Solidarity Through Song Mission Visits Hospitals And Care Facilities Across Israel
Submitted to: Religious Groups 
Posted: March 12 2007

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March 12 2007 (Jewswire.com) - The United Synagogue, together with the Office of the Chief Rabbi and the Shabbaton Choir, participated in a very special Solidarity through Song Mission in memory of Arnold Ziff, which visited Israel from the 7th-11th March. The Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, and Dr. Simon Hochhauser, President of the United Synagogue, accompanied the group as they travelled across Israel, using the medium of song to show solidarity with those who have suffered through acts of terror or through illness or disability. The Mission was sponsored by, amongst others, the Ziff family and UJIA.

The group of over 50 visited a large number of hospitals and care facilities across Israel including Reuth (a centre for the treatment of the elderly, and injured or handicapped of all ages), Neve Michael (a safe haven for children at risk), Western Galilee Hospital Nahariyah and Hadassah Hospital in Beth Hakerem.

They also gave three major concerts in Raanana (in aid of Reuth), in Shlomi (for local residents hit by last year’s attacks from Lebanon) and Lavi (for residents of Kibbutz Lavi, Hodayot Childrens Village and Kibbutz Beth Rimon). The choir was led by Stephen Levey, and this year, Dr. Simon Hochhauser participated in the choir.

One of the highlights of the mission was the Solidarity through Song Shabbat where the group was joined by a number of distinguished guests for a special Friday night ‘Any Questions Panel’ including His Excellency Tom Phillips CMG, British Ambassador to Israel, Yehuda Avner, former Israel Ambassador to the UK and Daniel Taub, legal advisor at the Israel Foreign Ministry. 40 members from Tribe’s Israel Leadership Programme also joined the Shabbat celebrations.

The Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, commented: “These missions have been among the most moving moments I have ever experienced. Bringing music into the lives of those who have suffered trauma and terror is part of the process of healing. Even more than the choir has lifted the spirits of the victims of terror, their courage has lifted and inspired us. It is a privilege to be present at these encounters of soul joined to soul through song.”

Dr. Simon Hochhauser, United Synagogue President, commented: “Song is an extremely powerful way of expressing our solidarity with Israel. As we visit hospitals and care centres, we are incredibly rewarded by the courage and strength of character of those who have suffered, whether it be through war, terror, illness or disability. It is so important for British Jewry to demonstrate its emotional support for Israel and I can think of no better way than through the medium of song.”

Stephen Levey of the Shabbaton Choir commented: “Solidarity through Song is a unique mission as we take our music to places that would not usually receive visits from a choir and chazanim. We sing to people often less fortunate than ourselves and it always amazes me to see the affect our music has on people and the smiles that it brings to their faces. This is an incredible yet humbling sight”.

Douglas Krikler, Chief Executive of UJIA, commented: "UJIA is pleased to be able to support the building of links between our community and the people of the north of Israel. We know what a big impact music can have on people in difficulty and it's a pleasure to be able to enable this to take place."

-End-

EDITORS’ NOTES: -

Shabbaton Choir

The Shabbaton Choir for the Mission was led by Stephen Levey who not only conducted but also wrote some of its most beautiful music. Soloists Reverend Lionel Rosenfeld and Chazan Jonny Turgel were joined by Chazan Shimon Cramer who flew to join the choir from the Riverdale community in New York.

For further information, please contact:

Nikki Ginsberg Work: 020 7383 3623

The PR Office Email: nginsberg@theproffice.com

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