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Samech Sameach (ס׳ שמח) is the name of a Israeli dance party that took place on Saturday night, May 10 2014, in celebration of Larry Denenberg's sixtieth birthday, which fell on that very day.
Time, Place, and Food
The event took place at the St. James Armenian Apostolic Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston adjacent to Cambridge. Open dancing began at 8:30 PM and continued until the dancers were forcibly ejected from the hall at 1:00 AM.
The harkadah was under the direction of Elad Perel, superstar markid from the Haifa area. (In Larry's opinion, Elad's Thursday night session at the Technion is one of the best in the country.) Elad is familiar with the local repertoire from his leadership at Gvanim 2013 and provided a good time for all. He did not teach any dances in the course of the evening.
The playlist for the evening is here.
There were exciting activities and entertainment for nondancing spouses, including parcheesi, acey-deucey, and Sorry!.
Early in the evening, we had a break in the dancing for a performance by Zikukim, one of Boston's premier semiprofessional Israeli dance troupes. Zikukim performed a piece choreographed by group director Becca Rausch for the 2014 Boston Israeli Dance Festival. (Becca herself was not dancing in the performance, because by the time of Samech Sameach her belly would have knocked the other dancers off the stage.)
Eleven years ago, this same venue hosted the Boston party celebrating Larry's marriage to Rachael Rosner. The original invitation is here. Note, however, that the complex admission price structure from that event was not repeated; Samech Sameach was free to all.
Directions, Parking, Public Transportation
St. James Armenian Church is at 465 Mount Auburn Street in Watertown (map) at the intersection of Mt. Auburn and School Streets.
From anywhere on I-90, the Mass Turnpike, get off at exit 17, head toward Watertown on Galen Street, go straight through Watertown Square onto Mount Auburn Street and proceed to number 465, on your right.
From Harvard Square take Mount Auburn Street westbound. Bear left just past the Star Market. Proceed to number 465, on your left.
There is parking next to the building (enter from School Street) and on the other side of Mt. Auburn Street, a block or two closer to Harvard Square.
The #71 bus runs between Harvard Square and Watertown Square along Mount Auburn Street, roughly every fifteen minutes on Saturday night. The last bus inbound arrives at School Street at about 1:25.
In lieu of gifts, attendees were encouraged to make a contribution to their own retirement savings. They will appreciate it when they themselves become 60, or have children approaching college age. Trust me.
You can send email here if you have questions or need further information.
No RSVP is necessary, but if you attended you are encouraged to record the fact, with your comments, by editing this page. (If you haven't already, you must first register at HoraWiki.) Other changes to the page will be summarily reverted. Unless they're improvements.
Ari and Mona Atkinson would have LOVED to come to this party. Unfortunately Ari will be in the middle of finals during this weekend. Ari and Mona are very sad to not attend. They wish Larry D the happiest birthday ever!
Becca Rausch and Lior Barnoon will be there! Can't wait to dance the night away while poking fun at the old guy.
Alexis Maharam will attend really just to see which is greater - Larry's age or the number of t-shirts he requires during the evening.
Erica Goldman will attend, but only because she thinks she has plenty of time to work up a better present than the L-for-50 t-shirt. If she comes up empty, she ain't coming.
Edy Greenblatt will attend because she needs an occasion on which to return the compliment he paid me a few years ago, "You used to be a great dancer." We'll see if the shoe fits, gramps.
Aliza and Howie will attend if only to hijack the party for Aliza's birthday which is the 11th. ( I can't call him gramps, I'm older).
Karen Kaplan is attending with her husband Ed, simply to prove to the IFD world that he does indeed exist.