Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Ahavas Israel Annual Purim Players of Passaic are branching out with a new creative project: a talent show based on America’s Got Talent. The hook: They’re offering a thousand-dollar prize.

To enter, all you have to do is submit a video of yourself performing your talent.

“We’ve already got a couple of comedians, some singers and some improv. We also have two brothers putting on an act together,” said David Hurwitz, event coordinator.

Men and women will compete separately, and the winner of each will be awarded a separate prize. Anyone 13 and up is welcome to enter. There will be an audition on November 9 in front of a live audience and a panel of judges. Later, on November 23, there will be a semi-final judged by four judges, and a finale the same night, with the final winner voted on by the audience.

No nasty judges or rude comments here—contestants won’t be embarrassed—and the votes will be secret ballot only.

“We’re hoping to get entrants from beyond Passaic. Teaneck, Fair Lawn and beyond—you’re all welcome. A thousand dollars is pretty appealing,” Hurwitz said. “Our Purim play is always very popular locally, but we’re hoping this event is more of a draw to surrounding communities as well. Both to enter and to come watch.”

The talent show team is trying to experiment with a new style instead of copying other local events. “There’s no history here. We’re breaking new ground,” said Hurwitz.

“I said I don’t think we have enough talent in Passaic to pull it off. Our committee insisted we do. Please come enter and prove me wrong!” he added.

He said he encountered some naysayers who asked him, “Why are you giving away money instead of fundraising for the shul?” But the Purim plays easily get 250 attendees, so he figures the ticket costs should cover the prize with the remainder going to the shul.

For more information, email [email protected]