To book Rabbi Jacobs for other topics, to customize one of these, or to energize your event in another capacity, feel free to contact Rabbi Jacobs.
Life Story Talk — • — Israeli Prison Career — • — Life Story Variations — • — Shabbat Life Story Talks — • — Two Kings Story
Life Story Talk
This is by far Rabbi Jacobs’ most popular topic. In it, Fishel Jacobs, then Flip, vividly describes the anti-Semitism he encountered growing up as the only Jewish kid in South Royalton, a 900-family village in central Vermont. That experience launched him into karate training, eventually fighting his way to the East Coast YMCA Black Belt heavyweight title and Olympic preparation. Then, it led Rabbi Jacobs into a life of martial arts training.
As an undergraduate at the University of Vermont, Flip met the Chabad rabbi and spent four years as his Friday night meal guest.
In a dramatic heavyweight title fight in New Haven, Connecticut, Flip fought with a broken nose, crystalizing the need to move on in life. Fishel describes the subsequent trials and anguish of entering a rabbinic school: Aramaic, Hebrew, new concepts, lifestyle, and learning Tanya by heart. All this culminated in an epic personal audience with the Rebbe, at 25 years of age, which was tape recorded.
One reason for the huge demand for this talk is that Rabbi Jacobs allows the audience to hear this one-of-a-kind five minute conversation between him and the Rebbe. Rabbi Jacobs says, “My talk describes in detail how the two directives I got from the Rebbe therein came to fruition in the next twenty years of my life. First, by becoming the first American ordained by the head rabbis of Israel, and by finding my wife.”
This talk generally takes an hour and a half or more.
It fits communities, adults, college students, teens. In it, Rabbi Jacobs also performs some karate.
This is a HUGELY popular appearance.
Israeli Prison Career
For 13 years, Fishel Jacobs worked as a full-time chaplain in the maximum-security Israeli Prison Service. He was the highest-ranking American officer, a major. His prison held 500 criminals along with 200 terrorists from Hamas, Hizballah, and the Palestinian Liberation Order. His book, Coffee Melts Bars—My Israeli Prison Career, the first book on the subject (Kindle or iTunes), and has been critically acclaimed.
This discussion usually comes as a continuation of the above Life Story Talk, when people simply “don’t want to leave,” and want to hear more.
Israeli Prison Career is also available as a standalone talk.
Life Story Variations
Rabbi Jacobs is one of the Israel Chabad on Campus and Chabad for Teens speakers. His attraction is, of course, the karate tie-in. According to the type of group, the Life Story Talk is adjusted, sometimes into a shorter format.
A huge draw for this activity is that Rabbi Jacobs’ team brings boards for the College Students, Teens or youth to break.
People love this.
Shabbat – Life Story Talk
Rabbi Jacobs has had phenomenal success basing an entire Shabbos speaking engagement around his life story. Generally, he will speak after dinner in an intimate, comfortable atmosphere. During the evening, the conversation will often cover the karate years until yechidus and marriage. During the afternoon, after lunch, there comes another session when Rabbi Jacobs discusses his prison years.
Two Kings Story
Rabbi Jacobs’ Two Kings children’s book series has been published in English, Hebrew and Russian. Each installment tells the story of David, an eight-year-old boy, and a dilemma he faces in doing what he needs to do. The battle features the Good King and Bad King, his internal voices. In Israel, a professional actor performs plays based on these stories. The actor incorporates two expensive, exquisite puppets created for this purpose.
When traveling, Rabbi Jacobs uses these puppets to tell the story. It is not a full actor’s performance, but a retelling of the story with large pictures from the book and using the Two Kings puppets.
Ages: 3-7. An hour.
Workshops — Teaching
Often, people wish to hear about ideal relationship building and family issues. This talk sets out the goals and hopes between husband and wife, along with the atmosphere in the home.
This fits for couples who are not one hundred percent connected to a religious lifestyle, and the talk lasts for about an hour.
Family Purity Workshop
A refresher workshop to review the laws and customs. This fits for those teaching these laws, mikvah-ladies, and those already committed but desiring a situation wherein they can organize their questions and get answers. Rabbi Jacobs speaks about family purity throughout the Jewish world all year long.
Family Purity Teacher Certification
This has been a hugely successful program. Often, men and women want to undergo personal training and receive written certification that they’re competent to teach the laws of family purity. Generally, but not necessarily, people approach this with some background and experience. Rabbi Jacobs’ aspiration is to summarize and confirm their proficiency and awareness in general.
The Rabbi Fishel Jacobs’ books course is based on Family Purity – A Guide To Marital Fulfillment. A summary is based on his booklet, Choson – Kallay Study Guide. This course runs for 5 to 10 meetings, often online.
This is an individual course, completed with Rabbi Jacobs issuing a personal certification for the participant to posken in dinei niddah. This can take months. However, the study course is personalized according to the needs and aspirations of the rav.
When dealing with non-Jewish groups, or groups that don’t have a Jewish slant, the spirit and content of Rabbi Jacobs’ talks are aimed more towards inspirational, motivational or thought-provoking topics.