Five Towns Jewish Times – 15th Annual Israel Day Concert in Central Park, June 1, 2008
ZOA in the news
June 1, 2008

Approximately 20,000 men, women, teenagers, and children are expected to attend the annual Dr. Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Israel Day Concert in Central Park to be held on the 27th of Iyar 5768, the eve of Yom Yerushalayim, at the Summer Stage, entrance on Fifth Avenue and 72nd Street, rain or shine, from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m., after the Salute to Israel Parade. The concert is dedicated to a united Jerusalem, subsequent to its reunification 41 years ago during the miracle of the Six Day War, the memory of the eight murdered Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva students, Hy’d, the safe release of the Israeli captured soldiers, the release of Jonathan Pollard, and to the brave citizens of S’derot who have withstood more than 7,000 rockets and missiles since the year 2000.

It is also dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, the heroic Israel Defense Forces, and the brave U.S. Armed Forces who fight courageously against tyranny and terrorism. Always in our thoughts are the heroic displaced families who lived in Gush Katif and the Shomron who were uprooted from their homes and still not properly compensated.

Once again, the concert is being organized by Dr. Joseph Frager of Jamaica Estates, and the chairpersons are Dr. Paul and Drora Brody of Great Neck. Meyer and Esther Chetrit and Jacqui and Tamar Ekstein, all of Manhattan, are serving as this year’s concert co-organizers. The concert is being presented in association with Young Israel Chovevei Zion, with special thanks to the National Council of Young Israel. The concert is in memory of Dr. Manfred R. Lehmann, z’l and in memory of Rose and Reuben Mattus, z’l. Many individuals, families, and organizations have joined together to support the largest event of its kind outside of Israel, many to honor or memorialize loved ones.

All supporters have been listed in a beautiful concert poster created by Sholom Greenzweig Associates of Brooklyn. The community of Great Neck deserves a special thanks for its extraordinary support. Major corporate sponsors include CBS Insurance Group, Meridian Capital, Winick Realty, and Prime Grill (which will have its delicacies available at the concert).

The crowd will be treated to the music of special Israeli entertainers being flown in from Israel, along with local singing superstars. The musical talent coming from Israel includes Chassidic singing sensation Yechiel Lichtiger, accompanied by pianist extraordinaire and lyricist Shlomi Aharoni, super rock band Yood, klezmer group Simply Tsfat, and Israeli fusion band HaMakor. Local talent includes the heartfelt father and son duo of Dr. Meyer and Baruch Abittan, international star Shlomo Haviv, soft rock artist Shloimy Bluth with moving lyrics by Reuven Stone, the always electrifying Piamenta Band, singing star Chaim Kiss, and the battle of the bands winner Yaakov Chesed.

Hatikvah, as well as Kel Maleh Rachamim for the eight murdered yeshiva students and for concert stalwarts who have passed on, will be sung by the renowned Jerry Markovitz. The singers will be accompanied by the fabulous Neginah Orchestra. The backdrop of the stage will include the original largest Israeli flag in the world—created several years ago specifically for the concert. A special attraction will be the onstage display of the “Flags of the 12 Tribes” created by the United Tribes of Israel Foundation.

Rabbi David Algaze of Havurat Yisrael in Forest Hills will represent and introduce the World Committee for the Land of Israel, an organization formed recently to create public awareness of issues affecting Israel, most notably a united Jerusalem and the struggle to retain the Land of Israel in its entirety. Other important Jewish leaders who will be present are Member of Knesset Dr. Arieh Eldad, founder of the HaTikvah Party; Morton Klein, president of the ZOA; Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg, president of the Rabbinical Council of America; Shlomo Z. Mostofsky, president of the National Council of Young Israel; Daniel Luria of the Jerusalem Reclamation Project; Shmuel Sackett, international director of Manhigut Yehudit; and Rabbi David Fendel of Yeshivat Hesder of S’derot.

Political leaders delivering messages to the audience will include NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner, NYS Assemblyman Dov Hikind, and NYC Councilman David Weprin.

The concert will be emceed by Nachum Segal and produced into a show by Zev Brenner of Talkline Communications. It will be broadcast by Arutz Sheva. For concert information, visit

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