Temple Emanu-El in San Jose apparently thinks that potato pancakes are more easily digested with a dollop of comedy.
To that end, the synagogue will be offering its seventh annual “Latkes and Laughs” on Sunday, Dec. 2 with a lineup that includes comedy, singing and, of course, latkes with the requisite fixins. Comedian Jeff Applebaum will perform and introduce the other entertainers: Sandy Hackett, Matt Lieb and Lisa Dawn Miller. Applying sour cream and/or applesauce to your latkes will be up to you.
Applebaum, a New York transplant to California, has performed on the same bill with comic legends such as Robin Williams and Dana Carvey, and he’s been a frequent guest on S.F. radio station KGO. He played Joey Bishop in the musical tribute “The Rat Pack Is Back” in San Francisco, Chicago and Las Vegas, and also appeared in the 2006 Will Smith movie “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
Applebaum said he and longtime Emanu-El member Carol Hoffman “spearheaded this some eight years ago,” adding that “it’s been a wonderful event for the temple and South Bay Jewish community.” The tagline for the event is “Comedy and potato pancakes: Who doesn’t love both?”
Hackett and Lieb are the other two comedians on the bill. Hackett, the son of the late comedian Buddy Hackett, has “performed in some of the largest kibbutzes in the world,” according to his website. Lieb, a writer and actor from Los Angeles, was named one of the top 11 comedians in the Bay Area by SFist in 2016.
The musical portion of the event will be handled by Miller, a producer, singer and songwriter who “spent the first part of her life as a successful business executive,” according to her website; she was a vice president of investments at Morgan Stanley.
The event, said to be appropriate for ages 13 and older, will include a celebration of the first night of Hanukkah — candles and menorahs provided. Doors are scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. with the show starting one hour later. Child care for children ages 2 to 12 is available for a small cost. The latke dinner is included in the ticket price, and organizers said tickets are selling fast.