Yiddish Musician Finds Harmony with Grant for Israel Trip

 In Building, Caring, Israel and Overseas

Lifelong musician and opera singer Anthony Russell’s journey to Israel started with music. He was inspired by a Yiddish singer he heard on the soundtrack of a movie. He then started performing classical music that was written in Yiddish. Eventually, he converted to Judaism.

Anthony had always wanted to go to Israel. “I was ready for Israel to be a reality to me, as opposed to merely a religious abstraction,” he said. He also wanted to learn Yiddish.

So when he found out that Tel Aviv University offered a summer Yiddish program, he saw this as an opportunity to fulfill those two big dreams. Federation and Foundation were there to help by providing financial aid to travel to Israel for the summer.

“I now feel like I have a connection [to Israel], and I’m always trying to figure out when I am going to be in Israel again. I really enjoyed the time I was there.”

Anthony is grateful for the assistance he received from our community. Not just for his travels to Israel, but also his creative work. Russell is also a prior recipient of Federation’s Fromer Award, a financial award that is given every two years to projects in Jewish arts. “I really appreciate that Federation has allowed me to develop myself as a Jew.”

Federation and Foundation are accepting applications for financial assistance for high school, college and young adult trips to Israel. For details on eligibility and to apply, click here.

Want to hear more from Anthony Russell? Join Under One Tent at Congregation B’nai Shalom on Sunday, January 29, 3:30 pm for a Yiddish concert as the concluding act of “Yiddish in a Day.” More details here.

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