Last year, as part of its "Make the Omer Count" program the Social Action Committee of Temple Beth Miriam began sponsoring an annual performing arts event to raise money for a worthy charity. This year, the Committee's efforts were led by Michael Topper, 16, who organized the "Harmony Coffeehouse" on Sunday, April 15. This event welcomed musicians from TBM and the surrounding communities to come together and raise money and awareness for the Asbury Park Music Foundation. Approximately 75 people attended and over $500 was raised. A great time was had by all who attended and performed.
Topper led a steering team consisting of temple youth Maya Restifo, 16, and his younger brother, Elliot Topper, 14, as well as adult SAC members Chase Kaplan, Liza Restifo, Gayle Topper, and Michael Vernick. Together they invited performers, planned and publicized the event, coordinated space needs, arranged refreshments, liased with the APMF leadership, and worked the event. Performers included professional musicians such as Luke Bonenfant, Matt Brown, Peter Nussbaum, and Georgia Owen. Many talented musicians from the community also appeared, including Jacynth Apora, Anthony Campana, Rob Pasternak, and "Old Davy" Taylor. The TBM family was well-represented with performances by Cantor Marnie Camhi, Araiya Casriel, Chase Kaplan, Jacob Gerbman, Ryan Gerbman, Elliot Topper, and Robert Topper.
Among other activities, the APMF provides its "The Music Saved My Life" youth music education programs to Asbury Park residents. More information can be obtained from their website (asburyparklives.org).