Record-setting crowds of more than 1,300 participants enjoyed the seventh annual Jewlicious Music Arts and Culture Festival, February 24 to 27 in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The nation’s largest independent Jewish cultural event, the three-day Jewlicious Festival, reveals a hip, modern perspective to a revered culture with world-renowned musicians, artists, speakers, community organizers, change-makers and other leaders. The massively popular festival attracted its largest attendance since its founding in 2005, with participants from around the country.
The festival began with a gala opening, Night of Unity, on Thursday, February 24, a benefit event featuring a special performance by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman and actor/comedian Elon Gold. Other performers and celebrity guests included David Fishof (Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp on VH1), Scott Mendelson (World’s Strongest Man), Jewish community leaders, philanthropists and entertainers. The Night of Unity honored Rhoda Weisman, an internationally recognized community leader, organizer and activist.
The Jewlicious Festival culminated on Sunday, February 27 with an unusual and live webcast performance and question and answer session with international Grammy-nominated music sensation Matisyahu, who was unable to travel to the festival due to weather-related travel disruptions in Canada. Other entertainers during the festival included The Sklar Brothers, Moshe Kasher, Fool’s Gold, Acharit HaYamim, Soulfarm, Leerone and Kosha Dillz.
Some of the most popular sessions were standing-room-only, including presentations by David Fishof (creator of Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp now on VH1) and Tahlia Miller (filmmaker and wife of Matisyahu) speaking about “Chemical Love.” Other prominent presenters included Emmy Award winning filmmaker Ezra Bookstein, award winning blogger David Abitbol, activist Eyal Aranoff, media strategist for Repair the World Dan Seiradski, and storyteller and author of Cool Jew Lisa Klug.
Throughout the three-day celebration, guests enjoyed amazing food and spirits provided by corporate sponsors Asahi beer, Diagio, Rockstar, Baron Herzog, Jeff’s Gourmet Sausages and Pat’s, Los Angeles’ longstanding and beloved kosher dining establishment. In addition to the Sabbath banquets, workshops, wine tasting, Jewish meditation, henna tattoos, dance, yoga and swimming, attendees also participated in an impromptu karaoke party on Saturday night from 2 to 6 a.m.
“The 2011 Jewlicious Festival exceeded all expectations,” noted Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, founder and director of the Jewlicious Festival. “Students, community leaders and renowned entertainers from around the globe came together in this celebration of our shared heritage and culture. With this success, we are even more excited for our second annual summer festival, Camp Jewlicious, August 19 to 21, where we take the magic of Jewlicious to Summer Camp.” he added.
Jewlicious is a catalyst for grassroots Jewish renaissance and Jewish unity. Jewlicious publishes Jewlicious.com, Jewlicious.ru, JewliciousFestivals.com, creates world-class festivals and events, operates a network of college campus chapters and has a line of Jewlicious apparel. The organization involves Jews in community organizing, social action, grassroots leadership and social media. Jewlicious is powered by JConnect, a 501c(3) registered not-for-profit, and has offices in Los Angeles and Jerusalem.