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.