Friday, November 15, 2019

The residents of Passaic Park, Clifton and the surrounding communities got a rare treat last Sunday evening when international pop singer Micha Gamerman performed a free concert to a standing room only crowd. The concert was single-handedly produced by local fan Judy Herzfeld and generously sponsored by Passaic Mayor Hector Lora.

A native of Brazil, and heard on Jewish music stations, Micha G had a one-night gig as a wedding singer set for New York City in early August. Herzfeld, his most fervent local follower, thought it timely for his reputation and her own community to get him a follow-up performance closer to her home.

“In the summer of 2015, Micha’s first U.S. hit was played on a radio program and I was very impressed. He said he wanted his music to be widely heard in the U.S., so, I took his mission and made it my own,” Herzfeld said.

She continued, “Since then, I have been promoting his music on several different radio and internet programs. Micha’s PR agent asked that I find him some gigs while he was in New York. I decided to focus on producing a concert in my own hometown. I wrote to Mayor Lora and he responded immediately and positively.”

A former social worker and longtime volunteer and community activist, Herzfeld put her networking skills to good use as she created and organized the concert. Originally scheduled at Veterans Memorial Third Ward Park on Passaic Avenue, the concert was put in jeopardy by the threat of rain.

Thanks to Ahavas Israel Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman and President Ely Markowitz, the synagogue’s ballroom space was confirmed the night before the 5 p.m. concert. With updated bilingual flyers posted online and alerts posted on the original site, the Van Houten Avenue congregation welcomed upwards of 300 adults and children.

Also a Sao Palo yeshiva teacher, mohel and webisode performer, Micha G’s fun and lighthearted personality was evident throughout the concert and he shared the stage with members of the audience with special needs, who attended courtesy of Kool Kids.

To open the event, New Jersey Assemblyman Gary Schaer brought greetings, along with Mayor Lora. Intermission featured an inspirational talk by Rabbi Benzion Klatzko, founder of shabbat.com. Keyboardist/DJ Shlomo Golombeck rounded out the stage, fitted with klieg lights and sound equipment. At one point, Micha G’s solo became a trio with Golombeck and Klatzko. Emcee and veteran radio personality Al Gordon of 1640WJPR.com donated his services for the nearly two hour event.

Micha G’s CDs are still available. For information, text 973.650.1517.

By Norma Orovitz

Norma Orovitz is the former managing editor of the (late) Jewish Floridian and former reporter/columnist for the (late) Miami News.