By COLlive reporter
Out of 20 candidates, 12 Lubavitch rabbis and activists are vying for the title of Jewish Community Hero by the UJC – Jewish Federations of North America.
A $25,000 price for their cause is at stake.
But COLlive has learned that members of the Chabad House at Brandeis University are rooting for Ari Teman who came in at 2nd place.
Teman, a stand-up comedian in New York City, founded JCorps, motivating Jewish young adults into volunteering in their local communities.
Active in four countries and eight cities, the volunteers have fed over 21,000 meals to the hungry and visited hundreds of seniors and sick children.
And he owes it all to Chabad.
Studying at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, he met Rabbi Peretz Chein and his wife Chanie.
“Peretz and Chanie have this attitude.. it’s not a numbers game; You’re part of the family,” Ari said upon being the Alumni of the Year 2008 for Chabad at Brandeis.
Teman openly credited the Brandeis Shluchim for the lessons he learned from them in treating people and building a great organization.
When hostages were being held at the Chabad House in Mumbai, Chein and Teman led an online effort that drove hundreds of phone calls to the White House to demand intervention.
The two also collaborated on a website which enabled kids to sign up for Shabbos meals, Sukkah, and handwashing sinks.
Teman attended the gala banquet of the International Kinus Hashluchim and gave a Dvar Torah at the National College Shabbaton in Crown Heights.
After graduating, Teman has done comedy shows for Chabad institutions, including the Aliya Center in Crown Heights.
Rabbi Chein Speaks about Ari:Ari Speaks about the Cheins: