- ABOUT US
Education Director: Cecilia Hanono
Originally from Argentina, Cecilia has grown working in both, the corporate world and in the Jewish community, though she found her passion in the latter. Her experience as an informal educator goes back to 1995, at the Sociedad Hebraica Argentina. In 2005, she attended a workshop produced by Keshet Chaim and Ruth Goodman from the Israeli Dance Institute in New York called “Moving Out of the Box”, a workshop to instruct teachers to include Israeli Folk Dance into Jewish educational programs. Cecilia was so motivated and inspired that she started teaching about Israeli culture through folk dance workshops regularly both in Jewish organizations, synagogues, schools and in the Los Angeles Unified School District through Keshet Chaim. She developed a program that teaches tolerance, diversity and multiculturalism through Israeli folk dance and has branched out to include churches and community centers as well.
After encountering a very positive response from the community, she developed training sessions for Israeli Folk Dance instructors to fulfill the demand. Today, she is proud to say that Keshet Chaim has a great crew of trained Israeli Folk Dance instructors, with a successful curriculum working in more than twenty Jewish organizations.
Cecilia has served as Youth Director at Temple Menorah in Redondo Beach -including their BBYO chapter-, and the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center for their USY chapter. During her summers Cecilia works at various Jewish camps around the States. She has been working as the Cultural Arts and Dance Director for Camp Ramah in California, has been a Daber Fellow -a specialized program to teach Hebrew informally- from the Avi Chai Foundation, has been teaching at Ohr Lanu -a Special Needs Family Camp-, and has been the Israeli Dance Specialist and Consultant for BBYO national programs.
Cecilia has participated in the March of the Living as a group coordinator, as she understands the importance of educating and transmitting our history as well as our folklore. Among all these activities, Cecilia finds time to chair and be in the board of young professional organizations like the Latin American Jewish Association and ACCESS LA. Cecilia obtained her Psychology degree from the American Jewish University (formerly University of Judaism) in 2006, complementing her two previous degrees in Graphic Design and in Communications from the ORT Technological Institute in Argentina.
Ruth Goodman is the director of the Israeli Dance Institute,based in New York City,the Jewish Dance Division of the 92nd Street "Y", the annual Israel Folk Dance Festival, and the Parparim Ensemble of Israeli Dance and Song. Ruth conducts workshops and seminars throughout the Americas and holds a Master of Arts degree in Dance Education from Columbia University Teachers College. Ruth has been guiding and working together with Keshet Chaim since 1988 and has been a great source of inspiration for the company's educational programs. Keshet Chaim worked with Ruth on a week-long residency in Texas, brought her to Los Angeles to teach workshops at the Skirball Cultural Center for our Inbal project and with her, produced "Moving Out of the Box", a program to educate teachers to use Israeli dance in the classroom. Her contribution to Israeli dance education is immeasurable.
Erica Goldman was born and raised in New York, where she first inherited her love of Israeli dance from her father. She was the director of the student performance troupe B'yachad and danced with various other East Coast Israeli dance troupes including Parparim and Screaming Sa'adya. In addition, she performed with and choreographed for the Mandala Folkdance Ensemble. She was a principal dancer of the highly acclaimed Collage Dance Ensemble before relocating to Los Angeles in 2004 and immediately joining Keshet Chaim. Erica is currently the Dance Director of Camp Alonim and the Brandeis-Bardin campus of American Jewish University, and she is the Israeli dance specialist at New Community Jewish High School, where she has also created and directs La’asot Rikud, their Israeli dance performing group. Erica holds a degree in Linguistics and Cognitive Science from Brandeis University and was an engineering linguist for Comverse Technology for over seven years.