Above: Matt Fagan of the Adam Awerbuch
Quartet jams on the guitar.
Left: Jason Anderson and Jacob
Liepshutz, both 16 and of West
Bloomfield find agreement.
Making Music, Making Miracles
"Banding Together" event raises spirits and funds for local kids.
Teen2Teen Staff Writer
van and Emily Fischer of West
Bloomfield couldn't stop smil-
ing. The brother and sister, ages
13 and 10, spent Sunday night, May 24,
listening to more than a dozen musical
acts performing at Temple Israel in West
It wasn't just the assortment of musi-
cal styles — ranging from Top-40 rock to
acoustic folk — that had them so happy.
It was the crowd that had gathered with
them. To Evan and Emily, it felt like the
entire Jewish community had "banded
together" on their behalf.
The event was a fundraiser called
"Banding Together," and it was organized
to reach out to the Fischer children, who
have lost both their parents, and to help
other orphaned children in the Metro
Detroit Jewish community.
Evan and Emily's mother, Nancy
Fischer, died four years ago after battling
cancer. In March of this year, on the night
of Nancy's yahrtzeit, their father, Rob
Fischer, unexpectedly died from a heart
The "Banding Together" concert idea
started with the rock band Yom Sheini,
which means "Monday." The name
evolved because the band practices at
Monday Night School at Temple Israel.
Rabbi Paul Yedwab said band mem-
bers came up with the idea of doing a
fundraiser where they could play music,
which is their passion, and raise money
at the same time.
Their original plan was to help those
suffering in Darfur, but then they heard
about the devastating loss of Rob Fischer.
They decided to help the Fischer children
through Temple Israel's new Yaldeinu
(Our Children) Fund.
"The best part of this event was that
it was conceived by kids for kids;' said
Carolyn Iwrey, a parent of two perform-
ers, who helped by selling concessions at
Christopher and Susie Tarnas, close
friends and neighbors of the Fischers, are
serving as legal guardians for Evan and
Emily. The Tarnases are not Jewish, but, at
Rob's request, are raising the kids as Jews.
"We thought we were bringing them
into our family, but they are bringing us
into their family with this whole com-
munity," Christopher said. "It's a loving
Dan Hacker of the Frankel Jewish
To keep the traditions alive for Evan
and Emily, every Friday they light can-
dles and say Shabbat prayers.
Jamming For A Cause
At Banding Together, the performers
included Temple Israel's Yom Sheini and
Teen Tefillah Team, the Frankel Jewish
Academy Band, Tessa and the Pack Rats,
the Corner Seats, Kidz Klez Bands of
Michigan, Jam Society and ATID Band.
The event took place in two rooms simul-
taneously. These larger bands played
in Korman Hall, while smaller acoustic
acts performed in the Hodari Children's
"It was a great feeling to be able to
perform at something that is such a great
cause said Dan Hacker, lead singer of
the Frankel Jewish Academy Band. "To do
what I love and benefit kids at the same
time is great. It was a collaborative effort;
I heard something about the benefit and
got on the committee, and next thing you
know, I was playing at it."
About 800 people, including volunteers,
came to help support the cause, and close
to $40,000 was raised. Everyone from
toddlers to senior citizens were dancing
and singing along with the music.
"It exceeded our hopes and expec-
tations to see this community come
together to recognize some really amaz-
Making Music on page C2