Downtown Arts Development
The New York Jewish Music and Heritage Festival was created in 2004 by Michael Dorf, the founder of the Knitting Factory music club and an experienced New York music impressario who has been involved in presenting both secular and Jewish music for 20 years. In three short years, the festival, working with traditional and non-traditional institutions, has found an audience in both young and old; reached orthodox, conservative, reform and unaffiliated Jews, as well as garnered significant media coverage. The festival is unique in its ability to bridge the various segments of the Jewish population and has a broad appeal to the entire community- demonstrating the communal power of "dancing as one" to the language of music. The festival has quickly established itself as one of the more important Jewish celebrations inthe world. Clearly, the arts offer an accesible way to reach a wide and diverse audience, which has a positive influence on Jewish American identity.