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Jewish performers boost United Hatzalah at ‘Symphony of the Stars’

The goal of the concert was to pay tribute to first responders, as well as celebrate Jewish unity and pride.

Performers Benny Friedman, Ishay Ribo, Avraham Fried, Shulem Lemmer and Mordechai Shapiro at the “Symphony of the Stars” charity concert in New York on Dec. 16, 2023. Credit: United Hatzalah.
Performers Benny Friedman, Ishay Ribo, Avraham Fried, Shulem Lemmer and Mordechai Shapiro at the “Symphony of the Stars” charity concert in New York on Dec. 16, 2023. Credit: United Hatzalah.

The United Palace in New York City came alive on Saturday night with the melodies of the “Symphony of the Stars” concert, organized by United Hatzalah, Israel’s national volunteer-based emergency medical service (EMS) organization. With a remarkable turnout of 3,500 people, the event captivated the audience and raised an impressive $250,000 in support of the organization’s lifesaving mission.

The line-up featured Jewish music stars Benny Friedman, Ishay Ribo, Avraham Fried, Shulem Lemmer and Mordechai Shapiro. In a harmonious convergence of diverse musical styles, the singers created a musical tapestry that resonated across audiences.

Avrumy Jordan, major gifts officer for the Tristate Area at United Hatzalah, declared the evening “a tremendous success.”

He noted that “singers said the atmosphere felt like the concert was happening in Israel, and concert-goers told me it was the most incredible concert New York had ever seen.”

The Dec. 16 concert also carried a deeper significance. United Hatzalah volunteers, who are often at the forefront of emergency responses, were among the first to help on Oct. 7 amid Hamas’s terrorist attacks in Israel. The goal of the event was to pay tribute to them, as well as celebrate Jewish unity and pride.

“We are immensely grateful for the outpouring of support during this challenging time. The ‘Symphony of the Stars’ was not just a concert; it was a collective expression of solidarity and strength,” said Eli Beer, founder and president of United Hatzalah. “Not only did everyone have an amazing time, but by doing so, they allowed us to continue to equip and train our volunteers to allow the fastest and free emergency medical response throughout Israel when it’s more needed than ever.”

Attendees of the “Symphony of the Stars” charity concert in New York on Dec. 16, 2023. Credit: United Hatzalah.
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United Hatzalah of Israel is the largest independent, nonprofit, fully volunteer Emergency Medical Service organization that provides the fastest emergency medical first response throughout Israel for free. Its service is available to all people regardless of race, religion or national origin. United Hatzalah has more than 5,000 volunteers across the country, available around the clock—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With the help of GPS technology and iconic ambucycles, its network of volunteers has an average response time of less than three minutes. In some metropolitan areas, the average response time is 90 seconds. Its mission is to arrive at the scene of medical emergencies as soon as possible and provide the patient with professional and appropriate medical aid until an ambulance arrives, resulting in more lives saved.
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