Squirrel Hill concert features musicians in support of Kibbutz Movement
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Squirrel Hill concert features musicians in support of Kibbutz Movement

Beautiful night of music is mechanism to support and 'heal'

Photo by Marco Tedaldi via Flickr at https://rb.gy/endfiy
Photo by Marco Tedaldi via Flickr at https://rb.gy/endfiy

Local musicians are donating their time and talent to support the Kibbutz Movement.

The professional players, including about 10 members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, will participate in a one-night benefit concert.

Scheduled for Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom, the event is an opportunity to overcome “adversity,” cellist Michael Lipman said.

“We are here in Pittsburgh and able to do this,” he said. “I consider it the ultimate mitzvah because music is something human beings have — which is the most beautiful thing — which can heal just about anything.”

Lipman’s wife, Shirli Nikolsburg, helped organize the evening but said that bringing together virtuosos wasn’t her first idea when it came to offering support.

“On day 2 of the war, I thought, ‘Let me go to the kitchen and bake a cake.’ Then I was like, ‘I’m in Pittsburgh, that’s not going to work,” she said.

Nikolsburg, a Squirrel Hill resident who was born in Haifa but has lived in Pittsburgh for nearly 30 years, said she quickly realized there were better ways of creating an impact 6,000 miles away from war.

She talked to her husband about helping the Kibbutz Movement, an organization consisting of approximately 230 kibbutzim in the Jewish state because, on Oct. 7, several southern kibbutzim were viciously attacked by Hamas.

Of the 400 members of Kibbutz Nir Oz, at least 180 were murdered or abducted; survivors were displaced to a hotel in Eilat, according to The New York Times.

At Kibbutz Be’eri, more than 120 of the 1,100 residents were killed, CNN reported.

Remnants of a Kfar Aza home that was destroyed by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7. (Photo by Rabbi Seth Adelson)

Merav Amos, an Israeli-American and Squirrel Hill resident who helped organize the upcoming concert, said that Nir Oz, Be’eri and the other kibbutzim in the Gaza envelope are experiencing severe problems: “The money is going to be needed there for a long time.”

Amos said the ability to host a local performance is a credit to Judith Adelson, a fellow Squirrel Hill resident whose husband serves as Congregation Beth Shalom’s senior rabbi.

Adelson said that after learning about Nikolsburg’s idea, she invited Nikolsburg and Lipman to the Squirrel Hill synagogue to see the space where a performance could be held.

Everyone agreed that the “acoustics are amazing and it’s a perfect setting for a concert,” Adelson said.

Though several weeks remain until the show, excitement is high.

“This is a beautiful initiative by these musicians,” Amos said. “Their time is very precious.”

Lipman said he is “honored and blessed” to perform, and that he was happy to recruit colleagues for such a meaningful endeavor.

Amos and Adelson both said the program, which will include works by Mozart, Beethoven and Mendelsohn, is designed with hopes that the entire community attends.

Not only will 100% of the proceeds go to the Kibbutz Movement, but there will be no singing, Amos said, making the event “suitable for everyone.” (Some Orthodox Jews consider a woman singing in public to be immodest.)

“We should be so lucky to get hundreds of people to come,” Adelson said. “If we do, we’ll have plenty of room for them.”

Tickets for the Jan. 28 concert can be bought at tinyurl.com/pghconcert. PJC

Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

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