46th Annual Westchester Jewish Music and Arts Festival Returns to Kensico Dam Plaza

Left to right: Westchester Jewish Council Chief Executive Officer Elliot Forchheimer; Lincoln Park Jewish Center Rabbi Levi Welton; son David Welton

Pam Goldstein, Assistant Executive Director, Westchester Jewish Council; Deputy Westchester County Executive Ken Jenkins.


By Stephen E. Lipken



An estimated 2500 citizens from Westchester County and outlying areas attended the 46th Annual Jewish Music and Arts Festival, held at Kensico Dam Plaza on Sunday, August 21st, presented by Westchester Jewish Council and UJA Federation New York in cooperation with Westchester County Parks. 


Guest performers included The Levins; Israeli Dancing with Leng; WonderSparks Puppets, sponsored by PJ Library; Neshama Carlebach; Juggler Ned Gelfars and ending with a rousing song, This Little Light of Mine, sung by Argentinian Cantor Ines Kapustiansky of Temple Shaaray Tefila, Bedford, accompanied by MC Kenny Green on guitar.


In addition, Lincoln Park Jewish Center Rabbi Levi Welton sold copies of his book, Be Like the Moon, plus jewelry, purse and hat vendors.  Many exhibits promoted social responsibility, including Alzheimer’s Association; Hearts and Homes for Refugees; Live On NY, advocating Organ Donation; HOPE Community Services; Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection; Westchester County Human Rights Commission; Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration;   “the Tooth Fairy” (Carmela LoPresti, Pediatric Assistant, Touro College of Dental Medicine) and Wellness Camp, Camp Zeke, promoting culinary arts and physical fitness.


Congregation Sons of Israel, Briarcliff Manor had an exhibit that explained their unique organic farm behind their synagogue, with garden beds for sale, seasonal produce and eggs from their chicken coop, kosher wine; There was also a barbecue and picnic area earmarked for community and school events.


“We are so proud to be here for the tenth time and telling the story of Soroka Medical Center, which is Israel’s only major medical for the entire south of Israel,” Rachel Heisler, Executive Director, American Friends of Soroka Medical Center, Beersheba, Israel stated.  


“We take care of all the residents of the Negev, no matter what their race, religion or national origin.  Nearly 50% of our 18,000 babies are Arab born. We are very focused on clinical research and are particularly proud of our new Legacy Heritage Oncology Center, Larry Norton Institute and are developing a new Neonatal Care Center,” Heisler concluded.