'Stand With Israel' Event Is Joyous Celebration at Hampton Synagogue - 27 East

‘Stand With Israel’ Event Is Joyous Celebration at Hampton Synagogue

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Rabbi Marc Schneier.

Rabbi Marc Schneier.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

From left, Carol Levin, Sandra Cahn, Victoria Schneps, Tovah Feldshuh, Rabbi Marc Schneier and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli at the Stand With Israel event at the Hampton Synagogue on Saturday night.

From left, Carol Levin, Sandra Cahn, Victoria Schneps, Tovah Feldshuh, Rabbi Marc Schneier and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli at the Stand With Israel event at the Hampton Synagogue on Saturday night.

From left, concert performers Gilad Paz, Shiree Kidron and Netanel Hershtik. PHOTOS COURTESY HAMPTON SYNAGOGUE

From left, concert performers Gilad Paz, Shiree Kidron and Netanel Hershtik. PHOTOS COURTESY HAMPTON SYNAGOGUE

authorCailin Riley on Nov 29, 2023

On Saturday, November 25, the Hampton Synagogue hosted a special “Stand With Israel” concert event in Westhampton Beach, featuring the music of Israel, with a lineup of songs performed by Netanel Hershtik, Shiree Kidron, and Gilad Paz, with musical accompaniment by the Rambam Trio, and a keynote address from Rabbi Marc Schneier.

The pain and horror of the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel and the ongoing war in Gaza are still fresh in the minds of those in the Jewish community, particularly with the rise in antisemitic attacks throughout the country. But Schneier said he was not interested in creating a somber, reserved kind of environment at the synagogue on Saturday night.

“It was very unique, very upbeat and uplifting,” he said of the concert. “My philosophy throughout the war has been to transition from despair to determination.”

The congregation seemed to agree. The standing-room-only crowd reveled in the music, and Schneier said it showed, quite literally.

“The place was shaking,” he said. “I saw the walls of that sanctuary shaking — that was the resonance, and the intensity of the music.”

During his keynote address, the rabbi reminded the congregation that the state of Israel is as strong as ever.

“2023 is not 1938,” he said. “Hamas mistakenly thought they were targeting defenseless and helpless Jews, but we’re no longer defenseless and helpless. We have a sovereign Jewish state with one of the most powerful militaries in the world.”

Schneier also reminded the congregation that the Jewish people are “not alone,” pointing out the support from many key individuals and groups, from President Biden, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, the leaders of countries like France, Germany and Argentina, as well as those in Arab and Muslim majority countries like Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Azerbaijan and more.

Schneier is not content to simply wait on that support, and he’s also not content with leaders simply condemning hate and antisemitic violence — he seeks action.

Before the event, Schneier said he challenged New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli — who was in attendance Saturday night — to do something proactive in addition to condemning antisemitism and violence. DiNapoli heeded the call, announcing at the concert that he had sent letters to the heads of 50 of the top corporations in the country, including Nike, Meta, Tesla and others, urging them to join the Anti-Defamation League’s Workplace Pledge To Fight Antisemitism.

In addition to the letters, DiNapoli called on the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s portfolio companies to join the ADL pledge. As comptroller, DiNapoli is the trustee of that fund.

Schneier said that making that pledge and announcing it at Saturday night’s event was significant.

“He was the first comptroller in the U.S. to weigh in like that,” he said. “He has challenged other comptrollers to do the same.”

Schneier said that, overall, Saturday’s concert was a joyous event and uplifting for all in attendance.

“This demonstration of support for Israel was very upbeat,” he said. “It was not depressing at all. It was a celebration of Israel, and of the privilege and blessing we have to be part of this generation.”

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