Sukkah City was a design contest and public exposition that radically re-envisions the Sukkah and serves to reconnect people in a meaningful way to Sukkot. The project’s mission is to reinstate Sukkot to its rightful place, as one of the original “foot” or pilgrimage festivals, sadly lost in the shuffle of the modern American Jewish experience in which traditionally lesser holidays like Chanukah have prospered. The goal is to popularize and promote the act of building a simple booth, inviting an eclectic mix of friends and neighbors and participating in a week of outside eating, and talking, and community.
In 2010, Sukkah City established itself as the second most-entered architectural contest of all time (after the 9/11 Memorial. The New Yorker named the event one of the ten most important architectural happenings of the year, as the Sukkah City international design competition received over 600 remarkable entries submitted by architects and designers from 43 countries. After submissions were received, a panel of distinguished judges (including Rebooter Michael Arad, designer of the National September 11th Memorial, and Steven Heller, art director at the New York Times for 33 years) selected the finalists who, in turn, built their sukkahs in Union Square Park. Over two days in September, hundreds of thousands of people visited the winning designs. The winner, announced to a crowd of several thousand by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was chosen by public vote; over 17,000 New Yorkers cast their ballots online and in-person for their favorite design. In the end, the winner was “Fractured Bubble” which designers Henry Grosman and Babak Bryan described as “a bubble: ephemeral and transient…[the sukkah provides] an opportunity to dwell on—and dwell in—impermanence.”
Reboot has been highly successful in leveraging stories from a wide variety of media, from major national newspapers to niche blogs. In 2010, Sukkah City leveraged over 100 media hits, including glowing coverage from the New York Times, New York Magazine, and NPR. We have existing staff capacity to coordinate this function, which is supplemented by higher short-term consultants for specific projects.
Conceived in 2004 by Reboot, DAWN was created to offer a modern take on the ancient holiday Shavuot and its traditional all-night rabbinical study sessions. Using a multi-media platform to inspire learning and conversation and a late-night structure to appeal to the young adult generation, Reboot has become a major Shavuot extravaganza appealing to both the Jewish and secular San Francisco young adult community.
Over the past six years, DAWN has attracted a young, hip Bay Area crowd, taking place at San Francisco venues including the Swedish American Hall, the Hush Hush, and Club 6, and has previously been co-produced and co-hosted with Noise Pop Productions, The Hub at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, Temple Emanu-El, and the Progressive Jewish Alliance. In 2008, DAWN marked the grand opening of San Francisco’s new Contemporary Jewish Museum.
DAWN 2010 was one of Reboot’s largest and most elaborate event to date. The location of the California Academy of Sciences along with the support of the San Francisco Jewish and secular cultural arts community and its numerous partner organizations offered a one-of-a-kind evening with an intersection of science and spirituality that brought together the young adult Bay Area community to one of the most anticipated and inclusive citywide events of the year.
The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation is a critically acclaimed all-volunteer non-profit organization. We are a small but dedicated team from the music industry and academia who passionately believe Jewish history is best told by the music we have loved and lost. In order to incite a new conversation about the present, we must begin by listening anew to the past.
In November, the Idelsohn Society released “Songs of the Jewish-American Jet Set: The Tikva Records Story 1950-1973,” a selection of the dizzying catalog of Tikva Records, the flagship independent Jewish record label of the 20th century America.
The release was accompanied by a full color book exploring the issues behind the music — of the post-war American Jewish experience — and its release allowed us to discuss them on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and the pages of the Wall Street Journal.
Founded in 1947, Tikva’s catalog was wide-ranging– everything from Israeli folk songs to Jewish-American swing, from klezmer pop to cantorial singing, from Catskills comedy to key political speeches of Jewish leaders– and it became something of a “Jewish Motown,” the home to the Jewish music world’s biggest names. Despite the fact that Tikva’s releases were a direct reflection of the major social themes and cultural shifts of Jewish America in the 50s and 60s, its contributions to American popular music more broadly and Jewish musical and cultural history more specifically, have been largely forgotten. In November 2011, this changed and the label’s sound and the stories behind it were celebrated and re-appreciated.
The album release was accompanied by Tikva Records, the world’s first pop-up 1950s Jewish record store. Tikva Records filled San Francisco’s Mission district with the sound of lost Jewish vinyl, and hosted over 25,000 visitors to gigs by bands as diverse as Fool’s Gold, Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin who scored a 1920′s Yiddish silent film, and members of Dengue Fever. Read about all of our events here:
Go to the Idelsohn website to check out other Idelsohn projects, including the highly-acclaimed album released last winter: Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations. By popular demand, the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco has reopened the exhibit. If you missed it the first time around, or are just eager to see it again, head over to the CJM and check it out.