Riverdale YM-YWHA

 Festival '10:

Sunday, April 11, 4:00 pm (Yom HaShoah)
Broken Promise
(Nedodrzany Slub )
2010 Academy Award Nominee, Best Foreign Language film
Country of Origin: Czech Republic 2009
129 minutes

Language: Slovak English Sub-Titles

Sheer luck and special skills help a Jewish Slovak adolescent survive the WWII years in this gripping Holocaust drama. Like Agnieszka Holland’s Europa Europa and Lajos Koltai’s Fateless, it traces an Eastern European youth’s painful fight for survival against a backdrop of increasing anti-Semitism, deportations and death camps.


Monday, April 12, 7:00pm
Yoo Hoo Mrs. Goldberg
Country of Origin: United States 2009  
92 minutes

This is the humorous and eye-opening story of television pioneer Gertrude Berg.  She was the creator, principal writer, and star of The Goldbergs, a popular radio show which became television’s very first character-driven domestic sitcom in 1949. Berg received the first Best Actress Emmy in history and paved the way for women in the entertainment. “The Oprah of her day” is one talking head’s description of the broadcasting pioneer Gertrude Berg in “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg,” Aviva Kempner’s engrossing documentary portrait of a once-beloved radio and television star who died in 1966 and today is barely remembered. The film could be described as Exhibit A in a study of media celebrity and collective forgetfulness in the age of information overload.

Tuesday, April 13,1:00pm
Killing Kastzner
Country of Origin: United States 2008          
120 minutes

Film director Gaylen Ross will lead a discussion afterwards on the creation of her work and speak about Rezso Kasztner, known as the Jewish Schindler, who negotiated face to face with Adolf Eichmann, rescuing 1700 Jews on a train to Switzerland, and may have saved thousands more lives. Ms. Ross investigates this tale of murder, intrigue and heroism through accounts of the inflammartoury political trial, startling revelations after 50 years by Kasztner"s assassin Ze'ev Eckstein and a chilling meeting between the killer and Kasztner's daughter, Zsuzsi. The film has received numerous awards and was shown at several film festivals including Toronto, Haifa, Budapest and Boston.

Tuesday, April 13, 7:00pm
Autistic License
Country of Origin: United States         
89 minutes

A film of the award winning play by new playwright Stacy Dinner-Levin. The play is the autobiographical account of one family’s journey to raise a son with autism.
  From the time that her child is diagnosed at age three, “Mom” leads us through the challenges and milestones of living with autism.   An omnipresent interviewer acts not so much as a guide, but rather a sounding board, as she moves along this uncharted path.  We learn from her experiences, the impact this disability has on her marriage, and family, while witnessing first hand the best and the worst of people who encounter her son in the outside world.
As a result of living with disability, not only does she come to a greater understanding and appreciation of the uniqueness of her child; but also gains greater depth as a woman and a mother. This unique film is offered in conjunction with the Riverdale Y’s Inclusion Department and will be followed by a Q & A.

Wednesday, April 14, 7:00 pm
A Matter of Size
Country of Origin: Israel, 2009
Original Language: Hebrew | Japanese

One of the funniest Israeli films ever. In A Matter of Size, directed by Sharon Maymon and Erez Tadmor (co-director of our 2008 hit, Strangers), four overweight friends from the Israeli city of  Ramle are fed up with dieting. When 341-pound Herzl loses his job as a cook and starts working as a dishwasher in a Japanese restaurant, he discovers the world of Sumo, which honors and appreciates people as large as he is. Through his boss Kitano (weighing in at 132 pounds), the restaurant owner, a former Sumo coach in Japan, Herzl falls in love with a sport involving “two fatsos in diapers and girly hairdos.”

Thursday, April 15, 7:00 pm
Unter Bauern: Saviors of the Night
Country of Origin: Germany, France
Original Language: German, French, English
95 Minutes
SAVIORS IN THE NIGHT (UNTER BAUERN) is based on the memories of Marga Spiegel. In her narrative, published in 1965, she describes how courageous farmers in southern Münsterland hid her, her husband Siegfried {named Menne} and their little daughter Karin from 1943 until 1945, thus saving them from deportation to the extermination camps in the East. The film tells this story of survival with a sense for the absurd in daily life and not without the typical Westphalian humor.
Without reservation, the farmers offer the refugees their protection. That this turns them into heroes would never occur to them. They are used to weathering even dangerous situations somehow, guided only by their instinct and century-old code of ethics. They risk their own lives, and, if necessary, even that of their families. There is never a discussion about friendship, reliability, humanity.
In Yad Vashem the farmers’ names are immortalized: Heinrich Aschoff, Hubert Pentrop, Bernhard Südfeld, Heinrich Silkenböhmer, Bernhard Sickmann. The Film SAVIORS IN THE NIGHT wants to create a memorial in honor of these silent heroes

Concluding wine & cheese reception


About past festivals:
Festival '08:
ctober 30 - November 3    



Opening Night Thursday, October 30
It's Mexican Night at the Y!
Shalom Amigos Family Fiesta
Mariachis and Mojitos
Opening night has never been so hot! Come salsa the night away (or just tap your feet while eating salsa!) to the sounds of Villa-Lobos, a Mexican Mariachi band whose virtuoso violinists also play in the Shul Band on the Lower East Side. Ernesto Villa-Lobos came to the United States from Mexico on a Fulbright fellowship to train at the Manhattan School of Music and later studied in Israel under violinist Shlomo Mintz. From Carnegie Hall and other outstanding venues, the Villa-Lobos blend of mariachi and klezmer kicks off our third annual Riverdale Jewish Festival of the Arts in style. Enjoy a kosher Mexican buffet feast prepared in our kitchen along with mojitos and the sounds of Villa-Lobos. Bring your friends and family to Riverdale's Festival Fiesta!
6:00 pm $12 per adult; $6 per child (12 and younger)

Stay after dinner and enjoy:
Like a Bride

Directed by Guita Schyfter 115 minutes. Not rated.
In Spanish and Ladino with English subtitles.
A familiar slice of life tops a thick layer of cultural history in the Mexican film ‘'Like a Bride," which contrasts the lives of two Jewish girls who come of age in the Jewish community of Mexico City in the 1960's. This small, sensitive film tells the stories of Oshinica Mataraso, the daughter of Sephardic Jews who arrived from Turkey in 1927, and her friend Rifke Groman, whose family survived the Holocaust. Oshinica, played by Claudette Maille, chafes against a tradition-bound family that has reared her to become a bride, and the sooner the better. But while her mother encourages her to learn sewing, Oshi develops a yearning to study art. Rifke (Maya Mishalska), is a born rebel, active in the Zionist socialist youth movement and attracted to Saavedra (Ernesto Laguardia), a handsome young Gentile with Communist sympathies.
Will Oshinica have the courage to break her engagement to Leon, the doctor who is her miserly, controlling fiance? Will she realize her dream of studying art? Will Rifke risk breaking the hearts of her parents by marrying Saavedra? The film's chief interest lies in its exploration of Jewish life in Mexico, its illumination of the country's multi-ethnicity and its insights into the girls' sense of assimilation into - and estrangement from - an overwhelmingly Christian nation.
7:30 pm Movie tickets: $6
With thanks to ConEd whose generous support has made this evening possible. 

Friday, October 31 Saturday, November 1 Sunday, November 2 
Shabbat Across Riverdale
Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale
Saturday, November 1, 9 am Service with special d'var Torah dedicated to Shabbat Across Riverdale
535 West 246 Street, (718) 549-1000

Congregation Shaarei Shalom
Friday, October 31, 6:30 pm Interactive children's Shabbat service (age 7 and younger, and
their families); 7:30 pm Shabbat service with the music of Shlomo Carlebach. Both services
led by Rabbi Steven D. Burton and Cantor Ronald J. Broden at PS 24 on West 235th Street off
Independence Avenue (entrance opposite the Spuyten Duyvil library.) (718) 796-8845

Congregation Tehillah
Friday, October 31, 6:00 pm Potluck dinner, music and davening with Rabbi Linda Shriner-
Cahn.  Call for location (718) 884-4389

Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel (CSAIR)
Friday, October 31, 5:35 pm Artists Beit Midrash Exhibit: Kabbalat Shabbat Service followed by a "wine and challah" reception in honor of the artists who participated in last fall's Artist's Beit Midrash. See works of art in a variety of media created by members of the community, based on the theme of Darkness and Light in Jewish sources. Service 5:35 pm (the only service that night); Reception: 6:45-7:15 pm; Dinner: 7:15 pm. Open to all. Reservations required for dinner. Call the office to arrange for pre-payment.
475 West 250 Street, (718) 543-8400

Hebrew Institute of Riverdale (HIR)
Saturday, November 1, 5:30 pm Seudah Shlishit, Jen Taylor Friedman, will talk about The Intersection between Art and Halakha: a Scribe's Reflections on Writing Megillah Scrolls.
3700 Henry Hudson Parkway, (718) 796-4730

Riverdale Jewish Center
Friday, October 31 Service followed by Community Dinner at Riverdale Jewish Center (call the synagogue for time).
3700 Independence Avenue, (718) 548-1850

Riverdale Temple
Sunday, November 2, 9 am A morning of "The Art of the Torah," with a guest Torah scribe. Learn how and why Torah scrolls are made. There will be hands-on activities for children and adults of all ages - art projects, calligraphy demonstrations, text study and refreshments.
4545 Independence Avenue, (718) 548-8300

Young Israel Ohab Zedek of North Riverdale
Saturday, November 1, 11:00 am with special d'var Torah on the arts and Judaism by Rabbi Shmuel Hain.
6015 Riverdale Avenue, (718) 548-0105

Arranged  8:30 pm
Two young women - one an Orthodox Jew, the other Muslim - meet and become friends as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. Over the course of the year they learn they share much in common, not least of which is that they are both going through arranged marriages.
ARRANGED is based loosely on the experiences of Yuta Silverman, an Orthodox Jewish woman from Borough Park, Brooklyn. Seeing the Israeli film USHPIZIN, produced by Orthodox filmmakers, gave her the courage and inspiration to try and tell one of her many stories.
With no connections or experiences in the film world, and working from a directory on the Independent Feature Project's website, she began making random calls to New York-based production companies. She reached Cicala Filmworks in November, 2005. During a series of meetings - in which she used a pseudonym - she told Stefan Schaefer about her experiences of going through an arranged marriage process and also about her friendship with a Pakistani Muslim woman.
Stefan, although he found the story elements very promising, would often remind Yuta that he was a man and non-Jew. He offered to write the treatment and then pass it along to his good friend, the director Jessica Sharzer. Yuta responded: "If she's not Orthodox, it makes no difference to me, you may as well direct it."
As the months past, Yuta convinced Stefan to write the screenplay on spec. He did and, at a certain point, discussed the possibility of producing it through his company Cicala Filmworks, with his partner Diane Crespo as a co-director. Yuta said she could bring some financing to the project and, together with the HD camera package and production services Cicala could provide, the three began to consider shooting the film over the summer. Yuta showed the screenplay to her rabbi and, though he wouldn't bless it, he did say he was not going to forbid her from moving forward.
Meet the movie's director, Stefan Schaefer, at a post-movie audience Q&A.
8:30 pm $10 per person

Sunday, November 2
Klezmer/Gospel Get-Out-the-Vote Brunch
11:00 am Tickets: $12 for adults /$6 for children (12 and younger)
Gospel and Klezmer Get-Out-the-Vote Brunch Celebrate American
democracy less than 48-hours before the historic 2008 presidential elections
with a fun and inspirational family-friendly brunch!
The program includes: Rousing performances by the Green Pastures Gospel Choir and Metroplitan Klezmer.
Inspirational words from Yeshiva University President Richard Joel and Lehman College President Ricardo R. Fernandez. Strategies to encourage your friends and neighbors to exercise their right to vote on Election Day.
Delicious all-you-could-eat kosher breakfast buffet.

International Mask Making Workshop
We invite kids ages 7 and older to create international masks with textiles, beads and other media, following the styles of masks from Africa, Venice, South America, Japan and other cultures, led by the Y's Visual Arts Director Janine Intervallo.
1:30-3:00 pm Tickets: $5

Family Concert: Hayes Greenfield, Music for a Green Planet 
Interactive jazz for children ages 3 and older, and their families. Hayes Greenfield involves the audience in learning scat and other foundations of jazz. His Music for a Green Planet is full of joyful and witty jazz tunes that celebrate the environment and every human being's part in saving it. Many songs play on classic children's songs and have been given new lyrics and a jazzy update; for instance, "This Old Man" has morphed into "This Green Man," with a soulful sax accompaniment and a chorus about hybrid cars and compact fluorescent light bulbs. "Catch the man who's making jazz cool for kids" says New York Magazine. "The true pied piper of jazz," says Philip Glass.
3:00 pm Tickets: $5

Community Drumming Circle
Join us in the Y's lobby -- and bring your percussion instruments! This has been a highlight of the Y's Jewish Festival of the Arts each year. Don't miss this high-energy, fun and creative community event. 4:00 pm FREE!

Dr. Ruth Westheimer and HBO's In Treatment and Israel's Betipul
7 pm, FREE!  Come watch two episodes of the hit series In Treatment and then watch the Israeli show, in Hebrew with English subtitles, upon which it was based.  Followed by a discussion of therapy and culture, US and Israel, led by local mental health experts, moderated by Dr. Ruth Westheimer.



 Monday, November 3
Shalom Ireland 2008 An Evening of Dance and Dialogue
Note: This unique event is back by popular demand for the third year in a row - Shalom Ireland 2006 and 2007 both sold out in record time!
Celebrate Jewish and Irish heritage and enjoy dance performances by the Parparim Ensemble and the Keltic Dreams. The Parparim Ensemble is a spirited and captivating dance company formed by Ruth Goodman to help demonstrate the diversity of the Jewish people. The Parparim Ensemble will perform a show entitled Kaleidoscope - an exhilarating program which reflects the multiplicity of ethnic influences inherent in Jewish dance and modern Israeli culture.
The Keltic Dreams is an Irish dance troupe conceived by Caroline Duggan, a music teacher from Dublin who transformed PS 59 in the Bronx, an elementary school that is 71 percent Hispanic and 27 percent black, by turning her students on to the joys of Irish dancing. The Keltic Dreams will perform traditional Irish dancing infused with elements of hip-hop, salsa and African dance.
The dance performances will be followed by a panel discussion, exploring the similarities between the Jewish and Irish cultures.
Guests will then be invited to conclude their evening upstairs at the Y's "McJerusalem Pub" featuring kosher beer and Irish food along with instructor-led folk dancing.
7:00 pm $5
Sponsored by the Riverdale Jewish Community Council with the
generous support of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and the
Riverdale Y



2007 Riverdale Jewish Festival of the Arts 
A Celebration of Jewish Multi-Culturalism
November 10-18, 2007

The Riverdale Jewish Festival of the Arts, attended by more than 2,000 people over a span of eight days in mid-November, featured entertainment and education from Jewish artists around the world. From the opening night talk by NY Times columnist Joseph Berger and a standing-room-only candle-lit cabaret featuring Basya Schechter of Pharaoh's Daughter, through a dancing-in-the-aisles performance for children by Shira-la-la, an Ethiopean dinner at the Conservative Synagogue on Shabbat evening and a celebration of Irish/Jewish immigrants featuring Malachy McCourt and Jake Ehrenreich, the festival brought our town together to honor our shared Jewish heritage from cultures as diverse as India, Libya, and the Dominican Republic. What a wonderful way to celebrate being Jewish in Riverdale!








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Community Partners


The Academy for Jewish Religion

Ginger Grill

Congregation Shaarei Shalom

Congregation Tehillah

Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale

The Hebrew Home at Riverdale

Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

Hebrew Institute Community Choir

Hudson Pointe at Riverdale

Kinneret Day School

Riverdale Art Association

Riverdale Jewish Center

Riverdale Jewish Community Council

Riverdale Public Library, Mosholu Avenue Branch

Riverdale Temple

Riverdale YM-YWHA

Salanter Akiba of Riverdale Academy (SAR)

Young Israel Ohab Zedek of North Riverdale


2006 Festival

The first Riverdale Jewish Festival of the Arts was a ten day celebration of Jewish arts and culture that featured 300 local and national artists through 36 events and attracted 3,000 participants from Riverdale, Westchester, Manhattan, NJ, and Connecticut. Seventeen organizations collaborated to make the Festival's debut such a success and comments on the evaluations overwhelmingly attested to the strength of this program and the desire for more.

A few of the comments from audience evaluations: People who never thought they would go to the Y now know exciting things are happening there. Thanks a million!

You worked so hard to bring all this together and it shows. It’s wonderful having this in Riverdale! Thank you!A wonderful series of events for the community – extremely well-organized.

Women’s Night Out: Each performance was superb and a unique experience for me. It was great not having to go into NYC for culture.

Awesome! You must become the Cultural Arts Center for the Bronx!
Thank you for this gift!

The 5 hours flew by – I enjoyed each part of the program – it was a varied, entertaining evening. Thank you! I loved the variety of entertainment –very enjoyable!

Eugene Marlow Jazz concert: The performance was fabulous. We need more jazz music. Worth their weight in gold!

Self-Portrait Workshop: This was great! It more than met my expectations. This is the first of many events I will be attending.

Shalom Ireland: It was a wonderful community event that helped to bring people together. It’s great to see the Y come alive again. Not only was the evening entertaining, and educational but the organizing of it was smooth and awesome considering 500 were accommodated.


The Beginning


The concept for the Festival grew out of an enthusiastic focus group of twenty-two leaders representing a cross-section of the Riverdale community to brainstorm ideas for the Festival. Such a diverse and well-attended gathering to support a community-wide program is to discuss how the Riverdale Y can best fulfill its mission to serve as "a gateway for neighborhood and global connection. The Riverdale Y is committed to being a convener and forum for creative discourse for the diverse and growing community we serve. Participants agreed unanimously that this Festival is an essential program for Riverdale at this time. Many of the program ideas generated by this group called for inter-generational, inter-denominational, and inter-institutional activities. Through a collaborative process of planning and implementing the Festival, a model that can be replicated for future community-wide programs, we achieved our goal of making this a true community effort that represents the interests, input and talents of the Riverdale community. “One participant expressed the feelings of the group when he suggested "Everyone wants to belong to something, to be a part of a community." As Riverdale experiences growth, we must address the issue of how we can deepen and maintain a strong sense of unified community, while many Riverdalians work and fulfill their cultural and culinary needs in Manhattan and elsewhere. Fostering a sense of unity is particularly challenging in a climate in which many residents create tight affiliations with synagogues, churches or schools, and yet there are few opportunities in Riverdale for Jews of varied affiliations, the unaffiliated and our non-Jewish neighbors to gather around a common area of interest - to invoke a true sense of belonging for everyone, of shared community. Communities thrive who best meet the creative needs of their constituents through cultural events that cut across ethnic divides and celebrate our shared appreciation of the arts.






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Riverdale, NY 10471
(718) 548-8200

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