4 and 5 year olds from the Westchester Jewish Center Nursery School in Mamaroneck joined together with other preschoolers from Beth El Synagogue Nursery School in New Rochelle and
Congregation Kol Ami Early Childhood Program in White Plains for an Israel Independence Day Dance Festival April 19.
The event took place at Kol Ami and was organized by Shmulik Gov Ari, a world-renowned Israeli choreographer and dance instructor who teaches a unique class to kids called “Dance, Drum, Sing and Play.” The energetic and fun-filled program — which Shmulik has developed over 25 years — incorporates rhythm and movement to teach children everything from Hebrew letters to dance steps to a deeper connection to their Jewish heritage.
The Israel Independence Day Dance Festival incorporated the “Dance, Drum, Sing and Play” program but on a much grander scale – and with even more passion and playfulness than usual. The children dressed in blue and white, viewed a photo slideshow of Israel, waved Israeli flags and munched on blue-and-white frosted cookies.
“The children felt the power of being connected to a larger Jewish community,” explains Mr. Gov Ari. “And through dancing, drumming, singing, and playing they expressed a love for Israel together."
“It was an exciting and energetic day,” adds Westchester Jewish Center Nursery School teacher Rhona Harris, “with kids from three schools coming together to dance, sing, wave flags and perform as one.”
Over 100 children celebrated this first-of-its-kind dance festival that is sure to be a lasting memory for the students, teachers and parents alike.
—Julie Komorn Musicus