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ZISA AND FRIENDS—At left from left, Ed Kraus, Cantor Deborah Bletstein and Peter Zisa perform at the Season of Lights concert.

Zisa, friends perform to raise funds for JFCS

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article created on: 2011-12-15T00:00:00

The Fifth Annual Peter Zisa and Friends Season of Lights Benefit Concert at First Christian Church Dec. 4 raised money for Jewish Family and Child Service.

The free concert features prominent Portland musicians and community artists performing Hanukkah and Christmas music. Performers donate their time and musical gifts for this community celebration. This year’s performers included Neveh Shalom Cantor Deborah Bletstein, Ed Kraus (co-host of KBOO’s Yiddish Hour), Grammy-award winning guitarist Doug Smith and Jazz Gospel singer extraordinaire Marilyn Keller.

Guests have an opportunity to contribute a charitable donation to Jewish Family and Children Services, which had an information table at the concert.

JFCS Executive Director Marian Fenimore said, “I am so appreciative of Peter’s ability to bring wonderful musicians and the interfaith community together and support JFCS and the critical work we do.”

“In each of past three years the SOL program has raised $1,500-$2,000 for the JFCS, and provided a wonderful community building celebration of music and storytelling,” said Zisa, coordinator of guitar studies at Marylhurst University.

Zisa said that he learned about the extraordinary work of the JFCS at the other fundraisers he has participated in.

“Learning of the dramatic increase of requests for family assistance at the JFCS, I felt prompted to make an effort to reach out to Portland community at large to broaden the appeal for aid and heighten the community’s awareness of work of the JFCS,” he said.

“SOL is a commUNITY program where faith and goodwill are celebrated in song and acts of tzedakah,” Zisa added. “The Season of Lights Concert is a free program all families are invited to attend and enjoy, with the hope that individuals and organizations—made aware of the great services provided by the JFCS—will feel prompted give generously to this extraordinary charitable organization.”

Zisa said he appreciates the generosity of the First Christian Church and Marylhurst University who host the event and provide financial support for the community benefit concert and the JFCS.

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