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July 4, 2011 3:12 pm

Party Like It’s the Fourth of July!

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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Rachel Goren's (right) annual Fourth of July party begins with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner by bass baritone Michael Peer. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

“It’s a tradition!”  Hot dogs sizzling on the grill, lemonade (and other beverages) are flowing, friends gather to celebrate another year in the heat of a summer day.

Every tradition needs a place to start. For many Israelis celebrating the birthday of America, that place is the Long island home of Rachel Goren. The annual Fourth of July party she hosts brings guests from throughout the Metropolitan region to the wooded greenery of her home on “the Island.”  The gathering has become a warm tradition in the Israeli-American community in New York.

The 2011 party featured an especially rich musical experience. Yossi Sokolsky, well known star of Yiddish theater, charmed the crowd with a program of Yiddish melodies that sparked warm memories and had the audience joining him in song.  During the recent visit of wounded soldiers sponsored by the Chabad-Lubavitch run Belev Echad program, Sokolsky joined the group in New York and Washington D.C., explaining the landmarks and their history

Bass Baritone Michael Peer, who will appear in concert at Merkin Hall in September, rallied the crowd with a moving rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, followed by a catalogue of song ranging from opera to Broadway.

Goren, the Founding Director of Renanim, a Hebrew focused preschool in Manhattan, has created a tradition. The event, replete with its mixture of American, Israeli, and Yiddish culture, is a wonderful taste of the American melting pot.

Yosi Sokolsky, a vetreran of the Yiddish stage, added his voice to the celebration, singing a series of Yiddish favorites. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Rachel Goren has created a tradition. The annual Independence Day party at her Long Island home brings people from throughout the metropolitan area to celebrate America. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

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