Jewish County Fair - Getting Together

1500 people crowded into the several acres at the Shalom Institute in Malibu for the Jewish County Fair produced by Craig Taubman of Craig N Co.  Craig, himself, is a popular Jewish musician who often performs at Adat Ari El’s One Shabbat Morning. 

Jewish County Fair: Eric Schwartz and Craig Taubman, musicians

We were greeted by the music of the Wellspring Band and Eric Schwartz, who sang some of his own Jewish music.  Also present were the New Directional Choir with patriotic American songs that harmonized and brought tears to many eyes.  While waiting for the next band to set up, we were greeted by Bobby Gordon and his spoken word poetry.  Bobby also performed in the Word tent, which offered not only poetry and other readings but a chance for kids to show their creative efforts, as well.  

The stars of the Big Tent show were Josh Nelson and Michelle Citrin, creating high octane Jewish rock.  Both from Brooklyn, the pair is currently working on the music for the Broadway show of Sleepless in Seattle and each work separately on their own, as well.  Both draw their inspiration from Jewish teachings and works as Pirki Avodah (a book of Jewish wisdom.)  His recent song idea came from the book’s quote, “Who is wise, one who learns from all people.”  

Jewish County Fair: Michelle Citrin

There probably isn’t an instrument that the talented Josh Nelson doesn’t play and he showed his versatility on stage as he sang some of the songs from his forthcoming Hanukkah album.  Not just for kids, this Hanukkah album has moving songs.  You can hear some of Josh’s work at  

Michelle, too, is equally as talented with keyboard, harmonica and guitar. She sang one of her new songs, Someday, inspired by the words of medieval Rabbi Hillel – “If I am for myself alone, who am I?  If I am only for others, what am I?  If not now, when?”  More information about Michelle can be had at   Her music can be purchased from iTunes.  

Jewish County Fair: Josh Nelson

Blue Sky soda, a natural brand, was offering samples of their new diet drinks, which are available at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  A kosher taco stand served scrumptious meals to those attending.  

A new kosher winery as close to us as Santa Clarita offered their delicious wares for those of us over twenty one.  

Many of the funds earned from the fair went to such charities at the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry and Bet Tzuvah, helping those who are ill.  American Red Cross was also there collecting blood and were pleased with the amount of people willing to donate.  

There were rides for the kids as Ferris wheel and bungee jumping and numerous social service booths as Project MOT (a division of Operation Gratitude, it helps Jewish soldiers not feel so isolated,) Lone Soldier (taking care of Israel’s foreign soldiers,) the Jewish Film School* (run by showrunner Bill Grunfest, this offers winter and summer camps for kids to learn writing, directing and producing using Jewish values as a jump off point,) American Jewish University ( let us know what future lectures were available,) Milliken JCC and New Jewish High School in Woodland Hills.  Many of the sponsoring synagogues were there, too.  Adat Ari El, Valley Beth Shalom, Valley Outreach Synagogue and others had tables filled with information.  

The fair, itself, was pleasant but several families were disappointed that there were not more rides for the kids as one might expect at a fair.  Hopefully, this will be an annual event to get together Jews from all walks of life and that the fair will grow bigger and stronger next year.  

For more information about next year’s fair or other Jewish or interfaith musical events go to
*For more information about the Jewish Film School, contact [email protected]

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