Tribefest Initial Impressions

This just in from Tribefest.

Yesterday opened with speeches and performances from “Hebrew Mamacita” Vanessa Hidary, TV actress Mayim Bialik, and Congresswoman slash breast cancer survivor Debbie Schultz. Author Aaron Cohen was Debbie Downer, reminding us of the violence going on in Israel. “We can’t have a celebration without a little sadness,” he said. “We are Jews.”

Yitz "Y-Love" Jordan, Jewish hip hop artistI attended a panel promoting a documentary-in-progress called “Punk Jews” by Evan Kleinman and Saul Sudin. The film describes a 21st century context for Jewish identity: Progressive east coast Jews are exploring their religion through punk, noise rock, comics, performance art, and the like. Panelists included the filmmakers as well as two such hipsters artists: Elke Sudin (Saul’s wife), whose painting series “Hipsters and Hassids” addresses the inevitable culture clash in Brooklyn; and Yitz Jordan (“Y-Love”), who strengthens his connection to Judaism through his badass hip hop music.

Yitz was full of soundbites. He called himself “the Amy Winehouse of Jewish music” and described the Torah as “God’s Wikipedia.” He and Evan stressed the need for Jewish self-exploration rather than total restriction to tradition. They complained about the commoditization of the Jewish label, to which Saul added, “Labels are for shirts.”

Check out the trailer for Punk Jews:


  1. Jonathan

    3/8/2011 at 2:09 am

  2. ck

    3/8/2011 at 5:34 pm

  3. Benji Lovitt

    3/8/2011 at 5:54 pm

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