Mazal Tov! This is the 4000th Jewlicious post after a little over 4 years. In that time, we’ve inspired 56,666 approved comments, held 4 Jewlicious Festivals, run 10 Jewlicious Taglit-Birthright Israel trips, sponsored and co-sponsored countless events in the US and Israel, been interviewed dozens of times by media outlets large and small and 125,937 Web pages currently link back to us. We’ve served 264 banner ads, 134,821,018 times. These banner ads were paid for by a wide variety of businesses and organizations from the New Israel Fund, to JDub Records; from Aish Hatorah to American Apparel.
While Jewish communal organizations scramble to advertise with us, wishing to access our broad demographic, in the more than 4 years of our existence, the number of grants we’ve received (not including co-sponsorship of our Festivals) total exactly zero. To be fair, we started applying a little over 2 years ago, we’ve been finalists and we were even selected last year as part of the Slingshot 50, but we’ve never received any organizational funding as a result. As one Director stated “it’s tough to understand Jewlicious from afar.”
Yeah, I guess that’s true. The fact is that we kind of enjoy our independence – it’s what gives us our street cred I suppose. I can’t help chuckling on an almost daily basis when we are criticized for being both right wing and left wing, both extremely religious and unremittingly secular. At our Festivals and events you’ll see young Jews of every orientation and denomination – where else can you observe Lesbian eco-activists interacting with right-wing Ultra Orthodox Jews? Our blog is similarly made up of a dizzying variety of yiddles ranging in age from 19 to 45, ranging in identities from atheist to Hassidic, united solely by an abiding interest in Judaism in all its manifestations.
Now I know I was recently the subject of a Jerusalem Post article that much to my embarrassment called me Mr. J-Blog. Truly, nothing could be further from the truth. Jewlicious owes its success to a number of things – a healthy and robust Jewish blogging community that we are but a small part of. I’m no Al Gore. He didn’t invent the Internet and I sure as heck am NOT Mr. J-Blog.
But more importantly, Jewlicious owes its success to my fellow bloggers, now numbering over a dozen – you guy are the best! In particular, I owe a big debt of gratitude for the hard work put in by TheMiddle, Grand Muffti, EstherK and Rabbi Yonah who have been with us from the beginning. One of the things that makes Jewlicious unique is that we’re not just a blog – we’re out there in the real world and none of that would have happened without Rabbi Yonah Bookstein and Rachel Bookstein – the driving forces behind the Jewlicious Festival. I am humbled in your presence and grateful to be associated with you all in any way shape or form.
Finally, I’d like to thank our countless visitors. Every time you read our articles or leave a comment – even when you disagree with us, you inspire us to continue cranking out whatever it is we crank out. Jewlicious is about pride, conversation and unity. I know these are concepts that are “tough to understand from afar” but those of you who are close to us know exactly what they mean. Those of you who don’t understand, well…
What does the future hold for Jewlicious? I don’t know. We’re going multilingual so we can spread Jewlicious love to all corners of the Jewish globe. We have a Russian version of Jewlicious up and running and we’re planning a French one too (any volunteers? I mean voulez-vous blogger avec moi ce soir?). We have applied for grants in the hopes of professionalizing the “organization” as it were. The hope is to assure it’s continuity and to meet the demand for more activities while still remaining that “lovable garage band you hope never makes it.” Luckily the folks behind Jewlicious are a passionate lot, so despite our total uselessness in grant writing, I suspect we’ll be around for a while yet. We’ll see. In any case, thanks bunches.