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Idol Chatter

Mormon youth have a super-tight culture informed by their faith. So do evangelical Christians. Catholics not so much. And unless you are Orthodox, apparently being young and Jewish may leave you longing for something more from your tradition as far as culture goes–at least according to a recent New York Times, Style section article, “You’re Young and Jewish: Discuss,” by Laura M. Holson. Here, Holson reports about a group called Reboot, which is a “nonprofit organization based in Amherst, Mass., that is run by Lou Cove, [and which] has proved a refuge of sorts for well-connected American Jews who are curious about the ideas and rituals of their ancestors and who want to adapt them to their lives.” Reboot has been growing in popularity apparently, and just held their annual conference in Utah of all places. The conference is not simply about old school traditions and ritual, it seems more about integrating a person’s Jewish heritage into the world of popular culture we live in today. Holson writes:
“For Jews disconnected from their heritage, the three-day summit — one part Bohemian Grove, one part Masons — is an off-the-record free-for-all of cultural and spiritual inquiry. (The gathering, which will mark its 10th anniversary this spring, is also free, at least for first-time attendees.) “Guests explore topics of their choosing, like what Mel Gibson was thinking when he made “Passion of the Christ,” whether giving a travel itinerary to your mother is an inherently Jewish practice and whether the iPhone generation can unplug. “They want to make it hip and cool to be identified as a Jew,” said Douglas Rushkoff, a writer and a professor at New York University, who helped facilitate Reboot’s first conference.”
Reboot even attracts some famous people–Jenji Kohan, for example, who created Showtime’s “Weeds.” Or at least, famous-ish people, though apparently some attendees don’t want their friends to know they’ve attended–they worry it’s too “cultish” reports Holson. On the whole, sounds kind of fun and edgy, to me, and it blends three of my favorite things: faith, pop culture, and socializing. Don’t forget to check out Reboot’s website, too.
And by the way: what was Mel Gibson thinking, indeed?

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