What Happens at Jewlicious, Stays at Jewlicious

from Jewish Journal:

Jewlicious Works

If you cross a summer camp with a senior seminar, add a waft of 1 a.m. college dorm room and toss in some scotch and a tent revival, you get Jewlicious.

You also get yet more evidence that Judaism continues to defy all predictions of its imminent demise, despite, it seems, the unconscionable, half-hearted support Jewlicious gets from the self-appointed guardians of Jewish continuity.

But the labels don’t do justice to the energy. Many “cutting-edge” Jewish groups tend toward the homogenous – same practice, same age, same politics. At Jewlicious, identities and ideologies combine, conflict, merge and blend.

… Four families cover 70 percent of the budget, and participants pay according to their ability. Despite the hardships, the Jewlicious winter and summer festivals have created a turned-on alumni network of some 7500 souls. But major Jewish foundations, like overexcited children, often drop things that actually work for the next shiny idea. They have all discontinued their support for Jewlicious, forcing the Booksteins to turn away at least 200 potential attendees this year. In comes whatever’s new, out goes whatever works.

Jewlicous could attract thousands. It could run parallel programs for the baby boomer or even the alter-kacker set. It is scalable and proven, and it is constantly starved for institutional support as mainstream organizations go off in search of some way to do what the Booksteins already excel at.