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Yisrael Campbell
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Yisrael Campbell lives in Jerusalem. The journey that led him to The Holy Land began a long time ago in a place far, far away: he was born "Christopher Campbell," raised Catholic and grew up in Philadelphia. He is currently starring in the comedy "Circumcise Me" at The Bleecker Street Theater in New York City that he also wrote.

Although he attended Catholic school as a boy (his aunt was a nun and his mother was in the convent for a while), Chris was destined to leave the Church. As a teenager, his recovery from substance abuse led him to a higher spiritual path, ultimately leading him to Judaism. Twenty five years later he remains sober.

Along the way, Chris studied theater in New York City at Circle in a Square Theater Company and began performing standup comedy. He studied with Nikos Psacharopoulos (Williamstown Theater Festival) and Terese Hayden & Jacqueline Brookes (Actors Studio). As he began telling the story of his recovery and discovery, a unique voice began to emerge in his talks that was at once both familiar and highly original: it was a mixture of traditional storytelling and 'spiritual' comedy.

Chris performed a series of one man shows including Bed Set by Gordy Hoffman, Einstein Was Right and It's Not In Heaven while undergoing his conversions (three in all) to Judaism: first from Catholic to reform, then from reform to conservative and finally from conservative to orthodox. Chris changed his name to Yisrael and moved to Israel.

Yisrael also tours with The Palestinian-Israeli Comedy Tour, a group of comedians bringing awareness to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and seeking peace through comedy. Most recently, a documentary film has captured Yisrael's unique story and chronicles his life in the soon-to-be released film "Circumcise Me."

Blog Entries by Yisrael Campbell

Eating Out of the Trash... It's Not Easy to Be Green.

Posted July 16, 2010 | 11:59:46 (EST)

Well, it finally happened, I ate a sandwich out of a trashcan. It was inevitable really, considering how I've lived my life.

I'm constantly railing against the amount of waste in our society. I try to do my part, I recycle, whenever and wherever I can. Sure my efforts...

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"What to Expect When Your Child is Becoming a Monster"... Now That's a Book I Would Buy!

Posted June 18, 2010 | 11:48:29 (EST)

"What to Expect When Your Child is Becoming a Monster." Now that's a book I would buy!

"Come on guys. We've got to move, Gladys will be waiting." People are grabbing bags and lunches, throwing kippot on the heads of boys running in the opposite direction. My wife and I...

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What Would Jesus Do? Ask the Flight Attendant

Posted June 8, 2010 | 16:15:39 (EST)

Today was one of those days.

I had to fly to San Diego this morning to do a performance. The performance was, in part, to honor my friend Marla who was killed (or as her mother would say, murdered) at the bombing at the Hebrew University. When I was...

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Everything I Need to Know I Learned After Dropping My Kids Off at School This Morning

Posted June 8, 2010 | 16:02:58 (EST)

My wife and I have three children attending the same school. The twins are in kindergarten and the other is in pre-school. This being New York City, the city buses the kindergarteners, but not the preschoolers. So each and every morning I take all three kids to the bus stop,...

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What's Wrong With Starbucks Is Also What's Wrong With America

Posted May 11, 2010 | 16:57:36 (EST)

What's wrong with Starbucks is also what's wrong with America.

Example one:

This morning, at Starbucks, I went up to the counter to get a coffee refill. As I handed the barista my cup, I removed the lid as that is often their request. She takes my...

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My Parents Weren't Just Being Nosy, They Were Protecting Their Investment

Posted May 5, 2010 | 01:39:16 (EST)

Well, I finally hit the trifecta. My youngest child, well now my second to youngest, got me.

This past Sunday (the day of rest), I was lying in bed thinking about how Sunday will soon become a workday again as my family and I will be going back to...

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Even Paranoid People Have Real Enemies

Posted April 28, 2010 | 17:07:27 (EST)

"Even paranoid people have real enemies."

This was whispered in my ear more than thirty years ago, while I sat in a pot-induced haze, attempting to make sense of the universe in my fifteen-year old brain. It was, at the time, the most profound thing I had ever heard....

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Maybe The Tea Baggers Could Learn Something From Tax Day

Posted April 21, 2010 | 12:00:49 (EST)

In Israel, a crazy thing happened this week... Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day). The day starts the night before, that's Jewish for you, with a siren, one minute in length, that sounds across the whole country and everyone stops to listen and reflect. Even those driving on the highway stop, get...

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I Don't Know What Cocaine Does To Your Gastrointestinal System, But It Can't Be Worse Than Matzah

Posted April 10, 2010 | 19:25:08 (EST)

Passover is over and now the chametz is gone. The house is safe and our future is assured.

We've cleaned for weeks and covered our shelves and counters, throughout the whole kitchen, with aluminum foil.

I once knew a guy who was out of his mind. He felt that...

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Bunnies, Colored Eggs, But No Leavened Bread

Posted March 30, 2010 | 12:36:07 (EST)

Chametz! Chametz! Ahhhh! All the damn Chametz!

That's pronounced "Ha Metz." No, I'm not a disgruntled fan of New York's lesser baseball team (Forgive me I'm from Philly). I'm a Jew getting ready for Pesach (Passover). G-d said, "Get rid of your chametz and don't have it anywhere in...

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Religious People Just Can't Catch a Break

Posted March 23, 2010 | 18:42:58 (EST)

I must tell you up front that I'm a leftist. I'm a feminist, I believe in equal rights, and I support gay marriage. I'm a Democrat and I've always been a Democrat. I believe John Kennedy was the greatest president of the 20th Century. This belief is beyond reproach or...

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