Passionate about teaching and performing arts, Ellie created a student-run musical theatre program called Kesem Shel Shir (the Magic of Music) for students at public schools with little or no arts programming. She began by directing 20 elementary school students from Los Angeles in a production of Cinderella. Over the course of eight weeks, they covered acting, singing, and choreography, as the students built community, self-confidence, and respect for one another.
Ellie’s deep-rooted connection with Israel inspired her to forge a partnership with the Youth Renewal Fund to run a similar two-week program for middle school students in Ramla. She used theatre not only to foster harmony in that religiously diverse community, but also as a vehicle to improve the English-speaking skills for the 22 participating students.