'Who was Methuselah?" "What is the Book of Leviticus?" How did a nice girl from Roslyn Heights who went to rabbinical school wind up on GSN's "The American Bible Challenge"?
Eve Eichenholtz laughs easily and one can see how the effusive student rabbi, who is to be ordained in May, might have stood out among the Christian authors, religious wrestlers and others competing on season 2 of the game show that premieres Thursday night at 9.
The rabbis face off next Thursday against Team Christian Wrestling Federation and Team Detroit Believers.
"The entire process -- from the excitement of going to the auditions to the big Bible test we had to pass -- was warm and welcoming," she says, well, warmly. "We love the Bible, we care about it, and we want to show the world that it's not just Christians who hold the Bible dearly. I basically have only studied the Hebrew Bible, so there were things that were new and different."
Born in Manhattan and raised first in Manhasset Hills and then in Roslyn Heights, where her parents still live, she graduated from The Solomon Schechter School of Long Island in 2002, and from Barnard College four years later. She then attended the Jewish Theological Seminary before transferring to the Academy for Jewish Religion in Yonkers. Eichenholtz also has been serving under Rabbi Irwin Huberman at Congregation Tifereth Israel in Glen Cove.
She'd met teammate Abraham during a school year in Israel, and she introduced Weintraub, a rabbinical-school classmate, to his future wife, Rebecca, of Oceanside. "Philip came up with the idea of going on the show. He said, 'I love Jeff Foxworthy, I want to do a team of rabbis. Are you guys in?' We were like, 'Game show? Yeah! We want it!' "
They chose to play for the UJA Sandy Fund since "one of the things we love about supporting Jewish charities is that they support everybody. So there's universalism and particularism at the same time. All three of us had just lived through Sandy," she says, "even Philip and Jeffrey upstate. At house we were very lucky -- we were without power 14, 15 days, but all the trees managed to fall away from the house. That wasn't true of a lot of our neighbors. And we thought, 'We have this opportunity to help. Let's take it.' "