Interfaith concert in Montclair benefits Israel, humanitarian efforts

Interfaith concert in Montclair benefits Israel, humanitarian efforts

Last week, more than 300 people gathered for an outdoor concert to celebrate Lag Ba’Omer, and to raise funds for the Hostage and Missing Families Forum and the New Israel Fund’s support of humanitarian relief in Gaza, the World Central Kitchen, and the International Rescue Committee. The concert featured the Israeli surf band Habbina Habbina, a Mizrachi/Israeli surf band with guest singer Gili Yalo, a bonfire, and food from Marcel, Chef Meny Vaknin’s Montclair restaurant.

The program was sponsored by Bnai Keshet and Congregation Shomrei Emunah, both in Montclair, Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, and Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston, along with several local churches, including Union Congregational Church, Bethany Baptist, First Congregational Church, and Union Baptist & First Lutheran Church.

“As a Jewish community, we came together to celebrate our hope for a future of dignity, safety, and peace for both Jews and Palestinians,” Bnai Keshet’s Rabbi Elliott Tepperman said. “Raising money for the families of Israeli hostages and food relief efforts in Gaza is one way to embody that hope.”

“During a time of painful divisions, it was a joy to join with other congregations in celebration of our shared humanity and commitment to justice, peace, and security for all peoples of the Middle East,” Rev. Ann Ralosky of the First Congregational Church in Montclair said. “We appreciate this chance to support our Jewish neighbors in this effort.”

Participants enjoyed food, music, and a bonfire; the concert raised more than $10,000.