Former President of B’nai B’rith International: ‘It’s fantastic!’

By Sandra Shields, Epoch Times
January 11, 2017 Updated: January 11, 2017

OTTAWA, Canada—It was a full house at the National Arts Centre for Shen Yun’s opening night performance on Jan. 7, and there was none more delighted with what they saw than Moishe Smith and his wife, Renee Bates.

“I thought the show was fantastic,” said Mr. Smith, who has been active in the Jewish community service organization B’nai B’rith for more than 30 years and was the president of B’nai B’rith International from 2006 to 2011. 

He owns several restaurants and a catering business in the Ottawa area and has served on the board of the Ottawa Food Bank among other organizations and currently serves as a committee member with the Jewish Agency for Israel.

“Absolutely fabulous, absolutely fabulous! Very pleased. Always wanted to see it and so glad we did,” said Ms. Bates, a marketing manager in the hospitality sector.

Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts is dedicated to reviving China’s 5,000-year-old traditional culture through classical Chinese dance and live orchestral music. Classical Chinese dance, a remarkably expressive art from that is millennia old, brings to life ancient legends and heroic figures from China’s rich history.

“I certainly never knew about Chinese culture and some of the ancient stories and customs, so it was very good to learn about that and to learn about someone else’s culture,” Mr. Smith said.

He remarked that it was very good to learn about China’s 5,000-year-old culture and to be introduced to some of its ancient stories and customs, along with its spiritual values.

“I think it is interesting,” he said. “I think that most ancient cultures are steeped in spirituality and good customs. … Certainly, for me, it was interesting to learn more about the Chinese culture and how it is similar to ours, to the Jewish culture, where we have ancient beginnings and continues today. The values that we learned all those years ago in our creation are still valuable today.”

“It’s human nature, going back to kindness, to be kind to one another. We’re all related, maybe different cultures, but we are all related. The principles are the same,” Ms. Bates added.

Ms. Bates described the show as “education through entertainment.”

“[Audience members] come away with some education, very much so,” she said. “And that’s why it’s nice to see little children as well as older children and really older children with grey hair!”

Shen Yun has played at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre every year since 2007 as part of its annual global tours. It will return next year with an all-new program.

“Looking forward to coming back to see next year’s show,” Mr. Smith said. “It’s very entertaining—the dance and the way the actors perform, and the fluidness of their [movements].”

“It was very good. It was well done, very well done,” Ms. Bates said.

Reporting by Grace Dai and Joan Delaney

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has five touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.

Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.