September 2017 -- Elul 5777 -  Tishri 5778,  Volume 23, Issue 9

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Big Turnout for The 43rd Annual Westchester Jewish Music & Arts Festival

The 43rd Annual Westchester Jewish Music & Arts Festival was held on Sunday, August 20, 2017, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla. Over 1,800 were in attendance. The festival was presented by The Westchester Jewish Council and The Westchester Klezmer Program in cooperation with Westchester County Parks.


The event, a celebration for the whole family, featured a wide variety of musical performances including headliner Golem, a Klezmer rock band based in New York City. Golem known for its virtuosic musicianship, theatricality, humor and fearless wild energy, entertained the crowd with a combination of rock and Klezmer music. Rockmitzvah, a full service live musical ensemble of real rock and roll musicians, also performed playing a mix of child and adult friendly tunes, and the Westchester Klezmer Band filled the air with authentic klezmer music. Israeli singer and composer Sandy Shmuely led a high energy sing-a-long with the audience. In addition, Israeli dancing by Camp Zeke, was led by Cantor Uri Aqua of Beth El Synagogue Center, New Rochelle, throughout the day. Face painting by Maria, as well as juggler Ned Gelfars, whose show was filled with juggling, magic and an incredible amount of hilarious, good-natured audience participation, also provided family activities and fun throughout the day. A number of local elected officials, including County Executive Rob Astorino, gave greetings.


The event was free and open to the public. Food, including ice cream and ices trucks and kosher snacks, including Ben’s Kosher Restaurant, JJ’s Holy Cow food truck and more were available for purchase. A vendor exhibition area including Jewish Art/Judaica, jewelry and more was open throughout the festival.


 “We are thrilled that we had over 1800 people, which is the best turnout we have ever had for the event, attended the Festival. There really was something for everyone - musical performances, dancing and lots of fun activities for the children. We hope all members of the community, regardless of faith, enjoyed this very festive day”, said Elliot Forchheimer, Executive Director of The Westchester Jewish Council.

This event was sponsored in part by the Morris & Sylvia Trachten Family Foundation..

The Westchester Jewish Council connects Westchester’s Jewish communities and strengthens relationships among Jewish organizations and other ethnic and faith based groups, elected officials, Israel and the community at large. The Westchester Jewish Council is a proud Core partner of UJA-Federation of New York.


For more information about the Westchester Jewish Council, visit us online at