Drunk in Love


Jean-Paul Le is a healthcare supply chain consultant based in NYC. He volunteers as a speaker and staff leader for Taglit-Birthright Israel.

As I transition away from a career in supply chain management, I have been drawn to the skills, knowledge and interpersonal connections made possible by bartending. Many of my closest friends in the local Jewish community frequently meet up for post-work drinks at a local bar, and we’ve come to know our bartender very well. Further, a number of activities for young Jewish professionals in New York have taken place in bars or restaurant happy hours around the city, and the speed and ease with which our bartenders serve us (and get to know us) has always impressed me. I applied for this ROI Micro Grant to support my efforts to learn more about the world of bartending, thus extending my desire to make closer personal relationships with the young Jewish community in New York City. 

By completing this one-week, 40-hour course with the New York Bartending School, I received a Certificate in Bartending that allows me to officially bartend at any licensed establishment in New York City. In addition to providing assistance with job placement, the New York Bartending School taught me a great deal about this profession. From my intensive course on all wines, beers, spirits and drink-making, a few interesting facts include:

  • All alcohol is fermented; beer and wine are the only ones not distilled.
  • There are many “misleading" brands (so be careful!) – for example Malibu Rum is technically a coconut liqueur with rum added to it. And, it’s actually Canadian.
  • In addition to potatoes and grains, vodka can also be made from grapes.
  • Always order locally brewed beer – it is much fresher, and the Tri-State area includes a fascinating array of brewery options.

This course helped me connect with other young professionals interested in a new trade. There were 12 students taking the course with me, mostly from New York, while our instructor, Jesse, is originally from Minnesota and has over 10 years of bartending experience. By meeting new bartending hopefuls in the city, I have created a wide network of potential colleagues to further this new chapter in my career. Additionally, as I plan to make Aliyah in the coming months, completing this official training to gain new bartending skills will be an important source of income as I adjust to life in Israel, and begin self-funding my growing translation business. I look forward to the many connections I will make with local community members as their (favorite) bartender in Israel, and thank ROI for the opportunity to further my ability to support my start-up dreams.