2,000 Jewish dancers meet in Brazil

Marcy Oster

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (JTA) — Some 2,000 Jewish dancers from five countries attended Festival Carmel in Brazil, one of the largest annual Israeli folk dance events held outside Israel.

Dancers of all ages from Argentina, Brazil, Israel, the United States and Uruguay performed in shows and attended workshops, dance sessions, learning sessions and various other activities held over the weekend at the Hebraica Club in Sao Paulo.

One of the most-applauded attractions was a troupe of dancers in wheelchairs from Herzlia, Israel. Other themed presentations paid homage to various Jewish references such the life of Israel’s slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the role of the Jewish woman, and the origins of the Jewish people.

After thirty-five annual editions, Festival Carmel is the largest annual Israeli folk dance event in Latin America and among the largest held outside of Israel.

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The Hebraica Club, the main meeting place for Sao Paulo’s 60,000-strong Jewish community, is also the largest Jewish club in the world with a 54,000-square-foot area comprising several gymnasiums, swimming pools, tennis courts, spa, theaters, movies, libraries, restaurants, ballrooms, bank agencies, and synagogue.

Brazil is also the home of several other large Israeli dance festivals, including Hava Netze Bemachol in Rio de Janeiro and Choref in Porto Alegre.

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