Temple Israel of Great Neck will celebrate Israel Independence Day, or Yom Ha’atzmaut, on Thursday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m., with a concert, free and open to the public. The holiday this year marks the 70th anniversary of the reading of the Declaration of Independence of Israel by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion in 1948.
The evening will be filled with music, song and celebration featuring outstanding soloists and three local choral groups. Among the choirs performing is the Voices of Virtue, a gospel youth choir under the direction of Rachel Blackburn. The group made its international debut when it performed in Vienna, and they were subsequently invited to compete in the International Choral Competition in Verona, Italy.
Joining Temple Israel Cantor Raphael Frieder in an uplifting repertoire of songs will be Cantor Elizabeth Shammash, of Temple Tiferet Bet Israel in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.
Cantor Shammash, who studied with Cantor Frieder, has served as the cantor at her congregation since 2007, after holding positions at several other congregations in the Northeast. She is also a celebrated opera singer and has performed with such prestigious orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic; the Israel Philharmonic; the China National Symphony; Mostly Mozart, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields among others. Ronn Yedidia, a renowned pianist and composer, will be the evening’s musical director and accompanist.
The newly formed Shireinu Choir of Long Island, a mixed adult choir that celebrates Jewish culture and heritage through music and song, will also participate with a combination of English and Hebrew songs. The choir is under the direction of Deborah Tartell. Recently, the Shireinu Choir of Long Island performed alongside Voices of Virtue at the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Service held in Kings Point.
Opening the concert will be the sweet singing of the Temple Israel Children Choir, who will set a celebratory mood with some favorite Israeli songs.
Temple Israel is located at 108 Old Mill Road. For additional information, visit www.tign.org or call 482-7800.