RIO DE JANEIRO (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 varying ages from Argentina, Brazil, Israel, the United States and Uruguay performed in shows and attended workshops, dance sessions, learning sessions and 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 Herzliya, Israel. Other themed presentations paid homage to Jewish references, such as the life of Israel’s slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the role of the Jewish woman and the origins of the Jewish people.
Festival Carmel, in its 35th year, is the largest annual Israeli folk dance event in Latin America.
The Hebraica Club, the main meeting place for Sao Paulo’s 60,000 Jews, is also the largest Jewish club in the world. Its 54,000 square feet features several gymnasiums, swimming pools, tennis courts, a spa, theaters, movies, libraries, restaurants, ballrooms, bank agencies and a 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.