Reboot Ideas Conversations

Reboot Ideas Presents: Monster Mash

November 1, 2023

Reboot, along with Detroit Public Theatre and Detroit Public Television, invites you to celebrate the most famous Jewish monster, the Golem, its history and contemporary lessons, at a festival of music, film, conversation and art. This interactive experience hosted in Detroit was a premier event for Reboot’s local art and culture programming. 

The event featured author Adam Mansbach, who skyrocketed to fame after the publication of the #1 New York Times bestselling pseudo-children’s book Go the F*ck to Sleep, and Dr. Justin Sledge, Detroit-based professor of Ethics, Religion, and Social-Political Philosophy with an emphasis on Jewish esotericism and the occult. Together with PBS Books, we are excited to share this riveting conversation 

This fall, Mansbach published his fifth novel, The Golem of Brooklyn (One World, an imprint of Penguin Random House, September 2023) – a ferociously funny reimagining of the golem of Jewish folklore, who is accidentally brought to life in a basement apartment in Brooklyn and embarks on an absurd road trip to face off against the rising threat of antisemitism in America. In a conversation moderated by Angelique Power, president & CEO of The Skillman Foundation, Mansbach and Dr. Sledge discussed the historical and contemporary connection between the legend of the golem and Jewish links between the supernatural, creativity and tikkun olam (repairing the world). 

The evening also featured a variety of creative mediums, including Detroit artists Olivia Guterson and Faina Lerman manifesting Jewish monsters with a live painting installation, along with a digital art collection by Lynne Avadenka displayed for viewers. Excerpts of the newly remastered 1921 classic film The Golem: How He Came into This World was also premiered along with Reboot’s new vinyl release of an original film score. The score was created in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the commercial release of Paul Wegener’s silent horror classic and features world class (and local Detroit) artists such as Alan Licht, Gretchen Gonzales, Rebecca Odes, John Olson, Nate Young, Sharon Gal, ∈Y∋, Scott Amendola, Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), and Steven Drozd (Flaming Lips).  

Presented in partnership with Detroit Public Television, PBS Books, Detroit Public Theatre, Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, Source Booksellers, Avalon Bakery, Jolly Pumpkin, Third Man Records and The Well.

From our media sponsor: Get the best of the Forward each week — news, opinion, culture and Yiddishkeit — with free e-newsletters. Plus get special Forward reporting on antisemitism, Israel, Jewish genealogy, recipes, videos, podcasts and more. Go to to sign up.


Adam Mansbach


Adam Mansbach is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Go the Fuck to Sleep, as well as the novels Rage is Back, The End of the Jews (winner of the California Book Award), and Angry Black White Boy, and the memoir-in-verse I Had a Brother Once. With Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel, he co-authored For This We Left Egypt? and the bestselling A Field Guide to the Jewish People, and his books for young readers include the New York Times bestseller Just Try One Bite and the award-winning Jake the Fake series, co-written with Craig Robinson. The screenwriter of the acclaimed Netflix Original film Barry, Mansbach is the recipient of a Sundance Screenwriting Lab fellowship and a two-time winner of both the Reed Award and the American Association of Political Consultants’ Gold Pollie Award, for his 2012 Obama/Biden campaign video “Wake the Fuck Up,” and his 2020 Biden/Harris campaign ad “Same Old,” both starring Samuel L. Jackson. Mansbach is also the founder of the 1990s hip hop journal Elementary, the former New Voices Professor of Fiction at Rutgers University, and a former drum tech for the legendary drummer Elvin Jones. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Believer, The Guardian, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, The Moth Storytelling Hour, and This American Life. His new novel is The Golem of Brooklyn.


Angelique Power

President & CEO of the Skillman Foundation

Angelique Power is the President & CEO of the Skillman Foundation, a private independent foundation that puts all its resources toward brilliant Detroit youth—their justice, their power, and their promise. With assets over $600 million, The Skillman Foundation provides approximately $24 million in grants annually. Power has an intense passion for catalyzing new ways of thinking about racial equity and social justice. Prior to The Skillman Foundation, Power was president of the Chicago-based Field Foundation. During her tenure, she co-created accountability structures for the Chicago community to review the Foundation’s expanded work on racial justice and updated funding and investment policies. Under her leadership, the Field Foundation doubled the size of its giving and programming.


Dr. Justin Sledge

Scholar of the arcane, Content Producer, Popular Educator on Esoteric and Occult Topics

Dr. Justin Sledge works as a part-time professor of Religion and Philosophy in the Detroit area and is the host of the popular YouTube channel Esoterica with nearly half a million subscribers. His academic expertise is in Western Esotericism, especially the metaphysical and philosophical background of early modern occultism.  His educational work focuses on a range of topics including alchemy, magic, kabbalah, gnosticism, hermetic philosophy and the occult. In addition to his academic work Dr Sledge is also a collector and dealer in arcane antiquarian books.  He is also a distiller and recently teamed with Detroit City Distillery to recreate a historically accurate Absinthe following 19th century protocols. Dr. Sledge lives in Detroit with his wife, Rabbi Alana Alpert, his two children and their dog Mississippi.