Albany Past Highlights


Teaching Preschool children
Learning dances for teens
Ushering in Shabbat with the children of Temple Israel
Performance by Temple Israel’s Tzamarot teens

“The Book of Tehillem becomes complete with Psalm 150, the fourth verse of which reads ” Halleluhu B’tof U’mchol, Halleluhu B’minim V’ugav.  The parallelism between drum and dance and lute (a stringed instrument) and flute (a pipe instrument) should remind us of how integral dance is to the Jewish spiritual experience.  I suggest that song and dance can provide the soul to what can easily become a lifeless body of Jewish knowledge.  This was my conviction when I introduced Israeli dance into the curriculum three decades ago.  Thirty years later, I can honestly say without reservation, that I have personally witnessed over and over again, how Israeli folkdance has inspired so many people, old and young alike, to draw closer to our Creator and our people.”

  -Rabbi Paul Silton
Comments from past participants:

” The community of professional Israeli folk dance teachers who especially work with children and teens is a small one and the chance to gather for an annual conference of our peers is especially needed. The conference was planned to specifically expand the knowledge and repertoire of those professionals and was well run. We had the opportunity to learn from and watch master teachers.  This was my second time attending the conference and I came away inspired with new material, teaching techniques and the encouragement to continue working in this unique field.  There are not enough communities that support dance like you do in Albany, NY.  It was special seeing how a community comes together in their support of Israeli folk dance. This is truly an inspiration to all of us dance teachers. I know that as I continue to draw on this inspiration, it will reflect back into my own community as part of each class I teach. I am grateful to the Temple Israel community for hosting this annual conference, Rabbi Silton for his ongoing support, the many volunteers who meet, plan, host and cook ( every year I’ve also taken home some great recipes!) and the Shul community for being so warm and friendly.”
– Sharon Gelboin-Katz

“The Israeli Dance in Education Conference that Temple Israel recently hosted was extraordinary … The full impact of the weekend continues even after the teachers have gone home. Frequently, my son Ari is heard humming the tunes and is seen dancing in store aisles.  I truly hope that workshops like this become a permanent part of the Temple’s “repertoire” … as well as encourage other synagogues throughout the country to sponsor similar conferences.”
-Gail Cohen Karo

“I was particularly impressed with the way dance was woven in with Shabbat observance … Friday night was filled with ruach and spirituality as families danced together while singing zmirot … It was a treat for our community … to have the opportunity to dance and learn with such high quality dance educators as Ruth Goodman and her team.”
-Shelley Justa

“The Shabbat Lunch and Learn … was another example of Israeli dance through movement inspired by an understanding of Jewish text. [The] presentation was enlightening, as she explained how to tell a story, using dance as the words.”
-Karen and Ken Shulman

“By incorporating Israeli Dance weekly into our day school curriculum over the past 13 years, we have been able to instill in our students self-confidence, improved motor skills, team work, school pride and connection to the people and culture of Israel.  By attending this workshop, I was exposed to an abundance of new techniques and ideas for use with all the age levels I teach, from nursery through high school.”
-Eve Cameron



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