April 23, 2024
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Huge Crowd Attends Post-Parade Concert in Central Park

Music fans of all ages and walks of life came together on Sunday, June 2 for a star-studded celebration of the special U.S.-Israel relationship. The 20th Annual Israel Day Concert was by far the biggest yet, with thousands coming to hear some of hottest musical acts in the Jewish world.

The program began just as the Annual Israel Day Parade (a separate event sponsored by New York’s Jewish Community Relations Council) was drawing to a close, with many of the parade’s participants ultimately finding their way to the concert.

The concert showcased a veritable who’s who of Jewish entertainers. Lending their star power to the event were headliners Lipa Schmeltzer and Edon Pinchot. The many opening acts preceding them, however, were celebrities in the own right. Brought together by Musical Director Zvika Bornstein, these included popular Israeli Chassidic-Folk trio Simply Tsfat; 2012 Jewish Star International Music Contest Winners Dovid Moskovits (of Queens, NY) and Choni Goldman (coming all the way from Johannesburg, South Africa); Dr. Meyer Abittan—a cardiologist who, fittingly, touched people’s hearts with his moving rendition of the theme from Exodus; Jerry Markovitz—publisher of the popular weekly paper the Jewish Connection; The Shloime Dachs Orchestra & Singers; Chaim Kiss; Izzy Kieffer & Heshy R (who delighted with a musical homage to Reb Shlomo Carlebach); and rising music star Elron Zabatani. Zabatani, a resident of Jerusalem’s Old City and an alumnus of the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva (who has also worked as a tour guide and medic).

Staying true to the concert’s theme, the entertainment was interspersed with impassioned speeches by top Israeli and pro-Israel leaders. The Israel Day Concert, declared Dr. Frager, is unique by virtue of its “significant message.”

“That message is, of course, one of unity. And the unity we’re speaking of is the unity of Yerushalayim and of course the unity of all of Eretz Yisrael.”

Many well-known media figures attended or actively participated in the day’s festivities, including radio broadcasters Nachum Segal (who served as the concert’s MC), and Zev Brenner. Speaking with this reporter, Mr. Brenner discussed the concert in his usual eloquent fashion. “It’s an important day for Jews to show solidarity with Israel,” explained Brenner. “The concert is a unique institution which shows solidarity with Jews—especially in Yehudah & Shomron [Judea & Samaria]–and it’s good to see people gather in song, all unified, because that’s the reality. At the end of the day, we’re all together. So it’s nice to see people from all different backgrounds, unified. We need to see more people coming out for the parade and for the concert.”

“It’s a great day to be Jewish in New York,” he added.

Daniel Perez is a freelance writer, editor, and media consultant. His work has been published in more than a dozen media outlets in print and online, including the Jewish Press,Yeshiva World News, and Israel’s Arutz Sheva. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Daniel Perez

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