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Teh Sea of Galilee, with the Golan Heights in the background





 
ROW ROW ROW OUR BOAT: WILL WINNIPEG COMPETE IN ISRAEL'S FIRST DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL?

by Rhonda Spivak, September 23, 2011

Paddle into history on Winnipeg's Team at Israel’s first Dragon Boat Festival on the Sea of Galilee
May 17 – 18, 2012
 
No expertise required!

Interested in joining a team and/or touring Israel?

 

 

Elaine Goldstine of the Jewsh Federation of Winnipeg says that there is real interest in  Winnipeg's  community  forming a team of rowers to compete in Israel's first ever Dagon Festival this May 17-18 .

Last week Goldstine told the Winnipeg Jeiwsh Review what there is enough interest here to work on forming a team in this exciting event.   

What is Dragon Boating?

It's been called the ‘ultimate team sport'. Dragon boat racing is the fastest-growing water sport in the world. It has become a truly global phenomenon.

Dragon boat racing is visually spectacular, tremendously fun and widely accessible to almost any age or level of ability. No experience necessary! It is easy to learn and men and women can train and compete together.

 
Twenty paddlers, a drummer and a steersperson move in unison, combining strength with teamwork, in a boat whose elaborate design originates in ancient China. There are no stars or benchwarmers - teamwork is everything in dragon boat racing!

 

Dragon boat races and festivals are held in 70 countries, but never before in Israel. This is about to change.

 

What is Dragon Boat Israel?

Dragon Boat Israel (DBI) is a joint Canada Israel initiative to introduce the sport of dragon boat racing to Israel. The mission of DBI is to bring participants to the northern region of Israel for an exciting, team focused event that builds community, supports Israeli charities, fosters cultural awareness and promotes tourism. It provides a new and innovative way to experience Israel for those who have visited previously and an exciting new travel adventure for those who will be travelling to Israel for the first time.

Israel's first dragon boat festival will be held on the country's largest fresh water body, Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee).

Victor Yogoda,Deputy Director General of the  United Israel Appeal was in Winnipeg the week of September 11 to drum up support for this Dragon Boat Festival. The 64 year old Mexican born Yagoda, who lives in Carmiel says that "This festival will bring an incredible boost to the Israeli economy in the Galil.  Normally most tourists stay in the Galil for one or two nights but this will bring them into the area for four nights

The Festival will see teams from the United States as well as Canada. Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver  are already " in " with teams.

The idea of  bringing a Dragon Boat Festival to Israel was the brainchild of a group of local Jewish women in Ottawa. Some  had taken part in the Ottawa Dragon Boart Festival with a team called the Sea Lions for the past three years to raise funds for charities supported by the Ottawa Dragon boat Foundation. The Sea Lions  are the third highest fundraisers out of 190 teams in the Ottawa festival.

Other Jewish women planning the  event in Israel have been paddling with  Dragon Docs(physicians). An ad in the local Ottawa newspaper brought out a number of dragon boat veterans with no previous connection to the Jewish community or to Israel, who were intrigued by the opportunity to engage in the sporting activity and visit Israel at the same time.

The Jewish Federation of Ottawa took up the initiative and Federations across Canada have come on board. In addition to the races, the festival will have entertainment, camraderie, and friendly competition.

DBI will raise funds for charities in Israel--and the  charitable  focus of this first DBI festival is on youth-at-risk. 

If you want to take part  in the Dragon Boat Festival or know more about it, and the tour being planned in conjunction with it contact Elaine Goldstine at  [email protected] You can also check out the website www.dragonboatisrael.com

Editor's note: As Moses said to Pharoah-- Let My People Row!

 

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.