Celebrating a Month of Infinite Light with NuRoots

The smell of tamales, the sound of a clarinet, and the sight of neon rainbows. These were a few of the diverse possibilities of Infinite Light, NuRoots' annual citywide celebration of miracles.

"Infinite Light is a curated, month-long festival of experiences and gatherings that highlight the creative output our community generates each December in celebration of Hanukkah," said Marisa Kaplan, Director of NuRoots Partnerships at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. "With more than 50 experiences all across Los Angeles, Infinite Light is a chance to unite, engage, and inspire thousands of young adults in their 20s and 30s with new ways to connect to an ancient tradition." NuRoots, The Jewish Federation's unique grassroots initiative, is a movement of young people building creative and innovative Jewish communities across Los Angeles.

Using the opportunity to reimagine the spirit of Hanukkah, over 30 local partners and 15 young adults designed and produced gatherings for the second annual Infinite Light festival. These gatherings ranged from a fashion show benefiting the Back 2 School Store, to a night of stand-up comedy, to a panel about refugees and international law.

"What's really unique about Infinite Light is the sheer breadth of offerings. The festival provides something for everyone, encompassing the vast geography of Los Angeles," said Zack Lodmer, Director of the NuRoots Community Fellowship at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. "By offering a cohesive platform for creative expression, young adults explored diverse avenues and themes related to Hanukkah."

Here are some highlights from this inspiring month:

The Celebration: First Night

The festival kicked off with gourmet latkes, live music, and swag at Culver City's newest Tuscan Italian restaurant. The night featured "8 People, 8 Stories," an artistic outlet for sharing miracles they have experienced this year.

The Celebration: Give Light: Hanukkah Havdalah

In the spirit of giving back, participants reimagined the concept of gift giving and considered how they "give light" to others during the holiday season. The living room in Atwater Village was filled with Rabbi Susan Goldberg's spiritual voice, the Nefesh Band's contemporary folk music, and locally sourced latkes by Food + Shelter.

The Celebration: A Very Venice Hanukkah

Seniors and Millennials joined together for soy candle-making as well as a Kabalistic meditation exercise led by health coach Danielle Tatik at the Israel Levin Senior Adult Center on the Venice boardwalk.

The Celebration: Bring on the Light: Hanukkah Garden Work Day!

Volunteers came together to renovate a community garden at the Shared Earth Project. Participants of all ages helped clear the brush and together made way for new growth and light.

The Celebration: From Generation to Generation: Rekindling Sephardic Light

Original compositions by the Chloe Pourmorady Ensemble and rare and ancient folk music in Ladino, Farsi, Greek, Hebrew, and Turkish filled the air at the Skirball Cultural Center. The evening examined, contemplated, and celebrated diverse Sephardic heritage.

The Celebration: A Night to Ignite

Attendees enjoyed a night of socializing, eating, and inspiration with Iranian-American flair. Various young leaders shared stories and wisdom in Ted-talk format at a Hollywood art studio.

The Celebration: Hot Tamale

Young couples joined together in an Echo Park home to create delicious vegetarian tamales, a traditional Christmas staple in many families, as context for a larger interfaith and intercultural conversation about what it means to honor a range of holiday traditions.

The Celebration: Spread the Light: Ritual Hike and Meditation

Through the Topanga trails, a group of young women sought spiritual connection to exercise, meditation, and mindfulness in the spirit of Hanukkah.

The Celebration: What's in Your Heart Project

Artist Jennifer Korsen invited participants to explore their identities and hopes through creative expression. Participants created their own unique interpretations within Korsen's signature heart drawing.

The Celebration: Gelty Pleasures

Complete with Mazel Tinis and Dreidel cocktails, Gelty Pleasures was a festive and diverse LGBTQ and ally bash in West Hollywood. Throughout the night comedians and special performers graced the stage, all creating a unique night to remember.

Thank you to the following partner organizations who made this wide-reaching, wide-ranging festival of lights possible!

30 Years After, Adat Ari El, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice (Southern California Region), Beth Chayim Chadashim, B'nai David-Judea Congregation, Custom and Craft / Haggadot.com, ETTA, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), InterfaithFamily, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, Jewish National Fund, Jewish Women's Theatre, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa, JQ International, Kol Tikvah, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Makom LA, Miller Introduction to Judaism Program, Moishe House, National Council Of Jewish Women, Netiya, Open Temple, Pico Union Project, Reboot, Silverlake Independent JCC, Stephen S. Wise Temple, Temple Beth Am, Temple Judea, Theatre Dybbuk, Valley Beth Shalom, and Young Jewish Professionals - Los Angeles.

For more information about NuRoots and Infinite Light, contact Marisa Kaplan at MKaplan@JewishLA.org or (323) 761-8248.

Tags: Blog, Event Recap

Share |
blog comments powered by Disqus