Got back from Ukraine! Detailed reports are coming up but first I wanted to write about a very special event that my friend Tania and I worked on last month.
It all started when my friend Tania posted a cry for help on a local belly dance forum. Her friends, Elina and Mark Aizenberg, have asked for help in raising donations for medical equipment needed for their daughter Lital, who is suffering from CP. I offered Tania to organize a fund raiser and the idea was whole heartedly embraced by the whole community.
Initially we had 30 people signing up to perform and we intended to hold a hafla type of event at the Bellydance Center in Jerusalem, a spacious studio graciously offered by my friend, teacher and colleague Sagit Elmaliach. However as the ball got rolling we realized that we might need a bigger space. Eventually Tania, who has been studying in Havat Hanoar HaTzioni, a youth village that has a performing arts program, secured their fully equipped theater and we found ourselves managing a stage production with over 30 participants!
14 Oriental dance artists confirmed their participation and Mark also contacted a ballroom dance ensemble of 16 girls and boys to add to the show’s variety.
Tania and I were overwhelmed by the positive response all around us and the generous help that was offered to us. From artists to the stage manager, the photographer, the stage decoration, everyone volunteered and contributed to the show’s success! We managed to raise over $3800 and I would like to thank each and everyone personally for their hard work and dedication to the cause!
First of all I would like to thank my friend and colleague Tania Karpliuk who has put countless hours into this project. It was a privilege to work next to you; I learned a lot and feel blessed that I got to know you better.
Another person I would like to thank is Janet Nissim, a fellow dancer who kept taking upon herself more and more tasks, first as a promoter, then as an artist driver, then stage manager, then an MC… We couldn’t have done it without you!
Special thanks go to our stage decoration team Oranit Kaggan and Ruthi Jadi who showed up 4.5 hours before the show and made sure we have beautiful butterflies flying over us. Oranit brought all the materials and Ruthi helped her hang everything up, while two of the dancers Galit Shmuel and Meital Hakimian have been cutting out the numerous butterflies that Oranit prepped in advance.
Another special thanks goes to Galia Cohen Peres, a professional photographer who has been capturing magical moments of our community for so many years. Behind the lens you find a loving, giving woman! We were so honored to have you part of our team!
Thanks to Asaf Avraham, a gifted darbuka player who entertained the audience before and after the show.
Of course I would like to thank all the artists who came from all over the country and donated their art for the cause. Yulia Volodarsky from Ashdod, Olga Pugovka from Haifa, Shai Beo, Gili Lev Ari, Hadas Gamzo and Racheli Peri from the center, Meital Hakimian, Yael Edri, Maryummi Kol Tov, Galit Shmuel and Maayan Ben David from Jerusalem and the area and of course K.A. Dance ensemble directed by Ana Kokish. Without you we wouldn’t have a show!!!
Lastly I wanted to thank Mark and Elina Aizenberg, Lital’s parents, who have been an integral part of the production team all along. From printing the flyers and posters, to finding sponsors, bringing equipment, communicating between us and the ballroom dancers, finding a videographer, and much more. We admire your strength and your spirit and we wish you and your amazing family joy, health and prosperity!
Thanks everyone, it was a once in a lifetime experience and we felt privileged to be able to help!