ROI 120 Roundup: Initial Reactions

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For those of you who don’t know, I wasn’t flown to Israel to perform at a comedy club in Jerusalem. I am not that good — I was flown to Israel to participate in the ROI Summit, which is a collection of 120 of the best young Jewish innovators from around the world, ages 22-34. “Best” is relative and, as of this year, the best from last year cannot be considered the best this year — kind of weird, since the sexiest people or best actors can be the best or sexiest multiple years in a row.

Either way, it’s a conference of a bunch of people who are either doing really cool things, want to do really cool things, think they are doing really cool things, or have convinced the directors that they are doing really cool things when in fact they are doing nothing.

I was asked to blog about this by non-other then one of the more famous Jewish bloggers, Esther Kustanowitz. I warned her that it may be in traditional Frum Satire style of pointing out the negative and possibly some non-politically correct comments about the physique of the chicks, er, I mean, young ladies in attendance. After eating, what I can only call, an orgasm-inducing buffet of food, and seeing how insanely liberal some people can get, I decided to write about my initial reactions to the ROI Summit.

I sat next to a girl from South Africa on the bus from Jerusalem to Givat Ram who had overheard me say Kfar Macabiah, which made her assume I was a fellow ROI attendee. We walked to the registration window and met some other folks getting their complimentary laptop bags and initial scoping out of the hotel. “Fancy place” was my initial reaction, and it was quite cool with the lush surroundings. This would be the first time I had stayed in a proper Israeli hotel and I was looking forward to the food.

I met some other ROI-ers while sitting around talking to a guy trying to promote Zionism through Israeli cinema but was having trouble because most Israeli films are anti-Israel and produced by left wingers, his trouble and I agreed with him, was that right wing film makers are called propagandists, but left film makers are cinema, and I thought everyone on this conference was going to be super left wing. I told him that the most left wing people were those folks in Tikkun Olam, and that he should talk about his project with them.

Posted on July 1, 2009

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