SACH Benefit Concert - LA 1/29/2017

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Next Benefit Event - Feb.9, 2019!

The "Save a Child's Heart" Organization

Save A Child's Heart (SACH) is Israel's preeminent humanitarian organization specializing in charitable pediatric cardiac care and providing urgently needed pediatric heart surgery and follow-up care for indigent children from developing countries.

Based in Israel, our mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from countries where the heart surgery they need is unobtainable.

Every 29 hours, our doctors save a child's life in our medical facilities in Israel, or on medical missions in partner countries around the world.

Thousands of children from poor families around the world are alive today because of a small group of medical professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to perform life-saving cardiac surgery and train local medical personnel. All children, regardless of race, religion, sex, color, or financial status receive the best possible care that modern medicine has to offer. SACH saves children with congenital heart defects, who have almost no chance of surviving to adulthood in their native countries, and saves their lives with no political, cultural, religious, or racial preference whatsoever. Save A Child's Heart also works to multiply the effectiveness of its resources outside of Israel by training medical personnel from developing countries. The ultimate goal of SACH is actually to create "Centers of Competence" around the world, which will enable local medical personnel to provide these life saving services on their own. This is a full outreach training program that brings doctors and nurses to the SACH center for in-depth, postgraduate training; it also sends staff overseas to provide this education to local medical professionals, as well as to perform surgeries side-by-side with them.

Until our ultimate goal is achieved, children with congenital heart defects will continue to be brought to Israel for surgery and other cardiac care. More than 4000 children from more than fifty countries have already been saved directly by SACH personnel, while thousands more are receiving the life-saving treatments they need from local personnel who were previously trained by SACH. We have trained Tanzania’s first pediatric cardiac surgeon, and we are in the process of training Ethiopia’s first pediatric cardiac surgeon. Construction has begun on a new Children's Hospital at the Wolfson Medical Center that will house the Middle East's first international pediatric cardiac care center.


The Benefit Concert

Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge
January 29, 2017 at 7:30 PM

Valley Performing Arts Center
 Northridge, CA 91330
Ticket Office
Tuesday through Saturday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM PST
Phone: 818-677-3000

The Ticket Office is located to the north of the Center's courtyard on Orange Grove walk. Park in G3 Parking located on Zelzah & Prairie Streets or B1/B2 Parking Lots on Darby Street.

Groups of 20 or more can take advantage of a 20% discount in any section in the venue. Please contact the ticket office for more info at 818-677-3000

SAVE A CHILD’S HEART will present a gala benefit concert featuring a lineup of major international stars in a special evening of music and entertainment on Sunday, January 29th, 2017 at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge at 7:30 pm. Israel’s most celebrated female singing star, Rita, renowned worldwide for her unique voice, will be making a special trip from Israel to perform at the concert which will also feature Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester, The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony under the direction of noted conductor Dr. Noreen Green, the exceptionally talented 15 year old pianist/composer/song-writer Emily Bear, American-Israeli contemporary dance group Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble, singer/songwriter and peace advocate Liel Kolet, and Palestinian musical artist Ali Paris, Berklee College of Music’s youngest student to date, who also plays the qanun - an Arabic lap harp.


The LA Jewish Symphony

The mission of the LAJS is to perform orchestral works of well-known as well as not widely recognized Jewish composers; establish opportunities for the presentation of new compositions by Jewish artists; serve as a professional resource for aspiring Jewish and non-Jewish musicians; act as an educational medium for Jewish music and composers; and provide educational opportunities for diverse populations of school-age children.


Founded in 1994 by Dr. Noreen Green, Artistic Director and Conductor, the LAJS has performed throughout Southern California at such venues as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Ford Theatres, the Saban Theatre, the Wadsworth Theatre, UCLA’s Royce Hall, the University of La Verne, Chapman University, and the Gindi Auditorium at American Jewish University. The LAJS serves the community with free family-oriented events, such as KlezFest, a annual klezmer music and dance JAM Session at the Ford, featuring a public concert to conclude the LAJS’s outreach education program, A Patchwork of Cultures: Exploring the Sephardic-Latino Connection. Each year, this program takes hundreds of Los Angeles County grade-school students on a thrilling musical journey of discovery.

The LAJS collaborates with artists from communities throughout Southern California. They have performed with such groups as the Faithful Central Bible Church Choir, the Agape International Choir, the Mariachi Divas, the Yuval Ron Ensemble, and many others. The LAJS has showcased great artists such as Hershey Felder and the late Theodore Bikel, as well as many up-and-coming young musicians as concerto soloists. The LAJS nurtures young composers and actively commissions new works; their concerts often feature world, US or West Coast premieres. The performance partnerships LAJS has with the internationally acclaimed dance company BODYTRAFFIC and years of humanitarian aid concerts with KindredSPIRITS are emblematic of their collaborative mission.

The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony fills a cultural niche that revitalizes the legacy of Jewish music and spans the broad range of Jewish heritage from the nadir of adversity to the triumph of accomplishment.

“...the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony seems committed to the axiom that diversity is a terrible thing to waste.” ~The Los Angeles Times

To celebrate the richness of Jewish music, to share it with diverse audiences of Southern California, and to pass the treasure of Jewish music and heritage to the next generation – this is the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony's ongoing tradition!
More about LAJS at their website:


MUSYCA Children's Choir

MUSYCA Children's Choir is a multi-level, sequential choral music education program for children and youth, guided by an exceptional faculty.
Located in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, MUSYCA brings together gifted young people, ages 4-18 to create a community of singers built on respect, love for music, and artistic excellence. The mission of MUSYCA Children's Choir is to provide the highest quality of music education to Children and Youth of all religious, ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds through study and performance of outstanding choral repertoire.
MUSYCA is dedicated to diversity, access, and service to community.

MUSYCA is California's leading performing arts organization for youth, which appeared at the world's top venues and collaborated with America's preeminent artists. Our Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards performance has been seen in 375 million households worldwide, in 25 languages. Once-in -a-lifetime opportunities include international tour to France (Notre Dame de Paris concert), tour to New York (Carnegie Hall debut), and concert tour to Austria and Czech Republic.
The choir collaborated with composers Alan Silvestri, Glen Ballard, recording artists Danny Brown, Newsboys, Nikita Presnyakov, Princess Superstar, Stephen, Raury, Alpine Universe, Christopher Cross, Dave Koz, Johnnie Mikel, DJ Mustard, Alexander Palmer / Nezzo, Luke Christopher, producers Mark Needham, Malay, Nathan Lim and Paul White. MUSYCA singers starred in "Black Friday Orphans: The Musical" produced by Funny or Die, appeared on Hallmark Channel's "Home and Family Show," sang at LA Times Festival of Books and worked with the Center Theatre Group of Los Angeles.
More about MUSYCA at their website:



Known to the world simply as Rita, Rita Yahan-Foruz emigrated from Iran to Israel In 1970, aged just eight, and fifteen years later became the best known, most successful singer in the country. In 2008, after 25 years in the business, she received the accolade of being named ‘top female singer in the past 60 years’, during a special countdown for Israel’s 60th anniversary. Today, Rita continues to pack venues and stadiums to capacity, her multi-platinum albums reinforcing her position as Israel’s biggest singing sensation. Not only is she a huge star in Israel, but Rita’s unique voice has also won her international acclaim, with appearances across the globe - from the USA, France, England, and Italy to Uruguay and more. Alongside her burgeoning career in Israel during the 1980s, she also performed to European crowds.

Her debut album was released in 1987 and went triple platinum, after which she went on to launch her first international release, “Breaking Those Walls,” which sold over 50,000 copies. In 1990, Rita represented Israel in the Eurovision competition and, although she didn’t win, her song was a massive hit in Israel and is still routinely played till this day. Rita’s career went into overdrive in the early 1990s after she released her version of The Police song “Roxanne,” a single which went down particularly well in France and Belgium, selling over 140,000 copies. In 1994, her music video for “Strange Bird” gained the “Best Foreign Music Video” on MTV Europe.

Throughout the 1990s, Rita took to the stage thousands of times at festivals performing for Jewish communities worldwide, and released multi platinum albums. However, it wasn’t until the year 2000 that she was to release her next international album ,“Time for Peace.” The album was produced by Corrado Rustici, the celebrated Italian musical producer who has worked with artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Eric Clapton, Paul Young, Beck and Sinead O’Connor, amongst others. The album was well received internationally; its music used to great effect by the Russian ice skating team at the 2002 winter Olympics. As well as enjoying her newly found international recognition at this time, Rita’s attention was also firmly focused on her family and newborn daughter.

During the rest of the 2000s, Rita toured Israel extensively and, with Rami Kleinstein, her husband at that time, she released a new ‘live’ album which went triple platinum. Rita has always been passionate about music and performance, and keen to try out different styles and directions. In collaboration with often classically trained musicians she put together new acoustic versions of her songs – showing the world a new and different side of her. An excellent example of a new direction in style is clearly evident in her latest album titled “My Joys,”with which she is currently on tour.

Rita also made the decision bring a totally different kind of entertainment experience to Israel. Her show “One” was a musical cabaret featuring dozens of dancers and acrobats, and attracted audiences of over 90,000, even though it only played for a month. This international musical extravaganza turned out to be the perfect platform for Rita’s unique talent, and proved to be a runaway success. The combination of experimental visuals and music cost $5 million to produce and featured internationally designed stage sets, along with a team of world-class performers.

Over the years, Rita has performed with many orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Meta, and the Ra’anana Symphonette, as well as with orchestras from all over the world such as the Belgrade Philharmonic. During 2009, Rita’s song “Love Has Begun” topped the adult contemporary and indie charts in the US and she was selected ‘most promising artist 2009’. In 2010, Rita was the closing act for the Israeli stand at the Shanghai world EXPO, where she performed to the delight of her many enthusiastic Chinese fans.

In 2011, she represented Israel at the Istanbul Jazz festival alongside acts from Glikeriya (Greece), Aynur (Turkey) and Buyaka (Spain). In recent years Rita felt the need to reconnect with the Persian/Iranian music of her childhood. To this end she performed with the Israeli band “The Mind Church,” and worked together with them to produce a number based on a traditional Iranian song. The song entitled “Stop the Pain” was released to rapturous radio reception.

Rita also recently completed a world-music oriented album, dedicated to her musical roots, working with some of Israel’s best known music producers. The album “My Joys” was released in December 2011, and was debuted at Tel Aviv’s Hangar 11 to an ecstatic audience, including many from the Persian community. All the songs on the album hold a special significance for Rita, and fans have been quick to embrace its intimacy and authenticity.

The first number introduced from the album “My Joys” was “Shane (Comb),” and it was released to great acclaim on Israeli radio. Building on the success of the first single, further songs from the album were to follow, including “Shah Dumad,” “Gole Sangam,” and “Your Shoulders,” all of which were remixed by a number of top producers, including the celebrated Ofer Nissim. The album achieved gold status in less than a month of its release. However, Rita’s career has never been restricted to the musical sphere. As a graduate of one of the most respected acting schools in Israel, she became a popular theater actress, performing in dozens of plays to audiences of adults, teenagers and children alike.

In 1989 Rita was crowned “Actress of The Year” at the Israeli cinema awards and recently she won the San Francisco Short Film Festival award for best actress, for her role in the film “Ben Returns Home.” Throughout her career Rita has sold over a million copies of her albums, won dozen of prizes, and has been celebrated as the top performer and singer in Israel. A true artist, she continues to explore new and exciting musical territories, trying out new sounds, and testing her vocals to the limit. Even after so many years in the business, she still manages to captivate audiences with her sensational performances.


Melissa Manchester

Melissa Manchester’s self-made You Gotta Love the Life (release date: Feb. 10, 2015), the singer-songwriter’s first album since 2004, celebrates 40 years of making music. The album offers a variety of songs performed with legendary artists such as Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau, Keb’ Mo’, Dionne Warwick, Dave Koz, and Joe Sample in one of his last recordings. You Gotta Love the Life is the Oscar-nominated, Grammy-winning singer’s first new studio album since "When I Look Down That Road". This record marks her only collaboration with Hal David for what turned out to be his last recorded lyrics. Manchester produced the album with guitarist Terry Wollman co-producing.

The jazzy, propulsive title track opens the record with gutsy, autobiographical lyrics about a life devoted to show business. Melissa Manchester’s extraordinary career began when the native New Yorker signed her first publishing deal at 17. Soon she was backing up Bette Midler as a founding member of the Harlettes, and studying songwriting with Paul Simon at New York University.

Today, Manchester teaches music to students at the University of Southern California, where the pupils urged her to record a studio album financed not by a company, but by a fan-based campaign. Manchester asked the students about this crowd-funding trend and was persuaded to initiate an Indiegogo effort to fund her first album in 10 years.

You Gotta Love the Life, blending the classic American songbook with jazz, ballads and samba and featuring high-caliber guest performances in powerfully evocative new songs and favorite cover tunes, released on February 10, 2015. The sultry first single, “Feelin’ for You,” went to radio on January, 2015.

“This is an adventure I would not have wanted to miss,” Manchester says, adding that she loved being liberated from traditional record deals. Citrus College, where she is honorary artist in residence, provided use of its world-class recording studio, where Manchester joined several legends of jazz and pop for spirited, joyful song-making on the new album. “You do have to pinch yourself when you work with your musical heroes and heroines,” she admits. “I have admired Dionne since I was 15. I still have the letter she sent in response to a mash note I had written her after seeing her at the Copa.”

Manchester’s own status as one of popular American music’s most enduring artists is exceptional both for her longevity and versatility. Following the stint with Bette Midler, Manchester’s solo career earned critical praise and commercial success. Manchester’s recording of the Peter Allen/Carole Bayer Sager anthem “Don’t Cry Out Loud” delivered her first Grammy nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance in 1979, and she won the award in the same category four years later for “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” Two of her songs, “Through the Eyes of Love” and “The Promise,” were nominated for Academy Awards in the same year.

Manchester’s songs have been recorded by Roberta Flack, Dusty Springfield, Alison Krauss, Stevie Nicks, Kenny Loggins and Barbra Streisand. She has written songs for major movies made for the Walt Disney Studios, independent pictures, and Tyler Perry, and she has appeared in films and television – Manchester played the mother of Mayim Bialik’s title character on NBC’s Blossom – as well as co-creating the ballroom dance extravaganza, Fascinating Rhythms, for the stage.

“My hunger is the same hunger I had when I was 17,” she says when discussing the release of her self-made You Gotta Love the Life. “This album is what I know for sure at last.” ~Melissa Manchester


Moran Atias
Master of Ceremonies

Moran Atias will be our
Master of Ceremonies

Moran Atias. Born and raised in Haifa, Israel to parents of Moroccan descent, actress Moran Atias gained her first international success in Italy, where she became a household name hosting numerous TV shows and starring in films like Gas, Oggi Sposi, and Mother of Tears. Upon moving to the U.S., she immediately secured a lead role in the TV series Crash, and enjoyed critical acclaim for her role as an Albanian gypsy in Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis's Third Person, a film which she developed and co-produced, and which earned her a star on the Belgium Walk of Fame. Recognized by the Los Angeles Times for her "intense ambition to succeed" and dubbed a "terrific actress" by Variety, her latest turn has been the lead role in the FX hit-series Tyrant. When she is not on set, Atias is committed to tikkun olam. Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, she facilitated a rescue mission securing the transit of twenty-nine severe spinal injury patients to U.S. hospitals, for which she received the Humanitarian Award from the LA Femme Film Festival.

In November 2010, she continued her efforts by working with Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) to raise over 10 million dollars to help fund Haiti's first free high school, where a classroom has been named in her honor. Atias also serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for lsraAid and helped start Sheba Rescue a Heart, an initiative which flew two children with heart deficiencies to Tel Aviv for life-saving operations.


George Komsky

George Komsky graduated from UCLA and has worked with ‘Riverdance’, ‘The Twelve Irish Tenors’, and most recently as a Featured Guest Soloist for famed Grammy winning trumpeter Chris Botti on his International Tour from 2012 through 2016. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, San Francisco Symphony, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, and many others, as well as three residencies at the Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC. George donates his time to various charities, among them JFCS Bay Area, the Anti-Defamation League, IDF, Face Forward, The Fallen Heroes, the Wheelchair Foundation, and ACT Today for Autism Care and Treatment.
George Komsky will be singing "The Ray of Hope" duet with Liel Kolet and "Whenever I Call You Friend" duet with Melissa Manchester.


Ali Paris

Ali Paris captivates audiences worldwide with his unique fusion of Middle Eastern and Western music styles highlighted by both technical virtuosity and emotional expression. He accompanies his singing with his instrument, the qanun, a rare 76-string zither that dates back to the 14th century and is played by only a handful of people across the globe.

Ali’s music education began at the age of five in his native countries of Morocco and Palestine, studying Arabic traditional music with master Simon Shaheen. He quickly became known as a child prodigy, performing by age nine and touring internationally by the age of twelve.

Since then he has received multiple International awards, including the National Heritage Artist of the Year, and has expanded his musical career exponentially, relocating to the College of Music.

He has collaborated with a long list of world-renowned artists such as Alicia Keys, Quincy Jones, Javier Limon, and Bobby McFerrin. His solo performances have reached diverse audiences from the Newport to the Istanbul Jazz Festival and from the White House to the Royal Palace in Jordan to play for both the President of Palestine and the Queen of Jordan. He has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Michigan Philharmonic, and is featured in the renowned Grammy-winning Spanish documentary “Entre2aguas” and the Hollywood movie “Noah.” These appearances were the first to feature the qanun as a multi-genre instrument on a grand scale. Ali has also collaborated with numerous world-renowned artists to benefit the work of Doctors Without Borders and Keep a Child Alive, including a duet song with Spanish star Alejandro Sanz that has funded many humanitarian projects in Africa and the Middle-East.

Ali Paris tours extensively with his group “Ali Paris Quartet.” These performances are marked not only for their brilliant musical genius, but also for their exploration of fertile ground in the crossover between Eastern and Western cultures and music genres.

“One of the most eclectic and diverse artists” ~Alicia Keys

“Unrivaled unique artist” ~Quincy Jones


Emily Bear

At age 15, Pianist/Composer/Songwriter Emily Bear is one of the most astonishing and prolific musical talents of our time – arranging, orchestrating, and performing in an astonishingly remarkable and diverse collection of styles. Having made her professional debut at the Ravinia Festival at just five years old, she has since performed at many of the world's most well-known venues including Carnegie Hall, the White House, Lincoln Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, Blue Note, Ravinia, and the Hollywood Bowl, among others. Her concerts have taken her to concert halls across the U.S. and Europe and Asia and her love for all musical styles ranges from pop, classical, jazz, and everything in between. Lately, she has been singing and writing all genres of pop music with many of the top songwriters and producers in the industry.

At age six, Emily was the youngest to ever receive the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award and symphonies all over the world have performed her original orchestral pieces. She is the 2016 recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Jazz Composer of the Year Award, and the 2015 Young Composer of the Year Award for concert music. She was recently commissioned to arrange an original composition performed by 25 piano’s at the same time for Street Piano’s Mesa.

Establishing herself as a classical artist, she performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto, no. 23 K488 at the age of seven. Other pieces in her concerto repertoire include the Schumann Piano Concerto, Rhapsody In Blue by Gershwin, and the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor. Her love for jazz has taken her from the famous hall of the Montreux Jazz Festival to Blue Note Tokyo, Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Blue Note in NYC – where she premiered original music she composed for Big Band Jazz Orchestra.

Emily also loves composing for film and TV, and composed the music for six national commercials for the Weight Watchers ‘Simple Start’ campaign. Emily has released six CD’s of original music, with her most recent CD, Diversity, produced by Quincy Jones for Concord Music. “She’s the most delightful human being I’ve ever met in my life,” says Quincy, “and her music is the same way."

"I am at once astounded and inspired by the enormous talent that Emily embodies. With the ability to seamlessly move from Classical to Jazz and Be-bop, she shows as much musical prowess as pianists/composers twice her age, and I am thrilled to be working with her. She’s astounding, man … she’s astounding. She plays like she’s 40 years old. She is the complete 360-degree package, and there are no limits to the musical heights she can reach.” ~ Quincy Jones

Emily has been composing since she was three years old. By the time she was four, she was having music published and distributed by Hal Leonard, and currently she has five original sheet music songbooks distributed worldwide. Emily has helped raise millions for charities across the globe through performances and events. Each of her CDs and songbooks dedicate a portion of sales to various charities. A documentary on Emily has attracted almost 30 million views on youtube and won an Emmy Award. Emily appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show six times in two years, each time performing an original song she composed for that appearance. She has been featured nationally and internationally on TV and print, including the Disney Channel, ABC Nightline, Katie Couric Show, Queen Latifah Show, Dancing With the Stars, Good Morning America, Australia Sunday Night Channel 7, Germany SAT1, and others. Emily's interview for NPR Radio by David Green was selected for a CD collection of NPR’s top stories: “People We Meet: Unforgettable Conversations.”

“I first saw Emily at the Stuttgart Jazz Festival, in 2015. I was totally knocked out. Wow! She is an immensely talented young artist, with a long and successful career ahead her.” ~David Sanborn

“I have loved getting to know Emily and seeing her evolve over the years into a powerful artist. She inspires me to continue to grow as a musician, performer, and educator. The future is bright and she’ll be there front and center.” ~Jon Batiste, Bandleader with the “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Artistic Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem

Emily and her family live in Illinois where, in her free time, she loves to wakeboard and volunteer at local animal shelters.


Liel Kolet

Liel Kolet’s story started at the young age of 12 when she won Europe’s talent contest Bravo Bravissimo. As a singer, songwriter, and peace advocate, Liel captured the world with her historic duet performed with former US president Bill Clinton. From that moment on she toured the world and performed on hundreds of live stages and TV shows. Liel’s mesmerizing performance and touching voice has reached millions of fans from different background and religions and has awarded her numerous accolades and tributes.

Born into a war torn region, Liel's mission has been to share the message of world peace and the well-being of women and children. In light of her ongoing humanitarian work she has received several awards including the prestigious “German Radio Award” and the “Eagle Of Peace Award”. Over the years, Liel has been invited to perform for great world leaders including the Dalai Lama and Hillary Clinton, and has shared the stage with powerful musicians and influencers such as: Andrea Bocelli, The Scorpions, Patti LaBelle, Julio Iglesias and Herbie Hancock, to name a few. Currently, Liel is perfecting her upcoming international album by bringing together Pop, EDM, and touching melodies with a little ethnic flare that unite in unison. She continues to share her music with the world and touch the hearts of people wherever she goes.


Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble

Keshet Chaim (Hebrew for "Rainbow of Life") is an American-Israeli contemporary dance company dedicated to celebrating the inclusive spirit of Israeli culture and Judaism throughout the world. Founded in 1983 by Artistic Director Eytan Avisar, Keshet Chaim creates, develops and presents original choreography which fuses contemporary Israeli dance with Jewish folk dance traditions from across the Diaspora. Influenced by the multi-ethnic roots of the Jewish movement, music, art, poetry and culture, Keshet Chaim combats prejudice and anti-Semitism through entertainment, community outreach, children’s workshops and dance education. According to the LA Daily News, Keshet Chaim "forges a unique identity" and is "one of the few touring American dance groups committed exclusively to Israeli culture and dance.” Keshet Chaim has become a pioneer in the development of Jewish dance and seeks to focus its mission by teaching the richness of the cultures within the community to Jews and non-Jews alike.

“As powerful and polished as River Dance, Stomp, Celtic Ladies or any of the other professional dance touring companies, Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble celebrates its 25th year of dancing.” ~LA Splash

The Dancers

The dancers of Keshet Chaim come together from all walks of life; they are a variety of nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. They have an extensive background of dance training. The thing they all have in common is a love for dance and the broad vocabulary of movement that is afforded to them through the Keshet Chaim choreography.

Guest performer: Sage Rosen

Sage Rosen is 14 years old and is represented by bloc agency. He started dancing at age 9 and started professional dancing at 11. In 2016, Sage was seen in projects such as Sia music video, Chris Brown, Usher and Gucci Mane music video, Lip Sync Battle Shorties TV show, Mariah Carey live performance and Justin Bieber live in concert and many more. Sage’s other dance accomplishments include being the National Teen Winner at The Dance Awards and National Junior Winner at Velocity.

Eytan Avisar – Artistic Director

Eytan Avisar, Artistic Director and Choreographer, began his dancing career on an Israeli kibbutz where he was influenced and inspired by the holiday festivals. After graduating from the Academy of Dance in Beersheba, Eytan began his world travels with various Israeli folk dance ensembles. In 1968, Eytan toured with Jonathan Karmon's Grand Music Hall of Israel, which was Israel's official representative of Israeli folk dance throughout the world. Eytan performed with the Grand Music Hall in Europe and the United States, and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. From 1969 through 1973, Eytan was choreographer and lead dancer for Hatzabarim Dance Group, traveling throughout Europe, South Africa, Iceland, Canada and the United States. He also choreographed, directed and produced several other Israeli folk dance troupes associated with various Jewish organizations.

Eytan founded the Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble in 1983. He has led audiences through doorways to other cultures within Israel and throughout the Jewish Diaspora. His in-depth study of Jewish roots has led him to explore the spiritual meaning of life and has established the path for the creation of emotional and spiritually-fulfilling choreography. Through his creative vision and interpretation of traditional concepts, he has raised Israeli folk dance to new levels. Mr. Avisar is a great believer in education through art and entertainment. Keshet Chaim has provided for him a means of expressing the multi-faceted characteristics of the Jewish people, thereby allowing him to establish a dialogue with other communities of the world. His vision is for Keshet Chaim to become an institution that will continue to disseminate Jewish culture and perpetuate his love of dance for generations to come.

Artistic Director: Eytan Avisar (right)
Executive Director: Genie Benson (middle)
Choreographer: Kobi Rozenfeld (left)

Not pictured:
Education Director: Cecilia Hanono
Education Director: Gabriella Nejman

Genie Benson – Executive Director

Genie Benson, Executive Director, joined Keshet Chaim as a dancer in 1987 and in 1988 became the company's administrator. She is primarily responsible for the company's development as a professional non-profit organization. As Keshet Chaim’s administrator, Genie’s accomplishments include creating financial systems, developing promotional materials, creating new relationships with the concert dance community, utilizing consultants for artistic and marketing projects, and maintaining an ongoing relationship with the press. Genie is responsible for company bookings and for developing varied programming to keep the company viable and active. She is also in charge of grant writing and fundraising, as well as researching, hiring and coordinating artistic staff on all projects. Genie served on the Dance Resource Center Board of Directors and was the editor for “The Zine, their bi-monthly newsletter for three years. She served as a member of the Tel Aviv Los Angeles Partnership Committee, which is part of the Jewish Federation.

Kobi Rozenfeld – Choreographer

Kobi Rozenfeld's professional reputation and heightened demand in the dance industry has led him to work with some of the best entertainers and most notable celebrities in Hollywood. Not only has Kobi choreographed for Beyoncé and Natasha Bedingfield, but also most recently he added “Musical Director” to his long list of titles when working on the Asia tour of Barbie LIVE, the Musical for Mattel and EMS Productions.

Some of his many choreography highlights include his work with the British singer/songwriter, Natasha Bedingfield, for the LifeBall charity event for AIDS LIFE, an organization raising money for people living with HIV and AIDS, in Vienna; choreographing for Macy Gray's latest hit Beauty in the World; and with none other than the incredible pop sensation, Beyoncé, for her 2009/10 I Am… World Tour, which lead to an invitation to perform alongside Beyoncé at the Grammy Awards in January 2010. Kobi also choreographed for Israel's So You Think You Can Dance and for a musical show in California's Legoland Amusement Park.

Kobi was born in Israel, Ness Ziona, and has been dancing and choreographing from a very early age. This is where he performed in the successful productions of Fun-Tazi, Cabaret the Musical, Peter Pan and many more. Kobi worked with and choreographed for some of Israel’s top pop stars for music videos as well as national tours. He choreographed for the Little Mermaid the musical, and won numerous choreography awards at the top dance festivals in Israel. In the summer of 2006, Kobi began working with Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble upon his arrival in the United States. He choreographed new pieces for the company to great critical acclaim. With performances at the Disney Concert Hall, Paramount Studios, The Kodak Theater, for a special on PBS and more, he was quickly recognized for his talent and was given the title of Assistant Artistic Director. L.A's top working dancers presented Kobi's choreographic work at the prestigious Carnival- Choreographer's Ball.

He now travels the world as a freelance master teacher and choreographer and has taught master classes at the Broadway Dance Center in New York, IDA Hollywood and Studio 84 in Los Angeles, as well as international workshops in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France, Slovakia, Spain, and Guam. Kobi is currently a faculty member of the Dupree Dance convention with which he is touring the US.


Honoree: Nurse Chaya Museri

Chaya Museri
Head Nurse
Cardiac Operating Rooms

Chaya Museri was born in Poland and came to Israel in 1957. She studied nursing at the School of Nursing at the Wolfson Medical Center, followed by a course in operating room nursing at the Tel HaShomer Medical Center. Chaya has been a nurse at the Wolfson Medical Center for over 30 years and she has been working in the cardiothoracic operating room for 24 years. Since 1991, Chaya has been the Head Nurse for both adult and pediatric heart surgeries. Chaya has been volunteering for Save a Child's Heart (SACH) since the beginning. She worked alongside SACH founder, the late Dr Ami Cohen, and was one of the first people involved in the project. Chaya joined numerous SACH medical missions to China, Romania, Moldova, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania. She is one of the key leaders of the medical team and her dedication, professionalism, and generosity make her a role model to all the Save a Child's Heart volunteers.