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Thursday, June 30, 2022
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Want to make an extra special oneg? How about orchestrating a truly inspiring tish? If you want a particular program to fit your needs and you don’t see it being advertised, just ask Chaim Kiss and he will not only make it happen, he will do so affordably.

Chaim has been planning and organizing events, including fundraisers, concerts and any other occasion you can dream up for decades. As a lifelong entertainer, he’s a seasoned professional with a resume that speaks volumes to his career and experience.

“I’ve been out there for at least 50 years,” he said. “I started at the age of 17 in the Catskills.” Together with his brothers, Chaim formed a band and booked a nonstop whirlwind string of gigs. They even released a record aptly titled “The Kiss Brothers.” Since that time Chaim has performed with an all-star roster of some of the greatest Jewish performers of all time, from Shlomo Carlebach, z”l to Joe Amar, z”l, and Avraham Fried, Yaakov Shwekey…

A father of six daughters, Chaim and his wife, Carole, have lived in Teaneck for over 20 years. Before that, he spent 12 years at the West Side Institutional Synagogue as the chazzan, as well as being a guest chazzan at both Lincoln Square Synagogue and the Fifth Avenue Synagogue.

Until now, most of his Shabbats were spent away from Teaneck, as he was usually busy running a simcha or serving as the emcee at a Shabbaton. However, these days Chaim serves as the gabbai rishon and vice president of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, which has him spending Shabboses closer to home.

But that doesn’t mean he’s given up what he does best. In fact, Chaim regularly organizes special programming for Bnai Yeshurun. For instance, on Purim he brought in Shulem Lemmer (along with a crowd of 500 people). For Chanukah, he also welcomed Simcha Leiner, Mordechai Shapiro, the Shira Choir and the Mezamrim Choir (standing-room-only crowds, by the way).

“I always look up to Hashem and I say, ‘Hashem, you put me there, there’s a reason for it so I’m going to do the job.’

“So many people have joined Bnai Yeshurun because they see what programming we do. It’s the warmth. It’s the ruach. The niceness and its kindness.”

He also started Carlebach minyanim, in honor of role model Shlomo Carlebach. “I feel blessed that I had the zechus to sing with him.”

His new role at Bnai Yeshurun also allows him a lot more time to devote to making the events he plans the best they can be at at the most affordable price points.

“I have something that I was born into—we’re all singers in my family … I’m still doing concerts … and I’m back into something that I know very well.”

But Chaim doesn’t just book musicians. For years he’s been running Yomim Tovim programs, including Prime Grill’s program that featured the incomparable Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, zt”l.

He puts it all together, making sure there are kumzitzes and tisches and ensuring that all the minyanim are run well, for a smooth and joyous chag.

A regular fixture at Kutchers for 10 years, Chaim was not only the official chazan, but he was also responsible for making sure the guests there for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shavuot and Pesach were getting the ultimate Yom Tov experience. For years he’s even been arranging singles shabbatons in the Catskills region.

Twice a year he does weekends up in Connecticut for the organization Frum Divorce. He’s also been with Kosherica for eight years. In fact, there’s no program he’s not familiar with and no Jewish entertainer that isn’t in his contacts.

As for the list of entertainers with whom he performed, the list is as long as it is illustrious. He opened for Dudu Fisher and did concerts with Joel Amar, Gad Elbaz, Shlomo Haviv and Mordechai Shapiro. He sang with Benny Friedman, Yehuda Green and Eitan Katz. He also counts Chazan Meir Helfgott, Chazan Yaakov Lemmer, Chazan Netanel Hershtik, Chazan Yaakov Motzen, Chazan Ben Tzion Miller, Chazan Zevi Muller and Chazan Chaim Dovid Berson, Chazan Benny Rogosnitzky amongst the luminaries with whom he performed. Performances with Lipa Shmeltzer, Matisyahu, Shlomo Simcha, and of course, Shloime Dachs, Yisroel Williger, Yoel Sharab, Shloime Daskal, Itzy Weinberger of the Rabbis’ Sons, Avi Perets and Yoni Z make a grand appearance on that impressive list as well.

For the past 15 years he has been singing at the Celebrate Israel concert in Central Park and makes a yearly appearance at the Chanukah Telethon for Rav Anshel Perl in Long Island. He’s performed with acapella groups the Maccabeats, Y Studs, 613 and many more. He sang with the bands Soulfarm and Moshav.. He even had a gig at the New York Stock Exchange for the organization Just One Life. A photo from that momentous occasion graces his Facebook profile.

Incidentally, Chaim was just appointed director of special projects at Just One Life. “Just One Life Offers expectant Israeli mothers in crisis a helping hand to guide them through their months of pregnancy and beyond and has saved over 19,000 babies,” he said.

So whether you’re looking to host an extraordinary Shabbat or enjoy unique and inspiring Yom Tov, Chaim Kiss has you covered. “I wear many hats. That’s what it is. I’m a singer. I’m a chazan. I’m an event planner. I put a lot of ruach in all these programs. That’s what I’m known for… Everybody walks out having a great time.

“People shouldn’t think that because I have these connections that my event planning services will cost big bucks,” he added. “I’m so passionate about what I do that it’s worth hiring me.”

With Chaim’s extensive experience, you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money and going way over your budget in order to make a beautiful simcha.

For more information on making a spectacular and affordable event with Chaim Kiss email him at [email protected] or call 201-970-7687

By Jewish Link Staff

 

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