Shirei Shalom, Israel Solidarity Concert II
March 30, 2003
College of Staten Island.. Orchestra conducted by Yaron Gershovsky
Israel Solidarity Fund of America
Established in Willowbrook, Staten Island, N.Y. in 2002 under the auspices of the Young Israel of Staten Island, after a rash of terror bombings in Israel, the Israel Solidarity Fund of America (ISFA). ISFA is unique in that close to every dollar raised through its efforts gets distributed directly to Israeli victims of Arab terror and/or their families. Almost all overhead expenses are all covered by Yudi and Aviva and other sponsors. Yudi travels to Israel about few months, for 3-4 days with the sole purpose of meeting with terror victims and their families and distributing monies to them. Even the costs of his trips are not covered by the fund, but are paid for out of his own pocket. He meets directly with families that have been victimized by Arab terror in their own homes or hospital rooms. These families, which have to first endured the shock and pain of the immediate loss often later find themselves in dire financial situations due to the loss of income and additional medical expenses. They need continuing financial support to help them with their long-term recoveries. Yudi feels he must meet all of the families of those injured or killed himself to help ensure that all the monies go to their intended source. The Zullers values these inspirational visits where both the recipient families in Israel and the donor families in the US form lasting bonds through ISFA.
The main source of revenues for ISFA has been the Shirei Shalom Concert Series. Staged at the Center for the Performing Arts at the College of Staten Island for the last four years and in 2007 at the Colden Center at Queens College, these sold-out concerts that feature Jewish musics most popular performers have raised close to one and a half million dollars for victims of terror in Israel. That is the equivalent of close to 2000 families who have received funds from Yudi and Aviva Zuller and the ISFA.
During the Summer of 2006, when the citizens of northern Israeli cities suffered under a constant barrage of terror attacks by rocket, the Zullers felt it urgent to raise funds specifically for these new victims of terror. During the Nine Days, the Yudi and Aviva hosted an emergency Siyum/BBQ in their backyard in Staten Island. Over 600 members of the Jewish community of Willowbrook who over the years have always been overwhelmingly supportive of his efforts, turned out to generously support their brothers and sisters in Israel and $120,000 was raised for the victims of Hezbollah rockets in one evening. This tradition continued this summer, when the Zullers hosted a second very successful emergency BBQ fundraiser in their backyard two days before Tisha BAv. The funds raised went to provide much needed relief for the beleaguered citizens of Sderot, who live under the constant threat of Kassam rockets launched from Gaza. A third BBQ was hosted this past summer to raise additional funds for these beleagered families. Mrs. Rivkah Moriah, mother of Avraham David Moses, zl, one of the martyred boys of Yeshivat Tzeirei LYerushalayim, spoke on the Zullers front steps at the event to a crowd overflowing into the street.
Thousand Jews from throughout the greater New York/New Jersey metropolitan area joined together at the Jerusalem United rally and concert to fulfill the mitzvah of tzedaka, and to help relieve the suffering of their Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel who have had their lives devastated by a terror attack.
For donations, Yudi can be reached @ 718-316-8676