Wednesday, January 19, 2011


One Commentator has observed:

"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "OF FOCUS GROUPS AND THE "FEST"":

RWEX: It's Vegas baby! Programing for TribeFest ends at 7:30 pm for a very simple reason - the organizers assume that they will not be able to provide programing that can compete with what Vegas has to offer. And what is that? Many (non-kosher) restaurants, all sorts of shows, free drinks and gambling at the Casinos and legalized prostitution.

I recall Birthright Israel's Isreality tour that featured a big name Israeli rap act, an Israeli indie band and an American Jewish singer/songwriter. The Vegas stop on the tour took place in Vegas's hottest club which required a $20,000 drink minimum. The organizers pushed the event like mad and the conclusion? An event that attracted less than 120 people, many of whom were Birthright Israel staff who flew in for the event and the rest were mostly Israelis who had never been on Birthright, did not qualify for Birthright and who drank like mad because they turned it into an open bar. Even with all those inducements, the Jews couldn't compete with Vegas.

What do you think is going to happen at TribeFest?I'm going to secure a sizable subsidy from my local Federation and go because why not? I'll have a lavish hotel room, party hard and be a witness to this train wreck. Oh, and I will also relate to Judaism in my own way.

Now let me ask you, if the dealer is showing a six and I have 12, should I hit? "

One of JFNA's operating principles is never, never learn from history. In fact, history doesn't exist.

(And, I would hold, but that's just me.)



Anonymous said...

Here’s another idea. You recall that in the past most missions had a pre-mission visit to some place of significance to the purpose of the mission – e.g. Turkey in 1992 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the expulsion from Spain, etc. I suggest that all future Birthright trips should start with 2 days in LV before going to Israel.

Anonymous said...

...or maybe its time to remind ourselves that the mission of the Federation movement is to build strong and vibrant communities who meet their responsibilities to care for our people locally and globally. Mass programming on a national scale should be limited to special circumstances and national direct entitlement programs (like birthright) should be an exception proving the rule of better to stick to what we are about.

Anonymous said...

I was mistaken. Sunday night's Schmooz-a-paloozza which features performances by hip hop violinist Miri Ben Ari and Israeli DJs Soulico, will go past 7:30 pm.

It's scheduled for 7:00-8:30 pm.

That's what I want to do in the early evening on a Sunday. I'm not a huge Miri Ben Ari fan but Soulico are great. But at that hour? Soulico are meant for late revelry in a sweaty club full of gyrating bodies, not a late afternoon afterthought. Probably in a hotel conference room.
Programing #FAIL 1

But what can be worst than that? An early afternoon afterthought! See Sunday afternoon where we will be entertained by spoken word artist Vanessa Hidary, rapper Y-Love and Shemspeed impresario Diwon. From 2-3 pm. Who put this together? Who wants slammin' beats that early in the afternoon?? This is late night entertainment meant to facilitate errr... networking opportunities amongst single Jews, not lite musical accompaniment for the smorgasbord.
Programing #FAIL 2

I can't wait for this awful misuse of talented individuals!

Anonymous said...

The wrong headedness that inspired tribefest is infectious. Are a few days in Las Vegas SO compelling that even organizations with tight budgets have ignored their mandates and common sense?

For instance, why is MASA sponsoring tribefest? How likely is it that the 30 somethings attending tribefest are going to suddenly and in significant numbers take 5 months to one year off to participate in a long term program in Israel? Not very likely at all, but the staff people who will attend tribefest will have a great time! It's like a paid vacation and they can maybe catch Cirque, all at the expense of precious community resources. Word on the street is that MASA will be sending four staff people to tribefest. Tell me, does that make any sense? Does any of it make any sense??

Anonymous said...

Someone just forwarded me an email about TribeFest that was sent out by the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles:

"TribeFest is the place for young Jews from Los Angeles and around the country to network, meet and schmooze, while enjoying three days of music, food, arts and entertainment. It’s all taking place at The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from March 6-8, 2011 – where 1,800 Heebsters from Federations around the country are expected to get their Jew on!

“Early Bird” registration ends Wednesday, January 26 at midnight (registration will increase from $400 to $475).

To make sure the L.A. crew represents, we are providing a $200 subsidy for individuals who are chairs, past chairs, or alumni of our various Federation leadership training programs! To find out if you qualify for a subsidy, please contact Jonathan Boyer right now: or (818) 464-3206

This is a great opportunity to head out of L.A. together and hit the strip as one. Jews crossing the desert to enter the promised gathering will enjoy an experience worth the trek!"

On what basis are they estimating that 1800 people will attend? Why are they subsidizing already engaged people to the tune of $200 a head? Shouldn't we be reaching out to young unaffiliated Jews?

I emailed my daughter and asked her what she thought as she is more of their target demographic than I am. Her response is telling:

"What on earth is a "Heebster?" Is that a reader of Heeb Magazine? They want me to get my Jew on? What is that?? I did get a good laugh from all the gritty urban references - we gonna hit the strip with our L.A. crew and bust a cap in the ass of assimilation, yo! Fo' realz!! When God made a promise to the Jewish people, I don't think tacky Las Vegas is what he had in mind. I'd love to go Daddy, but I think those exact dates are when I am going to schedule some painful dental surgery. Sorry!"

There's nothing wrong with her teeth. I'm glad to see my Federation dollars being spent so wisely.