May 28, 2024
Close this search box.
Close this search box.
May 28, 2024
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

American Friends of Sderot Presents Eitan Katz in Concert

American Friends of Sderot hosted a very special concert at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows on Chol Hamoed Sukkot, Wednesday October 19, featuring world-renowned singing sensation Eitan Katz to benefit the community and Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot.

The evening began with Judah Rhine, Director of AFS, welcoming the enthusiastic crowd and emphasizing the goals of the concert: to raise awareness about Sderot and recognize the role that the Yeshivat Hesder plays in the day-to-day lives of the residents of the community; to raise much-needed funds for scholarships and the programs and projects that are currently in progress to continue to build and secure Sderot and to enjoy a unique evening with the one and only Eitan Katz.

A tremendous Hakarat Hatov and deep appreciation to the sponsors of the evening: The Five Towns Jewish Times, Gourmet Glatt, The Jewish Home, Mr. Joel Mael, Mr. Shalom Maidenbaum, Mr. Barry Rosner, Season’s, Mr. Jared Solomon, Mrs. Esther Soniker, Traditions Eatery and Wheels to Lease.

An inspiring video was shown on the giant screen, which gave all the attendees a beautiful flavor and description of the role and impact the Hesder Yeshiva plays within the community of Sderot. This included a wedding at the Yeshiva during the IDF Operation Protective Edge two years ago; helping to rebuild homes and give much-needed chizuk to residents after rocket attacks and taking the initiative to celebrate with the residents of Sderot during Purim, creating a truly festive celebration for the city. After seeing the video, many in the crowd expressed a renewed appreciation for the courage of the residents and the challenges they face on a daily basis.

Following the video, it was showtime. Eitan Katz, along with his band, took to the stage and played for two consecutive hours (with no intermission!). He performed many of his tunes including “L’maancha” and his newest recording, “Ki L’Olam Chasdo.”

Many in the audience stood up and started dancing in the aisles during his upbeat tunes, which truly personified a Simchat Yom Tov for all. Eitan surprised the crowd and called up world-renowned Yehudah Piamenta, whose band totally revolutionized the sound of Chasidic music. They performed several songs together to the delight of the crowd.

Eitan, who has visited Sderot, shared some of his personal reflections about the “special” playground with a rocket-proof bomb shelter disguised as a caterpillar in the city’s park, which enables hundreds of children to play, while living under the threat of missile bombardments and tunnels of terror from nearby Hamas in Gaza.

Following the concert, the Sderot raffle for Season’s gift cards and Sderot Mezuzah covers took place and six prizes were awarded.

The concert was truly a memorable experience that will remain indelible in everyone’s mind who attended. Chaya Feldstein, one of the attendees, expressed her thanks “for enhancing her Simchat Yom Tov.”

Judah Rhine reflected on the evening in that, “More than a concert, this was an opportunity to inform all that attended, some who came from as far as Connecticut and Toronto, about Sderot, the Yeshiva and the community. It also stressed how important it is for us to support Sderot in all their endeavors, and show our solidarity with our brave and determined sisters and brothers living on the front lines.”

What is so amazing and unique about Sderot? The city of Sderot, located in Southern Israel and less than one mile from the Gaza border, has become one of the most significant national symbols of heroism.

Under the leadership of its founder, Rabbi Duv Fendel, the Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot, the largest Hesder Yeshiva in Israel, has a rocket-proof Beit Midrash and dormitories to secure the safety of the 500 students who study Torah there, and who also serve in the IDF. The Chanukah Menorah, made from the Kassam Rockets that fell in the city of Sderot, stands proudly on top of the Hesder Yeshiva, and is a true testament to Sderot’s brave determination in the face of continuous terror. Being on the front lines, Sderot has revealed to the world a model of outstanding courage that sets the tone for the State of Israel.

Against all odds, the community of Sderot, with the help of the Hesder Yeshiva, is growing and thriving. The town is hustling and bustling. Real estate is developing and, anchored by the new state-of-the-art train station that connects Sderot with the rest of the country, young families are moving to experience life in this special town.

The concert is just one of the programs created by AFS in order to bring awareness and raise much-needed funds.

Everyone is encouraged to include Sderot on their itinerary the next time they visit Israel. Support and participation in AFS programs will go a long way towards making the vision into a reality, which will greatly benefit the Sderot community and the Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot.

For more information please contact Judah@sderot or 718-650-6091 or visit the website:

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles