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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 15, 2012 PAGE 3B Q ByJointMediaNews Service Pole dancing as a modern sport connects the world of dance--jazz, ballet and caba- ret-with acrobatic exercise. The pole serves as the base to perform different acrobatic acts of varying levels of diffi- culty. Regular exercis clothes are worn,not the sexy reveal- ing garb many imagme, with the stomach exposed in order to allow for friction with the pole and to prevent slipping. The athtetic benefits abound they include de- veloping strength, stamina, flexibility, coordination and rhythm. Many women also report an improvement in their self-confidence, their physical feeling and their femininity. In Israel. classes and pfivatestudios are taking the country by storm. Champions Elisa Palsakova, 26, opened her own private studio two years ago. She has been danc- ing and exercising since she was 5 years old--everything from acrobatics to ballet. In the last decade, she made aliyah from Moscow. She studied dance instruction and became certified as a personal trainer upon moving to Israel, and when she discovered pole dancing, she fell in love with it. She re6ently won first place in the International Pole Dance Fitness Associa- tion competitions in Mo cow and currently sits On panels of judges in competitions all over the word. She feels it is a great honor to Sit among the world's top athletes. Another Israeli champion is Neta Lee Levy, 31, who won first place in the European championships in Holland. Levy has always participated in sports and she currently studies at the Circus School in Israel. where she learned the trapeze. There, she began to teach herself pole dancing and developed her technique. Levy is the first person in Israel to perform in street festivals using a pole as a performer, not a stripper. She opened a studio in Tel Aviv and describes the women who come there and exercise as women who are seeking to boost their self-confidence and sensuality. The combat soldier Alex Brodeski. 21, is a combat fitness instructor in the army who trains in Palsa- kova's studio. "It is a physical activity that is different and challenging for the body using muscles that are not usually developed in other exercise classes," he explains. He says that the soldiers he trains know that he pole dances, and admits that he gets teased "But they are jealous that I practice with girls and ask to come observe classes. I tell them that they can't observe, they must par- ticipate, but they get cold feet." The attorney Boaz, 33. began training following his first visit to a strip club with his girlfriend. "I saw women dancing on poles and I "was in shock at their acrobatic abilities. I wanted to learn the acrobat- ics. After three months of training, it improved my body image and self-image. My arm muscles are stronger and my stability improved. Yes. it is a sexy dance, but other forms of dance are sexy, too. I am not embarrassed by it." The Chasid Bracha (name changed) usually wears a long skirt and a head covering and works in an ultra-Orthodox college. She is a religious woman. 53 years old. a wife and mother of three. But in the past year and a half. multiple times a week. she has been changing her conservative clothes into short exercise clothes. Along with her 17-year-old daughter Anat. she attends classes in Palsakova's studio. "When my daughter told me that she wants to learn pole dancing, I told her that she can only if I chaperone as her bodyguard because who knows who participates in such things." Once I entered the studio. I knew that I wanted to participate as well," Bracha says. In terms of dealing with revealing clothing, Bracha started with a t-shirt but says "it was difficult for me to do certain moves, so I started wearing a tank top and shorts." Bracha explains that it isn't easy for her to pole dance with men in the room, but says she won't quit for that reason. "If Elislike/Wikipedia A new kind of exercise is rapidly catching on in Israel, with eager participants ranging from male combat soldiers to Orthodox women. there are very sexy exercises. I do them minimally because I am here for the acrobatics and not the dance," she says. Anat adds that they stand on opposite sides of the room from the men. and because the men are much older, it doesn't bothe{ her. Bracha says her husband "under, stands that for us it is only a sport." "He is fine with it, but pre- fers that we keep it a secret from the community because we are religious," she says. "I beat him in hand wres- tling, and we bought a pole for the house and he has already tried to swing on it,"Anat says of her father. Bracha doesn't tell most of her friends about her hobby "because I don't want them to think bad things about me." Anat says, "Some of my friends don't talk to me any- more because of it, others are jealous but wouldn't dare try, and others don't even know."' Bracha adds, "sometimes religious friends are surprised by my body so I tell them I simply 'do sports' without getting into detail." An Olympic sport? Several organizations around the world are trying to recognize the sport, hold- ing regional and worldwide competitions that judge the competitors on strength, flex- ibility and artistic expression. Points are given to competi- tors according to the level of difficulty, technique, chore- ography and stage presence. The smallest mistake in body movement may disqualify a competitor. The British organization Vertical Dance even recently requested that the Olympic Committee recognize the sport as an official compet- ing sport in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Whether or not their efforts will be successful remains to be seen, but for Israelis--re- gardless ofbackground pole dancing is in. This article was translated by JointMedia News Service from the Hebrew edition of Israel Hayom. . drives By Suzanne Kurtz WASHINGTON (JTA)-- For nearly a year, Julie Gavr- ilov has been trying to find a match for her father. Mark. Diagnosed with a rare and aggressive blood cancer, he needs a stem cell transplant to survwe the disease. A Bukharian Jew born in Uzbekistan. he will have the best chance of survival if he finds a donor from within his own ethnic community. Since learning of her 58-year-old father's diagno- sis, Gavrilov. an attorney in New York, has organized a donor drive at a Bukharian Jewish community center in the Queens borough of the city, written heartfelt mes- sages for local synagogue newsletters and posted her plea on Facebook. A compatible donor has yet to be identified, but Gavrilov. 32. is hopeful that the person who can save her father's life will be found. It just takes one person." she said. Finding that person for Jews of non-Ashkenazi de- scent can be especially dif- ficult. A non-Ashkenazi Jew at best has a 40 percent chance of finding a donor, compared to nearly 70 percent for Ashkenazim. said Jay Fein- berg, founder and executive director of Gift for Life. a bone marrow, blood stem cell and umbilical cord blood registry dedicated to recruit- ment within the U.S. Jewish community. This discrepancy is due in Ezer Mizion Hanit Elbaz, an Israeli of Yemenite descent who is waiting for a bone marrow transplant from a Yemenite donor, appears in Ezer Mizion's campaign. part, Feinberg said, to the low number of non-Ashkenazi donors in the international donor registry in particu- lar Jews from the Iraqi, Per- sian. Georgian, Bukharian, Lebanese. Syrian, Yemeni and Ethiopian communities. "'The numbers are not where we want them to be." said Feinberg, a bone marrow recipient himself who founded the Gift of Life foundation more than 20 years ago as an outgrowth of his search for a donor. Adding 40.000 to 50.000 more people to the registry would make a major differ- ence in finding donors, he said. Also complicating mat- ters. according to experts. is that members of these communities have been in- termarrymg with Jews from other ethnic backgrounds. Such unions may be a boon for social cohesion and integration, but they further weaken the potential donor pool for those best served by a donor with two parents from the same ethnic group. To help address the short- age of donors, multiple tar- geted campaigns are being conducted in Israel and the United States. Gift of Life has embarked on Such outreach campaigns and has held dedicated do- nor drives often for specific cancer patients from these communities, like Gavrilov's father. Most important, Feinberg said. "'we need to let people know that [their communi- ties] are very underrepre- sented in the registry." - "My plea is to the entire Jewish community and not only in the interest of my father, but many others who need to find a match, Gavrilov said. Israel. with its sizable concentrations of Jews from multiple "ethnic back- grounds, is "'one of the best places in the world to find potential donors." said Levi Blumenfeld. director of marketing for Ezer Mizion. which houses the largest Jewish bone marrow, registry in the world. Headquartered in the cefitral Israeli town of Petach Tikvah. Ezer Mizion boasts a registry listing approxi- mately 600,000 potential do- nors. The goal (s to increase the number to more than 1 million. Blumenfeld said. To help increase the numbers especially in the underrepresented Iraqi, Bukharian.Georgian. Ethio- pian and Yemenite Jewish communities--Ezer Mizion is holding a targeted donor drive this week that will take place simultaneously throughout Israel. Blumenfeld said the or- ganization is hoping to test 20,000 potential donors on May 31 at 100 testing sta- tions in shopping malls. synagogues and community centers. A media campaign was launched to drum up aware- ness. Talk show host Eli Yatzpar; and singers Sarit Haddad and Eyal Golan were among the celebrities recruited for public service announcements. The campaign also tapped rabbis to help educate mem- bers of the underrepresented communities and reduce fears about the donation pro- cess, said Dr. Bracha Zisser. who founded the Ezer Mizion in 1998 three years after her husband was diagnosed with lymphoma. Following chemotherapy and radiation, he had a successful bone marrow transplant. "As we spoke to people" about this week's drive. "most thought that to be a donor, it was very danger- ous." she said. "They really didn't know that today it's very easy." imple saliva sample is all that is required for inclusion in the registry. And while donating bone marrow or stem cells is a significant commitment, it often is an outpatient procedure that is given under anesthesia. The side effects are mini- mal-and may include flu-like symptoms that last only a short while. "I really hope they will come out; it will help Jews all over the world." Zisser said. "I promised myself that I would not let anyone die because they couldn't find a donor. It my cause that every Jew. everywhere, when they need it. can find a donor." Ih '" Itl a, ,Z, _: Ia A,O I1.1 . "4,Tl.,', III Providing Quality Preventive, III Esthetic and Restorative [[[ -Management for the Oral " [ [[ . HealthofourPatientFamily. [l[ Oon I'.OC'O S of oi"ond, I I I Ill Bernard A. Kahn, D.D.S. ill 926 N. Maitland Avenue Maitland, FL 3.2751 Ill 14oz) 629.422o Ill I