Opening reception “All Together Different” at the Manny Cantor Center, NYC


You put together an extraordinary show that makes us feel proud to be housing and hosting it in our space. Last night’s event was, for me “m’eyn olam ha-ba” – a taste of the world to come. Meaning, seeing such a beautiful diversity of people in our space, mingling and conversing and celebrating this neighborhood was, for me such a powerful affirmation of why I love my job. 

I am also so proud that the art exhibition you organized at The Manny Cantor Center, All Together Different, will be featured on PBS tomorrow night!

Grateful beyond the beyond to our sensational curatorial rock stars, Yona Verwer and Linda Griggs. With profound thanks and anticipation for what comes next!

      Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Executive Director, Manny Cantor Center, NYC

Yona and I worked closely together at the Columbia/Barnard Kraft Center.  There were a lot of moving parts: an international group exhibition, my solo exhibition and several events during the run of the show. Yona was impressively easy to work with, open to new ideas and clear about directions and organization. Her big picture thinking and professional personality created the atmosphere of success that the exhibition proved to be.

Ellen Alt, Artist and Educator

You are an utter pleasure to work with! I hope this is just the beginning of our collaboration. Last night was a testament to all the work we put into this really paying off.

        Emily Aldredge, Former Director, Educational Alliance Art School, NYC





  • These events are so fabulous! Every week I meet incredible artists and learn so much! Thank you for all you do to put these events together. 

    Julia Rymer-Brucker, Artist & President of Artboss.

  • Thanks for getting the whole thing together.

    Matthew Baigell, Art Historian.

  • The Salon program today was terrific. You’re doing a great job of curating these programs, as far as which presenters you’re putting together.

    Judith Joseph, Artist & Coordinator of the Jewish Artists Collective Chicago.

  • Thanks so much. I enjoyed it very much. I didn’t know the artists’ work and was so pleased to learn about it.

    Susan C, Director and Chief Curator of a NY area museum.

  • Thank you for the wonderful event. I am so grateful for these, I get so much out of them every week. 

    Amy Rubin.

  • Your last three art salons were extraordinary. The presenters were excellent. Thanks for your stewardship on these programs.

    Helene Y., Independent Curator.

  • It was a great event! I really enjoyed seeing all the work and hearing the artists talk about it. It helped me feel less art-deprived and isolated. 

    Diane Britt.

  • Very evocative and inspiring art by all three artists today. Thank you so much for sharing these works and the artists’ creative processes. Shirah R.

  • A wonderful presentation yesterday with diverse and compelling artists. I am really enjoying this very inspiring series!

    Marleene Rubenstein.




“Thank you, Yona! The session you instructed left 30+ college students buzzing with excitement about art. Your method of instruction was fresh, your materials cutting-edge, and the subject matter, amulets, made our students think about the intersection of art, spirituality, pop culture, and identity. Thanks again.”

Goldie Gross, President Baruch College Arts Club, NYC

“The work and work ethic of Yona Verwer was always excellent. I originally brought her on as one of S.A.R. High School’s Artists-In-Residence. 

The students found her very knowledgeable, approachable and members of the S.A.R. community, from the Administration, to the parent body, to the students and teachers are constantly commenting on the high quality and beauty of her work. I highly recommend Yona Verwer and her artwork.”

             David Friedman, Fine Art Curriculum Coordinator, SAR High School, Riverdale, NY.

The painting workshop was fun for the students, and I’m so glad they all had the chance to meet you and hear about your work. It’s such great exposure to a world they wouldn’t ordinarily see. It was also fantastic to have it at the Stanton St. Synagogue – what a bonus to be in a beautiful, historic place full of art.

Karen Klein, Director of Career Development, CUNY Career Connect, NY

“On Yom Ha’atzmaut 5770, our festivities included an exhibit of the artwork our high school students, created when Yona Verwer visited Akiva. There were many proud students and lots of appreciative comments about the talent and originality on exhibit. 

Yona’s PowerPoint presentation coupled with entertaining explanations, kept the students’ attention. During the ‘hands-on” part of the presentation, Yona engaged even the most reluctant artists. The amulet paintings they created were original, and showed creativity that delighted all the viewers, including the students themselves.
I look forward to arranging another workshop with Yona next semester.”

             Chaye Kohl, Education Director, Akiva Day School




“Thanks for all! You were such an amazing teacher to my daughter. I am glad the two of you clicked, and the artwork she was able to produce because of your guidance is the best effort she has ever attempted. Thank you for putting in so much time to make her presentation so special and meaningful.”

         Alice Gottesman, Former President, Manhattan JCC 

“Thank you so much for all your help. I really want you to know how grateful I am. All your great skills have improved my painting skills. Besides being my teacher you were also my friend.”

         Jesse Z., Art Project Student, 13 years old

“I want to thank you for a great semester. Our son always looked forward to your class and made many beautiful objects we will treasure. We’re so glad you’re doing the other class as well, as the quality of the projects was so high.”

             Donna G., Parent, Jewish Journeys, NYC

“My daughter just LOVES your class and can’t stop talking about the creativity in the classroom and all she learns. Congrats!”

            Efi C., Parent, Jewish Journeys, NYC

“The calendar class with Yona was probably my favorite”

Mabel, Student,  Jewish Journeys, in her JJP video:

“I totally delight in getting to see my son each week, and witness that love/excitement firsthand. Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher.”

           Amy B., Parent, Jewish Journeys, NYC