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December 15, 2005 - Image 38

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-12-15

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More Than Music

Israeli soldiers' concert raises money, affirms Israel-diaspora connection.


Robert A. Sklar



he Michigan Friends of
the Israel Defense Forces
has raised $1 million on
behalf of Israeli combat soldiers
this year, thanks to community
fund-raising efforts like the
annual IDF Musical Ensemble.
This year's music fest on Dec.
1 drew 270 people to
Congregation Shaarey Zedek in
Southfield. Hillel Day School of
Metropolitan Detroit students,
under music teacher Robin
Lash's direction, sang the U.S.
and Israel national anthems.
Proceeds will help provide
relaxation, recreational and edu-
cational opportunities for sol-
diers as well as assist soldiers in
"A lot of the money raised this
year will go to the YAMAM unit
— the anti-terror squad," said
Tamir Oppenheim, executive
director of the Michigan Friends.
Nationwide in 2005, U.S.
Friends chapters will fund four-
year Israeli university scholar-
ships for 1,100 IDF soldiers fol-
lowing their service commit-

The Ensemble's performance
is about connection as much as
it is about fund-raising, said
Friends board member Daily
Saar of West Bloomfield, who
served in the IDF from 1972 to
1974 during the Yom Kippur War
and beyond. He came to the U.S.
in 1977 to earn a doctorate in
sports medicine and human per-
formance from Indiana
"Israel, its people and its land,
connects all Jews:' Saar said.
"And the ability to connect
through the Ensemble with
those soldiers who day in and
day out put their lives on the
line, and who dedicate a mini-
mum of three years of their lives
to protect. Israel and keep the
ideals that we share as a people,
is a great, great thing. It does so
much for the country." El

To reach the Michigan

Friends of the IDF, call
(248) 203-2060 or e-mail
Jamir@israelsoldiers.org .
Alon Kaufman is local
chairman and Gary
Shiffman is local president.


Above: Israeli soldiers on

stage: Ester Rada, 20, of
Netanya; Nir Chalmish, 20,
of Yavneh; Tamar Elam, 19, of
Tel Aviv; Daria Vered, 20, of

Tel Aviv; and Hananel Ederi,
21, of Kiryat Shmona

Right: Audience members

Jonathan Cher, 6, of Hunt-
ington Woods and Talia Yaari,
6, of West Bloomfield


• -,- -

Hillel singers David Kaplovitz, 11, of Bloomfield Hills and Elijah
Kollin, 10, of Oak.Park


December 15 = 2005

Hillel Day School students, led by music teacher Robin Lash, sing the U.S. and Israel national

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