THE 14TH STREET Y 2019 ANNUAL PURIM Gala Honoring the Union Square Partnership and Executive Director Jennifer Falk

The 14th Street Y will host its 2019 PURIM Gala on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 6pm at Cipriani 25 Broadway. The 14th Street Y will honor the Union Square Partnership and its Executive Director, Jennifer Falk, as the recipient of the 14th Street Y Community Builder Award.

The 14th Street Y is a vibrant community center grounded in the belief that contemporary Jewish sensibilities can be a source of inspiration, connection, and learning for the individuals and families we serve throughout New York City’s East Village and beyond.


The 14th Street Y’s Community Builder Award recognizes champions who go above and beyond to cultivate and strengthen their communities, and in turn inspire others-individuals, organizations, and local businesses-to do the same. The 14th Street Y could not think of a better recipient for its first Community Builder Award than the Union Square Partnership and its Executive Director Jennifer Falk.


“We are thrilled to recognize the Union Square Partnership and Executive Director Jennifer Falk as leaders and partners in serving this diverse community,” said Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein, Executive Director of The 14th Street Y. “The organization’s tireless efforts in community building and neighborhood improvement initiatives provide vital service to our vibrant district.”


“It is truly an honor to accept the 14th Street Y’s inaugural ‘Community Builder Award’ on behalf of my incredible team and the Union Square Partnership’s devoted board of directors,” said Jennifer E. Falk, Executive Director of the Union Square Partnership. “The 14th Street Y is a key partner in our work to build community and improve our shared neighborhood. They have been vital to the district’s growth and we look forward to working with them closely as they continue to make plans for their new facility. We are truly humbled to be acknowledged in this way and look forward to a festive and joyous celebration on Thursday, March 14.”


The community is invited for a decadent evening in celebration of all things Purim. Masks and revelry will abound from the moment guests enter the Gala and are greeted with a champagne toast served from above by a cirque-style aerial artist. A cocktail hour with scintillating music and a photo booth where guests can don many disguises will be followed by a sumptuous dinner and a proper Purim spiel hosted by Artist Fellows from the 14th Street Y’s flagship artistic program, LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture. Groggers will spin and wine will pour as attendees are reminded this holiday celebrates community, giving back to our neighbors and of course…feasting.


The Gala will be held at Cipriani 25 Broadway with cocktails at 6pm and dinner & entertainment at 7pm. Festive attire and masks are encouraged. To learn more about the night’s events, get tickets, or to make a donation, please visit


Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. Celebrated with feasts, drink and revelry, it celebrates standing up for what you believe in and calls us to honor others through giving gifts and charity. 


In keeping with the time-honored Purim tradition of masquerade, guests are invited to indulge in wearing Purim-inspired masks and accessories. Try on a bit of whimsy, drama or intrigue and be transformed instantly… go on, we dare you!















                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The 14th Street Y 2019 Purim Gala will feature one-of-a kind live art and performances, including:

Ari Brand, an actor, musician, writer, teacher and lifelong New Yorker. His current projects include developing a play based on the life of his father, an Israeli-American pianist who died of AIDS in 1990. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two-year-old son.

Yochai Greenfeld, dancer, actor and singer, was born and raised in Israel, where his artistic passion evolved among the books and the scrolls at YeshViat Maale Gilboa. He believes in art as a form of multi-layered communication, and aspires to create meaningful, amusing and inspiring conversations in his work.


Marques Hollie, jewsician, is an operatic tenor and facilitator of creative Jewish ritual whose work focuses on creating Jew-of-color-centered ritual experiences. Marques was named one of New York Jewish Week‘s 36 Under 36 (2018) and a Fellow in the Union for Reform Judaism’s JewV’Nation Fellowship, a visionary leadership development program.

Returning this year, the Gala will also feature Rachel Pegram, comedian, actor, and writer living in New York City.  Onscreen, Rachel can be seen in the Adam Sandler Netflix movie The Week Of, as well as Don’t Think Twice, The Chris Gethard Show on TruTv, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Late Show, Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, Amazon, BET and more. In 2018 she was chosen by Comedy Central as an “Up Next” comedian and performed at Clusterfest in San Francisco. Rachel performs regularly at Union Hall, both as a writer/performer with the sketch group Lo-Fi NYC and as co-host of That Shit Ray, a monthly late night-esque variety show. She also regularly performs improv with Too Damn Much and Asssscat at UCB Hells Kitchen.


Barbara Benerofe and Harvey Schulweis, Lynne P. Brown, Lori Buchbinder, Susan Buchbinder and William Abramson, Susan Etess and Howard Zimmerman, Cristian Goodhart, Joseph Persky, Sally Wasserman and Henry Hecht


Darcy Bradbury and Eric Seiler, Laura and Mark Doman, Sydney Frazier and John Gallagher, Dr. Carola Garson and Ryan Garson, Rosesara and Jonathan Greenspun, Sara Gubins and Michaël Bijaoui, Bradley Korn, Hildy Kuryk and Jarrod Bernstein, Allison Leff and Daniel Macklowitz, Lauren Lowman and Eric Rattner, Ronit Muszkatblit and Yonatan Israel, Anne F. Pollack, Andrew Rasiej, Lisa Schein and David Stone, Alissa Dicker Schrieber, Keri and Scott Schundler, Janna and Michael Stern, Harron Zimmerman


Joseph Persky, Chair; Harvey Schulweis, Chair Emeritus; Shira Koch Epstein, Executive Director

Peter Bernstein, Renée Brodie, Alex Dergun*, Ryan Garson*, Ilana Goldman, Cristian Goodhart, Sara Gubins, Rafael Hines, Brooke Carleton Paduano, Eric Perlmutter, Eric Rattner*, Jacques Raphael, Janna Fishman Stern, Sally Wasserman, Pauline Weinstein, Howard Zimmerman

*Board Observer


Roberta Karp, Chairman

Alan van Capelle, President & CEO



Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein, Executive Director

Jordan Brackett, Associate Executive Director for Planning and Advancement

Alan Scher, Associate Executive Director for Programs

Lauren Savage, Associate Executive Director for External Engagement

DJ Rabbi Darkside (DJ)                                

Rabbi Darkside is a Hip Hop Emcee/DJ/Beatboxer/Educator working to incite empathy and empowerment through social justice education and creative freedom with musical recordings, live shows and teaching. In the last 12 months, he commenced lecturing at The New School (NYC), traveled to Kampala, Uganda as a U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassador and headlined the Blue Note Jazz Festival. Based in Brooklyn while touring internationally, he has been featured on MTV’s MADE, Okayplayer, The New York Times, the TODAY Show, CBS Early Show, HipHopDX, and The Village Voice.

About the 14th Street Y:

The 14th Street Y is a vibrant community center grounded in the belief that contemporary Jewish sensibilities can be a source of inspiration, connection, and learning for the individuals and families we serve throughout New York City’s East Village and beyond. With a health and wellness center, childhood, parenting and adult education and enrichment programs, and an innovative arts and culture department, the 14Y is committed to the development of the whole person and bettering people’s lives by strengthening family connections and building inclusive and sustainable communities.

Proceeds from the Gala help us advance our mission as a hub of creativity, community programming, and Jewish culture in downtown Manhattan. They enable us to provide scholarships, develop enrichment programs, and enhance the lives of more than 26,000 people who walk through our doors each year. The 14th Street Y is proud to be a part of Educational Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a 130-year history of serving New Yorkers downtown.


For individual tickets, visit To discuss table sales or sponsorship packages, please contact, 646-395-4312.


About the Union Square Partnership:

The Union Square Partnership is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization that works to ensure the Union Square district’s continued growth + success by providing a wide-range of services and programs including visioning and planning, sustainability, economic development, beautification, sanitation, and marketing and events like Summer in the Square, Harvest in the Square, Union Square Sweat Fest and more. Learn more about our 40 years of community partnerships, and what’s next for the Union Square neighborhood, at

Thank You To Our Sponsors*

Platinum Sponsors
Barbara Benerofe and Harvey Schulweis, Susan Etess and Howard Zimmerman, Joseph Persky

Gold Sponsors
Citi, Glenwood Management, Meridian Capital Group, Unity Building Services Inc., Dorisanne and Jacob Wasserman, Sally Wasserman and Henry Hecht


Silver Sponsors
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Darcy Bradbury and Eric Seiler, Buchbinder & Warren, Con Edison
Alisa and Dan Doctoroff, Laura and Mark Doman, Roberta and Brad Karp, Allison Leff and Daniel Macklowitz, Mount Sinai, New York University, Normandy Real Estate Partners, Streetplus, Tishman Hotel and Realty

New York Jewish Guide