American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO), which supports the world class Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), held its annual New York Gala celebrating Israel and the arts on Nov. 18 at The Plaza Hotel. The event raised funds for KeyNote, the Orchestra’s youth music education programs, and honored singer-songwriter David Broza and fashion designer Nili Lotan.
Both longtime AFIPO supporters and new faces attended, including Marielle and Edmond Safra, Rita and Charles Bronfman, Ambassador Dani Dayan, Alex Roepers, John Paulson, Lyor Cohen and Tanya Zuckerbrot.
The gala’s opening performance introduced an artist newer to U.S. audiences, Israeli-Ethiopian artist Ester Rada. Together with nine IPO musicians, Rada performed a tribute to women in jazz, setting the tone for an evening blending old and new in inspiring the human spirit.
“This magnificent musical evening showcases Israeli excellence – epitomized by Ester Rada, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and our honorees, creative couple Nili Lotan and David Broza,” said the evening’s chairs, Elana and Aryeh Bourkoff and Stacey Bronfman. “Nili and David’s passion for the State of Israel is inspiring, and their contributions have the ability to break down borders, start conversations, and draw people into a community.”
Broza and Lotan were presented with the Creative Spirit Award, after a short video of their accomplishments and enduring love that was a highlight of the evening. Broza also performed. The night concluded with a poignant, thought-provoking farewell video from the IPO’s former Music Director Zubin Mehta.
“Our Gala this year fulfilled our core purpose of supporting the IPO, Israel’s premier cultural ambassador—and we did so through exciting, fresh programming,” said AFIPO Executive Director Danielle Ames Spivak. “The unforgettable night brought together diverse AFIPO supporters and Israeli creative minds, celebrating the positivity of Israeli culture and the way it uplifts young audiences and new artists.”
About American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO) supports the world-class Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), enabling the IPO to enrich diverse audiences around the world in its role as Israel’s preeminent cultural ambassador. AFIPO’s vision is to inspire the human spirit through transformative music education programs and extraordinary performances that celebrate Israel and the arts. For more information, please visit http://www.afipo.org
About Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) is the leading orchestra in Israel and globally recognized as a world class symphonic ensemble. Founded in 1936 by famed Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, the IPO performs regularly in its home, the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv, as well as across Israel, including Jerusalem and Haifa. Additionally, it tours internationally, from Europe to Asia to North and South America. Since its inception, the IPO has enjoyed long-lasting relationships with renowned soloists and conductors which have kept it at the forefront of the classical music world. For more information, please visit http://www.ipo.co.il/en/
Photography by Chris Lee