A summer concert for Ukraine in aid of World Jewish Relief’s emergency appeal was held recently in the impressive surroundings of Hampstead Synagogue.

WJR’s president Henry Grunwald QC addressed guests, saying:

“When the war in Ukraine began, none of us dreamed or feared that what has happened would happen. But it is still going on, and it is bound to go on for even longer than anyone feared. And when it’s over the work that is needed to rebuild a free, liberated Ukraine will be enormous.

World Jewish Relief has worked in Ukraine for 30 years, and that has given us a unique ability to help in the way that is needed inside the country; and for those who have made it out of the country and need our help, whether they are Jewish or not. Because we have a responsibility not just to Jews, but to everyone.”

Henry thanked Hampstead Synagogue and the Shabbaton Choir for putting on the evening, and paid tribute to the Jewish community’s support for Ukrainians. “Thank you for being with us tonight, to hear the Shabbaton Choir and to help support Ukrainians,” he added.

A special mention should go to the Shabbaton Choir under the musical direction of Benjamin Fingerhut and boy soloists Rafi Posner and Zac Brass. There was also a debut performance by the Shabbatones, a close-harmony group of some of the choristers.

At one point, to their obvious delight, chazanim* Jonny Turgel and Rabbi Alby Chait performed amongst the audience and there were a lot of proud parents and grandparents cheering on the wonderful school choirs of Immanuel Prep, Kerem and Sacks Morasha.

The concert ended with a fantastic rendition of Oseh Shalom that is now an online musical phenomenon, having reached over 3m people worldwide.

The concert can be watched online at: theus.tv/summer-concert-for-ukraine