Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Culture

Shunned no more? Alan Dershowitz joins Cameo to build a Martha’s Vineyard Chabad house

More Jews than ever are coming to Martha’s Vineyard; Alan Dershowitz doesn’t seem to have many friends among them. In a stroke of genius, the criminal defense attorney is hoping to fill both his needs and the needs of his coreligionists by doing his favorite thing: pontificating on camera. Yes, Dershowitz has a Cameo account and all proceeds from it will go toward a Chabad house on the Vineyard.

The former Harvard Law professor, of late known for his defense of former President Trump, denied sexual assault allegations and for getting into a public spat with Larry David at a Martha’s Vineyard grocery store, announced his move to the platform in a Monday Twitter post. With the announcement, Dershowitz joins luminaries like the Tinder Swindler, Michael Cohen and the guy who played Lyle in “Blazing Saddles” in volunteering to make virtual greetings for strangers for a nominal fee. But Dershowitz seems to misunderstand the nature of Cameo, thinking of it more like MasterClass.

“I miss teaching,” Dershowitz said in his announcement video, alluding to (of course) his 50-year tenure at Harvard. “Now I wanna share my views with you about civil liberties, human rights, Israel, the Constitution – and I’m happy to share whatever you want. Ask me any questions and I’m happy to provide answers.”

Teaching is certainly one way to use Cameo, though the format is destined to be more lecture than seminar. (Dershowitz is not, at the moment, accepting commissions for Cameo Calls, where you can have an actual dialogue.) But at this early stage, Dershowitz does seem amenable to more conventional Cameos as well.

A sample has him congratulating a fellow named Walter on his conversion by quoting Maimonides. He also connects with a guy named Jacob who, like him, worked for the Koch family, and tells a woman he loves that she named her cat “Babka,” a favorite dessert of his.

In yet another, Dershowitz speaks of the necessity of Jewish day schools, particularly in this climate of “political correctness and anti-Israel attitudes” seen on college campuses. Under a “roast” sample video, Dershowitz did not understand the assignment, instead stressing the importance of finding a job one loves. So take note Comedy Central bookers, Dershowitz would not be great on the dais for your eventual roast of Henry Kissinger.

Dershowitz joining this island of misfit celebrities was inevitable. That he would donate his earnings to support a Chabad house, a place guaranteed not to “shun” him in his chosen cove of A-listers, proves he is a brilliant legal mind. Dershowitz gets to feel loved, bloviating about all sorts of topics for Cameo users, and for his efforts he gets a place for regular kiddush.

His services – $100 for personal use and $1,500 for business use – seem affordable, if you’re into this sort of thing as either a gag gift or as an actual fan (he has nine on Cameo as of this writing).

Even if Dershowitz is a less than ideal face for fundraising, I hope the Chabad house effort succeeds — and that Dershowitz’s involvement doesn’t keep Larry David away from the ribbon cutting.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.