Rabbis go wild and bring in the money!

By Alyssa Williams,
Oregon Report Author,

The world premiere benefit “Rabbis Gone Wild,” a celebration of the Jewish festival Purim, raised nearly $4,000 for the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School in Portland and is sure to be featured again next year, if not every other year, as the Mini-School’s new fundraiser.   350 people attended this standing-room only event to watch the talents of six local rabbis from three major Jewish movements give comedic duo acts, lead yoga stretches, present a chicken development PowerPoint, and impersonate Elvis (in leather pants). An orthodox rabbi even sang The Ramones hit “I Want to Be Sedated.”

“They were from different stripes of Judaism, making jokes together. It was a very special thing,” said Sarah Liebman, program director of the Portland Florence Melton Adult Mini-School and creator of “Rabbis Gone Wild.”

Purim, commemorating a victory over oppression in the Book of Esther, is a holiday where everything goes “topsy-turvy.” The event allowed people to mix in a way they don’t normally, she said.

Similarly, Liebman commented that the comedic celebration which mixed rabbis from Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jewish movements was appropriate due to the pluralistic, community-based school’s mission to offer adults the opportunity to acquire Jewish literacy in an open environment, emphasizing understanding and the study of different Jewish texts across time.

— Alyssa Williams

For more information on supporting the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School in Portland click here.
For more local news on the Jewish Community visit Oregon Jewish Review.

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