Shabbat Service and Cultural Program
Our Shabbat service.
The Other Eddie Cantor: National Activist and Humanitarian, by Brian Gari
Eddie Cantor (1892-1964) was one of the most popular, successful entertainers in Vaudeville, Broadway, movies, radio and early TV. His big round eyes were responsible for his nickname, Banjo Eyes. With a fast patter of jokes, songs and abundant energy he cheered up a nation during The Great Depression, and soothed a worried America during WWII. Born Isidore Iskowitz on the Lower East Side, and raised by his grandmother, the entertainer lived a life of social action. The work he is best known for involved promoting a cure for Polio, the virus of dread in the first part of the 20th century. It was Cantor who named The March of Dimes to defeat polio by encouraging the public to send in 10 cent coins, dimes to help eradicate the childhood disease. Among his other charitable work was raising funds to help the new nation of Israel. Cantor stood up to anti-Semites and promoted tolerance, dignity and equality for all through years of social action. In today’s words Cantor was an activist, and most definitely, a mensch.
In our program, Cantor’s grandson, Brian Gari, a musician in his own right, will examine the man, entertainer and humanitarian, on the 55th anniversary of his death. Gari has written almost 900 songs over a 50 year musical career. He has produced CDs and DVDs about his grandfather and is currently writing a musical about him. In CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE CELEBRITY KIND (Bear Manor Media) Gari reminisces about his interactions with over 30 celebrities.
This program will be moderated by TCC member Peter Mones.
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