What Should A Rabbi Drive II: Test Drive

me and the acuraVanity Fair car columnist Brett Berk made it to LA, and we followed up on the original story, of my car dilemma. Read the first article, if you haven’t, in order for this one to make even more sense. I ended up riding in the Acura, a Cadillac, and the new Buick Lacrosse. The Lacrosse is the best GM car I ever drove. Read below for more:

What Should a Rabbi Drive II: Test Ride Edition
by Brett Berk

You should remember my high school friend Rabbi Yonah Bo

okstein from this recent piece where you, my delicious readers, voted him in the direction of some new wheels. Your top picks, in case you’ve forgotten, were a Cadillac and an Acura. Since I was in L.A the other week, where Mr. Seymour Torah resides, I contacted the folks from these brands, did a Hebe-gathering drive-by, and hit the test-ride circuit with the Rebbe for a little U.S. vs Japan playoff.

Our first stop was a kosher restaurant in what Yonah refers to as the ’Chood—the Jewy West Side neighborhood where he lives. Since it was Sukkot, a holiday meant to “celebrate” our peoples’ four decades of wandering in the desert, we ate out in the sun inside a flimsy hut. Joining us for lunch was John Kiewicz, Acura’s p.r. mensch, and he brought his full-on Aleph-game: an RL for us to drive, a corporate card to buy our meal, and a Letterman-style Rabbi-Ride Top 10 list, including gems like “the RL’s active noise cancellation will allow the Rabbi to better hear advice from his back-seat-sitting mother-in-law”. Yonah was plotzing before we even got behind the wheel.

My wedding speech at Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s wedding

interI wish the newly-wed couple mazal and bracha. And while I was not asked to perform the wedding (the venerable Rabbi Haskel Lookstein had that honor) I figured that I would pen a small speech that could have been said under the giant chuppah:

Ivanka and Jared we are proud to be with you today as you join together as husband and wife. The chuppah that we stand under today is open on all sides. Some say that this reminds a couple that their home should be open to guests as the home of the first Jewish couple, Abraham and Sarah. It’s a beautiful custom that I hope you will follow.

Today, an open chuppah also reminds us that we live in a society that is transparent, open source, one click away from Twitter or Facebook.

With the world’s media focused on the life you choose to live, you are in a perfect position to bring renewal and meaning to the Jewish community. You can celebrate Jewish holidays and values while inspiring the world. Make a Chanukah party benefiting orphans, create a Tu B’Shvat Seder with a local organic farm, build shelters for the homeless before Sukkot. Create a Yom Hatzmaut event that let’s us feel what a miracle it is to have a Jewish state.

Ivanka and Jared – your love and devotion to each other will be infused with holiness and blessing, and you and your childrens’ lives imbued with meaning and fulfillment, by weaving Judaism into the fabric of your new life. May you be blessed to build a faithful Jewish home that inspires the Jewish people and the world.

Triumph and the singing Rabbis

They posted the full, uncut skit from the telethon! Enjoy!

Ride for Hunger and the Planet

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(Los Angeles, 10/12/09) — What do you get when you mix the New Moon, Jews, Bikes and Tikkun Olam?

On Sunday, Oct. 18th, 2009, JconnectLA, in support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’s “Fed Up With Hunger” campaign, and in collaboration with corporate sponsors and bike enthusiast groups, is organizing a Jewish community bike ride to raise awareness and funds for hunger and environmental causes.

As dawn breaks on the New Jewish month of Cheshvan, Oct. 18, a hundred riders will head off into the morning mist of the Santa Monica wilderness, traversing valleys and mountains and down along the picturesque Malibu coast. A team of riding connoisseurs active in the LA cycling community crafted the New Moon Century to be accessible to beginners, intermediate and advanced cyclists, providing a perfect balance of terrain and aesthetic delight.

This 100-mile bike ride is open to all ages and attendees are recommended to have at least a minimum level of road cycling experience. The course is unique, but challenging, with 6,500 feet of climbing over the 100 miles. There is also an intermediate metric century 100km (62 miles) route, and for beginning riders there is a 36-mile out and back route.

The New Moon Century ride is a kosher/vegetarian cycling event, the first of its kind in Los Angeles, with a kosher-vegetarian lunch will be served at the halfway point in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains.

Organizers are grateful to corporate sponsors Clif Bar Energy Bars, Tofurky, and Ethridge Organics to help keep the riders in great physical shape on this demanding ride. The LA Bike Coalition and team Swarm! have helped this new ride get off the ground, providing support, logistics, volunteers and know-how.

New Moon is a fully supported ride with rest stops stocked with food and water dotted throughout the course. Organizers have SAG vehicles patrolling the course to help with any mechanical needs, as well as transportation to the finish line for those who need it.

Ride cost is $50 and pre-registration is open online until Oct. 15th. Riders that pre-register will be entered into a raffle for prizes donated by local bike shops. On-site registration on the morning of the ride opens at 6:30 am at the Ride Start in Deerhill Park, 6700 Doubletree Rd. Oak Park, CA. 91377.

Proceeds from the ride will benefit the LA Federation’s Fed Up With Hunger Campaign to end hunger in Los Angeles County this year, and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization committed to preserving and protecting ecosystems, habitats and endangered species.

• For more information on the bike ride please contact Sasha – Ride Director: sashaedge@gmail.com
• For media and press inquiries please contact Eric Rosen: eric@jconnectla.com
• For donations, information, and general ride info please visit: www.NewMoonCentury.com

About Jconnect
Jconnect Inc is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to promoting community, unity and Jewish connectivity, and runs JconnectLA, Jewlicious Festivals, New Moon Bike Ride, Jewish Film Competition, and other projects. JconnectLA is the premier Jewish experience organization for young professionals in LA offering 60 events annually that reach over 6,000 young Jews. Jewlicious Festival is America’s largest annual gathering of Jewish students and young professionals with 1,000 participants in 2009. Jconnect is an independent, grass-roots organization, not affiliated with any movement or parent organization.
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