Modeled after American Idol, VOICES raised over $200,000 to feed the needy in Israel as well as discover the top vocal talents in the Greater Baltimore community.
The six finalists (3 middle and 3 high school students) were chosen from an initial pool of 44 applicants from public and private schools; 20 of whom were then invited to compete in the semi-finals, which were held February 10. A panel of local celebrities selected the top six winners, who were then invited to the finals. The finalists were:
Middle School — Lauren Alberg, 8th Grade, Catonsville Middle School; Ilyssa Rubin, 8th Grade, Beth Tfiloh; and Patricia Hargreaves, 7th Grade, Catonsville Middle School.
High School — Janelle Licharowicz, 12th Grade, Redeemer Classical Christian School; Aryeh Ness, 12th Grade, Beth Tfiloh; and Morgan Banks, 10th Grade, New Town High School.
Long-time TV personality Richard Sher emceed the event, which opened with each finalist singing a song of their choice. Then followed a concert by special guest, American Idol Elliott Yamin. The band rocked out with songs off Yamin’s hot new album along with some old favorites.
A panel of noted celebrity musicians selected Ilyssa Rubin and Janelle Licharowicz as the middle and high school Superstars for the premier VOICES event. A video of the event can be seen on www.voicesforstaging-meirpanimorg.kinsta.cloud.
The concept of VOICES for Meir Panim emerged from co-chair Jonathan Welfeld who initially suggested the American Idol-type concept and fundraiser. “People don’t realize that over 1.8 million citizens in Israel are living below the poverty level and almost 900,000 of them are children, said co-chair Leslie Goldberg. The goal of VOICES was to involve young people to help raise funds for children and families of all ethnic and religious backgrounds living in poverty in Israel,” she said.
American Idol Elliott Yamin was the natural choice for VOICES. Hailing from Israeli parents, and already aware of what Meir Panim provided, he eagerly accepted the invitation to judge and perform at the Finals. So impressed by the values and needs of Meir Panim, Elliott exclaimed, “I would like to be a spokesperson for Meir Panim and definitely want to be in Israel for the ribbon cutting of the much needed new Israel Nutrition Center.”
Proceeds from the VOICES competition, which was chaired by Phyllis and Leonard Attman, will go toward completing Meir Panim’s new Mortimer and Abigail Zuckerman Nutrition Center which will feed up to 30,000 needy individuals DAILY.
Meir Panim extends its heartfelt thanks to the Attmans and to event co-chairs Cantor Avi Albrecht, Cantor Emanuel Perlman, Leslie Goldberg and Jonathan Welfeld. Of course, VOICES could not have succeeded without all of its exceptionally talented and energetic contestants. By supporting this event, each of our singers and artists helped bring awareness to Meir Panim and its goal to aid the impoverished in Israel.