The third incarnation of TribeFest, the youth-oriented celebration of Jewish culture and communal affiliation, will be held next March in New Orleans, the Jewish Federations of North America announced Wednesday.
TribeFest was held in 2011 and 2012 in Las Vegas, but no event was planned this year so that its organizers can assess the impact and future direction of the program.
The event will be held in the Big Easy March 14-16, 2014, at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. That’s two weeks after the start of the Mardi Gras celebration, which begns on March 4.
“TribeFest will reflect the vibrant setting of its host city, New Orleans, offering meaningful, fun, and top-quality content,” says JFNA on the TribeFest homepage.
“Through presentations by dynamic leaders in politics, entertainment, music, art, food, religion and other aspects of Jewish life, TribeFest will offer attendees many ways to connect to their own Judaism and how they see themselves as part of the community.”
The not-so-subtle message behind Tribefest is that federations aren’t just for the middle aged and seniors anymore, and that getting involved can be fun and good for your social life. Organizers made no secret of the fact that, in selecting locations, they considered where young men might like to have a bachelor party.
Local federations subsidized the participation of many of the 1,200 people between the ages of 22 and 45 who attended the Vegas events, but planners insisted earlier this year that cost was not a factor in taking 2013 off.
Sixty percent of participants at the first event and 30 percent at the second had never before attended a national federation-related program, JFNA said. About 20 percent of 2012 year’s participants attended the first TribeFest.
The three-day events at the Mandalay Bay Resort in 2011 and the Venetian Resort Hotel casino this year were a mix of daytime discussions on pressing issues facing the Jewish world and evening concerts, comedy and ample opportunity for socializing. TribeFest aspires to keep its participants involved in Jewish life through local reunions and other events throughout the year.
Noteworthy participants have included former Saturday Night Live player Rachel Dratch, TV star Mayim Bialik, NFL team owners Mark Wilf and Jonathan Kraft, poet and performance artist Vanessa Hidary and comedian Joel Chasnoff.
For more information about TribeFest, go to www.tribefest.org.