One is an Orthodox rabbi known for controversial self-help books who has challenged anti-Semitism in the black community.
The other is a former writer for the Village Voice who parted ways with the paper over his favorable coverage of the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Can these two men share a radio show without driving each other crazy?
Time will tell, as Rabbi Shmuley Boteach teams up with Peter Noel starting Monday on WWRL-AM (1600), a station geared toward black audiences.
“He’s very liberal, and I’m a social conservative,” Rabbi Boteach says.
“He’s a staunch defender of conservative views,” Noel offers. “We rarely agree on anything, but we never take it personally.”
“The Peter and Shmuley Show” will enter the highly competitive 6-10 a.m. “drive-time” slot, the first time the station has teamed black and Jewish co-hosts. The call-in program will center on current events.
“We’re very excited about this,” says program director Rennie Bishop. “But this is not about ethnicity or any one community. It’s an opportunity to bring different perspectives to the issues that confront us all.”
Rabbi Boteach is best known for his controversial best-seller “Kosher Sex” and the recent follow-up, “Kosher Adultery,” a guide to spicing up the marriage bed. He’s publicly debated Sharpton and a leader of Jews for Jesus.
Noel, a Caribbean American, made headlines during the 1991 Crown Heights riots when he interceded on behalf of a chasidic man who was being assaulted by black rioters. More recently Noel drew notoriety from a Voice cover story in 2001, during a spate of questionable police shootings of blacks, in which he vowed that if a cop shot his young son, he’d kill the cop.
He has been a contributor of news stories to WWRL, and is working on a book about Sharpton titled “Playing The Race Card.”
WWRL listeners will get a daily double dose of Rabbi Shmuley: His three-hour national syndicated program will air on weekday afternoons, also starting Monday. The station is owned by Access 1, one of the largest chains of black-owned radio stations in the country.