Exhilarating! Exciting! Fun! Stimulating! Challenging! Fun! These are just some of the comments I heard about TribeFest that took place this past week in Las Vegas. More than 1,400 young Jewish adults from all across the United States, Canada and Israel convened at the Mandalay Bay for the National Young Leadership Conference sponsored by the Jewish Federations of North America and hosted by our Jewish Federation.
There were programs and break-out sessions, social networking and plenty of bloggers, tweaters and others commenting on TribeFest by social media. Session topics ranged from issues of engaging young Jewish adults and interfaith families to Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah as well as innovations in Jewish philanthropy and advocacy for Israel. Participants heard from Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, Congressman Joe Heck and Mayor Oscar Goodman as well as boxing phenom and soon to be rabbi, Yuri Foreman, Ben Mezrich (author of the book Social Network) and TV star Mayim Bialik as well as a range of other speakers who themselves as peers to the participants related to the audience the recurring theme of Jewish involvement and engagement in Jewish communal life.
There was music…loud music…and plenty of food, a large “Big Tent” where more than four dozen Jewish organizations displayed their wares and plenty of interaction, networking and connecting.
For our part, our Jewish Federation’s Jewish Emerging Leaders (JewEL) group had over 50 participants registered for TribeFest and taking part in the festivities and programming. We proudly hosted an amazing host community “welcome party” last Saturday night at Encore’s Surrender Night Club with over 700 in attendance.
TribeFest was simply amazing and outstanding! Our JewEL leadership and staff are already engaging those from Las Vegas who attended in follow up connections…and making sure that they networked in to our programs and activities. As Leonard Stone, Chairman of the Board of Directors of our Jewish Federation, said in his comments to TribeFest, “what happens here at TribeFest in Las Vegas cannot stay here in Las Vegas. We expect you to take the energy and enthusiasm of TribeFest back home to your communities and spread the message of engagement and involvement. The future is ours and we are the future leaders of the Jewish community.”
Kudos and Yasher Koach to Josh Reisman, Las Vegas’ Host Committee Chair, Heidi Rosen, JewEL Chairwoman and their committee of volunteers who worked tirelessly on TribeFest. A special note of thanks to Dr. Hugh Bassewitz, Vice Chairman of our Jewish Federation Board and former National Young Leadership Chairman for JFNA, who worked diligently for many years to bring this conference to Las Vegas! And of course, a big “shout out” and thanks to our dedicated professional staff at the Jewish Federation, led by Stefanie Szlamkowicz and Rob Festenstein, for their hard work and diligent efforts helping to make TribeFest a huge success.
We look forward to hosting TribeFest back in Las Vegas next year!
Jewish Federation Professionals Meet in Las Vegas
TribeFest was not the only conference in our community this past week. Our Jewish Federation was proud to host JFNA’s annual Development Professionals Institute for more than 100 fundraising professionals representing 60 Jewish Federations at the Venetian for a three-day seminar. The group was treated to a dialogue on Jewish philanthropy with Sheldon Adelson as well as a workshop with Mike Leven, President of the Sands Corporation and a member of our Jewish Federation Board, on lessons from the hospitality industry and their application to philanthropy and fundraising. Our community also hosted the annual meeting of the Small Cities Executives group of the Jewish Federations of North America for their annual meeting.
We look forward to welcoming many more national Jewish organizations to Las Vegas and our Jewish community in the future; including the Rabbinical Assembly later this month when more than 400 Conservative Rabbis will be here for their annual convention.
Women’s United Set for March 24
This year’s annual Women’s Philanthropy United Luncheon is just two weeks away! More than 200 women have already registered for the wonderful annual luncheon on behalf of the Jewish Federation Campaign. This year’s program promises to be fun-filled and exciting and will feature guest speaker Brooke Burke as well as a great fashion show and silent auction.
I hope that every woman reading this Update will join us for this year’s Women’s United Luncheon and bring one or more of her friends to this year’s program in support of our Jewish Federation and Jewish community.
Karin and Jessica Sporn and their dedicated volunteers have prepared a wonderful program in support of the 2011 Jewish Federation Campaign. To register for Women’s United please contact Georgette at the Jewish Federation office at 732-0556 or click here to register on line.
Become a Super Super Sunday Volunteer
We want you to become a Super Super Sunday volunteer and help our Jewish Federation to “pay it forward” with your efforts on Sunday, April 3. The Jewish Federation’s annual Super Sunday Phone-A-Thon will be held at the Greenspun Media Headquarters in Henderson from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM; and we need you to volunteer a few hours to help call our generous contributors to ask for their support of the 2011 Jewish Federation Campaign.
There will be special prizes and gifts for volunteers, an agency fair and food…but most importantly you will be doing a Mitzvah and helping our Jewish Federation “pay it forward” by collecting the generous pledges of our donors in support of our Jewish community.
No prior experience is necessary! We welcome everyone and will provide you with helpful training to make you a Super Super Sunday volunteer. Please join Super Sunday Co-Chairs Alexandra and Damien Silver and hundreds of other volunteers on April 3.
To register for Super Sunday please cal Rob at 732-0556 or click here to sign up on line.
Mitzvah Day of Community Service
The Jewish Federation’s Annual Mitzvah Day of Community Service, organized by our Jewish Emerging Leaders (JewEL) group will be Sunday, April 10. This is a great way to give back to our community through a variety of community service projects…important “hands on” opportunities to perform the Mitzvah of Tikkun Olam…repairing our world. JewEL does a great job in sponsoring Mitzvah Day which is open to the entire community and all ages…from teens, to young adults and seniors! So mark your calendars and join us for Mitzvah Day. Please call Stefanie for more information and to register at 732-0556.
Congressman Heck Pledges Help
Our Jewish Federation is proud to be a partner in the community’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program, coordinated by United Way, and providing emergency assistance to those in need in the Las Vegas Valley. The EFSP program is facing drastic and dramatic funding reductions. Please see Congressman Heck’s letter of support for this important program.
Dershowitz on Israel
I am pleased to provide this link to yet another important and powerful statement of support for Israel from Professor Alan Dershowitz.
Consul General on Iran
I am pleased to provide this link to an Op Ed written by Israel Consul General Jacob Dayan that appeared in the Huffington Post. Consul General Dayan will be completing his term of office at the Israel Consulate in Los Angeles and will be returning to Israel with his family this summer. Jacob has been a great friend to our Jewish Federation and Jewish community; and has been an outstanding representative of Israel, the Jewish State and the Jewish People. We wish him well in his future endeavors. Jacob, Todah Rabah and Thank You for all your efforts on behalf of Israel and our Jewish community! L’Hitraot!
Spring time is in the air…and with it an amazing “line up” of programs, event and activities in our Jewish community including our annual Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim celebrations and observances. Please watch your email or the Jewish Federation web site at www.jewishlasvegas.com (as well as the Las Vegas Israelite and David Magazine) for program announcements and information.
Join us for these important community-wide events…show your support for our Jewish Community…and take part in all that our Jewish community has to offer!