Passover has come and gone, but the effects of Jewlicious Festival linger for many participants and presenters. The JF Facebook profile has a message board full of “thank yous” and “awesomes,” and many of the participants have added new West Coast friends and post “miss yous” on their walls. (Yes, I realize that if you’re not on Facebook, that paragraph might have meant nothing. But trust me, it’s good.)

You’ve undoubtedly seen some of our press immediately after the event, which was wonderful. And while we’ve also waxed near-rhapsodic in this space about how great the festival was, I think it’s more interesting to see the blog posts that may spring up as a result of the festival in the coming months. It’s a chance for us all to join the conversation about how young Jews are living their Jewish lives and whether the institutional Jewish community is supporting or resentful of those efforts.

OyBay, itself an organic outgrowth of its founder’s experiences at last year’s Jewlicious conference, is a tremendous example of how the conference had an impact. Based on his Jewlicious experiences, Tomer “Oyster” Altman took the initiative to create an online community and events publication for young Bay Area Jews; as a result and with the help of Sonoma Hillel, he was able to gather a busload of participants to drive the five hours from Northern California to Long Beach. In fact, the partnership with Sonoma Hillel was born when Tomer ran into his friend David, the Sonoma Hillel director, in the airport after his Jewlicious birthright israel trip. Check out the OyBay account of the trip (written by ChallahbackGirl and Oyster himself) here.

Another post that interested me was JKap’s post about the conference–his excitement that there was such inspiring young Jewish energy available and his frustration that the organized Jewish community seems unable to find and tap into it. Pre-Pesach, he posted a plea that the young Jews make contact with the federations who miss them. Will the young Jews “make the first move,” or wait until the federations create the programming that will attract them? I guess we’ll all have to stay tuned to see–but the Jewlicious Festival can be proud of having had an impact on jump-starting the conversation.

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Esther Kustanowitz

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  • What a strange, contrived, plastic and lame post. It totally misses the point on the Festival.

    Not one mention of the fact that the program in Long Beach was paid for by Jewish leaders in the community. Nada. From what it says on the festival website, they were very generous indeed. Hey, and since I am on a roll here, there is not one mention of Beach Hillel, a local mom and pop kind of Hillel, that has been isolated because they try to do cool stuff.

    I found it funny that people started leaving the Jewlicious Festival facebook group AFTER the event. That was way strange. What did people expect from it?

    And what the hell does “Jump Start a conversation” mean? Is that like the conversation died? Does that mean it never began?

    I love that weekend because I got to hang out with Jews from all over the West coast – there is nothing else out there for college students.

    And why are you kissing up to the folks from northern california? What the hell is Organic Outgrowth? I know they like organic food up there in hippiville…but i guess that is not what you are talking about.

    And press? Last year I heard about this thing because it was all over the Jewish newspapers, and this year where I live there was nothing. The JTA had nothing about it. Silence.
    I checked other sites and — nothing!

    I saw posted here on the website the piece from SF Chronicl and the Jewish Journal website…. but where is that great press?

    Here is what I think.

    Since Rabbi Yonah and his wife or clearly observant Jews the regular Jewish media is not writing about them.

    The Hillel folks in DC don’t get invovled, and especially the LAME Hillels in San Diego (if you live here you know) and in LA (all my buddies tell me it sucks). So they don’t help get the word out at all about the festival.

    The Hillels suck. Isn’t it so obvious?

    What was this post about? Oh, yeh, starting some conversation? Well here you go: It was an awesome weekend — the best of my friggin 23 years — and I thank the students from Long Beach State that made it happen!

  • Esther: Rock on! But most of the bus logistics & money was organized by David, the executive director of the Sonoma Hillel. I just helped him fill it. 🙂

    And ‘Beyond Reason’. Come chill with Oy Bay up in NorCal some time. Sounds like you could stand to, you know, take it easy.

  • strange, contrived, plastic and lame? Beyond Reason, do you think this is the only post we’ve written about the Jewlicious at the Beach Festival? We’ve thanked everyone involved, including the local and national sponsors (ie birthright israel, the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Foundation…), Beach Hillel, Rabbi Bookstein, Rachel Bookstein, the students, the volunteers, etc. This post was simply about the effect JTB3 had on the participants from NorCal. Esther wasn’t sucking up to anyone. Anyone who was involved in JTB3 and does cool stuff will find a welcome home on these pages.

    The students certainly played a major role in making JTB3 happen, but don’t forget many others did too. I know Esther spent countless hours shooting the shit with rabbi yo and rachel as did I. Our speakers and entertainers came from far and wide. I’m glad you enjoyed JTB3, but what’s with all the negativity?