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From Bollywood to Petach Tikva, with love and a shimmy

TJI Pick
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Published: 25 June 2019

Last updated: 5 March 2024

Mayan Sanker, a Jewish teacher from Mumbai, came to Israel to teach school children using her unique method — that combines Bollywood dancing with English classes

MAYAN SANKER WAS ONE of the only Jews left in Mumbai, and now in Israel, she's often the first and only Indian person Israelis have ever met. But Sanker, who is a teacher and a dancer, waltzes into people's hearts with her Bollywood dance moves, wherever she goes — as the children of Petah Tikva can attest to.

Sanker, 20, came to Israel to teach English with the Masa Israel Teaching Fellows program (MITF); she loves the children's boisterous energy, despite being used to very disciplined Indian students, and says she adores everything about the country, including the bluntness and noisiness of her students and of Israelis in general.

"Israelis say what they think, I like that… sometimes I do encounter rudeness, however," says the young teacher.

"I often get asked, 'why did you come to teach here?' and I answer that these energies (of children) need to be channelled the right way."

FULL STORY A Bollywood love story in Petach Tikva (Ynet)

Photo: Mayan Sanker showing off her Bollywood moves (screen capture)

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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