Two coasts, two celebrations in the shortest month of the Gregorian calendar year…

New York celebrates Israel “L’lo Hefsek”; the Manhattan JCC has a whole weekend of Israel-related activities, from humus tasting to wine tasting, from film tasting to jazz cafe tasting, many of them free. (My plan? Hummus, then go to the gym, shower, then come back for wine-tasting before heading out to an Oscar party.) The program, Israel Non-Stop, has been running all week, and is now culminating in a truly non-stop weekend of Israel-related cultural activities, many of them co-sponsored by birthright israel and its infernally, eternally lowercase letters. (So if you were expecting Israel with pauses, or anything resembling a stop, this is not the event for you. Everyone else is sure to have a wonderful time.)

And in San Francisco, there’s the Feast of Jewish Learning, which is rumored to feature participation and appearance by at least one Jewlicious blogebrity and a co-sponsoring Jewlicious scion (does this make him a blogger of scion?), in addition to the leader of the Jewish Fashion Conspiracy. (That’s right, there is one. And OMG-d is it Jewlicious.)

And now, a descriptive blurb:

Join 500 of your best friends for twenty-five free workshops on Jewish thought, text, life and love. It’s all free. All you have to do is show up, and we’ll supply the Bay Area’s most exciting Jewish faculty, free kosher food, the West Coast premiere of up-and-coming hip hop artist Y-Love, plus plenty of He’brew beer and schmooze time. Whether you’re a little yeshiva bachur or a total newbie, there’s something here for you. The program features different branches of Judaism and totally different outlooks on life. Feeling texty? There’s lots of Talmud and Torah on the menu. More spiritually inclined? Learn about Hasidic practice, study Kabbalah, or sing the mystical songs called nigguns. How about something completely different, like yoga, theater, baking or film? Each participant can attend two 90-minute workshops. Bring your friends and partners: this day of education is open to everyone 21-45.

West coast and east coast attendees, report in…and be sure to buy your tickets for JTB3; latest news and updates, as always, available here.

Shabbat shalom…

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Esther Kustanowitz

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