ALAMEDA -- Temple Israel is inviting the community to an Oct. 6 comedy show featuring Josh Kornbluth, who will present "Ben Franklin: Unplugged."

The event will showcase Kornbluth's take on the American Revolution, and give Alamedans the chance to meet a local comedian and Rabbi Barney Brickner, Temple Israel's new spiritual leader.

"This is going to be a great event for the entire community," said Rabbi Brickner, who became the head of Bay Farm's Temple Israel on July 1. "We at Temple Israel see ourselves as part of the Alameda community and want to do all we can to contribute spiritually and socially to the area."

Kornbluth, who lives in Berkeley with his family, used to host an interview show on KQED-TV in San Francisco. He has also made several films, such as "Haiku Tunnel" and has written "Red Diaper Baby." According to his publicist, one day when the comic was shaving, he looked in the mirror "and realized -- to his astonishment -- that he looked like Ben Franklin!"

Kornbluth then studied Franklin's life and learned of the complex relationship the author, politician and inventor had with his son, William, the royal governor of New Jersey during the Revolution. The show combines this history with, of course, plenty of comedy.


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"We are so excited that our temple has a new rabbi," said Eileen Savel, who co-produced the show with Ruth Belikove. "I'm a member, and along with others, wanted to do something special to honor him and show that this Alameda group does exciting things."

According to Savel, Kornbluth gets "rave reviews" for his performances.

"Two of my friends have already seen his current act and are coming again. He is hilariously funny," she explained. "As well as being inspiring, he's also a crackup."

Kornbluth has generously donated his time to Temple Israel for the benefit, Savel notes. Food is being provided by Dragon Rouge, while JC Cellars is contributing wine for the Oct. 6 event. "It should be a very fun and funny evening!" she said.

"I would like the community to know that ours is a congregation that is open to all, and we want all to feel comfortable and welcome to join us," said Rabbi Brickner. "You'll begin to see who we are at events like these. That is my hope."

IF YOU GO
WHAT: "Ben Franklin: Unplugged," a comedy show featuring Josh Kornbluth
WHEN: Refreshments will be served at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m. on Oct. 6
WHERE: Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda
COST: Tickets are $25 in advance (www.brownpapertickets .com or 510-522-9355) and $30 at the door.