Jewlicious festival to bring modern perspective to Jewish culture

<strong>American Hasidic Jewish reggae musician Matisyahu (center), who blends traditional Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip-hop, will perform at this year’s Jewlicious Festival.</strong>

American Hasidic Jewish reggae musician Matisyahu (center), who blends traditional Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip-hop, will perform at this year’s Jewlicious Festival.

JConnect and Jewlicious Festival, in collaboration with Long Beach Hillel and SoCal Jewish Student Services, will present the seventh annual world-famous Jewlicious Music Arts and Culture Festival Friday, Feb. 25 through Sunday, Feb. 27 at the Alpert Jewish Community Center, 3801 East Willow St. The nation’s largest Jewish cultural event, the three-day Jewlicious festival will bring a modern perspective to Jewish culture through world-renowned musicians, artists, speakers, community organizers, change-makers, and other leaders.
The eclectic celebration has been described as a special blend of Jewish summer camp, Coachella, Burning Man, and Sundance. In past years, the festival has attracted more than 1,000 Jewish students and young adults from more than 60 colleges and universities, 20 states, and six countries.
Special performers for the 2011 Jewlicious Festival include The Sklar Brothers (from ESPN’s Cheap Seats), Fool’s Gold (a Los Angeles collective that weaves together Western pop with African rhythms and melodies), the Israeli jam band Acharit HaYamim, New York City’s Soul Farm and Kosha Dillz (which has been featured in performances on MTV and with Grammy-nominated hip-hop artists Snoop Dogg and Matisyahu). Presenters will include Matisyahu, David Fishof (creator of Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp on VH1), William Daroff (vice president for Public Policy and director of the Washington office of The Jewish Federations of North America), Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Ezra Bookstein, and award-winning blogger David Abitbol.
The festival will also feature other speakers and educators addressing critical issues, including social justice, alternative energy and ending oil reliance, food equity and ethics, Israel, and Jewish spirituality and sexuality. Activities will include Sabbath banquets, workshops, surfing prayer service, wine tasting, Jewish meditation, henna tattoos, dance, yoga and swimming. In addition, award-winning films from the nationwide Jewish Film Competition for amateur filmmakers will be screened. 
The festival’s culmination on Sunday will be an acoustic showcase with performances by Moshav, Noah Lubin, Leerone, Rav Shmuel and others. 
“It’s year seven, and our momentum continues unchecked,” said David Abitbol, founder of “Our student and young adult leaders have developed a tremendous grassroots-based event, while the festival itself continues to attract some of the biggest and most interesting names in Jewish arts, culture and thought. The stage is prepped, the community is primed, and we are all ready to celebrate.”

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