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JACKIE MASON
Stephen J. Carrera  /  AP
Comic Jackie Mason, who at 25 was ordained as a rabbi, isn't laughing at the use of his likeness on a Jews for Jesus pamphlet.
updated 8/25/2006 10:12:45 AM ET 2006-08-25T14:12:45

Saying he’s “as Jewish as a matzo ball or kosher salami,” Jackie Mason filed a lawsuit against Jews for Jesus for using his name and likeness in a pamphlet.

The $2 million lawsuit seeks the immediate destruction of the pamphlet, which members of the missionary group have been handing out at various points around New York City.

“While I have the utmost respect for people who practice the Christian faith, the fact is, as everyone knows, I am as Jewish as a matzo ball or kosher salami,” the 75-year-old comedian said in documents filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Founded in the 1970s, Jews for Jesus practices Judaism but regards Jesus as the Messiah.

The pamphlets feature an image of Mason next to the words “Jackie Mason ... A Jew for Jesus!?” with information inside that outlines the similarities between Jews and Christians.

“The pamphlet uses my name, my likeness, my ‘shtick’ (if you will), and my very act, which is derived from my personality, to attract attention and converts,” Mason said in an affidavit.

Susan Perlman, a spokeswoman for Jews for Jesus, said the pamphlet was “good-natured.”

“Shame on him for getting so upset about this,” she said Friday.

Mason has starred on Broadway and in films including “Caddyshack II.”

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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