There is an old Jewish saying that if you change your place, you change your luck. The organizers of the 21st annual Israel Film Festival are putting it to the test.
Now, 40 years later, The Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble (Sommer died in 1969) is no longer dancing in basements or clicking their heels to accordion music. The nonprofit troupe is run by a board of directors and has a full artistic staff, including costume designers, choreographers from Israel and Argentina, and a technical team that ensures that Sommer's Israeli folk-dancing vision stays alive. The troupe itself now numbers 47 -- including eight vocalists, nine musicians and 20 dancers. They perform in large venues all over the world.
Structured indoor learn-and-play venues have become increasingly popular as children lead more regimented lives. Academic expectations and after-school activities chew up free time for outdoor exploring, which was once the mainstay of childhood. Experts agree that the amount of play time available to the average child has been dramatically reduced to an hour or less each day. Factor in that many households require both parents to work and it's easy to understand why indoor play areas are gaining in popularity among young families.
When is a city's Jewish book festival not actually located in that city? When it's based in Los Angeles.