Jerusalem, Israel - Feb. 26, 2024  -  At the beginning of September, Ishay Ribo and Akiva Turgeman performed at what has been called 'the largest Jewish concert in history' at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 

The Israeli superstar Ribo on the 'Elul tour' performed his traditional tunes with his new styling to a sold-out crowd of 15,000 enthusiastic fans in the United States.

On Thursday night in the Old City at the Aish World Center Building in Jerusalem, Israel, Ishay Ribo was again joined by Akiva to perform for a packed standing-room-only crowd. The Israeli appreciative audience at the benefit concert was composed of families forced to leave home because of the October 7 War and IDF soldiers. While some southern Israeli residents have been able to return home, tens of thousands of people are still in temporary housing in hotels in Jerusalem. 

The special evening included a dairy buffet dinner before the concert. Aish CMO Jamie Geller was among the Aish staff present to greet the event sponsors - the West Side Institutional Synagogue (WSIS) leadership solidarity mission headed by congregant Bari Erber. 

Rabbi Eitiel Goldwicht founder of Aish Israel, spoke to the US delegation on the Aish rooftop with the view overlooking the Kotel and Western Wall Plaza before dinner and the concert, enhancing the experience with his empowering words. From 2002 -2004, Goldwicht learned at Ner Israel before receiving semicha in Israel.

Emphasizing the significance of the timing both Rabbi Goldwicht and Rabbi Steven Burg CEO of Aish, mentioned the night was Purim Katan, an appropriate time to bring joy in these difficult times.

"The best way to support Israel is to visit Israel,” Minister of Tourism Haim Katz told an audience in the US in his opening speech last week. 

The WSIS solidarity mission is partnered with the World Zionist Organization.  Yaakov Aharoni, the CEO of the World Zionist Organization, and his wife were honored guests, as was Herbert Block the Executive Director of the American Zionist Movement. 

After kicking off on Thursday evening with the benefit concert at the Aish center, WSIS will spend the days traveling the country, doing acts of kindness, and visiting with people who were the hardest hit by the war.  As with other similar missions the delegates, visit Shuva, rehab centers, and IDF bases, and meet with hostage families. Most of the Israeli solidarity missions conclude on Thursday, but the Aish-WSIS mission began with a special Shabbat experience in the Old City at Aish, with davening at the Kotel, to start their visit with an enhanced spiritual experience.