Jews in Germany were outraged this week after learning that Israeli dance troupe Mayumana performed in Berlin on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.
The group's spokesman said in response that "whoever didn't want to – didn’t dance, and we had foreign dancers participate instead."
The show was apparently scheduled a long time ago. Jews and Israelis living in Germany were amazed upon hearing that the performance had taken place on the Day of Atonement.
"How can an Israeli group perform on German soil on this day of all days? This is a case of impaired judgment and it offended us," one of them responded angrily.
Some of the dancers expressed their discontent over the show's timing as well, saying that they had pleaded with the management to cancel the show –to no avail.
The dance troupe's spokesman denied at first that Mayumana had performed in the German capital on Yom Kippur, but after being confronted with the facts he issued the following contradicting statement:
"Mayumana is an international dance company founded in Israel, whose members include artists from all around the world. On Friday and Saturday, September 13 and 14, the group had two shows scheduled in Berlin which were secured in advance for those dates by the foreign production.
"In spite of the economic risk, the group insisted on moving up the Friday show and postponing the Saturday show as much as possible, but as the dates could not have been changed it was decided to have foreign dancers participate in the show alongside members of the Israeli team who do not fast on Yom Kippur.
"The members of the Israeli team who chose to fast stayed in the hotel, and their request was fully respected by the professional team and production.
"An international tour is sometimes scheduled a year or two years in advance, and does not allow for much flexibility or adjusting the dates to the Jewish calendar."