Our Long and Sordid History

While no one is quite sure just how The Hebrew School Dropouts came to be a self ordained "award-winning" Jewish improv group, the long-hidden and greatly-scandalous history of Hebrew School abandonment is less hazy.
Since the early 20th century, Jewish muckrakers - known then as Chutzpaniks - had been dreaming of an alternative source of Jewish enrichment outside of the formal classroom setting. What, to some disciples, served as a meaningful path towards Jewish enlightenment only deterred this Chutzpaniks from reaching their full Jewish potential. Endless days of Challah-braiding and Siddur-cover-crafting left these Jews feeling unenthused, under stimulated, and unmotivated.

The first meeting of the original Hebrew School Dropouts - the Chutzpaniks
Shown here in 1925.
Luckily for these "hooligans," the 1920s was a time of newfound cultural autonomy and socially endorsed individuality. After years of ridicule and unacceptance, the Chutzpaniks were beginning to mobilize to pursue greater endeavors - and with no-less-than hilarious results.

Morah Flora, pictured here in her study in 1968

In 1959, the Chutzpaniks had their big break when lazy days filled with drama and drash were replaced with the humble beginnings of decades of success. The name of this miracle? Morah Flora.

The Chutzpaniks seemed to have it all - impeccably dry wit, clockwork timing, humorous beards, and a framework of Jewish knowledge that adds a much-needed bittersweet irony to any routine. But what they didn't have far outweighed the benefits of any hilariously-groomed facial hair. This crowd needed organization.

Morah Flora came on as the group's manager in the Spring of 1960 and soon after everything was coming up latkes. Under Morah Flora's advice, the Chutzpaniks shaved their beards, traded in their shtetl hats for kippot and/or toupees, and went to town as Manhattan's first Jewish comedic improv group. Success was strictly Kosher, and it tasted great.
No one could have predicted the group's sudden rise to fame as Theodor Herzl did in 1893. "It goes without saying that the Jewish people can have no other goal than" [improv comedy]; "whatever the fate of the proposition may be, our attitude toward" [improv comedy] "is and shall remain unchangeable."
Unfortunately for the Chutzpa- niks, no one could have predicted the group's sudden fall to mediocrity as the 1980s metal band Raven did with the naming of their hit album, Life's a Bitch. In 1987, after nearly three decades of side-splitting income, the Chutzpaniks were in a slum. Broke and unemployed, many of the group's then-elderly founders blamed the group's failings on the new generation of players. Afraid to challenge the spry youth to an old-fashioned battle to the death, the group disbanded never to perform again.

Many blamed the newest class of Chutzpaniks for the group's failings, claiming the youth "quite enjoyed Hebrew School."

In 2006, a Jewish comedy student stumbled across an old photo of the Chutzpaniks during a routine visit to his great-grandfather's attic. Three months later The Hebrew School Dropouts were formed in an historic event marked by the reinstatement of the original Chutzpanik charter. Once again, for the first time in nearly 20 years, the improv comedy group, which for decades prided itself on groundbreaking approaches to Jewish thought, roamed free in the land of opportunity.
In 2007, the charter was amended allowing the admission of women into the group and the future success of The Hebrew School Dropouts was, arguably, ensured.