Rabbi-turned-funnyman was outspoken supporter of Israel
Jewish-American comedian Jackie Mason died on Saturday at the age of 93.
One of the last "Borscht Belt" comics who honed their skills at Jewish resorts in New York's Catskill Mountains, Mason passed away at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan after being hospitalized for over two weeks, the celebrity lawyer Raul Felder confirmed.
Born Jacob Maza, the son of a rabbi, on June 9, 1931 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Mason got his big break in show business in 1961 with an appearance on Steve Allen’s weekly television variety show.
He went on to a successful career in television and on Broadway.
He was a longtime vocal supporter of Israel, telling The Jerusalem Report in an interview that "if you hate Israel, you hate the Jews, plain and simple. So I feel as probably one of the most famous Jews still living today, it is my obligation to speak out on this issue."
Mason is survived by his wife and manager, Jyll Rosenfeld.