March 22, 2007
Celebrating Jewnity the Jewlicious way
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Rabbi Bookstein is "the greatest guy ever," said David Abitbol, one of the founders of the blog that started it all, jewlicious.com.
Rabbi Bookstein discovered the popular site back when blogs were still cutting edge and quickly became a fan.
The group of friends blogged about many topics relating to Judaism in a humorous, honest and positive manner that appealed to young Jews. Rabbi Bookstein "wanted some of that," Abitbol said.
So the bloggers and Rabbi Bookstein joined forces in 2005 and created a brand aimed at Jews between the ages of 18 and 26.
But the Booksteins are both quick to point out that they didn't do this all alone. A planning committee of 19 students and alumni from 11 different colleges and numerous other volunteers put in hours of work to pack the weekend full of activities and entertainment. In addition to funding from local philanthropists Deanna and Allen Alevy, Barbara and Ray Alpert, the Breslauer-Soref Foundation, and Brian and Sarah Chisick, two-dozen sponsors and partners also contributed to the weekend, including StandWithUs, Heeb Magazine, Birthright Israel, American Apparel and Trader Joe's.
This financial support made it possible to keep the cost of attendance low.
Students paid $36 for the entire weekend, which included all meals, activities, concerts and lodging, if they chose to camp out in the separate men's and women's sleeping quarters.
Although the festival aspires to be an "international conference" that draws students from across the country, a more immediate goal for the organizers is to take their model and offer it to other regions.
"Lots of people know about us," Abitbol said. "They are aware of what we are doing out here, but they can't come. We want to replicate this festival in places like northern Florida, Boston and other areas without a cohesive infrastructure for young people."
"Jewish youth are misunderstood," Rabbi Bookstein said. "They are not just looking for a party. They are interested in so much more."
More Smooth E at Jewlicious. Yes, we know it's sideways. Deal.
Photo credits: 1st photo: Comedian Smooth E crowd surfs during three-day Jewlicious 3.0 celebration in Long Beach. Photo courtesy of Jewlicious Festival 3.0-Dov Viramontes
2nd photo: Jewlicious 3.0 participants during Saturday night concert in Barbara and Ray Alpert Jewish Community Center. Photo courtesy of Jewlicious Festival 3.0. 3rd photo: Jewlicious 3.0 participants make challah. Photo courtesy of Jewlicious Festival 3.0.
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