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Comedy at Ashkenaz! Benefit for RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services)

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

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Tickets are $15 - $100 Sliding Scale

This month's Comedy at Ashkenaz! line up features Ngaio Bealum, Victor Pacheco, Francesca Fiorentini, and Lisa Geduldig.

This month's Comedy at Ashkenaz! show will be a benefit for RAICES. The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas. RAICES is the largest immigration non-profit in Texas with offices in Austin, Corpus, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

Stop Separating Families! Families Belong Together!

Geduldig, who is bilingual and has lived in Mexico, has been doing media outreach for recent local immigration protests in her capacity as a publicist and concerned citizen. She and Ashkenaz turned the launch of the Comedy at Ashkenaz comedy series last October into a last minute benefit for North Bay fire relief and raised $1200 for the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Geduldig has raised 10s of 1000s of dollars for various organizations through her annual event, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant since its inception in 1993. And Ashkenaz has been a vital community venue, which has held many a benefit since being founded in 1973 by a dedicated human rights activist, the late David Nadel.

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Ngaio Bealum is an American comedian, musician, writer, actor, activist, juggler and publisher. He co-hosted Cannabis Planet and published West Coast Cannabis Magazine.  He writes a column in Sacramento News & Review, answering questions from readers about marijuana and its politics.
Ngaio was born in San Francisco to hippie parents, leading to jokes about how he got his name. He is well known for his many film and television appearances as well as for being a regular host of High Times events, and more recently for being a frequent guest on Getting Doug With High hosted by fellow comedian Doug Benson. He recorded a CD called Weed and Sex. Former member of the Award Winning Hip Hop band Most Chill Slackmob, and 1994 People's Choice Award winner of the International Jugglers Association Fest.


Victor Pacheco is a large, yet highly energetic comedian with the unique talent of romanticizing the complexity of being an educator in today's unforgiving society. Victor’s quick wit, commanding one-liners and warm personality have made him a favorite at comedy clubs, casinos and colleges across the West Coast and is a regular at Tommy T’s Comedy Club and Laughs Unlimited Comedy Club. Victor is first generation Mexican-American; his family hails from Michoacan, Mexico.

Francesca Fiorentini recently stepped down from being a long-time host and producer of Newsbroke on AJ+ when they moved to Washington, DC. She was behind such viral hits like White Fragility in the Workplace. She is also a correspondent with Explorer on the National Geographic Channel. As a stand up comic, she has been featured at SF Sketchfest, the Comedy Comedy Festival in LA, and in seedy bars throughout the Bay Area. Francesca currently co-hosts the monthly comedy show, Verdi Wild Things, at The Verdi Club in SF. She is also a political activist and has lived in Argentina.

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Lisa Geduldig is a local comedian and comedy producer who’s the creator, producer, and MC of a variety of comedy shows including Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ - Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant (which celebrates its 25th Anniversary last December); Comedy Returns to El Rio! (which just celebrated its 10th Anniversary in May). She moonlights as a bilingual (Spanish-English) publicist.

RAICES (The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) is a non-profit organization that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas. Founded in 1986, RAICES has grown to be the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. With offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, RAICES is a frontline organization in the roiling debate about immigration and immigrants in the world. In 2017, RAICES staff closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client. RAICES’ advocacy and commitment to change are driven by the clients and families they serve every day as their attorneys and legal assistants provide legal advocacy and representation in an immigration system that breaks apart families and leaves millions without pathways to legal status. Parents separated from their children at the border (and other immigrants placed in detention) can't get released from ICE custody to reunite with their families until they pay the full amount of their immigration bond. Bonds are set at a MINIMUM of $1500 and are usually in the range of $5-10,000, even for asylum seekers without any criminal history. Unlike in the criminal system, bail bond companies either do not help people in immigration proceedings or impose very strict requirements, like private ankle monitors (which families have to pay to "rent"). Donations to RAICES directly support legal services for detained separated parents and the direct funding for bonds to get parents released. Through the monies raised, they can now reach many more families, reunite parents with their children, and pay bonds to get parents released.

Earlier Event: July 11
Stu Allen and Mars Hotel
Later Event: July 13