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11th annual JCC Festival Ha’Rikud

Gala Show May 8, 2014 
Youth Show May 11, 2014
Celebrating Nashim  םישנ תוגגוח
The 11th annual Festival Ha’Rikud is pleased to welcome Roger Weiger, a visiting choreographer from Miami. Roger will spend a week in Vancouver working with Festival Ha’Rikud’s instructors to create the show Celebrating Nashim (Hebrew for “women”) the theme of this year’s festival. Choreography and music will celebrate Jewish women from biblical to modern time and traditional rituals performed by women.

Visiting Choreographer/ Director
Roger Weiger

Roger Weiger has been a dancer since 1983 and a choreographer for the past 25 years. Originally from Brazil, he's been the director of the Michael Ann Russel's JCC's Bamachol Dance Program for the past 12 years. His choreography has been performed by different troupes around world, including in Canada, Israel, Panama, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina
and Brazil.

Festival Ha’Rikud Artistic Director
Marla Simcoff

Marla has been a part of the Israeli dance community for many years. She began as a dancer in Winnipeg’s Chai Folk Ensemble and later became the Dance co-director. Upon moving to Vancouver, Marla became the JCC Israeli Dance Coordinator. This year Marla takes on the
role of Festival Ha’Rikud Artistic Director, and will also be co-directing and performing with JCC Shalom Dancers.

NEW JCC Israeli Dance Coordinator       
Hofit Sabi 

Hofit was born and raised in Israel. She grew up participating in local Israeli dance groups and frequently performed on holidays and at the annual Festival Karmiel. She moved to Vancouver with her family at a young age but decided to return to Israel, where she completed her schooling and worked with an organization that seeks to build and strengthen connections between Israel and Jewish communities around the world. She is excited to use her
background in dance and programming experience to help the Vancouver Jewish community take its Festival Ha’Rikud to new and exciting heights! 


Vision & History

Founded in 2004, the annual Festival Ha’Rikud, brings together youth from all walks of life in celebration of Jewish and Israeli culture through music and dance. The Festival is a successful model for “outreach” programming that engages youth throughout Greater Vancouver & the more remote areas of the Lower Mainland. The Festival has grown from 50 dancers in 2004 to over 250 in 2010, with growing participation nationally and internationally.

International participation

During its 8 years, the Festival showcased youth Israeli folkdance groups from

  • CANADA: Greater Vancouver, BC; Winnipeg, MA; Edmonton, AB
  • USA: Miami, FL
  • MEXICO: Mexico City

Innovative Workshop Opportunity

In 2011 the JCC combined the Festival Ha’Rikud with the Vancouver Israeli Folk Dance Society annual Victoria Day Dance Workshop. The 2-day Workshop provided the venue and the staff to facilitate the teaching and participating in all levels of Israeli Dance to our local dancers, as well as our out-of- town guests.
The exciting and fun filled 2 days provided the dancers an opportunity to learn from the best Israeli choreographers, while promoting friendships and camaraderie and providing a link to Jewish Culture and Heritage, in the form of Israeli Dance.

For more information about the Vancouver Israeli Folkdance Society click here>>

Of Chadash and Or Atid

An important initiative to evolve out of the Festival was the creation of Or Chadash- Grades 9-12 and Or Atid Grades 7-9. Or Chadash and Or Atid, are performing groups comprised of local teens predominately from public schools, with dance experience. They have become our youth ambassadors of Israeli culture and representatives of our local Jewish Community, participating in multi-cultural events such as the John Oliver School Multi Cultural Show, Bhagra Festival, and the Kitsilano Showboat.

Or Chadash and or Atid have developed relationships and performed with other world-wide Israeli Dance groups including “Ruach” from Miami, Florida, “Chai” from Winnipeg, Manitoba and they have an ongoing partnership with “Hora Goel,” a youth dance group from Northern Israel.

One of the most exciting outcomes of the formation of Or Chadash is the inspiration it gives to the younger participants to stay committed to the program year after year, aspiring to join Or Chadash and Or Atid.

The Festival Today

The annual Festival Ha’Rikud has evolved into a weekend on fun filled excitement for the performing groups, participants and the entire family which include:

  • Shabbat dinner open to all Festival participants
  • Planned activities for all visiting groups including sightseeing and a disco boat cruise
  • Outdoor community festival on the Sunday of the festival with live entertainment, food fair and children’s activities

About the Festival  |  Perform at the Festival  |  JCC Performance Groups  |  Connection with Israel  |  Support

Festival Ha'Rikud Coordinator
 604-257-5111 ext. 242