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Festive hope

Howie Mandel, Bob Saget, other celebrities to read Purim story for charity

Bari Weiss, former NYT opinion editor known for writings about anti-Semitism, to also join event raising money for Met Council, a Jewish charity fighting poverty in NYC

Judge Howie Mandel attends the 'America's Got Talent' pre-show red-carpet arrivals at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in New York. (photo credit: AP/Evan Agostini/Invision)
Judge Howie Mandel attends the 'America's Got Talent' pre-show red-carpet arrivals at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in New York. (photo credit: AP/Evan Agostini/Invision)

JTA — A slew of Jewish comedians are teaming up for a Purim event to raise money for the Met Council, a Jewish charity fighting poverty in New York City.

Howie Mandel, Bob Saget, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, Jeff Ross, Judy Gold and others will perform an online Purim spiel, or comic reading of the holiday’s biblical story, on Monday. It will be broadcast here at 8 p.m. eastern time.

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, a puppet character voiced by Jewish comedian Robert Smigel, will join the festivities as well. So will the famed non-Jewish standup comedian Russell Peters and the non-comedian Bari Weiss, the former New York Times opinion editor known for her writings about anti-Semitism.

“The story of Purim is a story of perseverance and hope — just what we need during these dark COVID times,” said Met Council CEO David Greenfield.

Bari Weiss at her desk in The New York Times office in Midtown Manhattan, in 2018. (Josefin Dolsten)

The Purim holiday, which commemorates the saving of the Jews of ancient Persia from the murderous Haman and King Ahasuerus, has traditionally been observed with riotous celebration.

Part of the fun is the spiel, a humorous retelling of the holiday story.

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