By Stephen E. Lipken
The 47th Annual Westchester Jewish Music and Arts Festival was held at Kensico Dam Plaza on August 20. The government officials present included Westchester County Executive George Latimer, NYS Senator Shelley Mayer, and NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
A wide variety of synagogues were represented, Chabad of Rivertowns offered instruction on how to wear Tefillin, and the Yonkers Police Department Chaplain, Rabbi Mendy Hurwitz, blew a Shofar in preparation for the High Holidays. Attendees were able to purchase jewelry and Jewish memorabilia from various vendors.
The Master of Ceremonies, Kenny Green, introduced the Levins to the stage, a harmony-driven folk duo, followed by Israeli Dancing with Leng. The WonderSpark Puppets, sponsored by PJ Library, performed in the tent. Other performers at the festival were the Liz Queler Band, Urban Garage, featured artist Neshama Carlebach, and juggler Ned Gelfars.
Lincoln Park Jewish Center Rabbi David Seebag welcomed everyone to the festival, noting that this was the first time their Shul was participating in the Festival. “It’s just wonderful to see Jews of every single denomination getting together, dancing, talking, learning, and eating.”
County Executive George Latimer commented, “It is a wonderful day,” and added, “The Jewish Heritage Festival taps a lot of different people, some with food, some with dance, some with music, all sorts of organizations . . . As I walk around, I get a sense of the extent of the Jewish community in Westchester and their tremendous contributions to this County over the years. We have so many people serving in public office, members of Congress, all sorts of colleagues of mine in positions that come out of the Jewish community.”
The program concluded in the tent with Kol Hazzanim Kumsitz, featuring Cantors Gil Ezring, Ines Kapustiansky, Anna May, Lauren Phillips Fogelman, Melissa Puius, and Gaby Schvartz.