A Rabbi and an Arab Walk Into a Bar…
It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke: A rabbi and an Arab walk onto the stage in a comedy club… But Ahmed Ahmed and Rabbi Bob Alper are professional stand-up comedians who have worked together for 14 years to break barriers between Jews and Arabs around the world - and now, in Israel - through humor.
Ahmed is an Egyptian-born, California-raised comedian and actor. He appeared in “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” (2008) with Adam Sandler and the three seasons of the TBS show “Sullivan & Son” (2012-2014), produced in part by Vince Vaughn.
Alper is a mostly retired Reform rabbi who left the pulpit to pursue a career in comedy in 1986 after working for 14 years as a rabbi and counselor. In 1986, after completing a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary, he placed third in the Jewish Comic of the Year competition.
The unlikely duo paired up in 2001 when Alper’s publicist proposed the idea for Laugh in Peace - the interfaith comedy show in which Jewish Alper and Muslim Ahmed perform separate stand-up routines, and then join one another on stage for a funny and, hopefully, meaningful finale. Since then, they have performed together in about 150 shows on college campuses, and at synagogues, mosques, and comedy clubs across America and internationally. […]