Muslim, Christian and Jew to perform comedy for Interfaith group in Deerfield Oct. 24

Muslim, Christian and Jew to perform comedy for Interfaith group in Deerfield Oct. 24

Muslim, Christian and Jew to perform comedy for Interfaith group in Deerfield Oct. 24

Deerfield, Il. – An interfaith gathering of people committed to promoting religious tolerance and inter-cultural dialogue will host a comedy show in Deerfield Oct. 24 featuring three comedians of different faiths.

The three performers at the show hosted by the Southeast Lake County Inter-Religious Council are Jewish comic Aaron Freeman, Muslim comic Arif Choudhury and Christian comic Ray Hanania.

The show will be held at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Deerfield at 7 pm. Tickets for the show are $10 in advance or $15 at the door, if seating is available. Attendees are encouraged to reserve seats by calling Beth Chaverim Humanistic Jewish Community at 847-945-6512, or by emailing at

Arif Choudhury

It is the fourth show co-sponsored by a coalition of several area religious congregations who are part of the Southeast Lake County Inter-Religious Council (SELCIRCL) including Beth Chaverim Humanistic Jewish Community of Deerfield, Christ United Methodist Church of Deerfield, First Presbyterian Church of Deerfield, Holy Cross Catholic Church of Deerfield, Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit of Lincolnshire, St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church of Deerfield, and Zion Lutheran Church of Deerfield.

Freeman, who is Jewish, and Hanania, who is Palestinian, have performed together in the past under the label of The Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour that partnered with two Israeli-based comedians, Yisrael Campbell and Charley Warady. Choudhury is based in New York where he tours throughout the country.

The Southeast Lake County Inter-Religious Council, (SELCIRCL), consists of the clergy of local Christian, Jewish and Bahai congregations from Southeast Lake County congregations.

Aaron Hanania

“Together, we explore issues of interfaith and intercultural dialogue in order to promote understanding and greater tolerance, and to work together on issues of social justice,” said Rabbi Jodi Kornfeld of Beth Chaverim Humanistic Jewish Community.

“This is not only one of our most popular annual programs, but it is one of our most important. Through the media of live performances, we have been able to address questions of prejudice and stereotypes, and in the process, open the discussion more widely to how we can overcome our differences and find our common humanity.”

Aaron Freeman, one of Chicagoland’s best known comedians and media personalities called the show a unique mix that doesn’t happen as often as it should.

“Any time you can have an Arab, a Jew and a Muslim together on a stage, it can be explosive. You never know what’s going to happen,” Freeman said. “You want to make sure you are there, as witnesses.”

Comedian Bios:

Arif Choudhury is a professional storyteller, filmmaker, theater artist, and stand-up comic.  He is currently working on a documentary film about folk storytellers in a remote village in China and just completed a short film entitled “Coloring”. Choudhury performs “More in Common than You Think,” his one-person program of stories for schools, libraries, conferences, and festivals around the country and abroad.  He tells humorous stories of growing up in one of the few Bangladeshi-Muslim immigrant families in Chicago.  Focusing on issues of ethnic and religious identity, assimilation, multiculturalism, and diversity, his stories poke fun at how we think of one another.

Choudhury also tours the country in “More Alike than Not: Stories from Three Americans—Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim.” He recently recorded a CD of stories entitled, “Where Are You From? And Other Difficult Questions” and has written his first children’s book “The Only Brown-Skinned Boy in the Neighborhood.”

Aaron Freeman is a comedian, MOOC enthusiast, the Artist In Residence for the Chicago Council on Science and Technology. I lecture on science communication for Harvard’s science communication program “comscicon.” Along with my wife, the comics artist Sharon Rosenzweig, he creates comics and comic videos for the website “Graphic Medicine” and for The Annals of Internal Medicine. Freeman is an improv actor, auctioneer, MC, host, moderator  and “a great interview subject and all-around fun guy!” He is a member of The Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour, which performed in Israel, Palestine, Canada Ireland, and at campuses throughout the United States. His website is

Aaron Freeman

Ray Hanania is an award winning journalist and Christian Palestinian activist and co-founder of The Israeli Palestinian Comedy Tour. Hanania’s comedy lampoons his married life: His wife, Alison, and son, Aaron, are Jewish. Hanania is not a professional comedian but entered standup comedy as a form of peace activism, using humor to respond to rising anti-Arab stereotypes and hatred following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In the summer of 2002, Hanania got into a scuffle with Jewish Comedian Jackie Mason who banned him from his shows because of Hanania’s Palestinian background. The two had never met before. Hanania has performed in London, Beirut and Dubai and form Arab and Jewish groups throughout the United States. His website is

Aaron Hanania is a high school student who had his Bar Mitzvah earlier this year (2015) and enjoys standup comedy, getting even with his father lampooning the fact that he is Jewish and his father is Palestinian. This is Aaron’s first public comedy appearance. He is a freelance writer for several Chicago area newspapers and also for his high school newspaper the Aquila. His website is


WHERE:     Holy Cross Catholic Church
724 Elder Lane, Deerfield, Illinois

WHEN:       Saturday, October 24, at 7 PM

TICKETS:    $10 in advance or $15 at the door (if seating is available.)

CONTACT:  Beth Chaverim Humanistic Jewish Community, 847-945-6512

Or email:

Video of the Comedy Show Oct. 24, 2015

10-24-15 Interfaith Comedy Show from Ray Hanania on Vimeo.

Facebook Comments


Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Click Here to LISTEN to Hanania's live radio show on 2nd Friday every month 7 AM CST. Click here to listen to Ray's Podcasts. 

His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at

Suburban Chicagoland

↑ Grab this Headline Animator