Slingshot 07/08

slingshot_0708_cover_WEB.gifThis week I represented Jewlicious at the Launch Party for Slingshot 07/08: A Resource Guide to Jewish Innovation. Slingshot is an annual compilation of 50 of the most inspiring and innovative organizations, projects, and programs in the North American Jewish community today.

In a trendy NY dining destination, the launch had loads of buzz and energy. The party itself was low key and not flashy. Jewpros of all kinds, board members, philanthropists, friends, all there to celebrate the release of the third edition of THE bible on programs and organizations that redefine and build Jewish life in North American Jewish Life.

And there was Jewlicious. Yes, Jewlicious. Jewlicious is listed as number 33 in the guide (listed alphabetically), and we are honored and proud to be part of Slingshot. Download Slingshot as a PDF and check out the amazing diversity and quality of the 50 groups.

Let me share one of the evenings highlights: when Dr. Jeffrey R. Solomon, President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, told me that he has Jewlicious as a quick link. The evening also maintained the simcha from the Holidays, it was an after party of Simchat Torah, a Simchat Tochnit, a festive and joyous time to celebrate Jewish life and commitment to the Jewish people.

And we met a lot of people!

Met Limmud NY’s new Director, Sara Shalva, and we chatted blog-talk. LimmudNY 2008 is on MLK weekend. Spotted Rebooters and spoke with the legendary Roger Bennet, great friend of the blog and festival, who introduced me to Alana Newhouse, Arts and Culture Editor at the Forward. We just received as a gift her amazing book, A Living Lens: Photographs of Jewish Life from the Pages of the Forward. Esther Safran Foer explained the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue community project for young professionals in DC. Put on list of Must See Jewish Institutions.

Dava Schub, the new associate executive director, programming at the Manhattan JCC let me talk all about our festivals. I just missed her in Irvine where she went for the JCC Maccabi Games ®. Dr. Ruth Pinkerson Feldman, Director of Early Childhood Services of the JCC’s of North America told me about An Ethical Start – which is a novel program introducing Pirkei Avot for Jewish family education at JCC’s nationwide, and here in Long Beach. Bumped into our friend Michael Dorf — Oyhoo, Knitting Factory, Downtown Seder — who I last saw on another rainy NYC night last year. Oyhoo Jewish Music Festival which has really expanded, is in Slingshot (and a Natan!)

Encountered the citizen peace-building effort Encounter. Met Malkie Schwartz who founded Footsteps, helping ex-chassidic brothers and sisters adjust to life on another planet. Matt Levine’s Four Seasons Lodge film and Holocaust education project will be a must see in January. Chaim Motzen (panelist at the third Jewlicious Festival) was there on behalf of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, where he serves as a board member.

Aaron Bisman and Jacob Harris from JDub (perennial sponsors of the Festival) told me that Socalled’s new video [see below] has over 300,000 views. Sick! [Ed-It has over 800k now] JDub received one of the eight surprise instant grants from the new Slingshot Fund, that has over 400k for innovative program available to the groups in Slingshot. Mazal Tov!

The new Publisher of New Voices from the Jewish Student Press Service, Elizabeth Alpern (McGill grad, and friend of the Jewlicious Ghetto Shul Hunderts) and their new Editor, are funny, dynamic, and passionate. They are certain to take New Voices – the only nationwide magazine for Jewish college students – to new heights. [Liz- did you fin my old articles ☺?]

Went online with Judith and Jordan from the Jewish Women’s Archives to see their Jewesses Blog from my cell phone. Jordan Namerow, communications specialist, was stationed in Poland with the JDC a few year’s ago – so we conversed in a little Polish for fun.

On behalf of Jewlicious, we want to thank the organizers and the coordinators who make Slingshot happen, and the committee that picked us out from the large haystack of great Jewish stuff happening all over N. America. We wish them continued success in their work at Grandstreet, 21/64 and beyond, as they support Jewish creativity and continuity.