Mimouna marks the end of Passover for Moroccan Jews and growing up my grandmother was titled the Queen of Mimouna
Founder, LBNY Production, Producer of music concerts of leading Israeli talent
How did you start doing what you're doing?
Music was always part of my life and I was singing and performing from an early age. When we moved to the United States, when I was 26, I decided to study psychology and went on to work in the field of Human Resources. What I quickly realized was that something was missing, my passion was gone and I felt I needed something else. My husband and I attended the Landmark Forum, a weekend of transformation and personal development programs. In one of the seminars I attended, the task at hand was to pursue something outside my comfort zone. I ended up planning a Brazilian night, a huge fiesta event at SOB, ultimately raising $10,000 for underprivileged kids in Israel to play music.
The event led me to realize I had the "production virus". I then got a job working at “Friends of the IDF” (FIDF), raising millions of dollars through its annual fundraiser Gala and multiple events, all to benefit Israeli soldiers.
In 2012, I decided to start my own production company, LBNY Productions, and what began as a hobby became a business. It’s a 24/7 type of work, it takes everything I got out of me, but I love it and feel great satisfaction when I look at what I accomplished.
LBNY Productions has transformed from a one woman show to a thriving company with five team members who believe and share my mission and vision.
We are now working on the biggest concert in history for our community this April 26th, at the Theatre of Madison Square Garden, with Shlomo Artzi. This benefit concert marks Israel's 69th Independence Day, and all profits from this event will be donated to WORLD ORT supporting social programs and scholarships for more than 300,000 underprivileged children in 37 countries.
I'm a Zionist--it hurts me to see a lot of negative perceptions of Israel, therefore I want to bring Israeli culture to the world and let them discover a different point of view. Israel isn't about war, it's about beautiful music, culture, and food. We need to share it.
What's your favorite Jewish holiday or tradition?
Mimouna marks the end of Passover for Moroccan Jews and growing up my grandmother was titled the Queen of Mimouna. She would open her home and invite family, neighbors, friends, and even strangers, to enjoy all the delicious sweets and pastries she had been working on for weeks. It was a very special time. Sixteen years ago, on the eve of Mimouna, she passed away - the holiday has never been the same for me since then. Last year I took it upon myself to bring Mimouna back. We planned a big event with the Balaboosta chain and brand that was a huge success and a great way to keep her memory and her tradition alive.
What's your earliest memory of being Jewish?
I was born in Israel and my family moved to Nice, France, when I was one year old. When I was nine I had an argument with a girl at school and she called me “a dirty Jew”. I remember feeling very angry. A year later we moved back to Israel because my dad didn't want his kids to suffer from anti-Semitism and brought us back home. Israel is home and will always be home to me, even though I’ve lived in New York for the past 18 years.
What's your favorite Jewish food?
I like it all. As a universal child, I love different flavors from different places, but mostly my mom’s food. Nobody can hold a candle to her cooking.
How do you incorporate Judaism into your daily life?
We celebrate all the holidays with our friends, we go to Chabad, light candles, and my kids go to Hebrew school. But most importantly for us, I think, is that I take my kids to Israel each summer. That's where I feel at home, surrounded by my people.
About the concert:
On April 26th, Shlomo Artzi, Israel's no.1 musician, returns to New York City for a unique Yom Haatzmaut show. The concert will take place at "The Theater at Madison Square Garden" and will feature 10 amazing musicians.
Tickets are available on Ticketmaster and through the Madison Square Garden box office:
By calling 212-786-4140