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Press Release – 11 April 2008

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Tickets selling fast for Yom Ha’atzmaut 60 – The Concert
A Star studded celebration of Israel’s 60 years!

The State Zionist Council of Victoria’s massive community celebration Yom Ha’atzmaut 60 – The Concert is just over 3 weeks away and Beth Weizmann Community Centre is buzzing with activity and handling hundreds of requests for tickets to the event on Wednesday evening, May 7.

With more than 2,500 people expected to fill The Arts Centre’s Hamer Hall to capacity, the community’s Yom Ha’atzmaut Concert is the Victorian Jewish community’s largest ticketed event.

The Concert will feature “Milk & Honey” a young and dynamic group from Israel. The guest artists – Liron Lev, Ester Rada and Timna Gonen will perform together especially for the trip to Australia. Only in their mid – late twenties, all 3 are professional singers and musicians.

The eldest of the group is 26 year old Liron Lev, who reached the semi-finals of Israel’s second “Idol” competition – “Kochav Nolad”.  Liron has been playing the guitar since the age of 7 and singing for the last 4 years. His Israeli Defence Force (IDF) service was in an entertainment troupe whose tours have included the US and Europe. Liron has been nominated for “Song of the Year” by Israel’s music video channel “24”. He is currently completing the recording his first solo album and showcasing the songs around Israel.

Ester Rada has recently turned 23 and can already boast international tours, musical and dramatic theatre and leading her band who are working on their first album. Serving in the IDF Land Corps’ entertainment troupe, Ester toured the US for a month of fundraising and the troupe raised over 1.5 million NIS. Currently she is performing in dramatic theatre at Tel Aviv’s famed national “Habima” theatre and shooting 2 television shows.

Timna Gonen also recently turned 23 and having majored in music and theatre since high school, has now embarked upon a career in performance. Like her fellow performers, Timna served in an IDF entrainment troupe and they performed on Israeli television, amongst many other events. She has featured in various musical ensembles at special events and represented her local area in the south of Israel. Timna was born and bred at the famous dairy Kibbutz, Yotveta.

Melbourne’s finest musical talent will be featured at the milestone celebration event with performances by Simon Starr, Bram Presser, Jordana Baron, Rachel Elberg, Elliott Freeman, Sara Kogan-Lazarus, Jonathan Goldberg, Dana Ochert, Jonathan Skovron and Rachel Faigen.

Karen Feldman, who currently lives in Singapore, is returning to the Hamer Hall stage and is delighted to be performing at the concert. Karen is one of Melbourne’s favourite performers and has been singing in Yom Ha’atzmaut concerts since she was a teenager.

Bob Sedergreen, famed jazz pianist, will be performing a very special piece which the audience is sure to find irresistible. Sedergreen has greatly impacted and influenced musical performance, composition and education. Bob won the Inaugural Jazz Award for Australia’s Best Keyboardist in 1990 and in 2006 became the first musician to receive The Kenneth Meyer Medallion for contributions to the arts by the Victorian Arts Centre.

The creative minds behind the show are Musical Director, Adam Starr; Show Director, Deborah Leiser-Moore; Production Manager, Michael Jankie and Audio Visual Producer / Choreographer, Guy Dvir Ovadia. The 4 have worked together on the concert for the past several years and proven a winning combination.

Show Director Deborah Leiser-Moore has worked in contemporary theatre since 1989, has been nominated for Queensland and Victorian Premiers’ awards and toured nationally and internationally, including an Australia Council residency in Israel to research Israeli theatre. In March 2007 Deborah was invited to present her work (as a guest of the Australian Embassy and Jewish Theatre of Austria) at the International Congress of Jewish Theatre in Vienna. She was also the only Australian guest at IsraDrama, hosted by the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv. In 2008, Deborah is a solo artist in residence at Victoria University.

Musical Director Adam Starr has been regularly involved in Jewish communal life through music for many years. Starr has a Masters in Film Composition from the Royal College of Music in London. Since then he has been regularly working on film scores – at present he is writing his fourth feature score. Adam has recently begun a PHD in composition at the University of Melbourne, where he lectures and tutors. The first public performance of his orchestral work will take place in July with Orchestra Victoria under Richard Mills. With original jazz ensemble FROCK, Adam has toured Singapore and Europe, playing at festivals in Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Starr says the appeal of this year’s milestone concert is that it’s a celebration of Israel’s past, present and future.

Production Manager Michael Jankie is the founding partner in trafficlight. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, Michael enjoys success in technical design and implementation in the fields of lighting and project management for education, corporate events, institutions, entertainment and theatrical projects worldwide.

Audio Visual Producer / Choreographer Guy Dvir-Ovadia is the director of “A Nice Guy” Video Productions. From local band performances, school productions and corporate events Dvir-Ovadia certainly has the experience to capture the audience’s imagination. This is the thirteenth year in succession that he has choreographed the Yom Ha’atzmaut dance program and the “Yonat Shalom” dancers, which this year number 17 dancers.

Ginette Searle, Executive Director of the SZCV and the show’s Executive Producer said “We are thrilled to once again have the creative insight and direction of Deborah, Adam, Michael and Guy for this very special event – our community’s celebration of Israel’s 60th. The show is rapidly coming together; the musical repertoire is both contemporary and traditional, and we look forward to presenting the community with an exciting and entertaining concert celebrating Israel’s 60th and our connection to the modern miracle that is Israel”.

“There will also be a few surprises throughout the evening” hinted Searle.

The State Zionist Council of Victoria’s main event for Yom Ha’atzmaut: Israel 60 –The Concert will take place on Wednesday evening May 7 at 7.45pm, Hamer Hall, Victorian Arts Centre. Tickets are available at the SZCV office, Beth Weizmann Community Centre – 306 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield South or online at www.jewishaustralia.com. For more information call 9272 5544.

For more information contact:
SZCV Executive Director, Ginette Searle 9272-5544
SZCV Director of Public Affairs, Elly Shalev 9272-5519
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The State Zionist Council of Victoria leads and encourages Jewish and Zionist activity and expression within Victoria, to represent the Jewish community, to promote and communicate Israel’s interests within the broader Victorian community and to promote Victoria’s relationship with Israel.
For more information, please visit the State Zionist Council of Victoria website www.szcvic.org