Comedians to entertain at JCC gala on Nov. 9

On Saturday, November 9, the JCC will hold its annual fund-raising gala, “An Evening at the JCC Comedy Café,” featuring the Stand Up for Peace comedy show starring Scott Blakeman and Eman El-Husseini.
The doors will open at 7 pm and the event will include a light dinner, drinks, the show, dancing and dessert. Tickets to attend the gala are $65 per person, and individuals, families and businesses are being sought to sponsor the evening. Sponsorships can be purchased at the following levels: Bronze at $250 includes two tickets, Silver at $500 includes four tickets and Gold at $1,000 includes eight tickets. Sponsors will be listed in the evening’s program.
Proceeds from the event will go toward helping families in need of scholarship assistance, as well as general program support for the JCC’s daycare, after school care, camp, youth recreation leagues, aquatics and sports programming.
Stand Up for Peace was created by Jewish-American comic Blakeman and Muslim-American comic Dean Obeidallah as a way of bringing Arab and Jewish-Americans together through comedy to help encourage a dialogue in support of a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as well as foster understanding between Arab and Jewish-Americans.
The two comics live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and one day, in 2002, they bumped into each other on a crosstown bus and began talking. As their bus slowly crawled across the city, they hatched a plan to do a one-off show touting the fact they were a Muslim and a Jew performing together.
“At a time when we are undergoing one of the most stressful periods in our country in recent history, what could be more therapeutic than coming together for an evening to embrace our differences through the healing power of humor,” said Sheryl Brumer, JCC Executive director.
Blakeman is “the top political comedian working in New York today” (NBC) and “an astute, funny political observer” (The New York Times). He performs his political humor from a liberal Jewish point of view around the world, including at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam and the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. He is an original member of “Laughing Liberally,” a New York based political comedy show. Blakeman was featured on MSNBC’s live coverage of the 2016 White House Correspondents Dinner. He has made more than 40 national television appearances, including Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn,” and was the warm-up comedian for “Late Show with David Letterman” on CBS. He appears regularly at New York’s 92nd Street Y, where he has hosted live interviews with comedians Robert Klein, Lewis Black, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.
El-Husseni is a Canadian, Palestinian, Muslim, lesbian who is married to a Jewish woman. She describes her life as a current event – from the Muslim ban to marriage equality, she says it’s all happening and it’s happening to her. Since her comedy debut in 2006, El-Husseini has racked up an “impressive list” of credits. Traveling across Canada, the U.S and the Middle East, she covers a wide range of topics.
When asked what the focus of her stand-up is, El-Husseini replied by saying, “Bringing Jews and Muslims together to celebrate what we have in common: feeling left out at Christmas, circumcision and not being as popular as our food.”
El-Husseini has been featured in Canadian newspapers such as The National Post, The Toronto Star and The Montreal Gazette. While residing in Canada, she appeared regularly on radio stations throughout the country and her TV credits include a half hour comedy special on CTV, Comedy Network and the iChannel.
El-Husseni has opened for Patton Oswalt and recorded her first comedy album, “Unveiled,” which can be heard regularly on SiriusXM Radio. She currently lives with her wife in New York City.
For more information regarding the event, tickets or sponsorships, contact the JCC at 724-2417 or go to its website, www.binghamtonjcc.org.