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Irgun Harokdim was created in 2006 by a group of 14 dancers who voluntarily made it their business to work for the preservation of folk dancing in Israel and worldwide. Its goals included improving the welfare of the dancers at dance sessions and festivals. In 2007, Irgun Harokdim was officially established as a registered Amuta, a non-profit organization.

One of the Amuta's objectives was to improve the conditions at the Karmiel Dance Festival for the benefit of the dancers attending the festival.

The Irgun met with the Mayor of Karmiel and the Festival management and were granted full cooperation.

Every year a meeting is held with the Festival management to consider what improvements need to be done; these working meetings have led to the following improvements:
  1. Toilet cubicles and changing rooms have been added in a special building next to the tennis courts.
  2. The cleaning services have been improved throughout all hours of the day and night.
  3. The air conditioning in the community center hall has been improved.
  4. The parquet flooring in the community center hall has been improved.
  5. A cold water cooler has been installed in the tennis courts.
  6. The holes on the center of the tennis courts caused by net posts have been filled.
  7. Giant fans have been installed at the sides of the tennis courts, the skating rink and the community center hall.
  8. The location of the loudspeakers and fans in the tennis courts has been changed.
  9. Sand has been sprinkled on the tennis courts to improve the surface for dancing.
  10. The organization pushed for the music to be played at a reasonable volume and distributed ear plugs to the dancers.
  11. A monitor showing the volume of the music in the tennis courts was installed.
  12. Extra dance sessions were added in the air-conditioned, parquet-floored, Rabin Hall.
  13. A free shuttle service operated between the festival site and Rabin Hall.
  14. Additional toilet cubicles were opened in the Rabin Hall.
  15. A refreshment stand was opened in Rabin Hall.
  16. The shuttle service network to the car park improved.
  17. A lost and found department has been added.
  18. A telephone recharging station has been added.
  19. ATM machines were installed in the festival site, next to the Baruch Center and near the festival headquarters.
  20. An information station manned by Irgun HaRokdim has been added in the center of the festival site.
  21. We reduced the ticket queues for tickets at the entrance to the amphitheater.
  22. A luggage storage facility, manned by Irgun Harokdim, was instituted.
  23. The conditions for disabled dancers were improved.
  24. Signage around Karmiel and at the festival site was improved.
  25. The entrance price for sitting on the lawn at the amphitheater shows has been reduced.
  26. The festival security network has been improved.
  27. The sanitary conditions at the food stalls have been improved.
  28. Dance sessions and activities for young people have been added.
  29. We became the main address for requests made to the festival management.
  30. We coordinated with the Dance Instructors Organization, Irgun HaMarkdim, to prevent duplication of dances at dance sessions.
  31. We arranged for the Dance Instructors Organization to provide a balance at the dance sessions in order to meet the needs of various levels of our dance populace.
We are continuing to deal with a long list of additional improvements for the benefit of the dancers; covering the tennis courts with PVC sheeting instead of sand; reducing the prices at the food stalls; displaying price lists at these stalls; preserving a reasonable price level for shows; reducing the entrance charges at the amphitheater, and the list goes on.
If you have any suggestions for improvement, you are invited to reply to this mail or to write to us using the contact page at the Irgun Harokdim’s website www.harokdim.org

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0.(*ICR Tel Aviv) 
 Romanian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv, Karmiel Festival 2011
 Tel Aviv, 3.01.2012

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Romanian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv is part of a network of cultural institutes with its central headquarters in Bucharest, and represented today in 18 major cities abroad: Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Szeged, Chisinau, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Madrid, New York, Paris, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Warsaw, Venice and Vienna.
With an experience of over six years in promoting Romanian culture in Israel, the Institute has extended its activities, with special emphasis on stimulating young talents, promoting Romanian language, culture and civilization, and integrating Romanian assets into the world cultural heritage.

We are writing you following an article which appeared last year on Harokdim website, especially the following [quote]:

"Some areas of concern were: [...] the Romanian dancers were actually from Hungary. [...]"

Since you are a professional body and we are interested in a professional presentation of our activities in Israel, please note the following important information:

The dancers you mention above are actually indeed from Romania. Traditional dance group “Albăstrița/Búzavirág/Cornflower” from Braşov participated in the Karmiel International Dance Festival 2011 (including participation in the closing ceremony at the Amphitheater, shows at Gerard Behar Center, Horowitz Sports Hall) and also had a special performance in Karmiel after the festival.
Their presence in Israel was supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv and the Department for Inter-ethnic Relations, Romanian Government.

Romania is a country of many national, linguistic and religious minorities. The Department for Inter-ethnic Relations, Romanian Government initiates and develops programs designed to improve the protection system for national minorities, work out strategies to combat racism and xenophobia, and give support to organizations active in the field. Last but not least, their activity focuses on the legislative and institutional building process for the protection of ethnic minorities in Romania as a member country of the European Union

The Romanian Cultural Institute promotes Romanian culture irrespective of the ethnic/religious or any other appartenance and views the diversity of our country’s citizens as a socio-cultural asset. Braşov is a historically multicultural city and “Albăstrița/Búzavirág” dance ensemble, well known and appreciated in Romania and abroad, has an ethnic Hungarian majority. Therefore they performed traditional Romanian and Hungarian dances from Ţara Bârsei region in Romania, in colourful costumes of the two ethnic communities (more information on our website).

In view of these clarifications, please correct the information in your files.
We are available for further information, should you need it.

Dan Krizbai,
Deputy Director, Romanian Cultutal Institute in Tel Aviv

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