In 2001, Temple Israel of Hollywood (TIOH) overwhelmingly decided to end its sponsorship of Cub Scout Pack 1300 to protest the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) policy banning openly gay scouts and leaders. It ended a nearly 50-year tradition of scouting at the Reform congregation.
A funny thing happened on the way to the synagogue: A rabbi and an Egyptian American, both professional comics, teamed up to perform "One Arab, One Jew, One Stage" this week at Temple Beth Hillel in Valley Village and Temple Beth El in Aliso Viejo.
"It sounds like a joke, especially as violence is escalating in the Middle East" says Bob Alper, 57, who bills himself as "the only practicing rabbi in the country doing standup -- intentionally." "But the point is to diffuse the tension and to humanize our two groups."
The humor is nonpolitical, says Ahmed Ahmed, a 31-year-old actor who turned to standup after being typecast as cabbies and terrorists.