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Chai dancers

Oded Grofman, Consul, Israel Government Tourist Office



by Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng. August 11, 2010

It is another successful year for the Israel Folklorama Pavilion – Shalom Square, which runs until August 14.

The Winnipeg Jewish Review visited the pavilion  at the Asper Jewish Community Campus on Monday August 9th, a day after it opened. Visitors  who crammed into the 540 seat auditorium came away happy, well fed, entertained and knowing a little bit more about Israel.

The mission of the pavilion which will host over 10,000 peple is to acquaint people with accurate facts and fascinating information about Israel.

Major sponsors of the pavilion  include the Rady JCC, the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg,The Asper Foundation, and the Israel Ministry of Tourism, among others.

This is the first year that the Israel Ministry of Tourism has sponsored this event. Oded Grofman, Consul to the Israeli Government Tourist office in Canada (IGCO), came from Toronto to the pavilion on August 9th to see for himself what Folklorama is all about.

Grofman was impressed. He told the Winnipeg Jewish Review, “I almost cried. I was so emotional. It really felt like I was in Israel with the Israeli food and everything. It was one of the best meals I have had while in Winnipeg. I had hummus and falafel and I tasted everything. The show was very well done. I was amazed. There are some amazing young singers and dancers.”

This year’s cultural display featured information about Israel’s contributions to the world in such areas as: education, agriculture, science, research and development, business, medicine, telecommunications, technology, the arts, humanities, water solutions, diamonds, and alternate energy sources.

There is a terrific selection of delicious Jewish favourites like potato latkes, hamentashen, strudel, and matza ball soup.  There is also  Mediterranean falafel, an array of tasty desserts, and imported wine and liqueur.

The Pavilion entertains its audience with the world class talents of the Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble singers, dancers and orchestra. They present a lively, energetic, and colorful performance that keeps the audience engrossed and enthralled through a show that changes nightly. On  August 9th, the visitors were clapping along or stamping their feet in rhythm with the music, which  can be found on  Chai's new CD entitled “Wanderings”.

The many volunteers did a terrific job again this year. They make it look so easy to manage a well organized and professional pavilion.

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