The ancient sages teach us that the Torah is exceedingly careful with language. No phrase is superfluous. Each word or letter is part of the intricate unfolding mysteries concentrated in the Torah.
Matisyahu performs every year at Jewlicious, the three-day Jewish learning and music weekend that takes place at the Alpert Jewish Community Center in Long Beach and this year drew some 900 college students and young professionals. A friend to JConnect, which organizes the event with Beach Hillel, the Chassidic reggae star has a habit of drawing his audience into his feverish musical frenzy. He did so again this year, but this time, due to snow, he was stuck in a hotel in Canada, while his guitarist was on stage at the Long Beach JCC. Didn’t matter — he Skyped in his performance.
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein knows how to excite Jewish youth. He’s been the guiding light behind the annual Jewlicious Festivals in Long Beach, which bring together youth from all denominations to celebrate their spirituality with raucous concerts mixed with some serious learning; he’s been a highly popular campus rabbi at Cal State University Long Beach Hillel, and now, he’s just moved to Los Angeles to head up JconnectLA, which presents social events for young Jews. Bookstein (or Rabbi Yo, as he’s known to his followers) and his wife Rachel have also worked hard on behalf of Jews living in Poland. He talked with The Journal recently about what being a rabbi at JconnectLA means to him.