The Shmooze

A Hebrew School Dropout's Guide To Religion and Weight Loss

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share

It’s completely appropriate — and not a little ironic — that Dave Konig’s crisis-of-faith monologue, “Hebrew School Dropout,” is opening off-Broadway at the Actor’s Temple Theater, which is also the functioning synagogue known as Congregation Ezrath Israel. “[I] Love the Actors’ Temple,” Konig wrote the Forward in an e-mail. “You know who used to go there? Two of The Three Stooges!”

Konig’s comic confessional — which opens May 19 after previews and a month of New Jersey tryouts — deals with his conflict as a self-described “lousy Jew” who “never fit in with the other Jews who were also lousy Jews… But it didn’t seem to bother them,” as he laments onstage. Not so for Konig, who not only converted to Catholicism, but ended up a de facto spokesman for the Catholic Church, hosting a radio talk show called “The Catholic Channel” on satellite radio.

“God has a particularly strange sense of humor,” Konig wrote. “But two years of working for the Church was enough to send me running back to temple. No knock on Catholicism itself, which brings peace and joy to so many faithful, but… a very wise man — a fellow comedian (I get most of my spiritual guidance from fellow comedians) — once said to me, ‘God made you a Jew for a reason, now it’s up to you to figure out what that reason is.’” That journey provides most of the fodder for “Hebrew School Dropout,” whose complete title reads “Hebrew School Dropout or: How I Converted From Judaism to Catholicism and Back to Judaism AND Lost Those Stubborn Last Ten Pounds!”

A onetime child actor and longtime television personality — he hosted HBO’s R-rated “HardcoreTV” and the Emmy-winning “Subway Q & A” on New York’s Metro TV cable channel – Konig now occupies what the New York Times called “the show biz D-list,” and sounds like he’s having the time of his life exploring his issues in public. “Because I am — you should pardon the expression — a ham, I’m doing a lot of figuring out on stage,” he wrote. “And so far audiences — Jews and Catholics (and Zoroastrians even) — seem to be enjoying the process with me.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.