In the Purim spirit: Gush Etzion's Dames of the Dance

On Purim, we are commanded to aid the needy. Talented women in Gush Etzion do so by means of the dance.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Dames of the Dance Gush Etzion
Dames of the Dance Gush Etzion

After 12 years of performing for worthy causes, Israel’s longest-running charity dance project, Gush Etzion's Dames of the Dance, is focusing on its local roots. Having raised more than 500,000 NIS for various tzedaka projects (it’s actually 515,000 NIS), “Dames 12 – Roots” is donating this year’s revenues to its roots in the land through the modern-day pioneering Kashuella Farm in Gush Etzion, the region just south of Jerusalem, and its family roots through the Merkaz Yom for senior citizens with dementia. in Efrat, Gush Etzion's flourishing city.

Over the past 12 years, Dames has lalways donated its revenues from performances to the needy - to kimcha d’pischa charity for Passover needs, a trauma center for terror victims, a center for youth at risk, a lone soldiers’ home, a memorial for a local terror victim, the Gush Katif Brides Fund and other worthy causes.

More than 100 women and teens volunteer hundreds of hours to rehearse and perform in Dames of the Dance each year in troupes doing ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop, Bollywood, Mizrahi (belly dancing), Israeli folk, rhythm & romp, Broadway, 60s and more.

Dames of the Dance, Gush Etzion

The Kashuela Farm, a partnership between the Gush Etzion Regional Council and the JNF (Keren Kayemet LeYisrael), has been protecting the land in Gush Etzion between Alon Shvut and the Lamed Hei Forest for more than eight years. Its herd of 200 sheep grazed throughout the forest insuring that trees were not destroyed and land was not illegally appropriated by neighboring Arabs.

When more than 100 head of sheep were stolen from Kashuela last year, Tchiya and Yair Ben David were determined to replenish their flock and increase their Jewish presence on the 10,000 dunams throughout the forest and hillsides, which were purchased by Jews in the 1930s. They also hope to add modern security systems to the farm.

“Dames of the Dance 12 – Roots” is performing on Thursday, March 19 and Sunday, March 22 in the Gush Etzion Community Center, as well as Monday, March 23 in the Efrat Community Center to benefit the farm..Tchiya Ben David has danced Israeli folk dance in Dames for 11 years. Tchiya said, “Every year the performers were proud that their dancing benefited so many worthy causes. Suddenly, I find our farm on the receiving end of Dames’ charity donation, and I understand exactly how much effort goes into that."

Sharon Katz of Gush Etzion's Voices Magazine contributed to this article (