URI Hillel’s ‘J-Time’ celebration to feature comedian Joel Chasnoff

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Jewish comedian, author and former IDF combat soldier Joel Chasnoff is bringing his comedy show “Israel – What’s the Story?” to the University of Rhode Island’s Hillel on Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m.

Chasnoff’s appearance is the culmination of “J-Time: #GetYourJewOn!,” a two-week commemoration and celebration of Jewish life that runs from Yom Ha-Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) to Yom Ha-Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day).

Beginning with the annual planting of the “Field of Flags,” on April 9, which commemorates victims of the Holocaust with a striking visual display, “J-Time” will include film screenings (“The Last Palmachnik” on April 16 and “Ida” on April 18), exhibits, music, a Day of Good Deeds (April 15) and an outdoor Yom Ha-Atzmaut festival (April 19).

In addition to Chasnoff’s performance on April 23, artist Alexandra Broches will speak at 4:30 that afternoon about her photography exhibit, “Letters and Pictures from a Box,” which will be on display at Hillel throughout J-Time. 

Chasnoff first appeared at URI Hillel at the dedication weekend of the Norman M. Fain Hillel Center, in 2010, and is returning to celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday. Raised in Chicago, and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Chasnoff enlisted in the Israeli Defense Forces after graduation. That experience provided a wealth of material for his comedic memoir, “The 188th Crybaby Regime.” He now performs and teaches improv, entertaining audiences all over the world. Chasnoff has performed at more than 1,000 Jewish events in North America and Europe, and has appeared on Israeli late-night TV.

“Israel – What’s the Story?” uses comedy and characters to create a safe place for healthy discussion about Israel. Portraying different individuals, each with different political opinions and backgrounds, Chasnoff asks the audience, “What does it mean to be Zionist today?” Audience participation is highly encouraged during the show.

The event is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the Office of Community, Equity and Diversity, and the URI Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, with support from a Hillel International Minienu Grant, the Israel Campus Coalition and the Israel Campus Roundtable.

A complete schedule of J-Time events can be found on the URI Hillel website (urihillel.org).

URI Hillel is located at 6 Fraternity Circle, Kingston. For more information about this and other J-Time events, contact Yaniv Havusha at yaniv_havusha@uri.edu or 401-874-2740.

Submitted by URI Hillel