TribeFest, USY International coming to New Orleans

Two large national Jewish gatherings are set for New Orleans over the coming year.

The Jewish Federations of North America announced that next year’s TribeFest will be held March 16 to 18, 2014, at the Sheraton New Orleans. Also, United Synagogue Youth, the teen group for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, will hold its annual International Convention in New Orleans, Dec. 22 to 26.

The USY convention attracts over 1000 teens and staff from across the country, exploring the educational theme “Tikun Olam — Repairing the world.”

In workshops, informal classes and group activities, Convention delegates will discuss and analyze how they can make a difference through their actions and their philanthropy. As part of a long-standing tradition, participants will spend the Monday of the Convention engaged in a social action project, holding a Day of Service in New Orleans.

There will also be leadership workshops and committee meetings dealing with a wide variety of topics including Israel, political action programming, chapter and regional communications, social action programming and text study. International officers will also be elected.

TribeFest, for Jews ages 22-45, offers a diverse range of experiences and events and draws about 1500 participants. This will be the third TribeFest — the first two were held in Las Vegas in 2011 and 2012, but it took a hiatus for 2013.

According to JFNA, “TribeFest will reflect the vibrant setting of its host city, New Orleans, offering meaningful, fun, and top-quality content.

“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.”

Referring to the 2012 event, Brian Katz of New Orleans, then the JFNA National Young Leadership co-chair, said “TribeFest is an important part of Jewish Federations’ efforts to engage young Jews, and bring more voices to our tables. TribeFest not only creates a sense of community, but also raises awareness about the incredible, life-saving services at Jewish Federations.”

For the 2014 event, Alison Lebovitz of Chattanooga is National Young Leadership Co-Chair Designate. She is a Birmingham native and an alumna of the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School.

Previous TribeFest headliners have included Hollywood actress Mayim Bialik, “Saturday Night Live” star Rachel Dratch, best-selling humorist and author A.J. Jacobs, Olympic gold-medal swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg, founder Ami Dar and author of “The Accidental Billionaires,” Ben Mezrich.