|Chabad at KU launches Jewish radio show|
|Written by Barbara Bayer, Editor|
|Thursday, September 13 2012 08:19|
The Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Lawrence has launched a live Sunday Jewish Radio show, “The Schmooze” on KLWN News Talk 1320 AM. The first show aired Sunday, Aug. 26.
“This is the first time in Lawrence history that a Jewish radio show is on the air,” said Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel, director of Chabad at KU.
Each week the show, which airs Sunday at 8 a.m., covers a question of the week pertaining to Jewish culture and traditions as well as an upcoming holiday or the weekly Torah portion. The 30-minute show also features a Jewish joke of the week, a new Yiddish phrase and special guests and content. Listeners are encouraged to call in and share their insight and join the conversation.
“After all that’s what schmoozing is all about,” Rabbi Tiechtel said.
Rabbi Tiechtel said the show will expose the depth and meaning of the Jewish traditions to many people who may not have direct access to learn more about Judaism. “There are many myths about the Jewish religion and its lifestyle, and the goal of this show is to bring the joys of Judaism and its rich heritage to all,” he said.
The Lawrence rabbi said the idea of a radio show has been brewing for a while now.
“At Chabad we are always seeking ways to bring Judaism to every Jew. Sometimes you cannot wait till someone steps through the door, you need to bring the joys of Judaism into their home or to their kitchen table on a Sunday morning. That was the inspiration behind the idea,” he said.
Rabbi Tiechtel said that since the media is such an enormously powerful force, the new radio show is a great way to reach the heart and soul of many people.
“With the Jewish population at KU and in Lawrence growing in rapid strides, now is a great time to get this show going. There is no better way to start off our week in a reJEWvinating fashion, then a Sunday morning Schmooze.”
Rabbi Tiechtel said he approached the general manager of Great Plains Media Jay Wachs, the parent company of KLWN, “who is a fellow Jew and a wonderful person,” about his idea.
“He loved the idea,” Rabbi Tiechtel said. “He was excited about the idea and was even willing to lend his support by having the station sponsor some of the shows. The remaining shows are being sponsored by local businesses, among them At Home Care Inc. and Dr. Dave Computer Repair. More sponsors are joining in as well for the future.”
KLWN’s Wachs said the station had been thinking about diversifying its Sunday line-up and was open to the idea because it had heavily focused on Christianity. No stranger to Jewish-themed radio, Wachs hosted a Sunday morning radio show based on Jewish religion, history and culture when he was president of the Jewish Federation in Greenville, S.C.
Wachs pointed out that there are three Jewish men currently working at KLWN and its sister station KISS 105.9 FM — Sean Levine hosts Rock Chalk Sports Talk on AM from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays and Craig Hoffman, known as KJ, hosts the 3 to7 p.m. afternoon show on the FM side.
“The Schmooze” is co-hosted by Michael Lebovitz, a junior at KU who hails from the Kansas City area and is majoring in linguistics. Lebovitz actively participates in Chabad programming on campus.
“I have always been impressed with his skills in communicating ideas and also his great sense of humor. When I was thinking of having someone join me each week to spice up the show, I thought Michael would be a great addition,” Rabbi Tiechtel said.
“It is also so important for people to get inspired by the youth as it is these young men and women who will be the future leaders in the Jewish community,” the rabbi added.
This is Lebovitz’s first time on the radio and he’s enjoying it.
“I have a lot of friends in radio at the university radio station KJHK and I’ve been in the studio with them and helped them run their show, ‘Jazz in the Morning,’ and I’ve spoken once. It was really cool and now I get to do it myself and it’s a lot of fun,” Lebovitz said.
Rabbi Tiechtel said the first three shows have been very well received. The very first show focused on the call of the shofar, and the shofar was actually blown on air for all to hear.