The eighth annual Jewlicious Festival took place in Long beach last weekend. This year it took place aboard the historic Queen Mary – a luxury ocean liner built in the 1930s that is now a permanently docked Hotel in the port of Long Beach. Once again, a dedicated community of volunteers and donors got together and made this most improbable of events happen.Why “improbable?” Well, Mayim Bialik, who spoke at Jewlicious, described it as “a super funky gathering of Jews of all backgrounds and observance levels (in an environment friendly to even the most stringent Jew)…” That’s always been one of the cool things about Jewlicious – that spirit of unity that attracts the widest spectrum of young Jews while still remaining “funky.” It’s got to be true because Mayim Bialik says so! Mayim gave us another endorsement as well – she said that Jewlicious allowed her to use the bathroom stress-free and without a child on her lap for the first time in 6 1/2 years. Obviously this endorsement was crafted for her audience on Kveller.com – but hey, an endorsement is an endorsement!
Once again we pulled this off without major, massive funding from any one philanthropic body and once again our diverse network of generous donors got together to make this happen. We’re talking about our Long Beach boosters Allen and Deanna Alevy, Barbara and Ray Alpert and Liz and Jim Breslauer. Then from LA we got significant help from Gila and Adam Milstein as well as the Jewish Community Foundation Los Angeles. Those were our Platinum sponsors. Our Gold sponsors were Dorit and Harry Nelson, Lara and Cheston Mizel, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles Valley Alliance and the Leichtag Family Foundation. Carol and Adam Reich came in as Silver sponsors. Finally, our Copper Sponsors were Danya and Jonathan Hoenig, Jen and Larry Trilling, masa Israel and the Jewish Federation of Greater Long Beach.
The Festival was headlined by musical acts The Aggrolites, Fool’s Gold, Kosha Dillz and comedians Todd Barry, Moshe Kasher. It wasn’t all fun and games though. Throughout the weekend we had no less than 70 sessions and programs covering everything from Crowd Sourcing Peace with Mathew Mausner, to a series of Shmooze Talks, to a panel on Jews and Cannabis and a whole other mess of Jewy topics with folks like Tahli Miller, Rav Shmuel Skaist, Rabbi Drew Kaplan, Marcus Freed, Dena and Leibish Hundert and Mayim Bialik (who I’ve already mentioned) and more! Those are just the sessions I was able to pop into.
Of course we took as many photos as we could – you can see them all on our Jewlicious 8.0 Flickr set. They show a bunch of people having a good time, which is great, but keep in mind, I didn’t take any pics on Shabbat which is when a lot of our learning sessions took place. So remember – Jewlicious is not just a big party. Ok? Ok!
Now you remember that the Queen Mary is actually a big huge boat. It’s actually 1/8 mile long and full of all kinds of nooks and crannies and rooms and decks and even a couple of ghosts apparently. All weekend long wherever I went there would inevitably be small groups of participants having conversations about different things, chatting about sessions they had participated in or just, whatever. Everyone I spoke to was really nice and thankful – which I found odd I guess because why thank me? So many people worked so hard to make this happen. Our volunteers and staff, man, I take my hat off to them. It’s hard to run around and shlepp at the best of times, but when everyone around you is having a good time, it must be way harder. So once again, thank you volunteers and thank you everyone that helped make this happen.
We’ll see some of you at our post-Jewlicious, pre-Purim party on Sunday at The Mark in LA. Pop by and say hi if you can and if not, there’s always our Jewlicious Summer Festival in August, something else maybe in September and then the last single digit Jewlicious Festival 9 point oh! Wheeee!
Below you will see random Jewlicious 8 point oh pics. Click on them and see all the photographic evidence of the massive shenanigans that took place.