The Sisterhood and Brotherhood of Temple Shalom will co-host an exciting virtual evening filled with comedy, drama, music, auctions and food. Pha-Roast: A Joint Hood Production, not historically accurate evening lampooning Pharaoh will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Sunday, April 11. Special guest performances include not only Temple Shalom’s talented Rabbi Andrew Paley and Cantor Devorah Avery, but also Cantor Don Croll from Congregation Beth El Binah as the Pharaoh, Rabbi Robert Haas from Congregation Mickve Israel as Moses, Reverend Dr. Neil G. Thomas from Cathedral of Hope as Dr. Anthony Ouchy, the talented musician/singer Goga and other special guest appearances.
Rabbi Haas is excited to be “back” in Dallas at the congregation where his career as a rabbi began. Congregation Emanu El in Houston followed and in 2012, after spending a year in Africa volunteering with American Jewish World Service, he moved to Savannah, Georgia, to become the 14th spiritual leader of Congregation Mickve Israel. He is married to April and they have two beautiful children.
A native of McAllen, Rabbi Haas received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin and became an elementary school teacher in Houston. He then moved to Arad, Israel to participate in the W. U. J. S. Institute, before entering Hebrew Union College for rabbinical school, first in Jerusalem then in Los Angeles.
In September, the Jewish Herald Voice reported, “Rabbi Haas has always enjoyed using humor in his Shabbat and High Holy Days sermons. A few years ago, when he was working on jokes to present during the High Holy Days, he was invited to do a stand-up comedy routine for a community fundraiser. ‘I decided I would go to an open mic to practice some of my sermon jokes,’ he said. When he found people laughing with him, even outside the synagogue, he decided to cultivate his act.
“Rabbi Haas is no stranger to Jewish humor, having taught several adult education classes on the topic. He brings with him the tradition of old-time “Borsht Belt” comedians, along with laughter about modern times.
“‘There is enough in our world that we must take seriously,’ said the rabbi, who volunteered in Africa for American World Jewish Service before relocating to Georgia. ‘We need to take time out for laughter. It is a great way to keep our lives in balance and reduce stress. You know, the Psalms teach us, ‘He who sits in the heavens laughs.’
‘In 2013, Rabbi Haas was featured on a TED Talk entitled ‘Finding Happiness through Humor.’ He also has been recognized for his work in building tolerance and understanding with interfaith groups in Savannah.’
The Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Temple Shalom actively support scholarships for camp programs, food banks, social action programs, community service activities, assistance with domestic abuse and the support of Temple Shalom. “Sip and Nosh” baskets are available to purchase for $25. They are being supplied by Eetz, a locally owned business dedicated to employing caterers, the pickup of daily food rescues from local businesses that would otherwise go to waste and then distributed throughout the DFW area and dedicating 20% of their proceeds to feeding the homeless.
The event is open to the community and ticket prices are $18 for individuals and $36 for a household to receive an online link. Tickets and “Sip and Nosh” baskets can be purchased at http://pharoast.givesmart.com. Visit TempleShalomdallas.Org for more information.