Trip of a Lifetime


Had the most amazing time with these folks the past week and a half. Huge thanks to Seth and Sherri Mandell, tour organizer and host Avi Liberman, the fabulous PR team of Dena and Jeremy Wimpfheimer and our incomparable tour guide and driver, Zev for inviting me out and treating me (us) so well! I learned and saw so much. It was truly the #tripofalifetime.



No, thank you!

During my time here in Israel, I’ve been most touched by how appreciative the audiences have been. We have a Q&A with them after each show, and each night they thank us profusely and ask if we were hesitant to accept the gig because of safety concerns. I can honestly say that I had zero reservations about this trip. As Kermet joked, “Maybe that means I’m dumb…”  But I saw it as the opportunity of a lifetime– a chance to visit places I’ve been hearing and reading about my whole life.

I got a free trip to Israel! What are you thanking me for?

Avi and Bob with an Israeli soldier in Gush Etzion

Avi and Bob with an Israeli soldier in Gush Etzion

On Saturday night, we had a show in Gush Etzion, which is a group of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. “Across the Green Line,” the area is protected by Israeli security forces and has been targeted by terrorists numerous times in the past year (in the last week, even). We had to go through a border checkpoint to get there, and there were soldiers stationed on the streets. We pulled over to the side of the road on our way to the show so Avi and Bob could do a quick promo video, and I remember looking out of the van window and feeling very anxious—not because I felt that there was any imminent danger, but because seeing those soldiers (who were 100% there to protect us and anyone else in the settlements) with their automatic weapons reminded me that, while I may be on the greatest work-cation ever, life often feels like anything but that for the people who live here. Up until that point, it was easy to just enjoy the beautiful beaches, the great food and the amazing historical sites and push to the back of my mind the very real threats that people in this region face on a daily basis. I really began to understand why the audiences were so grateful for our visit. These were people who’ve been directly affected by terrorism, and our willingness to go there and perform was a thumb of the nose middle finger to the perpetrators of that violence. Bringing them a little laughter, while helping to raise money to support their families and communities is probably the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. I’ve had some top-ten life moments here and I’ve seen so very little of the Israel that we’re shown in on the “news” in America. I will forever be an ambassador for the country and its people.

Me with Kandi and Marc

Me with Kandi and Marc

In addition to the comics I worked with on the shows, I met a wonderful Tel Aviv comic named Kandi Abelson and her husband Marc. They were so lovely to me, inviting me to their home to hang out and drink up some of Marc’s amazing Scotch and (Kandi) taking me shopping for a flat iron and other clothes and souvenirs. My indecisiveness is legendary and you handled It so well, Kandi! It was such a pleasure meeting you both! I hope we get to see each other again before long.


Finally, Jerusalem!

The Comedy for Koby crew with the amazing Yael

The Comedy for Koby crew with the amazing Yael

I’ve been looking forward to our day in Jerusalem all week and yesterday was “the day!” We arrived in the morning and met up with our fabulous tour guide, Yael. She is like the Beatles of tour guides in Jerusalem–a guru even. She knows everyone and has access to just about everything. We started in the Old City and she gave us a history of the conflicts and rebuilding of the city. She showed us the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, King David’s Tomb, the room where The Last Supper is believed to have happened. She took us to The Western Wall and I wrote a prayer and placed it in one of the cracks…

In real life, I did that.

The Western (Wailing) Wall

The Western (Wailing) Wall

Western Wall sellfie

Western Wall sellfie

We shopped in the Arab market, and walked along the Via Dolorosa on our way to see the place where Jesus was crucified and laid to rest. I went inside Jesus’ tomb. And just because I feel like I need to type that again: I went inside Jesus’ tomb.

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It was unbelievable and overwhelming and, honestly, not at what I expected. I’m embarrassed to admit that, although I’d heard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, I didn’t realize the actual holy sepulchre and crucifixion site (Calvary/Golgotha), would be inside the church structure. I had always imagined I’d be outside on a hill peering into a cave of sorts. But as our tour guide Zev explained to us earlier in the week, many churches, such as this one and the Church of Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, were built on sites where miracles are said to have occurred or on sacred areas to commemorate holy events and bring worshippers closer to God.

Oh yeah, so we saw all that and did two shows in Jerusalem last night! The crowds were great—and thank goodness—because we were all exhausted from touring all day. Without their energy, I never would have made it. Exhale. I never imagined I’d do and see the things I’ve done and seen this week; a trip like this was so far out of my realm of possibility and budget… And I get to be here all because of the silly thoughts in my head. How amazing is that? I’m working on a video that I can hopefully share soon. But RIGHT right now, I’m ’bout to lie down and kick it with this pillow.

Holler at y’all tomorrow!



RIP to the greatest flat iron that ever was. Had I known we had such a short time left together, I’d have taken out those box braids sooner and spent more time with you this year. You were a faithful and responsible flat iron; you even shut yourself off when I forgot to. I knew I was putting you at risk, plugging you into that international adapter. So, when you began to smoke and pop and melt, I knew I had no one to blame but myself. How will I get through the rest of my life this trip without you?

A comic I met here in Tel Aviv found me a rebound iron. But it could never replace you. It won’t work back in the US and I can’t even figure out how to increase the temperature above the “low” setting. The directions are in Hebrew so my hair is still mad frizzy…



I should have taken better care of you. You took such great care of me.


Walking on water is cool, but…


Yesterday, while I was walking down the shore to get to the Sea of Galilee, one of the rocks gave way and I twisted my ankle a bit and my foot fell in between two big boulders. Jesus walked on water there and now I’m almost as impressed that He made it down the rocks without breaking His neck. I shook it off because: Tour of Israel. Duh. But last night it got really swollen and bruised and I could barely walk on it.


Better this morning, or maybe I’m just so committed to this hotel breakfast buffet that I’m pushing thru the pain. Either way, not letting it stop me from doing or seeing anything. Phrase of the day:

“Hey guys, wait for me!”

P.S. Dont judge my Guinness PJ’s. They’re comfy and frothy and refreshing.

Oh Ch-Ch-Chilly Jordan

A video posted by Erin Jackson (@ejthecomic) on

Today was our day off to tour and see some more of the country. Our driver and tour guide, Zev, started by giving us a brief, but really thorough overview of the formation of the state of Israel and the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I knew the basics, but he really colored it in for us. Once we got on the road, we headed north towards the Sea of Galilee, where the Biblical story of Jesus walking on water takes place. Zev helped me climb down the rocky bank to sit at the water’s edge so I could take it all in for a moment. What an amazing moment to be in a place you’ve heard about since you were a little kid in Sunday School! The forecast called for heavy rain, and I was hoping all day yesterday it wouldn’t be too miserable to visit all the historical sites. It wound up being just the most perfect day. #WontHeDoIt

Next, we visited the The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish, which was built on the site where Jesus is believed to have fed 5,000 followers with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. I have easily eaten 5 loaves of bread by myself since I got here. Pita, laffa… There’s delicious, irresistible bread at every turn. Clearly, Atkins has not yet made it to the Holy Land. Sadly, a pair of Jewish extremists set fire to the church this summer and painted graffiti on the walls so a portion of the church is boarded up. Such a disgrace, but they are rebuilding and it will be restored very soon.

We also visited the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized. I’ve seen that baptismal scene rendered thousands of times, and once I found out I could, I bought a baptismal gown from the gift shop and went down into the river. It was kinda freezing (“oh ch-ch-chilly Jordan,” indeed, Take 6) and there were tons of catfish swimming around my ankles. They could’ve been the great-great-great… grandchildren of the catfish who swam around Jesus’ ankles. Shut up. Yes, the could have.

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I was raised in the Baptist church, and though I’m not very religious as an adult, I believe in God and the teachings of the Bible. And I felt so connected to the sites we visited today. I am so grateful to be on this trip and I can’t wait to visit Jerusalem.

Talk soon.

The View


Good morning!

I made it to Tel Aviv yesterday afternoon and we had our first show last night–hours after I landed–in a town called Be’er Sheva. Really fun crowd. I met so many New Jersey transplants; several were from my hometown! The show was in a small, black box theater that sat maybe 80. But tonight’s show is in a 500-seat theatre, which should be awesome. We’re staying in a really great hotel and I’m running on fumes, but I got up bright and early to enjoy the hotel’s legendary breakfast spread and do some sightseeing. I’m not gonna let a little thing like exhaustion keep me from being great. I took this awesome panoramic (this is my first ever panoramic) from the balcony of my hotel room. We’re right on the Mediterranean (left) and we saw surfers out yesterday. Definitely gonna go down closer to the beach today.

Desperately seeking caffeine,