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The Canadian Jeiwsh News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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New non-profit to showcase Israeli artists

Tags: Canada Canadian Jewish News Idan Raichel Israel Jewish Motek Cultural Initiative music Ravid Dahan
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Ravid Dahan

TORONTO — Jew-dos in Canada are about to become infused with a lot more Israeli flavour.

A new Toronto-based non-profit called the Motek Cultural Initiative has struck an agreement with UJA Federation of Greater Toronto to help provide Israeli cultural entertainment to all manner of Jewish community galas, soirées, and campus events across the country.

Founded as the charitable arm of Motek Productions, a for-profit entertainment agency that books Israeli artists across North America, the non-profit is bringing in renowned Israeli world music group the Idan Raichel Project to launch the non-profit with a charity concert on March 18 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

The federation will issue tax-receipts to donors.

The idea is to foster more awareness of and promote Israeli cultural relevancy in North America through song, music and performance, according to Ravid Dahan, president and CEO of Motek Productions and chair of the new non-profit.

“Music is the vehicle which people can use to understand Israeli culture today,” she told The CJN.

Having attended numerous events put on by major Jewish community organizations to benefit Israeli causes, what struck her most was the consistent lack of “actual Israeli vibe” at each one, she said.

Dahan, who immigrated to Canada from Israel five years ago, saw an opportunity to enlighten both Jewish and non-Jewish communities and has made it her mission to positively frame Israel as an emerging cultural hotbed and to provide that authentic vibe.

“The non-profit will help engage the next generation about all Israel has to offer through entertainment,” she said. “Local organizations, while doing wonderful work to help Israel, were always choosing to use entertainment that wasn’t representative of Israel.”

Aside from turning North Americans on to Israeli artists, she said the Motek Cultural Initiative would also be an essential tool in the ongoing war against the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns and the constant vilification of Israel in western countries.

She believes her initiative will help engage the next generation of the Diaspora Jewish and ex-patriot Israeli communities to “win the game” in their efforts to portray Israel more positively.

“Exposing the average Canadian to Israeli music and having them interact directly with the community will result in a broader understanding and appreciation of Israeli culture globally,” the Motek website states.

Dahan is in the process of assembling the rest of her board of directors and advisory board and expects to hire a full staff for the organization this year, she said.

The Motek Cultural Initiative will host a yearly gala and, starting in 2013, will organize monthly events in which Israeli artists will perform for Canadians of all faiths and cultures.

For more information, visit www.motekculturalinitiative.com.

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