HaKesher Magazine’s 1st Annual International Women’s Day Celebration at the BCCA in Brookline

by Annette Zrihen and Dan Yonah Ben-Dror Marshall, March 2, 2004


     The idea for the Annual Women’s Day event in Brookline, MA came from the fruitful mind of Brookline’s own, Annette Zrihen, founder of the handy Smart Israpages, a directory she compiled of Professional and Jewish resources in the Greater Boston area.  Since her move to the US, Annette, a Moroccan descendent, has served as a coordinator of cultural events for the Jewish/Israeli community of the greater Boston area, as well as for the greater community. In that capacity she has brought numerous Israeli/Jewish performers such as Yoram Gaon, Avihu Medina, Meir Banai and many others, organized regular lectures, classes, discussion groups, dances and celebrations.  Most recently Annette created a Hebrew language magazine for the local community, Hakesher (The Connection), devoting its current edition (February - March, 2004) to women who have made powerful and lasting impacts and contributions to society.  This special edition was published to usher in the 1st Annual International Women’s Day celebration to be held on Sunday, March 21st, 2004.


     A couple of years ago, Annette had an exciting opportunity to attend a very special event in Israel. It was a day of stimulation and fun for women in all stages of life. In this Women’s Day celebration, women came together in a wonderful spirit of sisterhood. There were students, young mothers, business women and many others. The many activities ranged from lectures, exhibitions and demonstrations to dancing, arts and crafts and music classes and performances, inspired by women in leadership positions.  Everyone had a chance to interact with others from all walks of life.  Annette was so impressed by the atmosphere of camaraderie and joy that she was eager to bring a similar celebration of and for women to our area. She knew some people would say we already have Mothers' Day on our calendar. But that day is not all-inclusive. There is also a Women's Day in March, but it often concentrates on political agendas. Our special day will offer a large variety of activities to celebrate the many contribution of women to society.


     During the following two years Annette began to build up interest and programming for a proposed future event and the right venue to host it.  After going through a long selection process she found a good fit: The Brookline Community Center for the Arts (BCCA).  The BCCA, a new non-profit education arts and community center in Coolidge Corner, featured a wide variety of classes and events for all ages. Annette’s professional experience with the center’s Artistic Director & Co-Founder, Dan Yonah Ben-Dror Marshall, had led her to form an alliance with the center, bringing forth several successful community events to date.


     By joining their creative forces, the idea developed to have a day devoted solely to women – their spiritual, physical and intellectual needs. Annette subsequently formed a volunteer committee of advisors excited about planning and participating in this wonderful day for women. They are pleased to announce that on March 21st (the 1st day of Spring!) from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Smart Israpages and the BCCA will host this day of fun [yom shel kef]. The day held in the modern and multifaceted arts center, will feature a large selection of workshops, lectures, demonstrations and vendor booths, taking place in rooms named in honor of important women such as Golda Meir, Indera Gandi and Margaret Thatcher.


     Come and enjoy art exhibits and booths by known and new artists, Surpriseli – a gift line of Israeli collectibles – www.Supriseli.com, Lady Grace Intimate Apparel boutique – a 67 year-old commitment to women, Ahava Products – Skin care from the Dead Sea, Baubles Dangles Beads – jewelry, beadwork and eyeglass holders, Ruth Cohen’s Israeli ceramics, Chana’s hats, Johara’s Middle Eastern scarves, Ruth’s gold & silver jewelry, Jeannette Beads – A great variety of all sizes and color beads!, temporary henna tattoos, and more.  Explore specialty workshops by BCCA faculty and collaborating community artists, including African drumming by Sidi Mohamed “Joh” Camara, Rhythm dance by DeAma Battle, Director and Founder of Art of Black Dance & Music, women’s Balkan dance by Ahmet Luleci, Director and Founder of Collage Dance, Flamenco dance by Jessica Sollee, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Flamenco USA Magazine – an online publication, Chinese Kung Fu, Graceful Movement and Dance for Women by Dan Yonah Ben-Dror Marshall of the Boston Kung Fu Tai Chi Institute, Callanetics workout (combining precise, minute movements with intense muscle contractions) by Galit Reuveni, Women’s African-American Jazz dance by Adrienne Hawkins, Director and Founder of Impulse Dance, Hatha Yoga by Maggie Sky, Belly dance by DeAnna Putnam, recent author of the book God Belly Danced: A Modern Odyssey through Israel, Lebanon, Greece, and Afghanistan Exploring the Roots of Dance in the Bible, self protection by Alex Iglecia, a nationally renowned instructor of Genuine Bussey Style, Latin dance styling for women by Dan Yonah Ben-Dror Marshall, Director and Founder of FreEMotion/LibrEMoción Repertory Company, and Israeli folk dance. Attend a makeup and cosmetics demo and video by Angelbare Permanent Cosmetics, a workshop in positive thinking by Lisa Haddad, and literature discussions.


     As a special treat for the entire family the day of events will end with a special Brazilian Samba, Forro and Reggeh performance and dance led by Deraldo Ferreira and friends, featuring the vocal stylings of Nina Torres and choreography and dancing by Agi Sardi & Samba-Xe of the Brazilian Cultural Center of New England – 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.


     The 1st International Women’s Day Celebration will be held on location at the BCCA, 14 Green Street, Coolidge Corner, Brookline. The abundance of workshops, lectures, demonstrations and discussions are offered for a general admission price of only $10.00 in advance and $12.00 at the door. Admission to the performance and dance is $15 at the door. Advanced payment for the entire day is only $20. Student discounts are available. A lounge room will be set up as an all-day Café featuring a buffet of specialty and imported foods. This special day is open to women of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and walks of life. Come share the empowering feeling of a day of sisterhood and self-indulgence that will bring a fresh start to a new Spring season. The event has been brought forth by a non-profit, volunteer based endeavor, and your cooperation and support will make the event a success. To guarantee a spot in your desired activity, please make an early reservation. For further inquiries, a detailed schedule of events, volunteer and event sponsor opportunities, ticket purchases, directions, and registration for workshops, demos and lectures, please contact Annette Zrihen at (617) 738-5038 or SmartIsrapages@Earthlink.net, or visit www.SmartIsrapages.com or www.BCCAonline.com.