By Annie Archer
This university’s Israeli dance troupe, Avirah, held a Krispy Kreme fundraiser from Oct. 8 to Oct. 19 to support their participation in the Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston.
Avirah co-President Jessica Morris, a senior English major, said the troupe aims to bring Israeli dance culture to this university by learning and choreographing traditional Israeli dances at rehearsals held two times a week.
They perform their original pieces on campus, in the community and along the east coast, including at the Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston, which will take place March 10, 2019.
Mira Tash, a junior special education major who coordinated the fundraiser, explained that the 43rd annual festival they were raising money for is a showcase that invites troupes from around the country to celebrate Israeli dance.
Morris said that the proceeds from this sale help the members of Avirah in terms of plane tickets, lodging and all the other general travel expenses.
Members of Avirah sold individual boxes of a dozen Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donuts priced at $8 per box.
From 12-4 p.m. on Friday Oct. 19, Tash sat in a designated area on the first floor of Hillel to distribute all of the boxes.
Tash explained that members worked to sell as many boxes as they could and that she was happy with the final earnings.
In addition to donations, Avirah sold 80 dozen boxes of Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donuts, which Tash thinks will contribute greatly to their opportunity to travel to Boston in the upcoming year.
“This is our third year participating in the festival, and it’s one of the biggest in North America because so many troupes travel there,” said Morris.
She went on to explain that there are usually around 800 people in attendance, many of whom are from troupes within Boston and in the New York and D.C. areas.
Tash noted that Boston alone has over 12 troupes that perform at the festival.
She also said that festivals are especially exciting because they aren’t competitions, so they offer a chance for everyone to come together and showcase what their troupes have been working on.
“It’s a really wonderful time for Avirah. It’s our first overnight with the whole troupe, so we spend the weekend there, have Shabbat there and really get to know each other even better,” she said.
The festivities start the night before the actual showcase with a dance party where the community comes together to perform pre-choreographed Israeli dances known as Harkada, which are the same all over the world.
Tash also pointed out that in addition to their involvement in the festival that weekend, the troupe also spends time together traveling around Boston and trying new foods.
There are at least 10 dancers in Avirah who are planning on attending the festival this upcoming March. However, every member of the troupe is invited and encouraged to participate in any of their performances.
Hannah Weisman, a junior neurobiology and physiology major and Avirah’s artistic director, said that the troupe is planning to attend three large Israeli dance festivals this year, which is more than they have ever done before.
“Avirah has a big year ahead of us,” she said.