Legendary Israeli Chasidic singer Yosef Karduner performed in Crown Heights for the first time on Sunday, at an event in memory of Kasriel (Kazi) Benjamin OBM.
The event, hosted by Menachem Reich and Avinoam Mizrachi, was held at the Rubashkin’s on President Street. Funds raised at the event will go towards the writing of a Sefer Torah in Kazi’s memory and the Kazi Fund.
In addition to the Israeli superstar, two rising talents were featured, Yudi Simon of ‘Yudi’s Project’ and Shevach Tamir and Moshe Katzen of band ‘Yellow Red Sky.’
Kazi, a talented writer (a contributor to the Algemeiner), and gifted musician, is most known for his intrinsic kindness – he was a great friend who always knew just the right thing to say. “His humor and smile was so telling of the person he was,” said one friend, “A kind, sweet soul that never judged or got angry. Kazi took the initiative to always make one feel worth something by giving anything he had, that’s the type of person he was.”
The event combined two of Kazi’s greatest passions: music and bringing people together. Going forward, the group aims to build a Young Adult community and support network. It will include Friday night meals and events centered on art and music. A music lounge, called K-lounge will be opening on President street. It will be a place where young adults can come to relax, be with friends, and play music.
“With all these feelings of grief and disbelief, we wanted to do something positive that celebrates his life and the good that he’s done,” explained Menachem Reich, event organizer and a friend of Kazi’s. “You could always rely on Kazi for a good hug and a smile.”
Over three hundred people of all ages were in attendance, it was truly a beautiful event that brought a feeling of togetherness to the community, something that surely would have made Kazi smile.
Zaki Tamir, a prominent community leader, spoke for a few minutes, and echoed the feeling that was tangible in the room. “This is a very exciting night for Crown Heights to have such talent here, events like this really bring the people of our community together. And I know that this is only the beginning of some amazing initiatives. I am proud to be a part of it.”
Musicians in attendance:
Yitzchak Bitton (Raya Me’hemna)
Yudi Simon (Yudi’s Project)
Yellow Red Sky (Shevach Tamir, Moshe Katzen)