>> ... Next Generation ...
i)etroit Hustles Harder
Motor City has biggest TribeFest contingent for second year.
JOSHUA LEIDER I SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS
hat happens when you bring 1,200 of
the most passionate Jewish young adults
from around the nation to one amazing
conference for two days? The answer is 48
hours of pure excitement, enthusiasm and magic.
TribeFest, hosted by the Jewish Federations of North
America, is a national conference for Jewish young adults
ages 22-45. Now in its third year, the conference took
place in New Orleans March 16-18 and helped invigorate
the next generation of Jewish leaders from across the
While technically a professional conference, the event
was also a celebration of young Jewish culture, with
dynamic presentations from guest speakers on politics,
entertainment, music, art, food, religion and other aspects
of Jewish life.
For the second year in a row, Detroit was the most well-
represented Jewish community at the conference, and the
Motor City clearly made its presence known.
Jackie Schwartz, a first-time TribeFest participant and
newly involved in NEXTGen Detroit, said, "Everything was
put in perspective when I spoke with people from New
York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. and heard how many
people were representing them. Most came with 10-15
people. In comparison, the Detroit contingent was 63
strong. I have never been so proud to be a part of this
The festivities started Sunday morning when the Jewish
Federation of Metro Detroit led its participants on an
exclusive journey through New Orleans. Aboard a tour bus
filled to capacity with Detroit participants, they learned
about the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and saw how
the city is working to rebuild in the aftermath.
It was impossible not to view this through the lens of
Detroit and reflect on how young adults are now working
to rebuild and reimagine our city, an extremely powerful
experience for the entire group.
After the tour, the Detroiters stormed the TribeFest
opening ceremonies with a spirit and energy that was felt
throughout the room. Wearing blue Detroit sweatshirts
and holding up giant "Detroit Hustles Harder" signs, they
made it clear why Detroit is one of the strongest Jewish
communities in the country.
Topping off an already incredible first day, the young
adult division of New Orleans, JNOLA, shut down Canal
Street and led a parade of 1,200 TribeFesters down to the
river for a party aboard a steamboat. The energy remained
high for the rest of the conference, which was filled with
incredible speakers, networking events and opportunities
for celebration amongst the young Jewish participants.
For many, TribeFest was a highly moving experience that
revealed the uniqueness of the Detroit community.
"There is nothing like being at a national conference and
having people from other big cities coming up to you to
praise how great the Detroit group is," said Jared Goldman,
NEXTGen Detroit board member and TribeFest co-chair with
Rachel Lachover. "The questions were non-stop: What's
going on in Detroit? How is Detroit the largest group?
What are you guys doing in Detroit that we're not doing? It
really makes us feel great about what's going on here."
For a group of young Jewish Detroiters, Tribefest offered
a tremendous sense of pride and energy that they are ready
to share with the community.
Jeff Selik, who attended TribeFest this year and in 2012,
said, "If you didn't know what Detroit pride meant, then
you certainly knew it after you went to TribeFest." ❑
Joshua Leider is associate marketing specialist at the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
Detroit pride at the TribeFest opening
Jordan Weiss and Rachel Devries
Detroit, once again, brought the most people to TribeFest.
Max Glick, Jordan
Weiss, Daniel Kuhn,
Jared Goldman and
Riva Berman, Dayna Warheit, Alana
Greenberg and Katie Lynn Fried
36 April 3 • 2014
Dan Morris, Roman Golshteyn, Danielle
Longo, Sara Bloomberg and Rachel