The theme from the movie “Rocky” blasted through the main sanctuary at the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills on Thursday March 6th with nearly 600 local Iranian Jews who came to witness a heated debate between author and television personality Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and syndicated Jewish radio talk show host Dennis Prager. Their debate focused on Boteachâs newest book “The Broken American Male”. Boteach’s argument was that American men nowadays don’t pay as much attention to the emotional needs of their wives and children. Instead he argued American men spend too much time watching sports on TV and porn on the Internet. He also said American men are often too caught up with making money and less focused on making the family work—a reason why some marriages fail and some children may not want to be at home. Prager argued that the problem may not lie with American men but perhaps with American society where the roles of men and women have been blurred since the feminist movement of the 1960s’ and 1970s’.
While I personally did not favor the arguments of either side, I was impressed with the large turnout of mostly younger Iranian Jewish professionals. You could even say Prager and Boteach were treated like celebrities by those in attendance as small groups huddled around them before and after the debate. Boteach had previously spoken at Nessah and has many fans in the community considering the fact that his father is an Iranian Jew. Prior to the debate, some in attendance enjoyed Sushi and Saki while mingling—after all, this was yet another opportunity for young Jewish singles to meet one another!
To listen to our podcast featuring Boteach and Prager’s views of young Iranian American Jews here