The Jewish Federations of North America will repeat a program intended to boost young leadership that drew close to 1,500 people to Las Vegas in March.
The second TribeFest will be held March 25-27, 2012 at the Venetian Hotel, also in Las Vegas. No details about speakers or programs have been announced.
Largely considered a success in galvanizing young leaders already involved with their local federations, while enticing many newcomers who had little or no contact with organized Jewish life, this year’s TribeFest featured panel discussions on religious, political and social issues, entertainment and plenty of opportunity for socializing. A highlight for many was an address by actress Mayim Bialik, an icon to young adults for her role as NBC’s "Blossom" in the 1990s. There was also a panel featuring two Jewish NFL team owners and performances by musicians Y Love and Yemen Blues. Nighltly cocktail parties with open bars were well attended.
Planners said they chose Las Vegas as the venue in order to brand the event as fun and a far cry from the federation boardrooms where strategies and campaigns are planned.
At the event, Steve Scheck, co-chair of the JFNA’s National Young Leadership Council told The Jewish Week that TribeFest was entirely planned by people of the demographic it is trying to reach: people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
“We want to allow people to celebrate Judaism the way they think it’s important to celebrate Judaism, not how we tell them to,” said Scheck, 37, of Miami.
JFNA is the umbrella organization for 157 Jewish Federations and 400 Network communities. According to its web site, the group raises and distributes more than $3 billion a year for social welfare, social services and educational needs.