- ABOUT US
Public Schools Programs
Since 1995, Keshet Chaim has been using art to teach children in the Los Angeles public school community about the rich and multifaceted culture of Israel. We are excited to continue to serve the children of Los Angeles with the Colors of Israel educational workshops this year. The workshops use Israeli culture as a vehicle to teach tolerance about other cultures and their coexistence.
The current model for teaching in elementary schools includes a one-month residency workshops with the students and professional development training for the school's teachers so they can continue incorporating Israeli dance during their classes, be it Physical Education, as a part of a lesson or their free time.
Education Director Cecilia Hanono and Keshet teachers provide instruction in Israeli folk dance, Jewish culture, Hebrew, stories and traditions, and lead discussions about tolerance. Elementary school students learn dances from a variety of backgrounds: from Eastern Europe to Morocco, from Yemenite hand dances to Sabra Israeli dances and the origin of the Hora. After the workshops, Keshet Chaim presents its original children's show, "The Adventures of Mealk and Chani." An Israeli cow named Mealk and her friend Chani teach children about the different places the Jews come from (and live), and that they now have a homeland in Israel, using all the vocabulary and concepts learned through the workshop. The company ends the production with a communal folk dance session with all the children who were exposed to the lessons coming together as a large group to dance, using the Hebrew words and songs they learned in the workshops.
Keshet Chaim is a proud member of the LAUSD Arts Community Partnership Network and is a part of the Los Angeles County Arts Resource Directory.
The Adventures of Mealk and Chani
An Israeli cow named Mealk and her friend Chani teach children about the different places the Jews come from (and live), and that they now have a homeland in Israel.
Fran Amkraut's passion for dance and the performing arts developed in her youth at summer camp. During her many years of active leadership in the Israeli folkdance community, Fran has helped to enrich the experiences of both new and veteran dancers through her teaching, choreography and development of educational materials. Until 2001, Fran was the group coordinator for the Annual Israel Folk Dance Festival and Festival of the Arts in New York City, and she is currently the supervisor for the Jewish Performing Arts program at Camp Yavneh in Northwood, NH. Fran has also choreographed extensively and as a member of different dance troupes, she has performed throughout the United States and Israel. A graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, with a bachelor's degree in history, Fran relocated to Los Angeles and earned her MBA in non-profit management at the University of Judaism. In addition to her ongoing work with Camp Yavneh, Fran is also involved with the Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble in Los Angeles as a resident teacher. Fran uses her professional skills to continue to bring performing arts and the joy of dance to the community.
Rachel Leah Cohen is excited to be working with the Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble in the "Mielk and Chani" educational production. She earned her degree in theatre from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA and works professionally as a director as well as an actor. After touring internationally with the Missoula Children's Theatre for a year and a half as Pinocchio in "Pinocchio", she went to Milken Community High School to help develop the drama program where she taught and directed for six years. She has been awarded the Steven Spielberg Theatre Fellowship and has studied at acting conservatories such as Circle in the Square and the Stanislavski Summer Conservatory. Some of her favorite stage credits include "Pizza Man", "Noises Off", "The Wizard of Oz", and "Graceland".
And the Keshet Chaim Dancers