Ishay Ribo to Partner With Chevra G’mach at Upcoming Chanukah Concert

In the weeks leading up to Zos Chanukah, anticipation has been building for the Ishay Ribo concert scheduled to be held in upper Manhattan this coming Sunday. It’s only been a few months since Ishay’s massive diaspora tour in the summer, which included the New York Arthur Ash stadium concert at which for the first time a Jewish performer sold out the entire 13,000 seat arena, and yet Ishay’s New York fans are again coming out in droves, with tickets selling out fast. For the first time in the United States, this performance will be a separate seating event, catering to Ishay’s many fans who are more comfortable with a separate seating arrangement. The concert will also feature the “king of Jewish music”, the legendary Mordechai Ben David.

Being an Israeli singer, whose original songs consist of poetic lyrics in a language foreign to many Americans, Ishay’s wild popularity in the United States has been a surprise to many – but not to those who have actually participated in his events, who have experienced the depth and warmth of his music, that seems to just melt away any barriers, barriers between Sephardi and Ashkenazi, between religious or non religious, between American Jews and our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael.

It comes as no surprise then that this special event is being held in partnership with The Chevra Gemach, an organization geared toward helping those who are at the forefront of helping others – Klal Yisroel’s cherished Hatzalah members.

Rabbi Yechiel Kalish, CEO of Chevra Hatzalah, told TLS: “When we heard about Ishay’s Chanukah concert in New York, we felt that this culmination of the light of Chanukah, with the Menorah fully lit up on the final day, and the intense warmth and Achdus Ishay’s concerts always achieve, really drives home what Chevra Hatzalah is all about. In his characteristic generosity of spirit, Ishay enthusiastically got on board.

“The idea here is that with VIP tickets that are purchased, the funds go directly to The Chevra Gemach, to assist our incredible Hatzalah volunteers.”

The Chevra Gemach was created “by the members, for the members” of Hatzalah, to assist with personal needs.

The scope of services that Chevra Gmach provides is staggering. The flagship program which started with small loans of $2,000 – $5,000, have grown and where now a typical loan is $30,000. The loans cover expenses such as weddings, or to help with day to day living costs for struggling Hatzalah members.

Besides for loans, The Gemach also offers financial grants for Yom Tovim which run into many thousands of dollars for struggling families.  The Gemach also offers services for Hatzalah families facing health issues, such as meals, home repairs, transport to hospital, or even stepping in to replace a paycheck if a member is incapacitated due to illness.

The Gemach has a medical referral program, tapping into the organization’s resources and network of doctors. It offers help with covering tuition for members who want to go back reinvent their career to help grow their parnassah, a subsidized life insurance program for those who cannot afford even a basic policy, assistance with comprehensive medical and dental care for those without insurance, and a respite program to help pay for vacations for couples with special needs children or other pressing medical issues. 

The roots of The Chevra Gemach began in NYC, Long Island, and the Catskills, but has since expanded to include Bergen County, NJ.  The Chevra Gemach now has affiliate branches in Chicago, South Florida, and the Jersey Shore, with a few more locations in the works.

“The way I see it, Hatzalah is the crown jewel of the chesed organizations that exist in Klal Yisroel” said Rabbi Kalish. “When it was founded over 60 years ago, it set the tone for the incredible amount of organizations that followed.

Recently, when speaking with a member who’s been in Hatzalah for over 30 years, he told me that it still brings tears to his eyes when responding to a call in the middle of the night.  Despite the hour and at times the harsh weather conditions, hearing the quick responses from fellow members, where the clock is ticking and every second matters, it’s mind boggling to see such a response at these hours.  Obviously, taking calls at these hours means your night is over – even if there is time to jump back to bed, you toss and turn and try to get some sleep in before morning, but yet, this will never stop one from answering the call!  Why do Hatzalah volunteers do it if not for the boundless love of their fellow Jew? This level of Chessed is just unbelievable.”  Please come out in support of those who put everything on-hold to help you.

VIP ticket holders will have access to a pre-event with catered food and a “meet and greet” with Ishay Ribo and MBD

Tickets are available at:

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