Congratulations to Ari Teman and JCorps for winning the UJC Heroes contest! Rabbi Yonah, the top vote getter, got nearly 20% of all the votes and the Jewlicious community kicked ass and took no prisoners, but lets not be sad! We were in very august company, Rabbi Yonah got great visibility, we all had a brilliant opportunity to show him and Rachel and the whole Bookstein clan some love, and really, next to that, $25,000 is chump change! Now fuck that noise and lets get ready to ruuuuumble! Jewlicious Festival 06 is coming up – February 19th in Long Beach California. See ya there!

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Ouch!

    I think I’m surprised.

    Ari is certainly deserving, but I have to wonder why R. Yonah didn’t win with that many votes. Are we like the date you don’t want to show your mother?

  • Nobody likes Jewlicious. We do not offer silver bullet solutions. Kidding! We really never expected to win. We’re difficult to grasp and I drop F bombs like it’s Dresden all over again. Seriously, it’s all good. Everyone had a great time, there was lots of drama, and it was better than Cats.

  • Amayn. Rabbi Yonah, we’ve got your back, brotha. And we’ll be rooting for you at Jewlicious Festival 6.0, watching the magic unfold again!

  • Rabbi Yonah is one heck of a great guy. It’s a shame he didn’t win. Not to say that the other guy is not worthy (what was his name again… hahahaha…. just kidding).
    Anyways… We know who the TRUE winner is and that is ALL that really matters!!!!

  • Could not have called that. I guess they were looking for the program that was the least connected to Judaism. Do people really buy the line that young Jews want to get involved but aren’t comfortable with religion or politics?

    Of all the people? He organizes people to volunteer for other organizations?

    That is like Buchwald’s NJOP claiming credit for the thousands of dinners they do, which are just dinners paid for and hosted by someone else, just advertised by him.

    I guess in the internet age, where aggregating news has become the equivalent of its creation, Jcorps fits right.

    Federation – the empty calories of Judaism. YEAH!!

  • The Federation could have turned on the many supporters of Rabbi Yonah and Jewlicious to the Federation – instead they have alienated them.

    We now realize that this so-called grassroots hero recognition was a scam to get 40,000 email address of supporters of Chabad, Jewlicious, and everyone else.

    Ari was the winner from the start. The entire Federation mantra now is to push volunteering, and with a photogenic secular comedian as a spokesperson they hope they will get tons of new donations.

  • CK the title of this entry is appallingly incorrect…RY is a hero EVERY day.

    • Yes, indeed Big fan. But I think “Heroes” also present a challenge to all of us to emulate their selflessness, even if only for just one day. That would already be a great thing. Besides, David Bowies song “Heroes” was the only pop culture reference I could think of at the time. And it’s an awesome song too! Here, enjoy:

  • Oh and please you guys… this was an awesome contest and a great effort on the part of the UJC/JAFINA. While Rabbi Yonah did manage to get a buttload of votes, WE NEVER EXPECTED TO WIN given the amount of heroism and selflessness that can be found in the Jewish community. It would be the height of hubris to demand a victory just because we got so many people to vote for the Rabbi. Besides, while $25k is a lot of money, given our budgetary needs and, God help us, aspirations, it’s not going to make or break us at all. What was far more valuable was the opportunity to express our thanks to Rabbi Yonah, Rachel and their entire family for their tireless dedication and work on behalf of the Jewish community and the chance it gave us to share this love with everyone. The publicity we got was awesome, we’re now on the radar and with 91,000 votes generated, we cannot be ignored. So yeah, let’s lose the bitterness please and lets just be nice and magnanimous.

    • I hope RY isn’t a hero as a hero’s destiny is inevitable death no matter what he does while being on a mission higher forces make him complete. 😉

  • I was being nice and magnanimous. Ari is deserving, just as every one of the finalists was deserving. I just expressed deep surprise. Did they think Yonah wasn’t a good enough ambassador? Why?

    It’s hard not to think of this decision as criticism of this website and our little multi-year project.


  • @Yankel, ouch.

    @With Love, we create our own events, we don’t aggregate other events or send volunteers to non-JCorps-created events. We often use other organizations’ venues, true, but otherwise we’d have to build our own childrens hospitals, kitchens, parks, senior centers, etc. Your claim is like saying Jewlicious isn’t impressive because it just “aggregates” existing musicians and an existing venue. JCorps volunteers, with their own creativity and hands, created events that fed over 21,000 meals last year, and often when other volunteers were unavailable, so please don’t smear their name. And yes, many young Jews aren’t comfortable going into a religious venue or political venue. The fact that JCorps stays neutral is important to them and important to bringing Jews of different backgrounds together.

    @Fooled, thanks for saying I’m photogenic. Google me and Chabad, for example, to see if you still feel your other comments are warranted or that I’m going to tow some Federation line. JCorps is an independent org.

    @Big Fan. Agreed. Rabbi Yonah is an amazing guy.

    Let’s keep it positive. If you want to discuss me or JCorps, my email is my first name @ my last name .com. We’re open to all questions and critiques. Imagine what positive things could be done if time was spent connecting instead of attacking.

    I hope to see you all at the Jewlicious Festival.

  • Ari, please don’t mistake the support you see here for R. Yonah as an attack on you. Some people who are disappointed may be taking it out on you, but I’m sure you recognize it’s just disappointment. Thanks to this competition I learned a lot more about your organization and you folks do a great job. Congratulations and I hope your work goes from strength to strength.

  • Yeah I gotta second TM on that. Great work there Ari, you are a very deserving winner and besides, Rabbi Yo is on the Forward 50! So that’s pretty cool! We look forward to seeing you at the Jewlicious Festival – maybe you can entertain us with a comedy routine too! That would be cool. And we will make sure no one brings rotten vegetables or cream pies. Just in case…