South Africa’s funniest Jew to bring laughs to Israel

Leading Jewish, Xhosa-speaking comedian, Nik Rabinowitz, is looking forward to performing his one-man show in support of Beit Issie Shapiro.

By JORDYN SCHWERSKY
October 25, 2014 21:50
2 minute read.
South African comedian Nik Rabinowitz

South African comedian Nik Rabinowitz. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Africa’s funniest Jew is coming to Israel for one night only.

On October 26, South African comedian and author Nik Rabinowitz will perform a sold-out show in Ra’anana to benefit Beit Issie Shapiro.

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The 38-year-old Rabinowitz lives in Cape Town where he currently presents the satirical radio show The Week that Wasn’t. He previously hosted the Coca-Cola Megamillions Gameshow on SABC and has also made guest appearances on several comedy shows, including the British panel show Mock the Week. His book, South Africa: Long Walk to a Free Ride, was published in early 2012.

Rabinowitz has been a comedian his whole life, and at this point, comedy is second nature to him.

“I started just after birth,” he said, “when I peed in the mohel’s eye at my bris.”

Rabinowitz’s comedy is more than empty jokes, though; it has substance. He uses it to address issues that society tends to shy away from, and that’s why he’s doing a show specifically for Beit Issie Shapiro.

“Comedy is most often about subverting the serious,” Rabinowitz said. “Being a part of society means you will be laughed at, so it helps if you can learn to laugh at yourself first – takes the sting out. That’s the role comedy has to play in the inclusion of people with disabilities.”

Beit Issie Shapiro is Israel’s leading organization that develops and provides innovative therapies and services for children with disabilities and their families. It also works to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in society. All proceeds from Rabinowitz’s sold-out show will go to Beit Issie Shapiro.

“What a treat for us to have Africa’s Funniest Jew, Nik Rabinowitz, perform a one-night-only show for Beit Issie Shapiro here in Israel,” Beit Issie Shapiro’s Andi Saitowitz said.

“With a sold-out event, we are very proud to share significant core values with Nik of bringing laughter, smiles and joy to so many lives.”

Just a few of Beit Issie Shapiro’s innovations include researching the benefits of iPads in therapy in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation; using, for the first time, iPads in hydrotherapy; bringing Snoezelen (multi-sensory environment) to Israel; and developing Israel’s first inclusive and accessible playground for children with and without disabilities to be able to play together.

“I have been looking forward to doing something in support of the children and families who benefit from the extraordinary service Beit Issie provides,” Rabinowitz said, “and to performing for some of my fellow South Africans, many of whom moved to Israel to feel safe...ha ha! I want the expats who are there to think about the fact that they left South Africa to avoid a life of refuge from violence... ha! And everyone else – may they float away joyously into the night.”


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