The Chizuk Project: A Gift of Music and Strength


By: Riki Goldstein

For so many, it’s the fear which is left behind, seemingly here to stay. Lodged in the cracks which corona has seared onto our inner worlds, uncertainty becomes a state of mind.

How can we move onward and upward, summoning inner strength to face the future with faith and optimism?

The Chizuk project, launching a metamorphosis in mood through music, is an answer to this challenge. With sensational music and heartwarming song, it offers a boost, an injection of optimism and courage. The golden voices of Avraham Fried, Baruch Levine, Shmueli Ungar and other favorite singers yet to be announced soar in hope with their trademark warmth, featuring in a series of free singles, released every few weeks under the sure hand of Eli Gerstner and EG Productions, which will culminate in an album gifted to the community at no charge. 

This incredible music project expresses the desire of Jewish music lover and philanthropist, Jeremy Strauss, to spread chizuk at a time when we’re all searching for comfort, courage and uplift. Now launching his exciting new music label, Strauss Music LLC, Jeremy is passionate about presenting the best of Jewish music, and is offering this entire album free of charge, as chizuk to the community. “We all need to get through these tough times, and with top-notch singers on board, and Eli’s ability to constantly offer surprises and incredible productions, the Chizuk Project offers something for everyone in the community, right, left and center. Let everyone enjoy, and feel the inspiration of uplifting song.” As after the Churban, when the Navi calls to us “Nachamu Ami,” [Be comforted, my people] now is the time to move forward from the pain and begin to rebuild. Stay tuned for more music and excitement from the new brand in Jewish music.

The Chizuk project launches its musical journey this weekend with an exquisite English single, named “Rise,” available on all platforms. Yisroel Besser, blessed with the gift of empathy as well as the power of words, reaches out to all of us with poignant lyrics which seem to capture the gloom and the uncertainty we’ve endured, then uplift with the assurance that the pages turning in the book above / The One in control is writing with love. 

“As soon as he sent me those lyrics, I sat down at the piano,” describes Eli Gerstner, who is the composer and producer of the project, and wrote the moving tune for “Rise”. “The message was so universally powerful, and so inspiring, that with tremendous Siyata Dishmaya, the melody came to me right away.”

The great news is that this project is a return to frontstage for Eli, legendary producer of the Yeshiva Boys Choir, the Chevra, and, more recently, the creative mind behind the HASC concerts. Fans are conscious that besides occasional guest appearances, Eli hasn’t actually gotten behind the mic himself for fifteen years. It’s a sense of mission which has brought him out from backstage, performing brand new material alongside the guest vocalists. “There’s a message here. We really feel that we can lift people’s spirits and achieve something. This music is not about sitting and crying. It’s about giving each other the strength to go forward.”

The Chizuk project takes the pulse of a community still dealing with the ongoing and aftershock tremors of corona, and ripples of lives and livelihoods lost, and offers them a lifeline of hope, strength—and joy through music.