JFX Preview: Meet our Awesome Presenters

Thirty-Eight presenters, a world-class music line-up, a new Nefesh Minyan and Jewlicious Cabaret — this year promises to be unforgettable. We hope that you will join us and tickets are going fast as are hotel rooms. Make sure to register for a ticket here and grab a hotel. To book your own room call the Queen Mary (562) 435-3511 and ask for the Jewlicious Rate.

The incredible program can be seen in its glory here online.


If you have any questions, feel free to email us at jewliciousfestival@gmail.com

David Abitbol Founder, Visionary & Jedi Master
Sarah Afkami Writer, comedian
Eden Banarie Youth Engagement Coordinator
Rachel Bookstein Program Director, Educator and Coach
Aaron Cohen Abolitionist, Activist, Musician and Author
Kosha Dillz Rapper
Marcus J Freed Optimizer
Sarah Gipoor West Coast High School Program Coordinator
Amir Give’on Founder
Sam Glaser Musician, Producer, Song and Prayer Leader
Susan Goldberg Rabbi
Elie Green Founder
Rabbi Simcha Green Rabbi
Jeff Handel Jeff Handel: Co-Creator, Producer/Cinematographer
Dena Hundert Zumba nad spirituality Coach
Leibish Hundert Rabbi and scholar
Jeremy Kagan Director, and Prof. of Film at USC
Rachel Kann Slam poet
Rabbi Drew Kaplan Rabbi, Scholar
Josh Kaplan Festival Assistant Director
Danny Kaufman Director
Daniel Kosmal Founder, Doc Greens
Naomi Leight-Give’on Founder & Partner
Fabian Lijtmaer Executive Coach
Sabrina Merage Philanthropist
Ivor Pine Grapevine
Captain QM Captain
Grace Phelps Roper Student, Speaker
Megan Phelps Roper Speaker
Dave Rosner Big Macher @ Nudnick Productions
Ramona Rubin Founder, Doc Greens
Rav Shmuel Rosh Yeshiva, Rocker, Rabbi
Rivka Skaist Scholar and teacher
Binah Malka Stinnett Repair the World Fellow
Dravidi Stinnett Repair the W
orld Fellow
Adam Weinberg Concert promoter
Gabriel Weiss Founder & Winemaker
Shimon Weiss Founder & Winemaker
Bruce Whizin Philanthropist
Rabbi Yonah Festival Director


Did Camels Exist in the Time of Genesis?

The debate has surfaced – again – this time in the pages of the NY Times Science section. Without totally tipping my hat, it is fair to say that this article is less that journalistic, and more like a description on one set of scientists and their theories. That is fine as long as it is introduced this way.This latest article however is riddled with opinion. Most notably: There is substantial other proof that camels DID exist in that time. One dig makes a theory which needs to be tested again. Since they base this on one dig, how scientific can this really be? The word gamal in the Torah might refer to something else. With that said –

Here is some great rebuttals:

There is actually strong evidence that camels were domesticated by the time of the Patriarchs.

1. A 3.5 foot cord of camel hair from Egypt, dated around 2500 BC, shows that Camels were in use and domesticated enough to be groomed.

2. A bronze figurine from the temple of Byblos in Lebanon, which is dated to before the sixth Egyptian dynasty (before 2182 BC), depicts a camel. While the figure could be taken as a sheep, the figure is arranged with items that would strongly require it to be a camel (a camel saddle, camel muzzle, etc.)

3. Two pots of Egyptian provenance found in Greece and Crete, both dating 1800-1400 BC, have camels represented, and one literally has humans riding on a camel back.

4. A text from Alalakh in Syria (c. eighteenth century BC) contains a rations-list. There is a entry for ‘camel fodder’ written in that document in Old Babylonian. This shows that camels were domesticated at that time.

5. Soviet archaeologists found camel-headed wagons that date back to the first half of the third millennium B.C. This showed that two-humped camels were used in Turkmenistan for drawing wagons at that time.

6. A bronze figurine of a man on a crouching camel, found at Nineveh, in Mesopotamia, shows that camels had been domesticated by the middle of the second millennium BC,

So, the evidence that camels were domesticated at the time that the Patriarchs lived is very strong. The absence of camel bones in two digs does not controvert this evidence.

The flaw in the research here lies in its apparent assumption that the Hebrew word used in Genesis for the animal under discussion, “Gamal,” was always meant to refer to the animal we call a camel. But traditional Jewish Rabbinic sources have always admitted to their own confusion about the correct translation of the animals referred to in the bible, particularly in Leviticus 11. The contemporary translations of many of those animals is entirely unclear. The fact that Ben Yehuda, in constructing modern Hebrew, decided to call a shafan a “rabbit” does not necessarily mean that the shafan in Leviticus 11 is actually a rabbit. Likewise, the gamal referred to in Genesis is as likely today’s “camel” as it is a horse or some animal we are unaware of today. Basing archaeological conclusions on the vagaries of modern Hebrew usage discounts the often arbitrary nature that went (and goes) into the construction of modern Hebrew. In this particular case, Ben Yehuda may have thought the “G” of gamal and “C” of camel somehow made it an easy match, and I can relate to that temptation on his part, but it was probably either a guess or, at best, a tenuous connection. Any Rabbinic scholar who was showed this article or the research would say, “So what? Whoever said a gamal is a camel? Let it be a horse.” Translation is always inherently flawed and necessarily inaccurate.

And another:

There are serious holes in the biology here.

A) why in the world would you take data from ONE site as the absolute limit of domestication??

B) “Some bones in deeper sediments, they said, probably belonged to wild camels that people hunted for their meat. Dr. Sapir-Hen could identify a domesticated animal by signs in leg bones that it had carried heavy loads.” Ah. So, there WERE older camel bones there. But they didn’t carry “heavy loads”. Golly – do you suppose it’s possible to keep semi-wild camels for a few thousand years- and only use them for meat, milk, and wool- and riding? (Answer; not only possible- but likely; YOU try inventing a camel pack saddle from scratch.)

And we’ll leave aside the “pinpoint” with radio-carbon dating- ask anyone who uses radio-carbon dating about that idea.

, ,

#Scarjo’s Super Bowl, Haaretz’s SodaStream

Personally, I didn’t like #scarjo’s SodaStream ad during the Super Bowl. I thought that it didn’t come close to living up to the hype. I preferred Bob Dylan’s Chrysler/Detroit ad much more. Ok, I am from Detroit.

The SodaStream ad was boring and forgettable. Nonetheless, the #bds and #notbuyingit folks are decrying the objectification of women they claim the ad panders to. Compared to the history of ads exploiting women during the Super Bowl this hardly registered. In fact, I think that the only redeeming part of the ad is that it poked fun at the those who try to make something viral by objectifying women. Or at least that was my take on it, others may disagree.

Notwithstanding this, the #notbuyingit Israel boycotters are grabbing for anything now – sexism included – because more and more article are surfacing discounting their lies about @sodastreamusa.

Israel’s left-wing newspaper Haaretz has published a piece chronicling all the good about SodaStream. One might expect that the hate bubbling would die down. Hardly. #notbuyingit tweeters have gone on a full scale assault on #scarjo and @sodastreamusa. They continue to obfuscate the truth preferring incendiary accusations.

SodaStream, by the accounts of the recent Haaretz article, keep their Palestinian and Jewish workers happy. #scarjo knows this. Everyone knows this. And bad for the BDS’ers, the recent controversy they have caused will help the company sell more units.

I just hope that #scarjo’s advisors realize that millions of more people love Israel, and support her, than are critical of her choice to rep @sodastreamusa. She can weather the storm of these ideological and pathological Israel haters, and focus instead on the vast majority of Americans that think Israel is a moral country under impossible circumstances.

Americans by a vast margin support Israel – and will therefore support their #scarjo.