Jewels of Elul IV


Rick Warren, Pastor of Megachurch in Saddelback, is not the only communal leader that has Obama and McCain on a joint billing.

LA musican, composer, and impresario of great community programs, Craig Taubman, has both Obama and McCain appearing in this year’s Jewels of Elul, a collection of inspirations for the High Holidays. Taubman started the Jewels of Elul project four years ago to bring together inspiring people to contribute a short piece for a compilation that is released every Elul.

In addition to Presidential candidates Obama and McCain, there are contributions this year from Philanthropist Lynn Schusterman, Jeffrey Katzenberg – CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Rabbi David Wolpe, and David Broza.

Past figures who have contributed to the booklet include Elie Wiesel, the Dalai Lama, Kirk Douglas, Matisyahu, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Copies of the booklet will be offered to synagogues and Jewish organizations across America at bulk rates and individuals will be able to register on the web to receive daily email throughout the month of Elul. Organiza

tions can become a web-partner and earn complimentary copies of the book.

This year’s “Jewels of Elul” is being sponsored by the Stefan Adelipour for Life Foundation. Funds raised by the Foundation are being used to underwrite activities in Stefan’s memory, the largest so far being the new Burn and Trama Unit at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Wilf Children’s Hospital.

Elul starts on September 1, 2008. Craig Taubman’s Israel Celebration Program 60for60 were co-sponsors of this year’s 60bloggers project.

Cool Jew Sneak Preview in LA

There have been much anticipated publishing dates in the recent history of publishing. Bill Clinton’s memoirs commanded much attention. The final book of Harry Potter. The new tell-all book about Barbara Bush’s affair with Al Gore. Ok – we made that one up.

In just a few weeks, on September 1, Lisa Alcalay Klug’s Cool Jew is officially in stores. The book “decodes contemporary Judaism and its hippest forms of cultural and creative expression. Spanning 250 pages and nearly 400 images, it covers everything from identity, rituals, clothing and cuisine, to holidays, spirituality, diversity, and language.”

Cool Jew, in a little research we conducted the last two weekends, has brought people to hysterical fits of laughter. You can’t help yourself, because she is a such a keen and humorous observer. The book is also packed with helpful information about the coolest who, what and where in the Jewish world today. Its a book for all ages – for real.

Lisa will be offering a Sneak Preview of Cool Jew at our Love Fest Party, August 14, in LA. That’s right- you can buy Cool Jew and get it autographed before the big stores have it, before anynone else has it.

BTW Lisa is known to Jewlicious as the author of an amazing piece in the SF Chronicle, as the talented Shacharit/yoga teacher, an entertaining and interesting presenter, and most recently a member of the blog team.

For tickets to Love Fest visit


Get ready for Love Fest

love festBefore speed dating, J-Date, Valentines Day or Sadie Hawkins Day, there was the original ancient Love Holiday -Tu B’Av. Jewish maidelach and suitors went out into the fields to see and be seen, really, the first Jewish singles event. It’s a celebration of love for everyone.

Tu B’Av, the 15th Day of Av, is a day of joy, a day for matchmaking dating back to the second Temple period (before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.).

Jewlicious and JconnectLA are producing the biggest celebration of Tu B’Av to hit the City of Angels, Love Fest, on Aug. 14, 8:30pm-1am, at Fu’s Palace Restaurant. Tickets are just $15 in advance, $20 at the door and include your first drink ticket. Students with ID can get in for $15.

Co-sponsored by Taglit Birthright Israel-NEXT, Jewcy, the Jewish Agency,, and Cool Jew Book, expect a festive romantic evening of music, humor, matchmaking, cool swag, $7 drinks, and yummy eats.

Entertainment for the evening includes the hilarious and talented Smooth-E, Jewish rockers 8th Day, the mystic rhythms of DJ Eric Rosen, and the unmatched energy and spirit of MOSHAV.

Lisa Alcalay Klug will be offering a sneak preview of her much anticipated book Cool Jew, which is not for sale until Sept. 1 – but we’ll have it on sale at Love Fest.

Rabbi Yonah and Rachel Bookstein will be unveiling Instant Matchmaking™. Love Fest’ers need to be there early to have your chance at an Instant Match – all done in the spirit of Tu B’Av. Who knows what waits in store for you at Love Fest?

If you already have a special someone, celebrate your love during this ancient festival, with hundreds of others at Love Fest. Don’t let Love Fest pass you by, it only happens once a year.

For tickets go to today!

Why is the price of oil falling?

Ramblings about oil, elections, and the economy – Part One

Demand in the US is down. Speculators make their money. Hedge funds that put billions into the sector, are running. And other ideas are being sloshed around.  i.e. Having made more money than any companies in history, American Oil companies can now bank it, and get an oil friendly replacement for the current oil friendly Chief.

Oil has a way of falling before an election.  Gasoline prices have fallen before federal elections almost every year since 1990,and almost always this has been attributed to supply and demand.

In 2006, oil fell $.85 from August to November before the elections, with oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closing at $57.88 a barrel, down sharply from the record high of that year of $78.40 on July 14.

Today the price of oil started at $118, having almost hit 150 a barrel not a month ago.  Experts say that the weakening American economy means that America needs less oil.

Whatever the reasons, the oil and stock cycle in the months leading up to elections is a discussion that cannot be avoided.  Back in September, 2000, the NY Times wrote:

This will be the 26th presidential election since Charles H. Dow put his industrial average together in 1897. So far, its record as an election prognosticator is 22-3 — not perfect, but at least as good as the average pollster.

The indicator says that if the Dow rises from the end of July through the end of October — the three months when investors are most attuned to the political season — the incumbent party will win the election. If the Dow falls, however, the incumbents will be thrown out. Perhaps a rising stock market reflects contented voters.

If the current oil slide continues, propping up the Dow and the markets, it would put a John in the White House, according to the Dow factor.

Meanwhile, consumption of oil worldwide continues to rise at steady rates. China, India, and the developing world are chugging oil.  OPEC says that demand is up, however less than it was – in other words the world needs more and more oil everyday, but less that they thought it would need.

Domestically, the pressure to extract more oil from off-shore and on-shore drilling is great.  The campaign trail is being paved with arguments about energy policies, and who-can-drill-where arguments.  Not that more oil wells will lower the price of oil on a huge scale, or help our economy.   But it sounds good, as if every American’s patriotic duty is to drill for oil in their backyard to help America become “energy independent” or whatever that means.

Americans are changing their habits quickly to adjust to the $4 a gallon world, and that is good ultimately for America. Alternate energy sources and means of transportation are everywhere, and more Americans are using mass-transit than ever before.  But will falling oil prices convince Americans that the crisis is over, and that they can go back to driving Hummers, Yukons and Ecalades, and put a John in the White House?  Will falling oil prices kill Israeli electric car projects in Israel and in California?  Too early to predict the future, I say.