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Jewish comedian helps rabbis nail delivery on High Holidays services

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(JTA) — When the pandemic began, Alex Edelman was in the middle of a standup comedy tour of the United Kingdom, where he was performing a show based on his experience crashing a neo-Nazi meetup in Manhattan.

Six months later, the 31-year-old comedian was coaching rabbis about how to add humor and levity to their online High Holidays programming.

“It’s been weird because my eyeball as someone who views TV and programming has become useful religiously, which is really strange,” Edelman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “You never think, ‘I watch a lot of TV. That will really equip me to tell a rabbi how Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur should go. But it does.”

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Edelman is among a crop of up-and-coming Jewish performers whose careers have been upended by the pandemic — and who have made lemonade by applying their craft to building Jewish community.

A native of suburban Boston and graduate of an Orthodox day school there, Edelman was a creator and head writer of “Saturday Night Seder,” the star-studded Passover spectacular that raised more than $3.5 million for the CDC Foundation in April.

“It was a true insane lightning-in-a-bottle moment,” he recalled. “All of us were craving the togetherness of Pesach, and to be able to have that in this time was… just wonderful.”

So when the opportunity arose — brokered in part by Reboot, the........

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