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Westchester Jewish Film Festival 2010

The ninth annual Westchester Jewish Film Festival will be held at the Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) in Pleasantville from April 8 through 29. This year’s festival is the largest ever assembled and once again covers a broad spectrum of films from around the world.

The film selection process starts almost a year before the festival with over 100 films being screened. One of the programmers of the festival is Scarsdale resident, Karen Sloe Goodman, Programming Associate at the JBFC.

“This year’s festival celebrates Jewish culture and history with an extraordinary group of narratives and documentaries that inspire, inform, and entertain, while taking us to places as diverse as Argentina, Czech Republic, Russia, and Tunisia,” Goodman said. “We are thrilled to be presenting ten evenings with special guests during the festival, and we encourage you to visit our website to read more about these wonderful events and the many moving films we have selected.”

A few highlights of the festival are the opening night film, Ahead of Time, on April 8 with foreign correspondent, photojournalist, author, and humanitarian, Ruth Gruber who will be interviewed by Ann Curry, News Anchor and Correspondent of the Today Show and Dateline; Killing Katzner on April 12 with filmmaker Gaylen Ross and JBFC Programming Director Brian Ackerman, and on April 20 with professor and author Deborah Lipstadt, followed by a reception; and Against the Tide on April 15 with David Harris, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, and Gary Rosenblatt, editor and publisher of The Jewish Week. The American Jewish Committee is the sponsor of the festival.

The complete schedule of films, speakers, special events, and receptions can be viewed on the JBFC website at

Calling Young Authors

The Friends of the Music and the Arts in the Scarsdale Schools is inviting all Scarsdale elementary school students to submit a piece of writing for the second annual Young Writers Review. This is the only publication that brings together works from all five Scarsdale elementary schools. The Review will be professionally produced and distributed to the elementary school libraries and the Scarsdale Public Library. Copies will also be available for purchase.

All genres of writing are welcome including fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Only one entry per child is permitted and submissions are due by April 2. Details are available at and questions can be sent to

The New Choral Society Performs Its 100th Concert

The New Choral Society will present its 100th concert performance, Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 3 PM, in the sanctuary of Hitchcock Presbyterian Church. The concert program is “Jubilate Deo” (Make a Joyful Noise) and includes various settings of the text of Psalm 100. Composers whose works are featured include Händel, Bach, Schütz, Mendelssohn, Howells, Bernstein, Rutter and Clausen and the settings are sung in English, German, Latin and Hebrew.

The chorus, founded by Dr. John T. King in 1994, has been praised for its “professional level” musicianship, often featuring solo artists from the Metropolitan Opera and presenting its concerts with a top-notch professional orchestra. For 16 seasons the all-auditioned group has presented music from the 17th through 20th centuries, by more than 30 different composers, and has run the gamut from large scale works with orchestra and soloists, to American classical songs and a cappella works.

Greenacres resident Steven Schnur has been singing with the group since 1994 and here are his thoughts on his years as a member of the choir:

I began choral singing thirty-five years ago but never enjoyed it as much as I have these last sixteen years under the tutelage of John King. His great musicianship and infectious high spirits never fail to wrest all of us from our Monday night rehearsal lethargy. Week after week we astonish ourselves with just how well we are capable of singing under John's expert guidance. And thanks to John's deep connections in the New York music world, we have the great good fortune to perform at every concert with world-class instrumentalists and soloists from the Metropolitan Opera Young Artists Program. It's thrilling!

We're also blessed in having one of the most dedicated executive directors in the business, Betsy Broyd, who has succeeded in accomplishing the impossible: providing a sound financial footing for an amateur choir with a deep and committed audience base. Year after year Betsy succeeds in developing new ways to attract patrons, to keep our interest high, and to offer the community great musical programs.

Sixteen years ago my wife, also a singer, came home from a Greenacres Association meeting with the welcome news that a new choir was being formed under John King's direction. I had just retired from another choir across the county and was looking to join a new group. We had small children at home so only one of us could attend the evening rehearsals. Nancie graciously yielded the spot to me and I have been grateful to her, to John King, and to Betsy Broyd ever since.”

Bonnie Gould, another original member said, "I am excited and proud to participate in our 100th performance in our 16th season. Being a member for 16 years has been an incredible learning experience,and with John's talent, patience and encouragement, we are united as we strive for excellence. And- in the process we have fun and enjoy and appreciate each other."

Tickets for the March 7th concert are available in two categories: Preferred Seating at $25 and General Admission at $20. The General Admission ticket is offered at a discount of $15, for Seniors and Students. Tickets can be purchased through the New Choral Society website: or by calling the office at (914) 725-1678.

Auditions at Greenville Community Theater

Greenville Community Theater has announced open auditions for its Spring production of: All in the Timing A Very Clever Comedy by David Ives. The play will be directed by Janice Fay Hanges and auditions will be held on March 16 and 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm at Greenville Community Church, Ardsley Road, Scarsdale, New York. The play is being produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. New York.

Winner of the John Gassner Playwriting Award, All in the Timing is a critically acclaimed, award-winning, hilarious evening of comedies that combines wit, intellect, satire. . . and just plain fun.

FOREPLAY or: THE ART OF THE FUGUE is a well-crafted sextet — an intricate pattern of dialogue, tracing three separate scenes, or are they seductions? It introduces us to three instances in the life of Chuck, as he attempts, with varying degrees of success, to convince three very different ladies that miniature golf really is a metaphor for life. (3 Males, 3 Females) (The script can be found in the script called Long Ago and Far Away – a separate collection of one-acts by David Ives)

SURE THING is a classic of contemporary comedy: Two people meet in a cafe and find their way through a conversational minefield full of false starts, gaffes, and faux pas on their way to falling in love. (1Male, 1Female)

 WORDS, WORDS, WORDS recalls the philosophical adage that three monkeys typing into infinity will sooner or later produce HAMLET and asks: What would monkeys talk about at their typewriters? (2Males, 1Female — should be comfortable with physical comedy; able to “act” like a monkey)

THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE brings together Dawn, a young woman with a stutter, and Don, the creator and teacher of Unamunda, a wild comic language. Their lesson sends them off into a dazzling display of hysterical verbal pyrotechnics—and, of course, true love. (2 Males, 1Female)

 THE PHILADELPHIA presents a man in a restaurant who has fallen into “a Philadelphia,” a Twilight Zone-like state in which he cannot get anything he asks for. How can he get out of this exceedingly frustrating dilemma? (2 Males, 1 Female)

 VARIATIONS ON THE DEATH OF TROTSKY shows us the Russian revolutionary on the day of his demise, desperately trying to cope with the mountain-climber’s axe he's discovered in his head. (2 Males, 1 Female)
Cast Information: All roles are open — age ranges: 20’s to 60’s — multi-racial encouraged

Performance Dates: June 16, 17, 18, 19, 2010 (Note: on 6/19 – 2 performances at 3 and 8 pm)
If you can’t make these dates, but would like to audition, please call or email for further information)
For auditions, go to the back of Greenvile Community Church, then down the steps to Hessler Hall. 

For more information:
Email: .
Call: 914-428-6393




Yiddish Musical Revue at WRT

Westchester Reform Temple will host a musical theater afternoon on Sunday, March 7 at 4 p.m. The program, “Mama’s Loshn Kugel,” is a traveling Yiddish revue featuring classic songs and sketches from the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater.

Performed in Yiddish with English translation supertitles, the performance is easy to follow and suitable for both children and adults. As its name implies, “Mama’s Loshn Kugel” is a veritable Yiddish kugel, or pudding, with a mixture of humor and song, longing and celebration.

Theater critic Howard Shapiro of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote of a recent production: “The jokes were flying. The music was piping. The translations were beaming.”

The Folksbiene Yiddish Theater is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve, promote and develop Yiddish theater for current and future generations to enhance the understanding and appreciation of Yiddish culture as a necessary component of Jewish life.

This Yiddish Culture Program is funded by the Cantor Stephen H. Merkel Fund, and is free and open to the public. Westchester Reform Temple is located at 255 Mamaroneck Road in Scarsdale, N.Y. For directions or information, call the Temple at 914-723-7727, email, or visit