EXCLUSIVE: ‘What my uncle did for Live Aid, l’d love to do for the world’: the Chasidic rabbi hoping to unify Israel

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘What my uncle did for Live Aid, l’d love to do for the world’: the Chasidic rabbi hoping to unify Israel

Eli Goldsmith's family is music industry royalty. The nephew of promoter Harvey Goldsmith left Edgware for Israel two decades ago. With his eldest son in the IDF, he tells Jewish News that music and orthodoxy aren't mutually exclusive.

The rabbi nephew of rock promoter Harvey Goldsmith is supporting global efforts to raise more than $2.4 million to support Israel.

Elliot (Eli) Goldsmith, 43 and originally from Edgware, is now a father of six in Efrat, seven miles from Jerusalem, with an 19-year old son on the front lines with the IDF.

He made aliyah more than twenty years ago, champions support for the Just One Chesed project and believes that music and spiritual orthodoxy are not mutually exclusive.

Speaking to Jewish News, he says: “What my uncle did for Live Aid, l’d love to do for the world. To have a unity concert to connect in a global sense. I’ve always tried to plan it. Now more than ever, people need to know there is a concept of unity. It’s not just my tribe and my people. There’s a bigger cause.”

True to family form, Goldsmith sings, plays guitar but is “more involved in the promoting of other people.” With his uncle Harvey supportive of his concert ambitions as long as the timing is right, Eli has his own music business, the Unity booking agency. It includes speakers, creatives and music artists such as Nissim Black, Duvie Shapiro, Moshe Reuven, Ari Lesser and Alex Clare.

Pic: Eli Goldsmith

Clare, says Goldsmith, “performed yearly at festivals like Reading and is now a rabbi of a community in central Jerusalem. He’s still touring the world.”

Goldsmith says: “There’s a large number of well known artists on the Unity list. Each one has their own story. I have a vision for our people. We don’t need a war for that.”

Nissim Black tells Jewish News: “Eli has been amazing to work with over the years. He always brings good energy.”

Harvey Goldsmith. Pic: Eli Goldsmith

Goldsmith has had “a long journey over here. This is really the most goal changing time we’ve ever had here. There’s never been such a tragedy and never been such a wake up to the political system and the community, security. It’s a whole new level.”

“I’ve always been very spiritually minded. When I came to Israel, I was involved in the Charedi world, but because of my north London background and the broad outlook of my entertainment background, I’ve always kept myself open.

Nissim Black. Pic: Unity Bookings Instagram

“I’ve shifted over the last few years, to the more general Israeli community, the more Anglo community. I still wear my streimel and black jacket. I’m happy to pray with a focus on the soul that unites us all, even if I’m the only person in my beautiful community at Shirat David, in Efrat, headed by the famous Rabbi Shlomo Katz, on Shabbat dressed as I am.”

Goldsmith says his family belief is in bridging gaps. “That’s the key to our success in this war that we become more unified as a people. I have my path. I am a Chasid. I daven every Shabbat in my furry hat and I believe in the Chasidim. But I’m also someone who grew up in the secular entertainment world and know we need to be united. Recent divisiveness is not helping our cause as a nation. We have to be a light unto the nations, not a confused argument.”

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