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JFest – About the Project

Jewish tradition is one of curiosity, questioning and engaging with the daily world, such that the individual is transformed in their understanding of themselves. What may appear at a first glance to be simple and straightforward, may in fact be deeply layered, revealing complexity as it is deconstructed.

Rube Goldberg’s life and legacy amplifies this notion for us too. Inspired by this remarkable Jewish visionary, we looked more deeply into a tradition that fosters curious minds, creating spaces for stories to be shared and held. And, we crafted this space, so that it might spark your creative memory, and help you capture important pieces of your own unexpected journey.

The stories we tell make our communities stronger. We continue to promote our vision, our collective Story of Home, by continuing to tell our stories and inviting our communities to tell and share theirs.Thank you for contributing to the “JFest Story of Home”, and for sharing your stories.

JFest – About the Inspiration: Building resilience through shared story

JFest StoryMachine is a part of JFest, a Signature program of JCC Association of North America. JFest seeks to amplify and connect the diverse stories that make up our vibrant communities. We do this by providing multiple ways for you and your communities to engage – through Virtual J events that can be viewed live and asynchronously, and through building creative and inspired engagement tools that prompt deeper thinking about Jewish values, themes, and storytelling. JFest is predicated on the belief that our individual and family stories help us build resilience and create resilient communities. And, that ART helps us to engage and tell these stories. Working with a remarkable team of colleagues, artists and educators, we have been building materials, resources and experiences to deepen connections and help build resilience in our communities.

Dr. Marshall Duke, Professor of Personality and Psychopathology at Emory University, whose work on family narratives and strength-building in many ways inspired the driving themes of JFest – storytelling and resilience, shares the following: “It is this intergenerational self and the personal strength and moral guidance that seem to derive from it that are associated with increased resilience, better adjustment, and improved chances of good clinical and educational outcomes.” By “intergenerational self”, Dr. Duke is referring to the notion that through family stories, children develop a personal strength and moral guidance that provides them with greater resiliency. And, by extension, our communities are strengthened and fortified. This notion of intergenerational self and what we carry is historically embedded in the fabric of the Jewish narrative. 

Through JFest, we are exploring this in the context of storytelling and as part of the Jewish Community resilience story. JFest programs explore three core themes of storytelling: How You Tell Your Story, How Others Tell Our Story, and How History Tells Our Story. The JFest StoryMachine invites you to enter, play, imagine, and then share your “Story of Home.” JFest programs are made possible through funds granted by The Covenant Foundation with additional support from The Pertzik Fund for Arts and Culture.



We are grateful to collaborate in partnership with a diverse
group of amazing Artist-Educators.They help us tell our stories,
and they help keep us connected even when we’re apart.
For the JFest StoryMachine, inspired by the legacy of Rube Goldberg,
we are:

for complete bios, click On a Name


 All programs and events for JFest are made possible through funds granted by The Covenant Foundation, with additional support from The Pertzik Fund for Arts and Culture
at JCC Association of North America.

Special thanks to friends and fellow creative storytellers, including:

Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History
Jewish Book Council
American Friends of Israeli Philharmonic
JArts- Jewish Arts Collaborative
Jewish Plays Project
Jewish Film Presenters Network
Rube Goldberg Center for Innovation and Creativity
One Table
Association for Jewish Studies
UJA-Snapshot Greater Toronto
Kultura Collective
The In[HEIR]itance Project
Let It Ripple
Philadelphia Jewish Media and Film
Ben Gundersheimer
Jewish Film Presenters Network
jGirls+ Magazine

About JCC Association of North America

JCC Association of North America leads and connects the JCC Movement, advancing and enriching North American Jewish life. With 1.5 million weekly in-person and online visitors to more than 170 Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Community Camps (JCCs), including half a million friends and neighbors from beyond the Jewish community, the JCC Movement is the continent’s largest platform for both Jewish engagement and Jewish community relations.


As the convening organization of this dynamic network, JCC Association partners with JCCs to bring together the collective power and knowledge of the entire JCC Movement, including 10,000 full-time and 18,000 part-time professionals, exclusive of seasonal professionals. By supporting them, together we enhance and strengthen Jewish life throughout North America.

JFest StoryMachine is a part of JFest, a Signature Program of JCC Association of North America.

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