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Jewish Soldiers Returning From the War in Iraq Gather for Hanukkah Gala in Support of Troops


NEW YORK, NY -- 11/22/2004 -- For scores of American Jewish servicemen, celebrating Hanukkah at home, instead of on the battleground, does not mean their friends still on duty are forgotten during the upcoming holiday season.

In an engaging display of unity and solidarity, soldiers and their families will join some 2,500 fellow Jews from the Tri-State area and as far away as Sydney, Australia, in a gala Hanukkah concert in Carnegie Hall, boasting the best in Jewish musical entertainment.

Internationally acclaimed Jewish performing artist Avraham Fried and Broadway favorite Dudu Fisher will share the stage at the “Concert for Freedom,” on Wednesday, December 15th, 2004. The star-studded event, which is a benefit for the Aleph Institute’s “Operation: Enduring Tradition,” will also feature Australia’s leading Jewish 46-Piece Symphonic Wind Ensemble in an exclusive NY performance, as well as a line-up of some of today’s most popular Jewish entertainers.

Aleph has always been there for me and for those under my charge,“ says Rabbi Mitchell Ackerson, a senior Jewish military chaplain in Operation Iraqi Freedom, ”For as long as I can remember, Aleph has tirelessly and effectively serviced the spiritual needs of men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces around the world, providing religious materials, and always much appreciated kosher food"

Ackerson will be a featured speaker at the event, sharing his first-hand experience of what it was like to be a Jew on the front during the Iraqi war. In addition to serving as a supervisor for ten chaplain teams and coordinating counseling and worship services for approximately 2,000 Jewish soldiers and other military personnel, he served as a bridge between Jewish soldiers and American Jewry by provisioning religious items and holiday necessities for the troops.

“My troops and I have always been able to count on Aleph, and I know that Aleph can count on the support of the Jewish community back home. There is no better time than now to send that message. I encourage everyone to join us at the concert and to support Aleph in any way they can.”

The concert features a rich repertoire of modern and traditional Jewish song and is sure to engage audiences of all ages. Tickets are $36, $50, $75, $100, and $150. They are available online at, or by calling 1-866-9-Freedom, (1-866-937-3336).


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