Chabad of Plano will host Lemmer for virtual concert
By Avery Cooper
PLANO – Celebrating 28 years since its founding, Chabad of Plano will host An Evening of Song at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30. The virtual benefit concert was rescheduled from its March 31 date at the Eisenmann amid mass shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The concert is free, registration registration is not mandatory but encouraged at www.chabadplano.org/event.
“With Covid casting a long shadow over most of our daily lives and our plans for the future, Chabad of Plano has chosen to cast a light of optimism and faith in the future with not canceling its annual Evening of Entertainment but choosing to stream the event live in the comfort and safety of your home,” said Rabbi Menachem Block, Chabad of Plano and Collin County’s executive director and spiritual leader.
Chabad of Plano hosts an evening every year to invite the community to celebrate friendships and raise funds to support Chabad of Plano. This year, the event will honor David Brooks, the chairman, CEO and president of Independent Financial, with the Florence Shapiro Distinguished Leadership Award as well as present Wayne Feldman, a congregant of Chabad of Plano, with the Chesed Award.
The evening will include a performance by Shulem Lemmer, a young Hasidic Jew who is the first to have been signed by a major U.S. label, Universal Music Group. Lemmer recently released his debut album, “The Perfect Dream.”
The fundraising concert will bring something new to the DFW community — an entertainer inspiring many around the world with a unique sound of “classical soul crossover” and a story that audience members can’t help but take to heart.
Lemmer hopes to spread a message of unity, community and acceptance to those who may need to hear it most. Chabad of Plano is most excited to share Lemmer’s “sensational Brooklyn tenor” with the event’s attendees.
He has never performed in the Dallas area before, although was touring around the world and receiving rave reviews before the pandemic. He plans to connect and personalize his performance later this month to the greater community, hoping to feed into what makes North Texas special.
Lemmer finds music to be “universal — a language that speaks to everyone and an opportunity to bridge the divide between people” who typically focus on their differences. He believes music to have the “ability to connect with others and positively impact them.”
“One song can give someone the strength to move forward,” Lemmer said about his performance’s intention.
Having been born and raised in Brooklyn’s Boro Park neighborhood, Lemmer has been inspired by his passion for music and learning since a young age. He sees the effect of his music, “the way it changes people.”
“People’s personal stories and the impact my music has had on them … the looks on their faces … it gives me the strength to go on,” he said.
His recent contract with Universal Music’s Decca Gold Label gives him the opportunity to reach more people than before and inspire them by his mixture of traditional Jewish melodies to pop, rock ‘n’ roll and jazz.
Shulem Lemmer advises that his performance will be able to resonate with anyone, Jewish or not, so that anyone may take home his message of his “perfect dream” which is that everyone “will treat each other evenly, regardless of our differences so that we may all live in harmony.” His album, “The Perfect Dream,” is now available everywhere. His journey may be followed through his Instagram, Twitter and YouTube @iamshulem and his website, iamshulem.com.
Rabbi Block hopes the community joins Chabad of Plano in enjoying a young and “upcoming Jewish star.”
This event will celebrate Chabad of Plano’s 28 years. The numerical value of the letters that make up the Hebrew word, koach, is 28, and koach means strength and Rabbi Block intends for the evening to bring strength to Chabad of Plano to continue many years of service and growth.
“Chabad’s emphasis in its work and its outreach work is Jewish done joyfully. We want everyone to be joyful in their Jewishness and my prayer is this evening of song will inspire people to go forth and practice their Judaism in a joyful way and spread it out to others,” said Rabbi Block.
Chabad is the largest Jewish organization in the world, bringing growth, education and faith to all those who desire. Chabad of Plano’s main goal is to “reach out to every Jew in Collin County to learn about traditions and community,” said Block.
Chabad of Plano was founded in 1992 by Rabbi Block and his wife, Rivkie, and has expanded to Chabad of Frisco and McKinney. It began with one person at a time in Block’s converted garage until its current building, the Lang Chabad Center, located at Coit and Park Roads in Plano, came about later.
Chabad of Plano “nurtures the Soul, challenges the Mind, excites the Imagination and is here for You,” says its website. Over the past 28 years, it has grown to provide a host of spiritual services, educational initiatives and recreational activities. Rabbi Block’s goal is to “encourage study, commitment and Jewish pride” as well as “love every Jew, reach out to every Jew and educate every Jew.”
Chabad of Plano offers numerous community events and services such as camps, a daily preschool, synagogue, bar and bat mitzvahs, holiday celebrations, lectures and speaker series and the ongoing Jewish Learning Institute offering educational classes. Throughout the pandemic, Rabbi and Rivkie Block and Rabbi Yehuda and Esther Horowitz have conducted myriad virtual classes to keep the community connected and spiritually nourished.
This year’s Evening of Song will reveal a message of love and acceptance for all, no matter what differences there are between people. Every once in a while, everyone can appreciate the reminder that we are all different from one another, but these differences should be celebrated.
“With the enthusiastic support of community members, honorees and the event committee, this evening promises to be an expression of joy, positivity and hope during these trying times,” Rabbi Block said.