Community Contact Information:
Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel
Elkins Park, PA
- To raise money for the American Red Cross’ Haitian relief effort
- To bring together members of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, other faith groups, the local school districts and politicians to mourn the loss of life and show unified support for the survivors of the earthquake
- To build an alliance with the local Haitian community
Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel coordinated and hosted a community benefit concert to raise money for the American Red Cross’ Haiti earthquake relief efforts.
All of the preparation for this community-wide event took place within two weeks following the 2010 earthquake. The syngagogue volunteers reached out to local synagogues and churches as well as legislative representatives to invite their attendance and participation in planning the event. Other volunteers reached out to local schools, asking several of their groups to perform during the concert. Lastly, they reached out to the local Haitian community by inviting Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia and asking local Haitian musicians to perform.
All participating churches, synagogues and schools in the community distributed fliers to market the concert. Press releases were sent to the local Jewish and secular press.
Hope for Haiti: A Community Benefit Concert took place at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel on February 3, 2010. Volunteers assisted with set up, greeted attendees as they arrived and collect donations.The program included a prayer for Haiti led by the congregation’s senior rabbi and musical performances by congregants, junior high school and high school bands and ensembles, a church choir, local musicians and Haitian drummers. The performances were punctuated by speakers, including a state senator and representative, the board chair of the Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia and local Red Cross CEO.
The concert raised $10,000 for the American Red Cross and was a successful fundraising and interfaith effort, bringing together diverse members of the community to pray, sing, learn and support one another. Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel hopes to continue to build upon the model of community benefit concerts in the future.