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On the Job: Fiveish

Barbara Bensoussan

Should you happen to see a six-foot-tall, five-dollar bill strolling down the main street of your neighborhood, don’t be alarmed! It’s only Fiveish, the irrepressible mascot and “spokesperson” for Oorah. (Oorah is an organization that works to bring nonreligious Jews closer to Torah and mitzvos.) “Fiveish” gets his name from the famous Oorah Chinese auction, where every ticket costs only five dollars.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

feivish and friendsYou don’t have to wait for Fiveish to make an appearance in your neighborhood to see him. He’s always featured in the famous video clips advertising their Chinese auction, and the annual Shmorg DVD that’s sent to anyone who buys over $72 worth of tickets. (The Shmorg includes a lively mix of music, skits, and divrei Torah.)

Fiveish appears in many guises: an Israeli cab driver, a Russian immigrant, a chassidishe balabos, aLakewood kollel man. Each of these 15-plus personalities has its own special voice and accent.

You might think Fiveish’s voices are done by 15 different people, but in reality all those voices come from the mouth of a single person: Rabbi Elchanan Schwartz, whose day job is being the menahel of Yeshiva Simchas Chaim in Brooklyn. Fortunately for us, Rabbi Schwartz was willing to take a few minutes from his busy schedule and talk to Mishpacha Junior about what it’s like, being Fiveish.

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