Nirkoda Le'Chayim


Nirkoda Le'Chayim ("let's dance for life") is an Israeli dance session organized and led by Aaron Alpert and Latishya Steele. We believe in exploring the full variety of the Israeli dance repertoire to connect our community in joy and celebration. We started as Nirkoda Ba'Gan, an outdoors, socially-distant adaptation for the COVID-19 pandemic and moved indoors in June 2021 to Etz Chayim (hence the name, Nirkoda Le'Chayim). Take a look at our playlists to see what a typical night is like.

COVID-19 Safety (last updated 8/2/21)

The health and safety of our Israeli folk dance community is the most important consideration in all of our planning. The following rules were developed in accordance with guidance from public health experts, with California's legal framework, and with dancers' preferences in mind. We believe these rules mitigate the risk inherent to Israeli dancing to a very low level. Anyone not following the rules will be told to leave.

Rules (as of August 2, 2021):

  • Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test: You must show us your CDC vaccine card (one-time only) or a negative covid test within 72 hours of the session (every week). You can (1) email an image of the card/test to before the session, (2) show the paper card or a printout of the test to Aaron upon entry, (3) show an image of the card/test on your phone to Aaron upon entry. We will record your name, and test date if applicable. If you have concerns or unusual circumstances, please talk to us.
  • Masks: In accordance with the order of the Santa Clara County Health Officer, everyone must wear masks while indoors, including while dancing, regardless of vaccination status. Masks should meet CDC guidelines.
  • There are no capacity or pre-registration requirements.
  • We are resuming partner dancing.
  • Please stay home if you have a fever over 100°F or any other COVID-19 symptoms.
  • There will be no food or beverages provided. You are highly encouraged to bring a bottle of water (or two) from home.
  • Please sanitize your hands often. Even better, wash your hands with soap and water in the bathrooms.



We meet on Thursdays, 7:30-11:00 PM. In general, we begin with easier and older dances, moving to more challenging and contemporary dances as the class progresses. We alternate between teaching new dances and then reviewing them. See the list of dances taught. Requests are welcome and encouraged!

We are closed on the following dates:

  • Nov. 24, 2021 — Closed for Erev Thanksgiving
  • Dec. 16, 2021 — Closed for Nirkoda Ba'Kerem (we are working on a pre-camp party for Wed., Dec. 15, but details have not been finalized)

Entrance Procedure (new 10/12/21)

Per Etz Chayim's new safety policy, we are not allowed to leave the front door unlocked.​ Therefore, just like trains leaving the station at scheduled times, Aaron or Latishya will come by at the following times to ​open the door. If you miss the “train,” you will have to wait for the next one, or ask a friend who is already here to let you in.​​

  8:00 9:00
  8:15 9:15
7:30 8:30 9:30
7:45 8:45  

After 9:30, call Aaron or Latishya to be let in. Please do not call us before 9:30; we are trying to limit the amount of time we are away from the dance floor or computer. 


  • Regular admission: $12
  • Full-time students up to age 25: $6

We believe that finances should never be an obstacle to dance. If you are not able pay the admission price, please talk with Aaron or Latishya about a special accommodation.

We accept:

  • Cash
  • Checks made out to "Nirkoda"
  • PayPal (add $0.40 for processing fees), via QR code that you scan at the door
  • Credit card (add $0.70 for processing fees), online at


We meet at Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto, CA 94306 (map). Parking is free, easy, and plentiful.