Listen to Avi Liberman, stand up comic, screenwriter and actor as he speaks about being the founder of “Comedy for Koby” on BITE SIZE with Yoni Pollak.
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Comedy for Koby has become a tradition in Israel and a hot ticket to get for English speakers who like to have a good laugh. The event was the brainchild of Avi Liberman and supports the Koby Mandell Foundation. After their son Koby and his friend Yosef were killed in a terrorist attack at the age of 13, Sherri & Seth Mandell chose to honor their memory by bringing laughter and fun to kids who have been victims of terror. It’s a heavy mission but they do it with grace and charm!
Avi Liberman, a stand up comedian from Los Angeles has partnered with them to bring some of the best US comedic talents to Israel. For many of the comedians it’s their first trip to the HolyLand. The trips leave very important impressions on the comedians and often their experiences get incorporated into their acts.
This past December, Avi brought Tom Rhodes, Kira Soltanovich and Alex Thomas Jr. Each comedian had their own experience here.
- Tom brought his 80 year old Christian mother and toured many of the Christian sites across the country. He joked about getting points for fulfilling one of his mother’s lifelong dreams – if you follow him on instagram you can see his journey in pictures.
- Kira, a Russian Jew has been to Israel before but she knew how to relate to the audience who were mostly ex-pats looking to laugh at themselves as Americans or as new Israelis. Her mother and her Russian heritage were a big part of her act and she kept the crowds roaring. She didn’t realize she struck gold at the Jerusalem show when she made fun of a group of students from “the Baka”.
- Alex Thomas Jr was the most fun to follow on instagram because he came to Israel for some family #funinjerusalem. Traveling with his wife, two kids and mother in law they visited Christian sites, toured Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and had such a great time. Alex may even continue wearing a “kippa” when he goes back to the US.
When the comedians’ Israel pictures show up in their Christmas instagram feed with positive messages about their time in Israel – then you know that Avi Liberman is not just a comedian but he has also accomplished an important hasbara mission by creating new Ambassadors of Israel who will bring their stories back home with them.
The Comedy for Koby show happens twice a year – once in the Fall and once in the Spring. Shows take place in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Raanana, Beit Shemesh, Modiin, and Gush Etzion. Depending on the location, the show has its own flavor. The comedians quickly learn that the vibe of the audience in Tel Aviv is different than the vibe of the audience in Gush Etzion.
All the proceeds from the show go to the Koby Mandell Foundation to provide healing and fun programs for families struck by terrorism including summer camps, vacation trips and other programs to help bring fun back into the lives of bereaved mothers, fathers, and children.
This year in memory of Koby’s 18th Yarzheit The Koby Mandell Foundation will be writing a Sefer Torah in his memory. To be part of this special project “Torah For Koby” click here…
Avi has brought more than 50 comedians to Israel on these special trips including Brian Regan, Jeffrey Ross, Craig Robinson, Alonzo Bodden… What makes it so special is that every show is unique – so even if you have seen one, you can always return and enjoy the next one!
For info about upcoming shows check out the Comedy for Koby website or if you would like to hire Avi for your synagogue/school event – he loves to travel – contact Avi Liberman
*Photo Credit – Yissachar Ruas
The show is produced by Dena & Jeremy Wimpheimer, the power couple behind DJW Productions