Why did some young volunteers in a trendy new Jewish organization dress up as bees and pass out free jars of honey here in the last few weeks?
For the buzz, of course.
As part of a High Holy Days community-strengthening activity coordinated by Grapevine NY, a project of the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Council of Young Jewish Presidents, the volunteers took to the streets of New York in the days before and during yom tov to pass out the honey and information about local Jewish programs.
On one of the first days, they worked at the Amsterdam Avenue Street Fair.
Their theme: “Where will you bee?
The volunteers distributed leads about local congregations that run free or low-cost High Holy Days worship services.
The costumes drew attention, says Jessica Korsunsky, director of outreach and engagement for Grapevine NY. She’s the volunteer in the bee costume at the Amsterdam Avenue Street Fair, above.
In Union Square, volunteers set up a Rosh HaShanah photo booth, offering passersby the chance to pose with holiday props and post the photos to their Facebook pages. Grapevine also turned up at subway stops in Brooklyn and at the finish line of the Hazon New York Bike Ride at the JCC in Manhattan.
Korsunsky’s organization, which is supported by UJA-Federation, also promotes Grapevine NY’s online platform and mobile app. In coming weeks, they’ll help local Jewish organizations promote their events.
Grapevine NY’s core constituency is young singles and families, and unaffiliated intermarried families, Korsunsky says.
What did New Yorkers think of people dressed up in bee costumes?
“Everyone loves it,” she says. Especially kids. “It definitely was a hit at the street fair. “Especially the honey. Most people are thrilled to get a free jar of honey.”