The Kibitz

Your hilarious and insightful guide to Jewish ideas and culture. Join journalist Dan Crane and comedian Jessica Chaffin (Ronna & Beverly) as they explore activism, Jewish atheism, anti-semitism, love, sex, comedy, death and more with guests like David Wain, David Baddiel, Rabbi Sharon Brous, the Sklar Brothers, Tiffany Shlain, Moshe Kasher, Joel Stein and many others.

Season 2 Episode 13

Kasher vs. Kasher—LIVE!

A special Hanukah Kasher vs. Kasher debate, recorded live at IKAR in Los Angeles on the last night of Hanukah, 2018 featuring Rabbi David Kasher and his brother, comedian Moshe Kasher, hosted by Dan Crane. The event was sponsored by IKAR TRIBE, Give Light and Reboot.

Season 2 Episode 12

The Best of Nana

A tight, 15-minute set of jokes from Dan’s nana, who passed away this week at the spry age of 97.

Season 2 Episode 11


Is there something peculiar to Judaism that makes us think about death differently? With no proscription for a definitive heaven or afterlife, how does that affect how we live our lives and think about death? Are Jewish rituals an effective way of dealing with grief? Are there better ways to think and talk about death with friends and family? In our final episode from season 2 we address these questions with British comedian David Baddiel (who you might remember from this season’s atheism episode), Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie from NYC’s Lab/Shul, founder of Death Over Dinner and DoD Jewish Edition Michael Hebb and Dan Crane’s 97-year-old nana.

Season 2 Episode 10

A Catskills Kibitz

“A Catskills Kibitz,” our first ever live Kibitz event, was held at the “World Famous” Kibitz Room at Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles on the second night of Hanukkah and featured standup from Moshe Kasher, a conversation with Michael Showalter and a performance by the Living Sisters. We also set a world record for the most number of people to eat a pastrami sandwich in 60 seconds as officiated by

Season 2 Episode 9

The False Lens of History

How has our understanding of history been curated by the choices of photographers, journalists and historians? This episode features curator at the International Center for Photography in New York Maya Benton talking about the photos of Roman Vichniac, and Yiddish scholar Eddy Portnoy discussing what he calls “The Jewish OJ trial of the 1870s” from his book, Bad Rabbi: And Other Strange But True Stories from the Yiddish Press.

Season 2 Episode 8

The Secret History of Jews and Drugs

Was Moses tripping when he saw the burning bush? Are psychedelics the key to unlocking the mysteries behind Jewish texts? And did you hear the one about the rabbi who did LSD with Timothy Leary? Featuring Rick Doblin founder and Executive Director of MAPS—the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Plus an excerpt from our friend Moshe Kasher’s comedy central show Problematic, and Rabbi David Ingber of New York’s renewal movement temple Romemu. Turn on, tune in, drop out and prepare to expand your mind with this episode of The Kibitz.

Season 2 Episode 7

Refugees – with Mark Hetfield from HIAS

We continue our discussion of immigration and refugees with Mark Hetfield, the CEO of HIAS: the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Back in 1882, HIAS was formed to assist Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. Today, HIAS is leading the charge against the Trump administration’s attempt to ban most refugees from coming to the United States.

Season 2 Episode 6

Immigration & Refugees

When Donald Trump issued his first executive order to curb immigration from majority Muslim countries, it seemed to strike a chord of eerie and disturbing familiarity with Jews everywhere. To put this in perspective, we’ll hear a story about Jewish immigrants fleeing Germany in 1939 trying to come to the US, and we have some stories of Jews on the front lines of our current battle over immigrants and refugees. Last, we’ll make the case that there are ways we can all help, including, perhaps surprisingly, with our stomachs. Featuring Rabbi Susan Goldberg of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, Talia Inlender of Public Counsel and author/journalist David Sax.

Season 2 Episode 5

Can $50,000 Buy a Jewish Community?

Why did a Jewish philanthropist put up a million dollars of his own money to get Jews to move to Alabama? And ten years into his experiment, does he consider it a success? And as synagogue membership declines across the US, how do we define a Jewish community? The Kibitz speaks with Larry Blumberg, the man behind the program offering $50,000 for families to relocate to Dothan, Alabama, as well as some of the families that have made the move. Plus director of the documentary There Are Jews Here, Brad Lichtenstein.

Season 2 Episode 4

Mishpucha, with AJ Jacobs

Author AJ Jacobs explains how we’re all mishpucha, and we discuss his new book, It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree.

Season 2 Episode 3

The Catskills—A Brief History

What did Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers and Wilt Chamberlain have in common? Why did Jews on vacation need so much entertainment? How did the Catskills become the epicenter of Jewish middle-class vacationing and why did it collapse almost as quickly as it began? Who’s putting baby in the corner—and why? Hosts Dan Crane and Jessica Chaffin explore the history of the Catskills with documentarians Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg, scholar Eddy Portnoy, and photographer Marisa Scheinfeld.

Season 2 Episode 2

Atheism II, with Amichai Lau-Lavie

Can Jews be atheists and still be Jews? Hosts Dan Crane and Jessica Chaffin host the second episode on this question, featuring a conversation with Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie of New York City’s Lab/Shul.

Season 2 Episode 1

Jewish Atheism

Can Jews be atheists and still be Jews? Hosts Dan Crane and Jessica Chaffin explore the question of Jewish atheism with Rabbi Susan Goldberg of LA’s Wilshire Boulevard Temple, president of American Atheists David Silverman, British comedian David Baddiel, and founder and president emeritus of the Secular Coalition for America Herb Silverman.