Staff/Guests From Israel
Tamir was born and raised in Rehovot where he is now living. He first encountered Israeli dancing when he was around 16 years old but started to dance in the army at the age of 19. Since then, he had the dream of teaching and creating his own dances. This dream came true 30 years later!
When Tamir completed his army service, he joined 2 dance troupes, one led by Gavri Levi and the other by Amos Kav. He performed in Israel, France, Spain and South Africa.
From 1988-1994 he lived in LA and where he danced with Yisrael Yaakovee (who came from Rehovot and who still has family there right near Tamir!) in Fairfax, Dani Dassa in Café Dansa, and in Van Nuys with David Paletz. Tamir married Yael in 1995. They have 2 children. As is often the case, he took a break from dancing at that time. 😊
He returned to Israeli dancing in 2006 and took the Ulpan for Madrichim (Teacher’s Course) in 2008. At that time, Tamir mostly did Debkas and special dances. He worked with Moshiko Halevy for 7 years and 3 years with Gadi Bitton. In 2014 he opened his first session in his home town of Rehovot. Today he leads 4 sessions, 3 of which have over 200 dancers attending! In Tamir’s own words: “In 2011 I made my first dance "Goblin" and I was invited to Belgium to teach it. In 2012 I decided to make a dance for the Karmiel competition. I used Yemenite music and Yemenite steps that I knew from my home. The dance won first place. It was called Haro’a Miteiman. In 2013 I taught a new couple dance in Belgium, Nagat Li Balev, and the dance became very popular. In 2014 I was invited to many countries, and was asked to make more dances for them.” Tamir’s dances include: Gablin, Haro’a Miteiman, Nagat Li Balev, Derech Kol Ha'ahavot, Lo Mal’achim, Shomer Hachomot, Besof Kol Yom, Simanei Hazman, Timsor Lo, Levadi, Yalda Shel Av, Kama Yamim, Masa, Yafa Belavan, Rokdim Tzmudim, Nipagesh Bachalomot, Mon Amour, Nesicha Sheli…
Eran Bitton was born and raised in Ashdod. He officially began dancing at the age of 15, in Gadi Bitton's session in Ashdod. At the same time, he danced with the local dance troupe, led by Avi Levy. At the age of 16 he became the youngest markid, when he opened his own Israeli Dance session in Ashdod. In 2002, when he was only 18 years old, he became the youngest certified Israeli folk dance instructor.
While serving in the army, Eran opened another dance session in Tel Aviv. When he finished his army service he opened his dance session in Ashdod. The group meets on Wednesdays and is still dancing today, eleven years later!
At the age of 23, he choreographed the popular dance Me'ever Lamasach. Two years ago, Eran Bitton choreographed Mahapecha Shel Simcha. This circle dance turns into a line dance, and then back into a circle dance—something that was never done before or since!
Eran has travelled the world teaching Israeli dancing in Belgium, England, Switzerland, Australia, Hungary, Romania, and the United States. Eran Bitton lives in Kibbutz Galil Yam, near Herzliya, and is married to Tal Bitton. They are the proud parents to daughter, Inbar and son, Or.
Dror Davidi was born in Karmiel, the Dance Festival City. He spent ten years of his youth dancing with a local dance troupe led by Dado Kraus, a leading dancer choreographer, where he was the lead dancer. Dror says his time with Dado Kraus was filled with wonderful experiences in Israel and the world. In addition to dancing with the troupe, Dror also enjoyed dancing in several weekly dance sessions throughout Israel.
After finishing his military service, Dror led salsa and jazz dance groups, and began to teach Israeli Folk Dancing at Yaron Carmel’s dance sessions. This is when he reconnected with Yaron Carmel.
Currently, Dror runs two dance sessions: one in Kibbutz Afikim on Mondays, and one in Kibbutz Gan Shmuel on Wednesdays. Both sessions host 200 people. In addition to the weekly sessions, Dror founded several dancing schools and continues to consult with the local dancing instructors. He is also the producer and artistic director of several municipally and privately funded dance and poetry performances.
Dror is married to Gila and they have three children: Noah, Yonatan, and Ariel.
Dror earned his Dance Instructor certification from Tel Aviv University and the Department of Education in 2003.
Phil Moss, Director Machol Merkaz
Phil Moss became an active Israeli dancer during his college years and started teaching as a summer staff member of the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI) in Oconomowoc, WI. Known locally, nationally, and internationally, Phil has been leading Israeli Dancing in Chicago since 1974. For most of that time his weekly Thursday night group met at Northwestern University. The current home for this session is Congregation Beth Emet in Evanston.
During the times of the pandemic, Phil was one of the earliest pioneers/proponents of using Zoom to keep the Israeli dance community, both locally and globally, dancing and connected. His weekly zoom sessions have been recognized throughout the world as helping to keep Israeli dancing alive and for helping to create and maintain wonderful connections for all of us. Phil also was the driving force and organizer behind both incredible Worldwide 24 Hour Israeli Dance marathons.
Phil is a tireless promoter of Israeli dancing, having brought the joy of this form to literally generations of kids, teens, parents and seniors. He is active on a national and international level in the leadership of Israeli Dancing from an organizational and promotional perspective. Phil truly can be viewed as a charter member of the who's who in Israeli dancing. Phil is very grateful for all the support and encouragement he has received regarding the creation of and running of Machol Merkaz and for the team that makes it happen.