Zak Levenstein is a typically busy 12-year-old Roslyn youth getting ready for his Bar Mitzvah. In between his schoolwork and activities, he squeezes in time for passions like music, hanging out with friends and summer camp.
As part of the preparation for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah, he had to complete a community service requirement. Zak could have picked something that would take little time or effort to fulfill his obligation, but instead, he wanted to pick an activity and cause that resonated with him.
Through online research Zak learned about Youth Renewal Fund (www.youthrenewalfund.org), an organization that provides supplemental education to disadvantaged children in Israel. As he continued, Zak learned that YRF was building a new learning center in Ramla, Israel in memory of Ethan Harrison Freed, a former camp mate of Zak's who died suddenly at a summer camp in Pittsfield, MA in 2006. Zak knew Ethan, a popular, athletic boy who is most remembered for his kindness to others, and realized he had found his cause.
With help from his family and some friends, Zak has organized a special memorial concert to be held at The Nutty Irishman, a local pub, in Farmingdale on Sunday, February 22 at 2:00 p.m. Zak, drummer for the band Juvenile Pariah, will be featured along with headlining band, Julius C (www.juliusc.com) who was crowned "the best band in New York City" in 2006 by the Emergenza International Music Competition. The concert is geared to Zak's peers; there will be no alcohol served at the pub during this event.
Proceeds from concert will help build and maintain the Ethan H. Freed Learning Center, a project of Youth Renewal Fund currently being constructed in Ramla, Israel. The EHF Learning Center is expected to serve 5,000 students annually and have the capacity to instruct between 150 and 200 students at one time in a safe, inviting atmosphere that will foster learning and curiosity.
Both Julius C and The Nutty Irishman are donating their services for this event, and many local businesses have pitched in to help as well. Zak and his family are honored to hold this benefit concert as a way to help preserve Ethan's legacy and pay tribute to his memory and raise the awareness of the power of kids helping kids.
Tickets are on sale before the concert for $12 and will be $15 at the door, on the day of the event. Information is available by emailing: EthanFreedConcert@gmail.com. or call Alison at 697-1481.
For more information about the Youth Renewal Fund and the Ethan Freed Learning Center go to www.youthrenewalfund.org/concert.