This past weekend, I had the honor of being one of the presenters at the tenth annual Jewlicious Festival. Taking place on the historic RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, the festival began in the late afternoon of February 28th and concluded in the late morning on March 2nd. This year was my fifth consecutive year of being involved and presenting at the festival.
In addition to helping get things ready for the festival beforehand, I also was present for the weekend and led two text-based discussions. The first of which was on Friday night, wherein I led an exploration of wisdom from our tradition around finding one’s mate, focussing on Biblical and Talmudic pieces. The second of which was on Saturday morning, concerning what not to say, wherein we examined an early rabbinic (tannaitic) piece (beraita) which provided examples of how one can transgress Lev. 25:17.
For the former, I led a discussion in a manner standard for me. However, for the latter, I decided to begin discussing it in a regular way, but then had the group break up in pairs and discuss each of the six examples from the text, rotating after each example. I was glad I was able to make it more interactive, right on the spot! After that rotating element, we all returned to discuss the previous text and what people’s thoughts on it were. It was a great way to get people moving, talking and thinking in the morning!
The rest of the weekend was pretty chill and it was great seeing a lot of faces, both new and familiar, and the Saturday night concert was the most enjoyable it has been in a few years. Also, the VIP wine-tasting aspect was really well attended and quite packed with enjoyable live music going on along with it.
At this point, I have actually been to half of the Jewlicious Festivals, all of which has been on account of my serving as the rabbi for Southern California Jewish Student Services, since my lone predecessor in the post, was Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, the creator of the festival.