The Shlomo Carlebach Yartzeit Phenomenon

We are now approaching the 21st yartzeit of Reb Shlomo Carlebach whose influence, music and teachings are gaining more and more popularity, and getting stronger every year.

Even more remarkable are the number of events occurring to mark his life and celebrate his contribution to Judaism.

Every year, the Shlomo Carlebach Foundation hosts a memorial concert on a date close to the anniversary of Carlebach’s death. In the past, these concerts have been held in Jerusalem, usually at the Jerusalem International Convention Center, which is one of the few places with premises large enough to hold the huge attendance of Carlebach fans.

Some of the more recent highlights include when Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau spoke about Reb Shlomo, sharing stories with the audience about Reb Shlomo, and how Moshe as a young child met Moshelle, sharing anecdotes about him, and source of the Famous Good Shabbos Niggun.

This year the venue has moved to the  new Hevel Modi’in Cultural Center in Airport City, Modi’in — not far from Moshav Meor Modi’im, which he established.  This year’s concert is scheduled for Wednesday, 28 October, marking the 21st anniversary of Carlebach’s death.  Reb Shlomo’s popularity has not diminished and his music is still heard in synagogues and concert halls around the world. Some believe that his melodies are now heard to an even greater extent than when we was alive.

Performers at this year’s event will include Aharon Razel, Dvir Speigel, the Elevators and the Solomon Brothers accompanied by their father, Ben Zion Solomon. Ben Zion Solomon has in fact appeared at every Carlebach Foundation Memorial Concert in Israel, as well as several concerts abroad. He is also one of the original settlers of Carlebach’s Moshav.

This event is followed by a gathering at his grave site attended by 100’s of different Jews of all stripes…The gathering starts at 2:30 pm on Thursday 29th of October and lasts for about 3 hours. You can expect Tehillim sung in the tunes of Reb Shlomo’s nigunnim, accompanied by guitars, drums and percussion instruments.

After this, there is a Mincha that is just out of this world, a small piece of heaven you may say, and this lasts over an hour. The service is sung to the tune of various moving niggunim and is an absolute must. For a glimpse of how spectacular this can be, just do a quick search on YouTube.

This event is usually preceded by Learning at Simchat Shlomo Yeshiva with Shiurim by Rabbi Sholom Brodt, Rabbi Shlomo Katz and Emuna Witt, etc…

After the yartzeit, there are number of ‘after parties’ depending on your outlook — From Yakar, to Rechavia (Chareidi) to other alternative gatherings.

There are also various shabbatonim to commemorate Reb Shlomo’s yartzeit. There is one held at Kol Rina led by R Moshe Stepansky who was Reb Shlomo’s Gabbai at the Carlebach shul in NY and another one at the Great Synagogue led by Yitzhak Meir.

All in all, one can truly see that Reb Shlomo’s Yartzeit marks a colorful, moving and interesting experience for all Jews around the world.

The Concert and Yartzeit Gathering are organized by the Shlomo Carlebach Foundation (www.shlomocarlebachfoundation.com) founded in 1994 and based out of Moshav Mevo Modi’im.  It is committed to preserving and promoting his legacy — his music, teachings and message. The Foundation has been quite successful in these endeavors by organizing the Annual Concert, bringing out various albums and they have also published three books of Reb Shlomo’s books of Torah.

This success was achieved by a dedicated team of volunteers, without pay and there has not been any coordinated sustainable fundraising carried out. The foundation has recognized the need to have more structure for these continued activities. The Foundation will be anchored by the “Shlomo Carlebach Heritage Center” on Mevo Modi’im, and will include: a visitor’s center, exhibitions, archives, a small gift shop and a coffee shop.

21st Yartzeit poster

The Shlomo Carlebach Foundation is contributing to Jewish unity and working to bridge the gap between religious and secular Jews by inspiring all Jews to be more connected to their heritage through Reb Shlomo’s music and teachings.

About the Author
Jeffrey is a Blogger, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist (we can only dream) living in Jerusalem. He has five kids and three grandchildren. He is looking to spread the message of Ahavat Yisrael and Jewish Unity through the music and teachings of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and connecting our lost Jewish brothers and sisters to Israel. God and themselves.
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