Honoree of the Year Program

Help us keep our Festival curtains open for decades to come!

About the Festival Honoree Program
Ilene Fruman Beckman: 2015 Festival Honoree Of The Year
Making Your Contribution
Past Honorees


Thank you for your interest in our Festival Honoree of the Year Program!
The program recognizes individuals whose dedication and outstanding contributions over the years have helped to maintain, strengthen, and enrich the Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston.

The Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston is a year-round, volunteer-led, non-profit organization. Many people work countless hours to coordinate and stage this huge annual production, and hundreds of performers choreograph, rehearse, and travel great distances in order to participate in the big day. Members of the organizing committee attend to the publicity, lighting and audio production, and a myriad of logistical details. Though the cost of producing the Festival has increased over the years, we are committed to keeping ticket prices modest in order to maximize the community’s ability to enjoy this event.

Each year, we invite you to honor a distinguished leader in the Israeli dance community and to support this vibrant Jewish Boston institution by making a generous tax-deductible contribution to the Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston.

Be sure to join us on Sunday March 15th for our 39th annual production as we recognize our Honoree and acknowledge our many generous donors in the program. Enjoy the show!


It is our great privilege to announce that the 2015 Festival Honoree of the Year is Ilene Fruman Beckman. Ilene has had a lifelong love affair with Israeli dance. From her summers at Camp Yavneh and her first Israeli Dance workshop at Prozdor with Moshe Eskayo, Ilene was hooked. In her younger days, Ilene danced five nights a week and was a long-time Israeli Dance Coordinator, teacher, and programmer at MIT.

Ilene met her beloved husband, David, at the MIT Israeli Dance Club and their shared passion for Israeli dancing has lasted through the years. Along with David, Ilene served as an active member of the Festival organizing committee and they performed together in the troupe, “Screaming Sa’adaya & the Electric Camels.”

Ilene and David, Screaming Sa'adya, 1988

In those days, Ilene would prepare snacks and Lego kits, as they went to rehearsals with their two young boys, Aaron and Michael, in tow. Perhaps it was the genes or maybe the weekly rehearsal sessions that led to Aaron and Michael’s love of Israeli music and culture. Aaron has even followed in his parents’ footsteps as an MIT Israeli dance programmer, teacher, member of the Festival organizing committee, and regular Festival performer.

Screaming Sa'adya, 1991

Over the years, Ilene has evolved from a participant to a facilitator in the world of Israeli dance. She is a Jewish educator of long standing and everywhere she taught, she introduced Israeli dance into the program. Ilene believes that it is important for kids to be exposed to a wide range of Jewish educational and cultural experiences. “After all,” she says, “you just might discover that the child who struggles to read Hebrew will grow to love Judaism and Israel through his feet!” Now, as Director of the Religious School at Temple Emanuel in Newton, Ilene has continued to adhere to that philosophy, ensuring that each student in her school is exposed to the joy and spirit of Israeli dance. Lisa Hills, President of Temple Emanuel, says, “Ilene’s incredible passion for sharing her love of all aspects of Jewish learning shines through the ruach she brings to Israeli dance.” With that ruach, Ilene has also nurtured a multi-generational community of dance troupes; on any given day, kids, teens, and adults can be found in the building, rehearsing for the next Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston!

Ilene has spent her entire life in the Boston area. She grew up in Newton and studied at Simmons College and Boston University School of Social Work, as well as at Prozdor and Hebrew College. In addition to Israeli dance, Ilene’s membership in the Zamir Chorale of Boston brought ever more beautiful Jewish music into her life, which, of course, always transferred to the dance floor!

For the past 38 years, the Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston has been a constant fixture on the Beckman family calendar, and they all look forward to continuing this tradition for years to come!

Aaron, David, Ilene, and Michael, 2013

Thank you for honoring Ilene and supporting the Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston with your thoughtful contribution.


Contributions to the Festival Honoree of the Year Program will ensure that the Festival, about which Ilene and all of us care so passionately, will continue to go from strength to strength.
Please make your contributions here, via our website, or by printing out this donation form and submitting the form and your check via postal mail. Mailing instructions appear on the form itself. Contributions to the Festival Honoree of the Year Program are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

All donations are welcome and appreciated! We will gratefully acknowledge in our Festival program every donor whose gift we receive by February 20, 2015.

Donation levels:

Chaverimup to $53
Mazal$54 to $117
Simcha$118 to $179
Chesed$180 to $359
Hora$360 or more (includes 2 tickets*)

Thank you for your contribution!

(*Ticket value of $15 each is not tax-deductible.)

Read about our past Honorees.

Download Ilene's festival speech