Comedian Yisrael Campbell: A tale of three conversions – Journeys


Orthodox Jewish comedian Yisrael Campbell was born in Philadelphia in 1963. Originally named Christopher, he was raised a Catholic, and decided to convert to Judaism after a lengthy spiritual search that began when he was recovering from a drug and alcohol addiction at the age of 16.

This decision took him on a long journey, during which he underwent two more conversions: From Reform to Conservative, and finally from Conservative to Orthodox.

His standup comedy show, ‘Circumcise Me,’ debuted in New York in 2009, where it ran five to six times a week for several months at the Bleecker Street Theatre. Most recently, it featured at this summer’s Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Campbell joins host Rogel Alpher to discuss his remarkable and unconventional life story, accompanied, as always, by a dash of humor.


Episode 2 of Yisrael Campbell’s web series, ‘The Times of Yisrael,’ 2013.


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John Prine – That’s The Way That The World Goes Round
Louis Armstrong – Struttin’ With Some BBQ
Rufus Wainwright & Kate McGarigle – Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Neshama Carlebach – Return Again


Photo by Carol Rosegg.

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