March 21, 2018
Find out how Toni Alejandria nurtures her connection to the REALITY community and to Israel, what new global venture she recently launched, and how the end of her first REALITY experience was the beginning of so much more.
REALITY: Describe what you do and how you are trying to make an impact.
Toni: I bring people together. I founded Patron Immersive (or Patron for short) as a way to cultivate a new generation of patrons through curated immersive experiences around the world. Each experience elevates local culture, raises the profiles of artists and collaborators, and creates catalyst moments that ripple in impact. Our recent experiences include gatherings in Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Mexico, with plans in the works to launch in India, Bhutan, Guatemala, and a few other locations over the next year.
REALITY: Who inspires the work that you do?
Toni: The partners I work with in different countries constantly inspire me. Their drive and passion for others to experience what they have to gift to the world is beautiful. And when you can bring people in from all backgrounds to come and be a part of the narrative for themselves — magic happens.
REALITY: What was the most meaningful moment from your REALITY journey?
Toni: On the last day of my trip as we drove to the airport, I was reflecting on how quickly the week had gone by and how much had changed. In the beginning, we were mostly strangers. But throughout the week, after all of the magic moments and experiences, we bonded as friends. As I sat on the bus and looked around at everyone, I knew that we’d be leaving Israel as family — mishpucha — and that moment was everything.
REALITY: What are you most excited about for the reunion?
Toni: Taking over the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and dancing with my REALITY mishpucha! When you know you have REALITY in common with somebody, it opens the floodgates of discovery and instant connection. It's happened to me so many times since my REALITY journey that I can't get enough of it.
REALITY: How have you shifted REALITY since your journey?
Toni: REALITY added a new layer to my life that wasn’t there before. Through the community and what's come about since introducing more amazing people in my life, I've had new experiences and opportunities that continue to manifest to this day.
REALITY: How have you stayed connected to Israel since your journey?
Toni: Where do I begin? I volunteer for the Bay Area Animators core group for the REALITY alumni in San Francisco and surrounding cities, I joined an At The Well women's group (shout out to my Moon Group!), I'm involved with the SF/Israeli tech community, I'm finding my way into deeper involvement with Midburn, I host Shabbats and High Holiday dinners, and I may have thrown a party that had the essence of the crater experience, but here in San Francisco.
REALITY: Since REALITY, how “do” you Shabbat? Share a short story.
Toni: Intention and creating space. I find ways to create moments that encourage slowing down and nourishing the mind, body, and soul with friends and community around the table, all backgrounds welcome. I love to introduce Shabbat to people who've never experienced and provide space for others to partake in their weekly rituals. A few weeks ago, some fellow REALITY alums and I held a Shabbat in the jungles of Costa Rica at Envision Festival. We set long tables for 150 people seated and filled the surrounding standing room and lounge areas with around 200 total in attendance. We created atmosphere, presented Shabbat teachings, sang songs of gratitude, honored the Shabbat blessings, broke bread together, and elevated our community by being present with each other.
REALITY: What can the REALITY community contact you about?
Toni: Experiences with Patron, Burning Man, Shabbats, dancing, or simply hugs.
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or all program participants.