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Oy, Yiddishfest Comes to Kensico Dam

August 18, 2005

Some of the brightest stars of the Yiddish stage will entertain during the 32nd annual Festival of Yiddish Music Sunday, August 21, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla.

Kicking off the entertainment at 4 p.m. will be Sasha, a folk dancer who will lead the audience in participatory traditional dances. Vocalist Joanne Borts, star of “Those Were the Days,” “On Second Avenue” and “Kids and Yiddish” will headline the musical entertainment. Ms. Borts, who is also a popular cabaret artist, will perform new interpretations of old favorites in a contemporary style.

Also taking the stage will be Adrienne Cooper, who is considered one of the most influential performers of Yiddish vocal music today, and appears on concert, theater, and club stages around the world. The Howard Leshaw and Golden Land Klezmer Orchestra renowned for applying the tenets of American swing to traditional Eastern European music will return, and new this year is the Yiddish Klezmer/rock band, Golem named after the legendary Jewish Frankenstein of Prague.

Golem transforms old-style traditional Klezmer into a modern, funky beat that many young and older music lovers enjoy. The event’s musical director is Zalmen Mlotek, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Yiddish folk and theater music. He has served as co-creator and music director of “Those Were the Days,” “On Second Avenue” and “The Golden Land,” and has most recently become co-artistic director of Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre, the longest continuously operating Yiddish theater company in the world.

Admission and parking are free. Seating is informal; blankets and folding chairs are recommended. Rain site location is Temple Israel located at 280 Old Mamaroneck Road in White Plains.

The 32nd annual Festival of Yiddish Music is presented by The Workmen’s Circle, in cooperation with Westchester County Parks. Additional assistance has been provided by more than two dozen temples and Jewish community organizations from throughout Westchester.

For more information call (914) 864-PARK. General information on Westchester County Parks is available at


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