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Israelfest Program


Our can’t-miss line-up hosted by Master of Ceremonies Todd Richman includes:
• 1:45 – Maccabeats performance
• 2:30 – Commemorative ceremony with Omer Neutra’s family, honoring Ritchie Torres, Congressman of the 15th District in the South Bronx, and featuring Rabbi Menachem Creditor
• 3pm – Yachad sing-a-long
• 3:30pm – Michael Rapaport live on stage, followed by a meet and greet
• 3:45pm – Live Israeli music from Shlomit Levi


Originally formed in 2007 as Yeshiva University’s student vocal group, the Maccabeats have recently emerged as both Jewish music and a cappella phenomena,  with a large fanbase, more than 20 million views on YouTube, numerous TV appearances, and proven success with four albums, 2010′s Voices From The Heights, 2012′s Out Of The Box, 2014′s One Day More, and 2015′s A Maccabeats Hanukkah.

Since the release of Candlelight, a Hanukkah themed parody video which garnered international attention and coverage by the major news outlets, the Maccabeats have been approached and emailed time and time again with the same message: that their music has provided for the expression of an enthusiastic and ambitious Judaism that one isn’t afraid to wear on his or her sleeve.


Representative Ritchie Torres is a fighter from the Bronx who has spent his entire life working for the community he calls home. Like many people in the Bronx, poverty and struggle have never been abstractions to him, and he governs from a place of lived experience.

Ritchie’s mother single-handedly raised him, his twin brother, and his sister in a public-housing project. In 2013, at the age of 25, Ritchie became New York City’s youngest elected official and the first openly L.G.B.T.Q. person elected to office in the Bronx.

At the City Council, Ritchie stood out, and during his seven-year tenure he tenaciously tackled problems big and small for the Bronx and New York City. He passed over forty pieces of legislation, including legislation protecting the City’s affordable housing stock and tackling the city’s opioid epidemic. As the Chairman overseeing NYCHA, he held the first committee hearing ever in public housing, which led to a $3 billion-dollar FEMA investment, the largest in NYC history.

Ritchie currently lives in the Bronx and represents NY-15 in Congress. He is a member of the Committee on Financial Services and the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.


With a career spanning over three decades and more than 60 films, the native New Yorker has solidified his position as an indomitable talent in the entertainment industry. From starring in the sitcom The War at Home to his iconic performances in Hollywood blockbusters like True Romance, Cop Land, and Beautiful Girls, as well as his memorable appearances in television hits such as Friends and Atypical, and directing his award- winning documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, Rapaport’s versatility and charisma have captivated audiences worldwide. Currently gracing the screens in Hulu’s Life & Beth, his magnetic presence continues to draw acclaim and admiration. He also hosts the worldwide phenomenon I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast.

Beyond his contributions to entertainment, Rapaport is a relentless advocate for Jewish issues and a fearless critic of misinformation and hate. In the wake of the October 7th attack on Israel and the Jewish people, Rapaport’s passion for combating anti- Semitism has only deepened. His unrelenting dedication to raising awareness, fostering understanding, and standing in solidarity with the Jewish community shines brightly in these tumultuous times.


Shlomit Levi is a powerhouse vocalist hailing from Kiryat Ekron, Israel, and is now based in the United States. Raised in a Yemenite household, she was steeped in the music and culture of her ancestral home from an early age. Shlomit gained recognition as the voice on the hit song Sapari by Orphaned Land, Israel’s pioneering Oriental Heavy Metal band. With Orphaned Land, she toured Europe and shared stages with the likes of Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Metallica.

Shlomit’s project, Shlomit & RebbeSoul, defies cultural boundaries by blending the sounds of her Yemenite heritage with electronica and rock. Their album The Seal Of Solomon and live show of the same name have been highly anticipated by fans.

Shlomit is a prolific artist with a captivating stage presence and a voice that commands attention. Her love for performing has taken her to audiences across the globe, earning her significant media attention for her work. In addition to her music, she created The Yemenite Experience, a captivating show-story that celebrates the beauty and cultural significance of Jewish Yemenite music.


Bring your appetite because we have an array of delicious food vendors who will be on-site! Food is an additional cost.