What do you get when you mix Prairie Organic Vodka, Mandalay Bay’s unique catering pricing, and Jewlicious? A vodka-fueled, Jewish toastmaster-style offering called “The Art of the L’Chaim.”

The Art of L’Chaim is part salon, part active workshop on the history and form of L’Chaim making. You might boil it all down to— It’s not about what’s in the cup, but how you say it. A deeply felt L’Chaim can move people to joy and tears. Jewlicious was invited by JFNA to their Tribefest conference in part to present this salon that we created for the GA in NOLA last fall. We changed it up a bit for the new conference, and had to stay inline with hotel’s strict drink policies.

But thanks to the Mandalay Bay Conference Center, each pour was made by a hotel bartender, and because each pour is charged seperately, we were at liberty to just fill up the cups with each pour.

A dozen members of the audience were invited give their own L’Chaim’s – which proved to be amusing, emotional and inspiring. A young man from the South offered a L’Chaim to “all you all” and a woman from Michigan ended her L’Chaim by praying for moshiach. The capacity crowd polished-off a dozen bottles of the donated vodka, exchanged amusing stories, and for the most part behaved well. Will we earn a return invitation? Our original drink menu was created by Rachel Bookstein, and included four exotic and tasty cocktails. We ended up serving those at an impromptu cocktail party with over 200 guests in a massive suite in the hotel that went past midnight. Only in Vegas.

(Pictured: William Daroff offering a L’Chaim)
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After several harrowing weeks of Jewlicious Festival and Night Of Unity preparations, I was really looking forward to being a guest at someone else’s party. So while exhausted from our massive fest – when we booked coming to Tribfest a week later it made sense. My lack of love for Vegas notwithstanding.

Tribefest is a re-imagining of the Young Leadership Division’s annual conference that once was called the Washington Policy Forum. The program has hints of Jewlicious Festival’s past, which makes us all very proud.
As one excited Jewlicious Fest veteran put it when Y-Love and Soulico were on stage, “This feels like Jewlicious 4.0!”

Where Tribefest goes from this inaugural conference is not known yet, but I would say they have a good thing.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah