Concert: Feed the children

The Yad Elie concert raises money for needy kids

Rehearsals for the Yad Elie concert. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Rehearsals for the Yad Elie concert.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The issue of supporting needy children through charitable organizations and initiatives is a complicated one. On one hand, many people will say that the natural inclination is to help such children. Who can see a hungry child and refrain from feeding him? On the other hand, for the past few years there has been a heated debate that it is the government’s obligation to feed needy children and that citizens’ taxes should be used for it.
Both are right, but at least as far as Marion Kunstenaar is concerned, there is no debate. The Dutch native is the director of Yad Elie, a nonprofit organization she founded in 2002, dedicated to the memory of her husband, after she heard about a seven-year-old pupil who had to beg his classmates for leftovers from their sandwiches.
The NGO raises money to feed Jerusalem’s needy children.
Kunstenaar is aware of the issue of the government’s responsibilities, but for her and the members of the Yad Elie board, the first obligation is to feed the children – those who upon coming home from school don’t have a hot meal waiting for them, as well as those who dropped out of school but are included in afternoon programs.
Every year, well-known musicians contribute their talent in a fund-raising evening for Yad Elie, be it in a concert hall in the city or a private home. In addition, Yad Elie receives donations from Dutch organizations and foundations for whom the welfare of Jerusalem’s children – whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim – is an important cause.
This year, the annual Yad Elie Benefit Concert will take place at the Gerard Behar Center on Monday, March 9, at 8 p.m. On the program, the cross-disciplinary music students of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance will perform songs from musicals. And in a show called Love Re-Arranged, the singers, dancers, choir and orchestra will be directed by Nir Cohen.
The show is produced by 80 students from six departments at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. They are doing this on an entirely voluntary basis and are very excited that they will be contributing to helping schoolchildren and promoting coexistence in Jerusalem. The theme of the show is love and its complications and singers, choir and orchestra will perform songs from Rent, The Phantom of the Opera, Company and Oklahoma!. “It is a unique opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause and to listen to tomorrow’s talents,” concludes Kunstenaar. •