Charles and Phyllis Newman Family Foundation will sponsor Beyoncé concert as a fundraiser for shul, other charities
By STEVEN ROSENBAUM
In 2005, Adath Jeshurun Congregation’s TAMID program staged a fundraising concert featuring renowned folksinger Theodore Bikel, and the Klezmatics, a world-class klezmer ensemble. Other great Jewish artists — classical violinist Itzhak Perlman, pop songwriter Neil Sedaka, Art Garfunkel et al. — have been featured on the bima of the Minnetonka shul for shows benefiting TAMID — an acronym for Theater, Art, Music, Israel and Dance.
This year Adath Jeshurun is going in a different direction. The Conservative synagogue’s big fund-raising vehicle will be a July 16 concert at the Target Center featuring a genuine superstar, Beyoncé.
The Charles and Phyllis Newman Family Foundation, a major supporter of Adath Jeshurun Congregation and other local charities, managed to get the Grammy Award-winning recording artist and Golden Globe-nominated actress to perform in this unique local benefit, according to Bernie Goldblatt, who is both executive director of Adath Jeshurun and general manager of the Newman Family Foundation.
The Newmans, who have been members of Adath Jeshurun for more than 50 years, are among the synagogue’s most generous donors. In past years, the foundation has supported the synagogue’s TAMID committee.
This year, the Newman Family Foundation decided to bring in an act with broader appeal and independent of TAMID, according to Goldblatt.
“The type of performer we could get and the amount of money we could have made was fairly limited,” Goldblatt told the AJW last week. “The Newman Foundation suggested that for [Adath Jeshurun] to make more money, we needed to change the venue… and we needed to broaden the scope.”
- Beyoncé will perform at Target Center on July 16. (Photo: WireImage.com)
Goldblatt explained that “with a performer not being on our bima, it wasn’t necessary to have a Jewish performer; because this was going to be a performer that was going to perform for the entire population of the Twin Cities, rather than just Adath Jeshurun [congregants].”
Individuals “closely connected to the Newman Foundation” knew Beyoncé’s management team, Goldblatt added. “We were able to propose that we host her in a concert in the Twin Cities. This is not part of her tour. It’s called a one-off, which is something that occurs around the time of the tour but is separate from the tour.”
The Newman Family Foundation is working closely with the Target Center and with a large production company called Our World Live, which is helping with the marketing and logistics of the concert, Goldblatt told the AJW. “This is not something that we have the ability to do ourselves.”
Tickets for the concert, which range from $39 to $1,000, are available to the general public. This special concert comes amidst Beyoncé’s “I Am… Sasha Fierce” world tour.
According to a notice on Adath Jeshurun’s Web site, “special sponsorship packages will be available and include seating near the front, a pre-concert dinner, and a meet and greet with Beyoncé.”
The top price-tier sponsorship package corresponds to the “‘I Am… Beyoncé’ — Meet and Greet VIP Package,” which is described on the singer’s Web site as including a front row ticket, meet and greet with Beyoncé, photo with the performer, special entrance for VIPs, and assorted gifts in a “limited edition Deréon bag.”
The “I Am… Beyoncé” package is not available to the general public for the Minneapolis show.
Regarding the beneficiaries of the Beyoncé concert, the Adath Jeshurun Web site notes: “Due to the generosity of the Newman family, proceeds of this event will go directly to our synagogue, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, MICAH (Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing) and Beyoncé’s Survivor Foundation.” The singer’s foundation provides aid to those impacted by hurricanes along the Gulf Coast.
Beyoncé Knowles, who became famous in the late 1990s as the lead singer for the R&B group Destiny’s Child, started her solo career in 2003 and has been one of the most popular female artists of the past decade. She has won seven Grammy Awards, including two for Best Contemporary R&B Album, and has been nominated for nine more.
She has co-starred in a number of Hollywood movies, and received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the 2006 filmÂ Dreamgirls. Beyoncé was named fourth on the 2009 Forbes list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential Celebrities in the world.
Solange Knowles, Beyoncé’s sister, also will perform at the July 16 concert.
Tickets for the Beyoncé concert are available through the Target Center box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show.
Steven Rosenbaum is an editorial intern at the American Jewish World. He is also a member of Adath Jeshurun Congregation.
(American Jewish World, 7.10.09)