Moadon’s 30th Anniversary

November 27, 2011 by Dalia Ayalon Sinclair.
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The Moadon was established in Sydney in 1981 by Israelis who at the time felt quite removed and disconnected from the Jewish community…writes Dalia Ayalon Sinclair.

Danny Lemberg

Edna Ferman

They sought to connect with other Israelis to maintain their rich Israeli culture, to be kept updated and to celebrate the Jewish festivals together.

Under the leadership of Daniel Lemberg, first chairman of The Moadon, the club flourished and regular meetings were held at the Jewish Folk Centre which became the official home away from home for Israelis living or visiting Sydney. The activities were officiated in the Hebrew language.

Toward the end of 1982 one of the key features of the Moadon had been the weekly Israeli Folk Dancing classes which were drawing many Israelis, youth and non Jews to indulge in one of the greatest cultural gifts Israel has given to the world. Due to the immense success the numbers swelled and classes had to relocate to Hakoah Club.

The first change of attitude towards the Israelis living in Sydney occurred immediately after the Lebanon War in 1982 when the Israeli officials recognised the urgent need to recruit Hasbara and funds. Israelis were considered the most suitable spokespersons for Israel although living overseas.  For the first time Israeli Shlichim and Consulate representatives had addressed the Moadon.

The continued need for Hasbara and promoting Israel in a positive light saw the establishment of the Israeli Folk Dances Group in 1984, with Shoshana Werner as its leading trainer. Soon enough the dancers were invited to participate in many festivals representing Israel and the Jewish Community. In 1987 at the Ethnic Dance competition held at the Opera House the Israeli Folk Dancers were highly commended.  For the first time the SZC NSW had invited the dancers to participate in a salute performance in honour of the visit of Israeli President Chaim Herzog. This was followed by a performance at the grand communal event to mark the 40th Anniversary of the State of Israel.

The need to acquire more costumes and choreography prompted the group to seek financial support for the group to be able to acquire more training and costumes.  At a meeting between representatives of the Israeli Dancers, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the Ethnic Affairs Commission, support and a cultural grant were granted. The meeting also recognised that other Jewish artists may need support which subsequently resulted in the establishment of the Jewish Art and Culture Council in NSW.

The Moadon since its establishment scored many attributes and there was a definite change of attitude which helped to maintain the Israeli culture and spirit. Members have enjoyed a variety of activities including concerts, trips, picnics and the celebrations of Jewish festivals.

In 1992 The Moadon officially closed but the Israeli dancing has continued to date as a private enterprise. Circles of Israelis had met in private homes and at Hakoah Club’s Parliament.

In 2003 members of The Moadon called upon to reunited and prevent the sale of the Jewish Folk Centre property.  As a result, the Moadon returned to its previous’ home’ and the members have continued to cultivate the Yiddish and Israeli cultures and maintain to upgrade the premises.

The current activities of the Moadon include weekly meetings of “The Parliament” for coffee and chats; the celebrations of the Jewish festivals including Rosh Hashana,  Pesach, Purim, Yom Haazmaut, Yom Yerushalayim, Shavuot, Chanukah as well as Shabbat dinners.

Other exciting functions included Sing Alongs, games night, Dance Parties, Israeli films, Israeli and Jewish entertainers and a variety of lectures (in Hebrew).

The Chug Tarbut (Brit Ivrit Olamit) and The Yiddish Club meet monthly and the Hebrew Library offers many current books.

The Jewish Folk Centre including Hamoadon is a member of the JCA family and contributes and supports many Jewish communal organisations. We take pride in the fact that some active members of The Moadon have become leaders of major Jewish Communal organisations in Sydney.

The Moadon today has over 150 financial members and over 500 on email list.

President Edna Ferman said:  “The Moadon Sydney is celebrating its 30th Birthday.The Moadon is a home away from home for all Israelis.

It’s a place where Israelis can meet friends, talk in Hebrew, celebrate Jewish holidays together and enjoy a variety of cultural activities in Hebrew and in English.

A place where a common background and passion has created a feeling  of belonging and the love of a family, a family of Israelis.

I wish the Moadon many more years of success, prosperity and many good times to cherish.

Our functions are mainly for Hebrew speaking people but are open to non Hebrew speaking people to attend as well.

We encourage and welcome all Israelis to come and join us and support the friendly Moadon.”

 

Comments

One Response to “Moadon’s 30th Anniversary”
  1. ben says:

    The need for hasbara is to shore up Israel’s image in the face of truth about its continued expansion into Palestinian land. No amount of dancing will hinde these facts.

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