Funding level: Up to £1,000


A wonderful young folk dancer is being invited to the UK for a month to build bridges among all faiths and many different communities. The very old art form of Jewish dance is not often seen but is accessible to all ages and to people who have never danced before including those with disabilities. It is a community activity that builds confidence between people and opens doors in a happy, fun-filled environment. We have many years of experience going into schools, community centres and faith institutions to showcase and put on workshops with Jewish, Christian, Muslim & Hindu groups (and more.) We now intend to put on a month of activities across the North of England, going into at least one organisation every day (usually more) to put on workshops with these different groups. We have already contacted dance classes, schools, churches, arts groups, community centres, disability groups and elder care homes, Muslim organisations, universities and more who are very willing to host us in putting on these "Parties with a Purpose!"
Not many people have experience of Jewish dance and the reception we get is really amazing as it is a very uplifting thing to do. We often use the workshops as a way of opening up informal discussions among people to build positive ideas about interactions between Jews, Muslims and Christians and also about some of the many difficult issues currently in the news.
The dance leader we have chosen is just 21 years old. He is a very vibrant and exciting leader with a real warmth to make people feel at ease. He is rare in having a very good knowledge of the range of Jewish dance and we work with other community leaders who are facilitators in connecting people through conversations. He is a great role model for young people.
The money we are seeking in our not-for-profit organisation is simply to pay for his travel and a small amount of accommodation as we tour Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool and across the UK (predominantly in the North of England and some University towns.) We already have many home hosts willing to help us keep costs down.
As you can see from the pictures we work as much as possible with young people and this project aims to leave a legacy by starting to train up young leaders of the future who will go on to do this work in their school or community. We have already begun this and have found a number of youngsters aged from as young as 12 up to 24 who are engaging in learning the techniques and how to put on a community event.
There are lovely incidental health benefits of the project as it gets people of all ages moving and grooving!
We know from experience that the work that we do leaves massive smiles on peoples faces and brightens their lives. It opens doors to people who may not know each other. It has long term impacts in creating new young dancers who can lead interfaith and community events. WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE?!! PLEASE SUPPORT US IN OUR WORK!!

Project Video

Leeds International Dance Organisation

Finding this excellent young dance leader from our tiny community has taken many months. He has talent and ability - reaching out across communities to showcase the warmth and joy Jewish dancing encompasses. This art form is wonderful in terms of outreach across divides in troubled times.

Location: Leeds