Go West, Young Man!

Imagine this: Your boss calls you up one day. He tells you he wants to send you on a trip of many months, pretty much anywhere you want to go to write about  … well, pretty much anything you want to write about. You will be blogging, making videos, Twittering, and writing that old standby, the feature story. Starting now, he says, you are to spend your days scrounging up great stories of Jewish life and dreaming up interesting ways to report them around the world. Amazing, right?

That’s more or less the genesis of The Wandering Jew, a new JTA project that will take me across Europe and North America in the coming months, searching out stories that illuminate the many ways people express themselves Jewishly. Along the way, we’ll hopefully shed some light on some larger themes of Jewish life in these early years of the 21st century.

TWJ’s first destination will be the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, home to the annual week-long bacchanal known as Burning Man. If this means nothing to you, don’t worry. Beginning next week, we will treat you to exclusive coverage of an event that bills itself as an “experimental community, which challenges its members to express themselves and rely on themselves to a degree that is not normally encountered in one’s day-to-day life.” And we will show you the manifold ways Jews aim to be Jewish in the only city of 50,000 people in the world without a single public garbage can.

You can follow TWJ’s progress everywhere you’d expect — here, on the blog, on our YouTube page, and on Twitter. And if you have a tip on a story that absolutely MUST be covered in a location near you, write us.

See you in Black Rock City.

 

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