Staff/Guests From Israel
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. More recently at Temple Judea Mizpah in Skokie, and now at the Robert Crown Center in Evanston.
In addition to being an excellent teacher, Phil has led/participated in numerous workshops, camps and performing groups including the Camp Blue Star Fred Berk Israeli Folk Dance Workshop, the Nitzanim Israeli Folk Dance Troupe, Blue Star Reunion Workshops, and the world-famous Chagigah, A Weekend of Israeli Dance, that was held for 20 years at OSRUI, the Door County Folk Festival, and now his newest Israeli dance camp, Machol Merkaz.
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.