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What is JRelease?

JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. Our goal is to provide the timely distribution of press releases to all AJPA members. AJPA publications represent an ideal forum for companies and organizations to announce important developments and news. JRelease is the ideal resource for clients who wish to reach the Jewish press and through it the wider Jewish community.

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JRelease submissions should be emailed to Please include "JRelease" in the subject line of your email. Submissions will be reviewed and approved within 48 hours after receipt and distributed upon receipt of payment. Please indicate your preferred date of distribution at the top of your press release submission. Acceptance of submissions for distribution is at the sole discretion of AJPA and as is the case with all material submitted to newspapers, the decision to publish the material is that of the newspaper. It's also a good idea to follow up with editors individually to maximize the number of "hits" for your story. AJPA does not provide direct contact information to member editors.

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Recent JReleases

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  • October 11, 2023 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    Camp Ramah Sasson Welcomes Families Facing the Challenges of Childhood Cancer

    Ramah New England is thrilled to announce the launch of “Camp Ramah Sasson (Joy),” a trailblazing initiative aimed at providing comfort, support, and an immersive Jewish experience for families facing the challenges of childhood cancer. Camp Ramah Sasson, which is open to the entire family at no cost, will be held April 12-14, 2024 on our beautiful campsite in western MA. Through a combination of Shabbat celebration, outdoor fun, and therapeutic activities, Camp Ramah Sasson will provide a nurturing environment for families to come together and forge lasting connections with each other and to the greater Jewish community.

    Rabbi Ed Gelb, CEO of Ramah New England, shared, “Over the eighteen years of directing Ramah, I have met many families that are facing the challenge of having a child with cancer. Up until now, we have not been able to provide them with the Ramah experience. Now, we hope to bring the community, support, meaning and joy of camp to the entire family and let them know they have a home here.” Camp Ramah Sasson welcomes these families into our larger Ramah New England community.

    Through the celebration of Shabbat, traditional camp fun, therapeutic activities, and a supportive environment, Camp Ramah Sasson seeks to uplift families and provide them with a respite from the daily struggles associated with childhood cancer. Families will experience camp together, and will also have opportunities to attend separate programs designed specifically for parents, siblings and children living with cancer. The camp will provide a framework for families to share Jewish experiences, foster emotional healing, and establish an invaluable network of support.

    Camp Ramah Sasson extends an open invitation to Jewish families that have children in cancer treatment. This program is free of charge to all participating families.

    We are looking for community partners to help spread the word and recruit families for this unique retreat experience. We are also recruiting camp counselors and medical, therapeutic, and educational professionals who would like to volunteer to staff this life-changing weekend.

    For more information about Camp Ramah Sasson, inquire about enrollment or volunteer to staff this incredible weekend, please go to

    About Ramah New England:

    Ramah New England (RNE) is a non-profit organization that serves over 1,400 Jewish children and teens each summer at its three summer camps. Camp Ramah New England, an overnight summer camp in Palmer, is situated on the shore of a beautiful lake and is surrounded by 100 wooded acres. Each summer, this camp serves 900 campers from across New England, the greater Washington, DC area, Virginia, as well as parts of Maryland and New York. Ramah Day Camp Greater DC and Ramah Day Camp Greater Boston serve hundreds of younger campers in the DC and Boston areas. Additionally, RNE  holds two family camp experiences on its Palmer site. Acceptance and belonging in an immersive and joyful Jewish setting are the hallmarks of the experiences at the RNE camps.

    Press Contact:

    Riki Wiederhorn

    Director of Year-Round Programming

    Ramah New England

  • June 08, 2023 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)


    There is a well-known wisecrack in Israel, that everyone argues passionately because we all think we should be Prime Minister. For anyone who has spent time here, the vehemence is palpable, especially lately. As tensions in Israel continue to rise due to the proposed judicial reforms, the nation is growing more and more divided. With elections on the horizon in the United States, there too, the polarities that exist between citizens feel greater than ever.

    In this increasingly tense environment, two educator-researchers are actually encouraging people to argue. Yes, you’ve read that correctly: Abi Dauber Sterne and Robbie Gringras are actively teaching people to argue. Moreover, their experience is showing that professionals in all sectors are finding it more and more difficult to address the situation in a constructive way.

    Dauber Sterne and Gringras have dedicated the past few years of their careers to training educators and organizational leaders to engage in arguments about contentious issues relating to Israel. Unlike most of us who shy away from confrontation, they see argument as an important and valuable tool not only for mutual understanding, but also to understand more clearly the issues at hand.

    Last year, with financial support from The Jim Joseph Foundation, Gringras and Dauber Sterne launched “For the Sake of Argument”, an educational initiative that offers a fresh approach to arguing. To date, they have run training sessions for over 2,000 people around the globe, a mixture of organizational leaders, educators and students. They use fictional, reality-based “argument-stories” to facilitate difficult conversations using tools for healthy confrontations. 

    They also published a book entitled Stories for the Sake of Argument which features short stories and questions designed to guide groups discussions about some of the most controversial issues facing Israel today. They continue to email a new story to their followers on a monthly basis to keep the content timely. Recently, stories have focused on the proposed judicial reform and its opponents in Israel. With people around the world trying to understand what all the fuss is about, the new stories help to explain – in a non-pedantic way – what the different approaches may be to aspects of the proposed changes.

    “What we’re seeing is that when these conversations are not conducted well, these issues have the potential to break apart the fabric of organizational life and tear apart communities,” Dauber Sterne says. “Our hope is that the story itself will be a facilitator because it’s one step removed. It serves as a buffer in a way and gets us to ask ourselves how the issue plays into our ideological stance,” she explains.

    The two colleagues are also in the midst of conducting research on the use of argument. As they create their content, they’re also developing metrics to see which tools work best.

    “It may seem ironic, but the more we advocate that argument can be a useful tool, the less tension there will be because people will understand each other more,” says Gringras. “We’re learning so much about the use of argument that want to share what we’ve learned with the world, starting in Israel and amongst Jewish organizations.”

    While most of their training sessions have been conducted amongst English-speaking groups from outside of Israel, more Israel-based groups have turned to them recently for workshops.

    “Professionals in every sphere, whether they’re teachers or managers in an organization, are finding it more and more difficult to address the situation in a constructive way. They feel that they’re personally and emotionally invested. We have tools that can help them untangle some of the complexity,” says Gringras.

    To be sure, Dauber Sterne and Gringras are not starry-eyed. “It doesn’t solve the problem, but it does help create perspective,” Dauber Sterne explains. “We are trying to help people understand how others come to their decisions so that they can learn from each other. It’s vital that we all take an active role in understanding other people’s views in order to hone our own, and to be able to engage more deeply with the subject matter, whether history, culture, or modern-day politics.”

    For more information on these workshops and to receive new stories monthly, see

    For all media inquiries, contactYehudit Singer-Freud,

  • May 17, 2023 12:57 PM | Anonymous

    On Israel's 75th Anniversary, the Decade's-Long Odyssey of an Historic World's Fair Sculpture is Commemorated


    PHONE: 856.220.0522


    MAY 17, 2023


    On May 28, 1939, at the New York World’s Fair – 84 years ago this month – the Jewish-Palestine Pavilion was dedicated. The pavilion was intended to introduce the world to the concept of a modern Jewish State; which a decade later – after the atrocities of the Holocaust – would become the State of Israel. The pavilion’s façade was adorned with an imposing 14-foot-tall relief sculpture, an Art Deco representation of three figures created by a 26-year-old Israeli sculptor by the name of Maurice Ascalon (1913-2003) (born Moshe Klein). Maurice would go on to become a pioneer of modern Israel’s decorative arts movement. Ascalon’s hand-hammered copper World’s Fair sculpture, entitled “The Scholar, The Laborer, and The Toiler of Soil”, depicted the three vocational facets of a successful civilization: scholarship, industry, and agriculture; three facets that the State of Israel would eventually come to embody.

    The pavilion’s opening ceremony featured speeches by its guest of honor Albert Einstein, and New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, both of whom spoke from a podium standing beneath Ascalon’s sculpture to a crowd of 100,000. During the fair’s run, the pavilion saw some 2 million visitors. With the start of World War II, logistical and legal constraints made it impossible for the sculpture and the exhibits from the pavilion to make their way back to Israel as originally intended. The sculpture was therefore auctioned off and found a new home at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning & Leadership in Chicago, where it has remained ever since. Today, the Spertus, together with Maurice Ascalon’s family and a Toronto-based Israeli memorabilia collector and historian David Matlow, are in the process of making arrangements to finally see to the return of Ascalon’s sculpture to Israel for long-term display – completing a round trip that began in the late 1930s.

    In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the State of Israel, and to commemorate the unique artistic and historic importance of Ascalon’s sculpture, a limited edition of 250 replicas of “The Scholar, The Laborer, and the Toiler of Soil”, produced as a 1KG resin cast, are being released for sale this week by Piece of History, an Israeli-based studio that creates unique decorative items with Israeli history and Judaic themes. The intent for this project is to raise awareness among Jewish communities worldwide about the artwork, and to promote its return to Israel.

    For more information on the commemorative edition, visit . Additional biographies, historic information, and images are attached/enclosed below.


    Maurice Ascalon (born Moshe Klein) was born in the eastern Hungarian town of Fehérgyarmat. From an early age, he was drawn to art, which was frowned upon in the Hassidic "shtetl" in which he was raised. When he was 15 years old Ascalon left his boyhood home to study art at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. He took with him an understanding of Jewish rituals and traditions which knowledge he later incorporated in his work.

    In 1934, after undertaking his formal artistic training in Brussels and later Milan, Maurice Ascalon immigrated to the land of Israel (then the British Mandate of Palestine). There he met his wife-to-be, Zipora Kartujinsky, a Polish-born Jew, granddaughter to the distinguished cartographer and scientist of the same surname. (Zipora, who died in 1982, became a sculptor in her own right late in her life, creating bas reliefs depicting the shtetl life of her childhood).

    In 1939, Maurice Ascalon designed and created the enormous 14-foot-tall hammered repoussé copper relief sculpture of three figures, "The Scholar, The Laborer, and The Toiler of Soil", which adorned the façade of the Jewish-Palestine Pavilion of the 1939 New York World's Fair. Ascalon was commissioned to create this work for the historically significant Pavilion which introduced the world to the concept of a modern Jewish state. (The work is now part of the collection of the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago.)

    In the late 1930s, Ascalon founded an Israeli decorative arts manufacturing company, Pal-Bell, which produced trademark bronze and brass menorahs and other Judaic and secular decorative art and functional items that were exported in large numbers worldwide. Maurice Ascalon's designs, some art deco, others more traditional, introduced the use of a chemically induced green patina (verdigris) to Israeli metalwork. During Israel's War for Independence in 1948, he designed munitions for the Israeli army and, at the request of the Israeli government, retrofitted his factory to produce munitions for the war effort. In 1956 Maurice immigrated to the United States.

    During the latter part of the 1950s through the 1960s, Maurice resided in New York and Los Angeles. He gained a reputation as a master silversmith, creating for synagogues Torah crowns and other objects of Jewish ceremonial art. For a time, he taught sculpture on the fine arts faculty of the University of Judaism (now the American Jewish University) in Los Angeles.

    In the late 1970s, Ascalon relocated to the Philadelphia area where he co-founded Ascalon Studios. It became (and still is today, under the direction of Maurice's son, David Ascalon (b.1945)) a multifaceted art studio dedicated to the design of and creation of site-specific art for worship and public spaces.

    In February 2003, Maurice Ascalon celebrated his 90th birthday as a resident of Cuernavaca, Mexico, where he lived with his eldest son, Adir Ascalon (Adir was a surrealist painter and sculptor who collaborated with the noted Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros). In August 2003, Maurice Ascalon succumbed to complications related to Parkinson's disease.

    Maurice Ascalon's commissions include permanent installations at worship and public spaces throughout the United States, Mexico, and Israel. His works have been exhibited at and are among the collections of institutions including the Jewish Museum (New York), the Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago, the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, and the University of Judaism in Los Angeles.


    David Matlow is a lawyer at Goodmans in Toronto, the Chair of the Ontario Jewish Archives and is the owner of the world’s largest private collection of Theodor Herzl memorabilia (  Through his collection he became interested in the Jewish Palestine Pavilion of the 1939 New York World’s Fair, whose existence was in furtherance of Herzl’s dream for a Jewish homeland.  In researching the Pavilion, Matlow learned that the sculpture still exists, and has been working with the Ascalon family to find a permanent home for it in Israel in order to compete its  80+ year round trip.


    Piece of History is an Israeli based company which designs and distributes original Zionist memorabilia, merchandise and limited-edition items. It was established in 2009 by souvenir designer Asaf Harari, with the goal to produce contemporary style items that would help strengthen Zionist identity, and make Israel’s history more accessible to people of all ages. For more information, visit


  • April 13, 2023 9:33 AM | Anonymous



    For any AJPA  members who would like to attend an upcoming screening for this film, please follow the link below to view a list of screenings. If you do not see a screening in your area and you would like to preview the film, please inform Corby Pons and he will follow up with you directly.

    Watch the trailer HERE

    Press materials available to download from EPK.TV HERE

    In theaters April 28, 2023



    For Upcoming Screenings Click Here
    Enter PW: WITPR
    Click: Get Tickets

    Note:  If you are interested in interview opportunities, please email
  • March 13, 2023 9:24 AM | Anonymous

    "The Haftarah and Its Parsha"
    Richard W. Golden

    For some two thousand years, the practice at every Jewish congregation on Shabbos mornings has been to read a weekly portion, the “parsha,” from the Torah followed by a reading from the books of the prophets, the “haftarah.”  Despite the haftarah’s antiquity and universality, we know little about its origin or purpose.  We have no record of who decided which verses would make up the haftarah for each parsha, the reasons for each pairing, or even when the schedule in use today was established.

    “The Haftarah and Its Parsha” came about because its author, Richard W. Golden, became curious about the reason for each haftarah-parsha pairing.  A quick review found only cursory discussions of the subject.  A more comprehensive search found that neither traditional nor contemporary writers fully addressed these connections.  After deeper study, Golden discovered that the parsha and haftarah verses themselves provide the best explanation for each pairing. 

    This newly released book sets forth what is known about the haftarah’s origins, identifies the relationship between each haftarah and its parsha, and explores how this connection remains pertinent today.  So far as Golden could find, no previous author has given these questions the consideration they merit.

    The book’s discussion of each pairing may be read week-by-week in about ten minutes.  It should not be necessary for the reader to have already reviewed that week’s haftarah and parsha, or to be familiar with the text’s original languages.

    For further information or to purchase the book, visit   

    The book may also be purchased on Amazon.

    To contact the author, write to:


    Richard W. Golden retired in 2007 after serving for twenty-eight years as an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the New York State Attorney General.  Since his retirement, Golden has had more time for his long-standing loves of study and travel.  He and his wife, now empty nesters, live in Brooklyn.
  • December 01, 2022 1:07 PM | Anonymous
    Robert M. Beren Creates New Scholarship Program


    Rabbi Jordan Silvestri | 713-723-7170 |
    Steven Mitzner | 713-723-7170 |

    For Immediate Release

    Robert M. Beren Creates New Scholarship Program

    (Houston, TX) - Robert M. Beren Academy (RMBA) has received funds from Mr. Robert M. Beren to create scholarships for new Middle and High School students who are not currently a part of the student body. It is the intent of Mr. Beren to help RMBA also to draw new families from outside of Houston. The Robert M. Beren Scholarships will focus on bringing in at least 50 new students with the first scholarships being awarded for the 2023-2024 academic year.

    “Through the visionary leadership of Mr. Robert M. Beren and his continued dedication to the growth of Jewish Day School education in Houston, this new scholarship program will enable us to grow and utilize the capacity our facilities provide. This is an exciting time to be at RMBA.” Said Rabbi Jordan Silvestri, Head of School.

    In conjunction with the Robert M. Beren scholarships, RMBA has created new retention incentives for current 5th and 8th graders families to assist them in continuing their education into Middle and High school. These incentives recognize the continued commitment to RMBA of many of the current student body.

    Applications for the scholarship, as well as general enrollment, are now being accepted for the 2023-2024 school year. To schedule a tour please contact Fannet Nater, Director of Admissions at 713-723-7170 or To learn more about the unique educational experience at Robert M. Beren academy please visit

    Disclaimer: JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. AJPA does not endorse and cannot vouch for material distributed by this service.

  • November 30, 2022 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    The 30th Anniversary of
    Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™
    Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a (this year, pop-up) Chinese Restaurant

    Info: • Tickets: 

                     Media contact: Lisa Geduldig - 
    Cell: (415) 205-6515

    The 30th Anniversary of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™
    Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a (this year, pop-up) Chinese Restaurant

    Kung Pao Kosher Comedy Returns In-Person in San Francisco (and livestream)!

    With Mark Schiff, Cathy Ladman, Orion Levine, Arline Geduldig, & Lisa Geduldig

    Friday, December 23 thru Sunday, December 25, 2022

    In-person: 5pm Dinner / 6pm Show

    Virtual Show: 6pm PST (7pm MST / 8pm CST / 9pm EST)

    At the Kung Pao Room at Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California St., San Francisco

    Catering by Green Chow Down (For in-person AND Bay Area virtual viewers)


    Tickets: $30 - $100  •

    Partial Proceeds Benefit: SF-Marin Food Bank AND The Center for Reproductive Rights

    San Francisco, CA… Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ is celebrating its 30th Anniversary on  December 23-25, 2022! After being presented virtually for the past two years due to the pandemic, Kung Pao returns with in-person shows in San Francisco this year (AND continues its livestream option). Since the New Asia Restaurant where Kung Pao had been held since its 5th year (1997) closed during the pandemic, this year’s milestone shows will take place in a “pop-up” Chinese restaurant, "The Kung Pao Room" at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco. Chinese food catering provided by Green Chow Down.

    Spanning three days (and three decades), this annual Jewish-Comedy-on-Christmas-in-a-Chinese-Restaurant tradition will feature Mark Schiff (tours with Seinfeld; was a writer and actor on Mad About You), Cathy Ladman (The Tonight Show guest a gazillion times; Curb Your EnthusiasmModern Family; Mad Me), Orion Levine (recent Berkeley to LA transplant; just featured as a New Face at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival), Lisa Geduldig (Kung Pao host), Arline Geduldig (Lisa’s 91 year young mom by video from Florida).

    Attendees sit at tables of 10 and eat dinner Chinese banquet style before the show. Table names include Alan King, Barbra Streisand, Catskills, Chutzpah, Fanny Brice, Gefilte Fish, Gilda Radner, Joan Rivers, Kasha Varnishkas, Kvetch, Marx Brothers, and Meshugganah.


    Kung Pao Kosher Comedy was created in 1993 by accident by San Francisco comedian, Lisa Geduldig, who was booked to perform at a women’s comedy night in South Hadley, Massachusetts at the Peking Garden Club, what she naturally thought would be a comedy club. But upon her arrival, she discovered that the venue was actually a Chinese Restaurant. After telling Jewish jokes at a Chinese restaurant, a conversation the next day between Lisa and her old summer camp friend, Tobi Sovak, about its irony led to the creation of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant — a take off on the tradition of Jews going to a Chinese Restaurant and a movie on Christmas. And the rest is history. Kung Pao, which answers the age-old question “What are Jews supposed to do on Christmas?” has garnered both national press and a national following. In celebrating its 30th Anniversary this December, Kung Pao was the country’s first Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese restaurant show and is one of San Francisco’s longest running comedy shows.

    Many of the great household name Jewish comedians have graced the Kung Pao stage. Henny Youngman performed his last show there in 1997 at 91 years old. Shelley Berman has headlined, as has David Brenner, as have many others in the Who’s Who of Jewish Comedians including Elayne Boosler, Carol Leifer, Wendy Liebman, Cathy Ladman, Judy Gold, Jeff Ross, and Gary Gulman.

    Kung Pao has been operating in San Francisco’s Chinatown every December since its inception in 1993 (except for the past two years online due to the pandemic). The event began on December 24, 1993 with one show at the Four Seas Restaurant, and then was held for the next three years at Hunan Restaurant. With 91-year old Henny Youngman booked to headline in 1997, Kung Pao moved to New Asia Restaurant as Hunan was up a flight of stairs with no elevator. Many audience members have attended this San Francisco institution for 20+ years while others have attended every year since 1993. The show was live-streamed on Zoom and YouTube Live the past two years catering to 2000+ people and reaching audiences throughout the country and some internationally during the pandemic.

    Kung Pao has been featured in the NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune… The virtual show was a Pick in the New York TimesThe Forward, and Jewish newspapers in cities including Atlanta, Tampa and St. Louis, in addition to the SF Bay Area press.

    Feeding the soul as well as the stomach. – New York Times

    A San Francisco institution. – San Francisco Examiner

    The Dinner Menu will feature our signature dish Kung Pao Chicken (or Tofu), along with Steamed Cod with Black Bean and Ginger Sauce, Chinese Green Beans with Mushrooms and Onions, Sautéed Eggplant with Red Bell Pepper and Garlic, and Steamed Jasmine Rice. Catering is being provided this year by Green Chow Down, headed up by chef Angela Chou. (Green Chow Down provides catering for local companies including Google, private events, weddings, fundraisers, and bar/bat mitzvahs.) Virtual Kung Pao viewers in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond may order the same menu through Chou’s ChowBox In-person attendees and virtual viewers who order the dinner will receive a custom-made Yiddish proverb fortune cookie with their dinner. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco's Chinatown has made fortune cookies since 1962 and Kung Pao’s since 1994. The Yiddish proverbs include the infamous “With one tuchus, you can’t dance at 2 weddings.” (You can’t be in two places at once.) The past two years, the fortune cookies were only virtual (motion graphics).

    All in-person attendees will receive Kung Pao swag (a goodie bag) with their ticket: A pair of wooden custom-printed Kung Pao chopsticks custom-ordered from China, a packet of Yiddish-proverb fortune cookies, and more.

    In July 2020, a few months into the pandemic, Lisa Geduldig, introduced her audiences to online comedy shows with the monthly Lockdown Comedy every third Thursday of the month (and still running) on Zoom hosted from her mother’s retirement community in Florida where Lisa accidentally found herself marooned for 17 months after going to visit for two weeks that March, just before the pandemic hit. (Lisa has been “commuting” between Florida and San Francisco for the past year.) Lisa’s 91-year old budding comedian mother, Arline, has been a special guest each month, performing on the show. The duo has received national press: The LA Times ran How A California Comic Launched A Virtual Stand-Up Show and Discovered A New Star: Mom; the San Francisco Examiner ran the article, Kung Pao Kosher Creator Introduces “Lockdown Comedy”: Lisa Geduldig and Her Mom Stream Standup, with Guests, from Florida, and in September, the San Francisco Chronicle did a feature S.F.’s Lisa Geduldig Happily Sharing Comedy Spotlight with A Fresh Talent, Her 90-Year-Old Mother.


    Mark Schiff is a stand up comedian who has headlined at comedy clubs nationwide, including all the major casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and has toured worldwide with Jerry Seinfeld for fifteen years. Mark has specials on HBO and Showtime, has appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" and "Late Night with David Letterman," is featured in Seinfeld’s Netflix special "Jerry Before Seinfeld" and "Live from the Laugh Factory with Dom Irrera," has been a writer and actor on "Mad About You," and has been the featured act at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. He co-edited "I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America’s Top Comics” with Ritch Shydner, is the playwright of "Married People," co-written with Steve Shaffer, which played to sold-out audiences in Los Angeles in 2019, and “The Comic,” which ran in Los Angeles for ten months as well as at the Aspen Comedy Festival, a regular contributor to LA’s Jewish Journal, and the host of the podcast "You Don’t Know Schiff." Mark lives in Los Angeles with his first wife, his fifth dog, and photos of his three sons who have all moved out and have good jobs, yet still manage to call and ask for money. His new book "Why Not? Lessons on Comedy, Courage, and Chutzpah" is available on Amazon.

    Cathy Ladman is one of the country's top comedians. Her show is a self-probing vehicle which draws laughter from exposing personal neuroses. Cathy has not only appeared on "The Tonight Show" nine times but was also the only female comic to appear on the last two of Johnny Carson’s "Tonight Show Anniversary" shows. She has made four appearances thus far on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," did her own HBO "One Night Stand" comedy special, and was awarded the American Comedy Award for Best Female Stand Up Comic. A native New Yorker, now living in Los Angeles, Cathy is an acclaimed TV and film actor. Her film credits include "Charlie Wilson’s War," "The Aristocrats," and "White Oleander." Her TV appearances include "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Modern Family," and "Mad Men." She also appeared regularly on "Politically Incorrect" and Comedy Central's "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist." Besides writing her stand up act and original scripted projects, Cathy was on the writing staffs of "The Caroline Rhea Show" (2002), "Caroline in the City" (different Caroline altogether – 1997), and "Roseanne" (1996). She also wrote an episode of "King of Queens" and other sitcoms. Cathy's comedy focuses on family, growing up, relationships, and real life from a very personal perspective. The Los Angeles Times put it best: "... Ladman has such clever, well-written material and such a breezy, unassuming delivery that it would be easy to overlook just how good she is: Her act seems effortless."

    Orion Levine is a stand up comedian and actor from the Bay Area, currently based in Los Angeles in a room with unfortunate carpeting. Orion was named a New Face at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival (Montreal) in 2022 and a finalist at the San Francisco International Comedy Competition in 2021. Now he performs all over the country. He created and stars in the popular comedy web series titled Scorp Oner, an ongoing graffiti mockumentary based on his own experiences as an aspiring graffiti writer.

    Arline Geduldig (joining by video message from Florida), 91 year young mother of Kung Pao producer, Lisa Geduldig, is a Florida-based budding comedian who took to the (virtual) stage for the first time in July 2020 on her daughter’s monthly Zoom comedy show, Lockdown Comedy; she has been charming audiences on the monthly show ever since. Arline grew up in Brooklyn, raised her kids on Long Island, and retired to Florida, as is Jewish law. She offers her keen observations on aging, hearing aids, and hot young firemen and reminisces about her first kiss. Arline has always been funny, and it was time for her to share her natural humor with her daughter’s audiences. 

    Lisa Geduldig is a San Francisco-based comedian and the creator, producer, and MC of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ — Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant. Before the pandemic, Lisa had been running Comedy Returns to El Rio, a monthly decade-long comedy show at El Rio in San Francisco where her comedy career began 30+ years ago. Since July 2020, she has been producing Lockdown Comedy every 3rd Thursday of the month on Zoom from the underwear drawer in the guest room at her mother’s retirement community home in Florida, where she accidentally got marooned (in Florida, not in the underwear drawer) for 17 months during the pandemic (and became a fan of the Early Bird special). She has been commuting between Florida and San Francisco for the past year or so. Lisa appeared in a Canadian documentary, Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas, which aired on Canadian and European TV in December 2017. She is also a freelance arts publicist in both English and Spanish.


    Over the past 29 years, Kung Pao has raised 10’s of 1000’s of dollars and awareness for countless organizations. In keeping with the Jewish tradition of tzedakah (charity, in Hebrew - tied in with a sense of duty and social responsibility), each year Kung Pao donates partial proceeds to organizations and causes in which we believe.


    San Francisco-Marin Food Bank’s mission is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Before the pandemic, one in five neighbors was at risk of hunger, the pandemic upended thousands of people’s lives and livelihoods forcing more people than ever before to wonder where their next meal would come from. While we see our community slowly recovering, there is no vaccine for hunger. It will take time for those most impacted by the crisis to get back on their feet. The Food Bank continues to serve more than 50,000 households, compared to 32,000 pre-pandemic, and traffic to the find food page on our website is still up four times what it was pre-pandemic. We’ve met this need so far with the help of community partners, volunteers and other supporters. After more than a year responding to the pandemic, we are focused on returning to solutions that work and continuing to implement services developed during the crisis. It will take a collective effort to ensure we can continue to feed our neighbors facing hunger.

    The Center for Reproductive Rights is a global human rights organization of lawyers and advocates who ensure reproductive rights are protected in law as fundamental human rights for the dignity, equality, health, and well-being of every person. Since its founding in 1992, the Center’s game-changing litigation, legal policy, and advocacy work—combined with unparalleled expertise in constitutional, international, and comparative human rights law—has transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies. Through their work across five continents, they have played a critical role in securing legal victories before national courts, United Nations Committees, and regional human rights bodies on reproductive rights issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, maternal health, and safe abortion services, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage.

    Some Random Kung Pao Kosher Comedy Facts:

    • Henny Youngman, The King of One-Liners, headlined in 1997, performing at what ended up being his last show; the 91 year old comedian died two months later in February 1998.
    • A chapter in the book, A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to be Jewish focuses on Kung Pao.
    • One couple, after 25 years, got married at the show by a rabbi they met at their table.
    • One year someone brought a rooster named Vern as an emotional support animal. Really. 

    Calendar Listing:

    WHAT: The 30th Anniversary of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™
    Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a (pop-up) Chinese Restaurant

    With Mark Schiff, Cathy Ladman, Orion Levine, Arline Geduldig (by video), and Lisa Geduldig

    WHEN: Friday, December 23, Saturday, December 24, and Sunday, December 25
    In-person: Dinner: 5pm. Show: 6pm.
    Show (in-person and Livestream): 6pm PST /7pm MST / 8pm CST / 9pm EST

    WHERE: In-person:
    The Kung Pao Room
    Congregation Sherith Israel
    2266 California St. @ Webster
    San Francisco, CA 94115

    AND Virtually (on YouTube Live)

    TICKETS: $30-$100 •


    San Francisco-Marin Food Bank AND The Center for Reproductive Rights

    Disclaimer: JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. AJPA does not endorse and cannot vouch for material distributed by this service.

  • November 18, 2022 8:57 AM | Anonymous

    Hartman Digital releases Heretic in the House, - A Groundbreaking Podcast Dismantling Stereotypes About Orthodox Jews Hosted by Naomi Seidman on November 21st

    For Immediate Release:
    November 18, 2022

    What happens when the biggest thing in your life is the story that you're trying to put behind you? On Heretic in the House, a limited podcast series, host Naomi Seidman takes us on a deeply moving journey with people who have left the Hassidic community, to uncover their hidden stories.

    Seidman is a professor, author, and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow. Raised ultra-Orthodox, she "left the path" for the outside world when she was eighteen:

    "When you leave the Hassidic community, there is a story of leaving and a story of being left behind. People are fascinated by it. On Heretic in the House, we probe why these stories are so captivating for Jews and non-Jews alike and, most importantly, what parts of the story are conspicuously excluded."

    America has a fascination with Hasidic Jews, whether in shows like Netflix's Unorthodox, news reports about Orthodox schools, or memoirs but these popular depictions don't tell the whole story; they just tell the story the public wants to hear. What they hide is a complicated dance between Orthodox Judaism and those who leave it, and a web of stereotypes that trap Hasidim, rebels, and the public alike.

    The Heretic in the House podcast tells powerful stories about real, complex people, family drama, and challenging personal odysseys. It talks about a truth that you won't see in popular depictions: when people leave Hasidic communities, the door almost never completely shuts behind them. Join us on Heretic in The House as we open that door for the first time.

    This podcast is the first in a series of new releases from Hartman Digital, the audio and video production wing of the Shalom Hartman Institute. Included on the slate for later this year; Perfect Jewish Parents podcast, and in early 2023, a new YouTube series, Kosher in America.

    The Shalom Hartman Institute is a leading center of Jewish thought and education, serving Israel and North America. The Institute is committed to the big relevant ideas impacting Jewish communities today and to ensuring that Judaism is a compelling force for good in the 21st century. 

    For all media inquiries and to interview Seidman:

  • November 17, 2022 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Announces Music and Justice

    November 16, 2022



    Aleba Gartner, (212) 206-1450

    Lisa Garibay, (310) 825-4215

    "When King said, 'We must live together as brothers,' people didn't hear it. Now they damn well hear it."
    — Dave Brubeck

    The recently launched



    in partnership with UCLA Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)and the Milken Archive of Jewish Music announces a new series of concerts and dialogue: 

    Music and Justice

    At its heart is a rare performance of the landmark 1969 cantata

    by Dave Brubeck

    Based on Hebrew liturgy, African American spirituals, & Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches, the work is scored for jazz trio, brass ensemble, chorus, tenor, baritone.
    (The tenor role is written in the Cantorial style of the Jewish temple;
    the baritone in the Spiritual style of the African-American church)

    A fighter for civil rights, Brubeck—who was neither Jewish nor Black—wrote 
    Gates of Justice in an effort to unify Blacks & Jews after the assassination of MLK Jr.

    UCLA's 3-day deep dive into The Gates of Justice places it in new context
    through momentous performances and a day-long conference


    In a historic first, Brubeck's sons Darius, Chris, and Dan perform the jazz trio in their father's work

    A choir of Black and Jewish singers from Los Angeles-area churches and synagogues alongside UCLA students and the  award-winning chorus Tonality, led by Alexander Lloyd Blake

    Azi Schwartz, famed cantor of New York's Park Avenue Synagogue, and acclaimed baritone Phillip Bullock are the soloists

    Program also features works by 6 contemporary composers addressing social justice, including a commissioned world premiere by multi-Grammy winner Arturo O'Farrill, entitled Still Waiting... 

    FEBRUARY 26:  Performance at UCLA Royce Hall (to be livestreamed as well)
    FEBRUARY 27:  Day-long conference with musicians & prominent scholars
    FEBRUARY 28:  Performance in a local Black church



    West Coast premiere of Lera Auerbach's Symphony No. 6 (“Vessels of Light”)
    honors Japanese consul Chiune Sugihara, who risked his life
    to save 6,000 Jews in Lithuania during WWII.


    Los Angeles, CA — The newly opened Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert  School of Music announces the launch of MUSIC AND JUSTICE, a series of concerts and dialogue bringing artists and academics together to deep-dive into race and social justice issues in the modern world. 

    The kick-off is a monumental three-day festival, February 26-28, centered around THE GATES OF JUSTICE, jazz legend Dave Brubeck’s rarely presented large-scale sacred composition. In the liner notes to the recording that came out in 1970 on Decca Records (now out of print), Brubeck wrote: "Concentrating on the historic and spiritual parallels of Jews and American blacks, I hoped through the juxtaposition and amalgamation of a variety of musical styles to construct a bridge upon which the universal theme of brotherhood could be communicated."

    A historic performance of The Gates of Justice takes place Sunday, February 26 at 4:00 p.m. in Royce Hall on the UCLA campus, with Brubeck's sons as the accompanying jazz trio for the first time ever. The balance of the program features six socially conscious works by contemporary composers, including a world premiere by the great Arturo O'Farrill. A second performance of this entire program takes place at a local Black church in Los Angeles, Holman United Methodist Church, on Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m.. And on Monday, February 27, a daylong public conference features prominent scholars and experts exploring the historical and cultural connections of Black and Jewish communities in the United States, intimate analyses of Brubeck’s Gates of Justice, and the contemporary relevance of music to social justice. 

    Brubeck composed Gates of Justice in the aftermath of the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was commissioned by the umbrella organization of America's Reform Judaism movement specifically to address increasing tensions between the Jewish and African American communities. But to Dave and his wife Iola Brubeck (Iola composed lyrics for Gates and compiled a textual tapestry of biblical and Hebrew liturgical excerpts, quotes from Dr. King’s speeches and the Jewish sage, Hillel, and songs from African American spirituals), the work had a more universal message concerning "the brotherhood of man." Social justice was a key part of Brubeck's moral core. 

    In the words of Mark  Kligman, director of the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience: “Through music, dialogue and the exchange of ideas, Music and Justice will demonstrate how the Milken Center engages with important issues and aligns with the aspirations of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music for scholarship and performance at the highest level. Brubeck’s Gates of Justice shows a creative and inspiring response to trauma. There is no better time than now to reintroduce the world to Brubeck’s composition as a means for racial reconciliation and national healing. Our performances will provide students and professionals a unique experience to musically express the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam [repairing the world].”

    Eileen Strempel, inaugural dean of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, describes Gates of Justice as "a work of magical musical beauty that by its sheer compelling artistry rivets the listener into the journey of being a better version of ourselves both as individuals and as a country. This work resonates with our time; its struggles and inspiration should not be missed."

    In a historic first, the jazz trio performing Gates of Justice will be Brubeck’s sons Darius Brubeck (piano), Chris Brubeck (bass), and Dan Brubeck (drums). The three perform regularly as Brubecks Play Brubeck, but this marks the first time they come together to play Gates. Joining them will be UCLA students, professional musicians, and accomplished soloists under the direction of Neal Stulberg, director of orchestral studies and professor of conducting at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. 

    Phillip K. Bullock is the baritone soloist in Gates. Equally at home in opera, gospel, and pop music, Bullock was heralded in Opera News for his “appealingly suave baritone” and "strong presence." A champion of new music, he most recently premiered two roles in the critically acclaimed new opera Castor & Patience by Gregory Spears and Tracy K. Smith. Bullock will be joined by Azi Schwartz, senior cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue in New York. Schwartz is a world-renowned singer and recording artist whose music reaches both Jewish and interfaith audiences internationally.

    A remarkable choir joins the soloists on stage. It combines singers from local African-American churches, synagogues, UCLA, and Tonality, the award-winning vocal ensemble noted for its adventurous, socially conscious programming and “open-hearted singing.” Under the direction of founder Dr. Alexander Lloyd Blake, Tonality is dedicated to representing the diverse cultures of Los Angeles. Both the LA Times and the NYT have taken note of Blake's work in anti-racism within classical music.

    Juxtaposed with The Gates of Justice will be six works by contemporary composers addressing issues of social justice, including two fascinating world premieres: Still Waiting... by six-time Grammy winner and UCLA professor of music Arturo O’Farrill, based on the promises of civil rights; and Dear Freedom Riders by composer/singer/pianist/conductor Diane White-Clayton, written for 13 UCLA student singers who symbolize the 1st 1961 group of 13 Freedom Riders. Vocal works by Joel ThompsonJared JenkinsNick Strimpleand Gerald Cohen round out the program. 

    A pre-concert lecture at 2:30 p.m. features a discussion with composer, teacher and musician Darius Brubeck, and Wall Street Journal music critic and culture reporter Larry Blumenfeld. Darius, the oldest son of Dave Brubeck (named after the French Jewish composer Darius Milhaud, Brubeck's teacher at Mills College), is an educator who initiated the first Jazz Studies Degree offered by an African university, and currently tours with the London-based Darius Brubeck Quartet, whose album Live in Poland was heralded by Downbeat Magazine as one of the best in 2020.

    At the conference on February 27, the keynote address will be given by Dwight Andrews, professor of music theory and African American music at Emory University. Andrews is a composer, musician, educator, and minister whose professional credits include compositions for film and television and playing on over two dozen jazz and new music albums. He has held distinguished professorships at Yale, Harvard, and Emory University and is currently writing a book about Black music and race.

    WATCH: Teaser for The Gates of Justice at UCLA

    *   *   *

    Launched in 2020, the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience (UCLA MAJE) is the first permanent academic home for the study of the music of the American Jewish experience. UCLA MAJE was established by a generous gift of $6.75 million from the Lowell Milken Family Foundation. Housed in The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, UCLA MAJE fosters artistic creativity, scholarship, performance, and other cultural expressions. UCLA MAJE is a natural outgrowth of the Milken Archive of Jewish Music, established in 1990 to record, preserve, and disseminate music inspired by over 350 years of Jewish life in the U.S. The opening of the center coincided with the Brubeck centennial and the 50th anniversary of Gates of Justice.

    Milken, a graduate of UCLA School of Law, is an international businessman and philanthropist who chairs National Reality, the largest property owner of early childhood centers in the US, and the London-based Heron International, a worldwide leader in property development. Milken is known for his philanthropy in education, music, and design. His previous giving established the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law, along with the Lowell Milken Family Centennial Scholars Endowed Scholarship Fund for student-athletes.

    “Shaped by Jews from every corner of the globe, who absorbed their host cultures while retaining their Jewish heritage, the archive is as diverse and beautiful as America itself,” Milken said. “From the outset, our vision was to create a living archive, making education central to our mission. The partnership with The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music positions the new center as a global leader in the field of music of the American Jewish experience.”

    For further information, press tickets, photos, and to arrange interviews,
    please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or

    Click here to view the full release.

  • November 17, 2022 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    Tal Becker, Legal Adviser to the Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a Not-To-Be-Missed Conversation about Israel and the Jewish People

    Boston, Massachusetts – On November 17, The Shalom Hartman Institute hosts Tal Becker, at Temple Emanuel in Newton, MA where he will explore the role Israel plays in the spiritual, physical, and psychological development of the Jewish people today.   

    Becker, Legal Adviser of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Senior Fellow at the Hartman Kogod Research Center states, 

    “Israel has played many different roles throughout Jewish history. In the twentieth century, Jews looked to Israel to make them whole and guarantee survival. As we come to terms with a new era of Jewish power and Jewish vulnerability, what role does Israel play in the development of the Jewish people today?” 

    He answers this question and more at the inaugural event for Hartman’s newly formed regional Boston office.  

    According to Rabbi Emily Goldberg Winer, who heads Hartman’s Boston presence, the decision to expand into this region, Hartman’s seventh in North America, came from a need for more in-depth Jewish programming and engagement in this vibrant, diverse community,  

    “The Boston Jewish community feels simultaneously robust and tight-knit. Movers and innovators are creating real change in our communal discourse here, and I feel so humbled to be a part of it.”  

    The Shalom Hartman Institute, the leading center of applied Jewish thought and education serving Israel and North America is partnering with Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and Spark CJP to host this event. 

    Rabbi Marc Baker, President, and CEO, CJP shared: 

    “We are excited to partner with the Shalom Hartman Institute as we invest in a deeply engaged Jewish community and a vibrant, creative, Jewish future. Together, we will inspire courageous leaders who find meaning and strength in the relevance and depth of our Jewish tradition; and we will ensure that dynamic Jewish ideas empower our diverse, passionate community to co-create our future and to wrestle with the most pressing issues of our time - including Jewish Peoplehood, Zionism, democracy, and pluralism.” 

    Thursday’s inaugural event marks the Institute’s long-lasting commitment to the Boston community to engage in in-depth learning across a variety of settings and modalities.  

    For all media inquiries contact:

    Rabbi Emily Goldberg Winer: or (954) 980-0401. 

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