By A. Cohen
Photos: Baruch Ezagui
The Tzivos Hashem ‘Jewish Kids Got Talent’ competition drew to a close yesterday at the Tzivos Hashem dinner which took place at the Hilton New York. The highlight of the beautiful dinner, attended by over 400 supporters was the presentations made by each of the nine finalists.
The evening marked 31 years since the Lubavitcher Rebbe started the Jewish children’s organization. 31 years of hard work, and devotion, to Jewish children worldwide through clubs, rallies, countless publications, and craft workshops. The competition was yet again a resounding success and a wonderful way to commemorate the accomplishments of Tzivos Hashem, and a promise to never give up and to strive to do better and provide for future generations of Jewish children.
The atmosphere was electric as the house lights faded and the hall fell silent, a voice over the loudspeaker announced the beginning of the show and the hall erupted in cheers and applause. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening, comedian ‘Modi’ Rosenfeld, had the crowd roaring with laughter from the start.
The theme song, ‘Impact’, written by Moshe Kravitsky and performed by the Sparks Choir together with Moshe Hecht, was beautifully executed and the children performed to the highest standards. The words of the song highlighted the theme of the evening, ‘children have got the power to change the world’ by using their talents and doing good they can really make an impact ‘to bring Moshiach now.’ A new song, D’ Meir, featuring child vocalist Mendel Piekarski and special guest Yoni Zigelboum was also debuted by the Sparks Choir. The Sparks Choir, produced by Danny Finkleman will be releasing this song as a music video in the coming weeks.
Over the course of the evening, Jewish superstar Avraham Fried entertained the crowd accompanied by the fantastic Freilach Orchestra. Michelle Stern, the young violinist, and winner of last year’s performance category, was also a special guest at the evening and once again astounded the crowd with her violin skills. Accompanied by her mother, she had the audience on the edge of their seats and wide mouthed in awe as she played her piece.
Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, Executive Director of Tzivos Hashem, introduced new Chairman of the Board of Tzivos Hashem Yosef Yitzchok Popack who has been a friend and supporter of Tzivos Hashem since its initiation by the Rebbe 31 years ago. He has been an anchor of support to Rabbi Benjaminson throughout the years and has welcomed many distinguished guests to Tzivos Hashem during that time. Tzivos Hashem are honored that Yosef Yitzchok has accepted this role and look forward to his continued support as they work hard to take Tzivos Hashem forward into its 32nd year.
But the overall highlight of the evening, were the many talented children who graced the stage to show the audience what they are doing to make the world a better place. These children were the finalists of the ‘Jewish Kids Got Talent’ Competition, now in its second year. The finalists of the three competition categories, Chesed, Achievement, and Performing Arts showcased their talents and acts of kindness after which the guests had the chance to partake in a live vote via a handheld device available at each place at the dinner table.
Prizes up for grabs included cash for a non-profit organization of the winner’s choice, a sizable amount for themselves and a library of books from Kehot Publishing House.
After each of the finalists performed, the audience had the chance to ask them a couple of questions about their talent. Third place winner, five year old Chaya Mushka Moscowitz, wowed the crowd by reciting a paragraph taken from the chapter of Tanya she had mastered by heart. Chaya Mushka was able to recite the lines flawlessly, much to the amazement of the crowd who cheered loudly.
Second place winners, brothers, Hersh Meyer and Moshe Ringel of Monsey NY impressed the audience with their project ‘Bottles for Books’. Over the past few months these boys have collected thousands of bottles and urged their family, friends and neighbors to do the same. Using the 5c deposit they get back after recycling them, the boys were able to raise enough money to purchase 41 books for the library at NYU. And their answer after being asked what they would do with their prize money? “Buy more books of course!”
The overall winner of this year’s competition was Malky Levy. The Galprin family from Israel moved to Cincinnati where Malky lives, to get treatment for their son who was tragically burnt in a terrible fire. Over the past year and a half, Malky has spent many hours with little Laizer, playing with him, reading to him, and just keeping him company while he undergoes treatment and recovers. The Galprin family appreciates the time Malky spends with him and say that she is a big part of his miraculous recovery. Malky will be donating her winnings to the Galprins to help with Laizer’s medical bills.
All the finalists were awarded prizes and certificates and Tzivos Hashem is very proud of all of them.