A room full of UJA supporters will get a special, funny treat this summer, when Toronto native Howie Mandel returns home—and back to his stand-up roots—for the launch of the United Jewish Appeal’s Campaign 2014.
The setting should be a real flashback for the comic and “America’s Got Talent” judge, who began his career performing in front of an audience of Canadian Jews. At his bar mitzvah, naturally. “My first act was my Haftorah, which I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t write,” he said.
Seriously, though, Mandel is a great fit for this event. He’s proud of his Jewish heritage and speaks warmly of Israel, which he visited a few years ago.
“When I landed in Israel, I immediately felt like this is where I was supposed to be,” he said. “Israel stands for so much more than just Judaism. It is the epitome of everything that North America and much of the world strives to be in terms of democracy and freedom. Israel is this little pit bull surrounded by her enemies, and yet, it is strong enough to not only hold its own, but to flourish.”
For Canadians out there interested in a night of laughing and giving, the event will take place Monday, August 19 at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle. Tickets are available online at www.ujaevents.com/registration/howie.