A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Food Bank

Top from left, Katie Klein and T.J.Shanoff of The Shalom Collaboration, Chicago, benefit evening masters of ceremonies, B’nai Jeshurun Congregation men’s club entertainment coordinator Ed Weinstein and Mitch Lauer, B’nai Jeshurun Congregation programming vice president. 

Synagogue comedy night raises funds for food banks across the country

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Food Bank” comedy benefit Feb. 13 raised more than $10,750 for three Northeast Ohio food banks. The program was presented by the men’s club of B’nai Jeshurun Congregation in Pepper Pike. The Cleveland Chesed Center, the Cleveland Kosher Food Pantry and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank were the recipients of those funds, which came from online registration and individual contributions.

Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus was also a partner on the program.

More than 700 people on 415 virtual Zoom screens from Ohio and 19 other states enjoyed nearly an hour-and-a-half of performances by comics from across the nation to raise funds for 14 food banks nationwide. Other food banks receiving funds were: Mid-Ohio Foodbank in Grove City, Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry in Cincinnati, Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, San Antonio Food Bank, Los Angeles Kosher Food Pantry, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Greater Chicago Food Depository, The ARK: Chicago Kosher Food Pantry and Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry of St. Louis.

“When your team can gather talent, entertain 700 people looking for something safe to do during a pandemic and raise significant support for food banks around the country, I’d call that success,” Jerry Brodsky, B’nai Jeshurun men’s club president, said in a news release.

The show featured comedy sets by Cleveland’s Josh Kramer, Chicago’s Sy Jacobs, and T.J. Shanoff and Katie Klein of The Shalom Collaboration; New York City’s Ester Steinberg and Ali Kolbert; Louisville, Ky.’s Mark Klein and Washington, D.C.’s Ian Bardenstein.

Ed Weinstein, entertainment coordinator for the event, said in the release, “Our committee members have been receiving very positive feedback from the patrons. We are thankful to the performers, sponsors and our ‘designated laugher’ crew, which made Zoom stand-up comedy possible.”

The Cleveland Jewish News was a media partner of the event.

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