Anonymous Commentators have provided significant and interesting facts about TribeFest that we should all reflect upon. Of course none of the insights have come from within JFNA where the Commentator focused on my age. But, one thing has become very clear -- the idea for this Festivus grew, with no attribution, out of a series of annual weekends convened by Jewlicious -- lock, stock and barrel.
The Jewlicious Festival completed its Sixth iteration last February. Rather than encourage Jewlicious (which has no doubt been referred to inside JFNA variously as "our partner" or "those young adults") with funding assistance or actually "partnering" in the event, the chachams at 25 Broadway sought to coopt the event, rebrand it, repackage it and reprice it. "If it's not broken, break it" seems to be the model.
Instead of being held at the Long Beach JCC, as Jewlicious was, where some participants pulled out their sleeping bags in the gym, JFNA announced "we're going to Vegas" and we'll be staying at the "fabulous Mandalay Bay" (with suite discounts and paying a lot of money, eating and drinking and "networking." Instead of talent like Matisyahu (a constant presence at Jewlicious Festivals and comedians involved with the Daily Show, JFNA has...Mayim Bialik and others. And in an obvious attempt to coopt Jewlicious, JFNA scheduled Festivus March 6-8 to directly compete with Jewlicious whose Festival is and has been set for February 24-27. (For more, see www.jewliciousfestival.com/2011/)
We have all been reading a lot lately about schoolyard bullies. Well, here you have the big bully that is JFNA yelling at grassroots Jewlicious "we have decided this is going to be our schoolyard -- get out of it." It's all so shameful -- and JFNA has done even more to distance our organizations from the grassroots we have been trying to attract.
It's that old Murphy's Law -- make that JFNA's Law.