October 18, 2007

PresenTense Drunken Thunk Tunk

Getting into the spirit of the Drunken Brainstorm, Dana Raviv, Avital Aronowitz, and Rachel Travis

PresenTense Magazine had their first, but certainly not last, Drunken Brainstorming meeting last night, to celebrate the release of Issue Three while coming up with article ideas for Issue Four. Hosted by Rachel Travis at her Travis Think Tank on the Upper West Side, about 20 contributors showed up to do l'chaims between thinking. The evening was more productive than anyone could have predicted, and I'm looking forward to seeing some of the concepts move from Post-It notes to glossy magazine pages.

If you give 20 drunks 20 pens, how many magazine articles can they come up with in 2 hours?

PresenTense Editor in Chief Ariel Beery keeping track of all our article ideas

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October 08, 2007

Mega Mini Mega

Israeli singer Einat Sarouf leads us in round of "Salaam", the unofficial birthright israel bus trip anthem

Yesterday I attended the birthright israel Mini Mega Event, a reunion for birthright alumni and friends hosted on the vast Bedford estate of Michael and Judy Steinhardt. And when I say vast, I'm talking Neverland Ranch proportions, complete with apple orchards, a Japanese garden, a zoo with exotic animals, catered food in a tent for hundreds of alumni, and more. Michael Steinhardt introduced his friends, Senator Joe Lieberman, and honorary Jew, Newark NJ Mayor Cory Booker, who gave a most memorable, rousing speech about, oddly enough, the privilege of being Jewish.

A baby fennec fox, just one of the exotic animals in Steinhardt's zoo

birthright staffer Melissa Frank calls her boyfriend in Israel to brag that she is hanging out with the Jewish Robot

Shira Shimoni of Taglit-birthright NY and Aaron Bisman of JDub Records

"Sure, Mrs. Steinhardt and Mrs. Schusterman, I'd be happy to pose for a photo and sign my autograph for you!"

Michael Steinhardt, Newark NJ Mayor Cory Booker, singer, and Senator Joe Lieberman singing "Oseh Shalom" ... "We Are The World style!"

Photographer Michael "Crouching Tiger" Findling captures it all on film

Esther K. and JTA's Jacob Berkman, whose goal is to make his head and hair grow to resemble a fist holding a black tambourine

Mini Mega Coordinator/Terminator Lindsay Litowitz

Filmmaker Alan Dorfman with Moshav singer Duvid

Jewish Robot freestyle rapping against Wu-Tang Clan member Remedy

Watch Wu-Tang Clan member Remedy perform at the Mini Mega

While I'm not a birthright israel alumnus, I've participated in several events funded by the Steinhardt Foundation and the Schusterman Foundation, and I can see how these mega events will help former participants maintain a sense of pride and responsibility, even though they are miles away from Israel.

See more photos from the birthright israel Mini Mega event on Facebook:
Photo Album 1, Photo Album 2, Photo Album 3