From Raiderette To Aleph-Bet

By Sara Rubin

Published July 28, 2006, issue of July 28, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

We may be living in the age of the “extreme makeover,” but the trajectory of cheerleader-turned-rebbetzin Sandy Wolshin could give even the splashiest of today’s reality TV shows a run for their money. A few years ago, Wolshin was wearing hot pants and twirling pom-poms for football’s Los Angeles Raiders. In the years since, she has embraced Orthodox Judaism and married a rabbi. But she hasn’t lost her knack for performing. In August, she is taking her hit one-woman show, “The Rabbi and the Cheerleader” — “a true life comedy of faith and spirit” — from L.A. to New York, and there are plans in the works for a Florida engagement, too. The Shmooze recently caught up with Wolshin (who when not onstage goes by the name Elianah Rochel Mendlowitz and runs a Jewish dating service) for a chat about marriage, hair and the Raiderettes.

The Shmooze: Is your show a lesson in Judaism, or is it more about the laughs?

Sandy Wolshin: It’s a combination. It’s a modern Jewish Cinderella story — with shtick and dance. All Jews from different levels of observance enjoy my show, that’s the neat thing. And people who are not Jewish, because it’s an inspirational show.

TS: Do you miss your life as a Raiderette?

SW: Here’s the analogy: For a guy, there’s nothing like a game of pickup basketball, and there never will be a substitute. I was on a professional dance squad; we rehearsed 40 hours a week, and it was a great workout. And I do get together for Raiderette reunions. Now I compensate by taking dance classes. When I do a show, sometimes two shows a day, I’m getting a great workout.

TS: Has your look changed at all from your cheerleading days? Are you still blond, or do you sport more of a Jewish look?

SW: There are a lot of Jewish girls who are blond. I’m a natural blond every time I come home from the hairstylist. I definitely still have a cheerleader look.

TS: What’s your favorite thing about what you’re doing now?

SW: I am having a blast. I am doing what I love. I really believe that Hashem gives us all gifts. For us to be able to use our gifts and make a living is the most beautiful blessing that I have received. I was raised an atheist, and had lots of questions, and ended up meeting God. God guides you.

TS: Does your husband come to many of your shows?

SW: Oh yes, and he’s the biggest laugher.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.