April 12, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 12, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

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

Reunification of Yerushalayim Celebrated at Israel Day Concert in Central Park

Drizzles of rain could not dampen the enthusiasm and spirit of those who came from far and wide to participate in Sunday’s Israel Day Concert in Central Park, many of whom were dressed and draped in Israeli flags and other pro-Israel insignia. The concert, now in its 24th year, was particularly powerful this year, as it heralded the 50th anniversary of Israel’s resounding victory in the Six-Day War and the resulting reunification of Yerushalayim. It followed the massive Israel Day Parade down Fifth Avenue, and amplified the parade’s message.

The Israel Day Concert was arranged by renowned Israel activists Dr. Joseph and Karen Frager, longtime concert organizers, and concert chairpersons Dr. Paul and Drora Brody, who coined the term “Concert With A Message” when they began chairing the concert 13 years ago. Odeleya Jacobs joined them as concert media coordinator.

The concert is dedicated in memory of Carl Freyer, z”l; Dr. Manfred R. Lehman and his Eishet Chayil Anne, z”l; and Rose and Reuben Mattus, z”l. Dr. Frager and Dr. Brody, as well as Nachum Segal, served as emcees for the event. The concert coincided with the first yahrtzeit of legendary pro-Israel philanthropist Dr. Irving Moskowitz, z”l. A special tribute to the late doctor and his wife, Cherna, who is continuing his legacy, was made by their grandson Rabbi Yechezkel Moskowitz.

The atmosphere was palpably jubilant and optimistic. “Coming from the UN, I’m not used to seeing so many supporters of Israel,” quipped Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon from the podium. “We are here to send a strong message to the UN and UNESCO: ‘Jerusalem is the united capital of the Jewish people—period!’”

With a massive stage adorned by American and Israeli flags as the backdrop, the Shloime Dachs Orchestra and Singers entertained the crowd along with a diverse range of superstar performers: Shloime Dachs, Michoel Pruzansky, Beri Weber, Dr. Meyer Abittan, Jerry Markovitz, Izzy Kiefer and Heshy R, Avi Kilimnick, “Mr. Shabbos” Josh Alpert, White Shabbos and Bezalel Levin. Special guest performers from Israel were Mati Shriki; Tal Vaknin; Elron Zabatani, who resides in the “Muslim Quarter” of the Old City; and pianist Shlomi Aharoni. One particular musical highlight was the public debut of “Tivne Chomot Yerushalayim,” a moving song composed by Duvi Honig, founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce—which was sung by Tal Vaknin.

Danny Dayan, consul general of Israel in New York, glowed as he relayed to the crowd the recent meeting he held with 250 American boys and girls who have volunteered to serve in the IDF. Dov Kalmanovitz, deputy mayor of Yerushalayim, spoke with powerful emotion of his journey, having his face badly burned by a Palestinian terrorist during the first Intifada. The deputy mayor has been a pillar of support for countless terror victims, including a young girl named Yael whose inspiring journey he recounted at the concert.

Several speakers, including former UN Ambassador John Bolton, former top Trump advisor Boris Epshteyn, Aaron Klein of Breitbart Jerusalem Bureau and Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth, spoke of how the alliance between the U.S. and Israeli governments has significantly strengthened since Donald Trump took the oath of office. Among other speakers, Farley Weiss, national president of the National Council of Young Israel, stressed the importance of the global war on radical Islamic terror.

Ken Abramowitz, Rivka Abbe and others at the podium highlighted the importance of pro-Israel activism among all generations of American Jewry. Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, stressed the historical Jewish connection to the land of Israel, in contrast to the historical Muslim indifference to the land, even to Yerushalayim itself. Mark Levenson, chairman of the New Jersey-Israel Commission, elaborated upon the enormous social and economic progress that Israel has experienced since 1967, as well as the need to defeat BDS and other contemporary threats.

Noted IDF combat veteran and former Knesset member Yoni Chetboun, author of “Under Fire,” was among the many guests who traveled from Israel in order to attend the event. “In Israel, we see what’s around us,” he remarked, “but when we come here and see thousands of American Jews and non-Jews coming out in support of Israel, it gives us ‘chizuk.’”

Odeleya Jacobs explained the deep emotions that she and other American organizers and attendees felt regarding the celebration. “This concert was a message to the world to strengthen the fact that Hashem gave Eretz Yisroel to the Jewish People,” she explained. “We are here to celebrate the miracle Hashem performed on our behalf 50 years ago when we got Eretz Yisroel Hashleima, all of Eretz Yisroel. May Hashem continue to bless the Am HaYehudi.”

By Michoel Bretter

 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles