Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm co-hosting a Jewish/Arab show in Montreal on Sunday

Along with Eman, an Arab comedienne, I'll be MC'ing an inspiring night of musical, spoken-word and dance performances by Jewish, Arab and other artists in Montreal this Sunday night. The goal is to bring together people through mutual understanding. And if anything can broker a peace between Jews and Arabs, it is certainly the MC'ing I will do at this show. Or, at the very least, it will get me a date with the Arab comedienne. Hmmm... On second thought, peace in the Middle East is probably more likely.

Anyway, last night Eman and I were interviewed on the Dan Laxer show on Montreal talk radio station CJAD. On the show page it said:"A Jew and a Muslim walk into a church... Sound like a joke? It is. Stand-up comics, Eman El-Husseini and Josh Rachlis join me tonight." And in the article about the show in today's Montreal Gazette, I am referred to as "Jewish actor/comic Josh Rachlis." If I was ever hoping to pass for a non-Jew, I guess I can now forget about it.

Here are the show details:

The Montreal Dialogue Group presents its third annual Peace Concert on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Church, 5035 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W. Tickets: $15; $10 for students. Call 514-483-5763 or 514-933-2298, or email

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Read the story I wrote about my mom, who runs marathons

For Mother's Day, the Canadian running magazine "iRun" asked for stories from people whose mothers run. They said to keep it to 250 words. I started writing about all the amazing inspirational things that my mom does, and realized I'd written 3 pages. I cut it down as much as I could, but it still wasn't short enough for them to print it in their paper version. Fortunately, in the magazine they said to check out the submission from Josh Rachlis on their website. And now I'm sharing it with the world. Because if anyone can make the world a better place, it's my mom. Who, incidentally, ran the Mississauga Marathon for Mother's Day. Her 20th marathon. The pics I've posted here are me cheering her on at a marathon in Toronto 5 years ago. My mom was running a marathon, and it was a struggle for me to get out of bed early enough to get to the race with my signs. I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere. But anyway, here's the link to the story I wrote:
And for those without the energy to click on a link, you especially need to read this, so here's the story pasted in:

“My mom runs marathons”

Josh Rachlis, Toronto, ON

Whenever I feel there’s something I can’t do – which is often – I remind myself: “My mom runs marathons.”

Until 10 years ago, my mom, Louise Rachlis, had never really exercised. But when she turned 50, she felt depressed and decided to take action by learning to run. And now, my mom runs marathons.

A year ago, I realized I’d gotten overweight. I was tempted to think it would be too hard to get into shape. But instead I thought: “My mom runs marathons.” I hit the treadmill and have lost 40 pounds.

My mom has even written two books about running. Her book, 20 Steps to Keep You Going When You Think You Couldn't Possibly- In Running and In Life, raised funds for the Ottawa Hospital. Recently my mom was in Paris for a marathon and was talking to a woman in the hotel lobby. Turns out my mom’s book had been this woman’s inspiration to start running at 50! Stories like this show me I can make a difference in the world.

Her other book, A Matter of Dreams: Excuse Busters tell all, profiles how top triathletes keep motivated and was a fund-raiser for the triathlete community. As she writes in the intro: “We all have many excuses for not achieving our goals. But… there is always someone for whom that is no excuse at all.” That’s the other lesson her running has taught me: I can do whatever I put my mind to, and can make the world better in the process. Because while pursuing running, she took up painting and donated the proceeds to charity. She founded the magazine, Challenge: Life with Cancer. She inspired the Ottawa Citizen (where she works) to start the National Capital Race Weekend series. Suffice to say, she won the 2005 CanWest Spirit Award for Ottawa in recognition of all the ways she contributes to the community.

On my recent birthday, I started thinking I was too old to exercise or to achieve my dreams. But by repeating “My mom runs marathons,” I’ve been able to not only keep up my exercise, but to amp up my creative pursuits – including submitting a pitch to CBC for a radio show about my mom’s running (which she doesn’t know I’ve done).

My mom has recently been asked to tell her stories at Running Room meetings. I hope iRun will also realize the value of her stories, so your readers can tell themselves: “Josh’s mom runs marathons.”

Friday, May 08, 2009

Episode 4 of "Talking Bollocks" - Why Josh is green

Rill interviews Josh about his interest in the environment and saving the planet. As usual, it all boils down to yet another way Josh is trying to get a girlfriend. TALKING BOLLOCKS is a chat show born out of frustration - both Josh and Rill want to host a talk show. Until they get the gig they're interviewing themselves. This week they have a studio audience. Well, audient. Catch Marilla Wex at and Josh Rachlis at