Last April, a band of Jews of all denominations, experiences and ages– and from three different countries — converged at a non-secret location in Long Beach, California, with a mission in mind. This was no impossible mission, that would require them to jump on couches and proclaim their love for starlets, or that would involve disguises and double-crossings and an intense theme song. No, this was about the fashion of being Jewish. I mean, it was an exploration into Jewish culture in all its forms. Oh, wait: perhaps it was about dancing your way through Friday night services. Or rocking out to bands who represented a fusion of Jewish music with other world and cultural influences. Um, actually, it was a delving into identity. Or a crash course in kosher wines. And a workshop on the power of blogging. And time relaxing in the Tiki Lounge until it was time for fondue poolside at night.
But frankly, that doesn’t begin to cover it. Jewlicious at the Beach was the first conference of its kind: a union between technology, as represented by creative efforts from the founders of this blog, and tradition, as represented by the director of Beach Hillel, Rachel Bookstein, and her husband Rabbi Yonah, who himself has since fused into some sort of technology-rabbi hybrid. The schedule was packed with diverse activities, but also with a very relaxed kind of attitude: attend services, or don’t; hang out, or participate in the myriad sessions on every aspect of Jewish identity.
Last year was great: but with a fashion show and rock concert as the centerpieces of the Jewbilation event at this year’s conference, JTB 2006 going to rock even more. The fashion show will be run by Glamorous Rebel’s Evey, and the concert’s got an ever-growing lineup: from Rav Shmuel (a Grateful Dead loving “rabbi who drinks beer and plays original compositions on his guitar”) to DJ Socalled (a musician, photographer, magician and writer based in Montreal) and of course, including last year’s famous Makkabees and Rabbi Yonah and Shankbone.
Students and non-students welcome; a special “Friends of Jewlicious” reception for area bloggers and friends-of-bloggers is being planned, so contact us for more information as plans become more final.
Info about JTB2 is updated on the JTB2 website on a regular basis, so surf on over, sign on up, and become part of the second annual Jewlicious at the Beach conference. You know Hashem wants you to…