Young Adults


February 22, 2018


Julia Nierenberg