03 / 02 / 21
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has thrown up many risks to our health and wellbeing. The Fitness, Faith & Feeling Good festival, a project by the Faith & Belief Forum and Maccabi GB, is exploring a range of approaches to looking after ourselves at home during these challenging times, showcased by diverse partners from across London
One organisation taking part in the festival is the Israeli Dance Institute (IDI), a charity based in Finchley that promotes engagement with Jewish and Israeli dance and song through classes, workshops, and resources for schools.
The organisation started when IDI’s chairman, Maurice Stone, discovered that Israeli folk dance was popular with a wide range of communities during his time studying abroad in Montreal. Having taking part in Israeli folk dance during his youth, Maurice was inspired to create IDI to further build connections between communities through Israeli dance and song.
The diversity of Jewish culture around the world has informed a unique dance culture, which includes influences from Europe, Morocco, Iraq, Yemen, India, Ethiopia, among other places! Some songs used by IDI touch on general themes of love and life, and others draw from religious traditions such as the Sabbath and Jewish festivals.
The pandemic has meant that IDI could not conduct their usual in-person classes, activities and performances. Currently, they run two weekly dance classes on Zoom, and all other courses, workshops and rehearsals have moved online.
As part of Fitness, Faith & Feeling Good, IDI will share a number of dances using different songs and dance moves. You can expect fun and simple line dance steps, and to learn a few Hebrew words along the way!
Follow along with IDI’s Israeli folk dance session, part of Fitness, Faith and Feeling Good, on Facebook and YouTube
Connect with IDI via their website here
By Nicholas McDonald, Events Volunteer