LeeAnn Dance

Co-Producer, Co-Director, and Writer

An award winning television producer and groundbreaking investigative reporter who began her career more than 25 years ago. She has worked as a freelancer in East Africa and as a producer with CNN’s investigative and documentary unit. She now has her own boutique production company outside Washington, D.C. "My Dear Children" is her first independent documentary production.

Cliff Hackel

Co-Producer, Co-Director, and Editor

Cliff has won awards in all three roles and has more than 25 years of documentary experience. Hackel has led international teams, been both an innovator and mentor, and performed nearly every job in television production at the highest professional level. He has edited five shows that were winners of the National News and Documentary Emmy awards. In 2007, as a producer/director/editor, he was awarded a George Foster Peabody award and an Alfred I. DuPont award for CNN’s “God’s Warriors,” hosted by Christiane Amanpour. His shows have appeared on CNN, PBS, ABC, CBS, National Geographic Television and Discovery Channel.

Catherine Zimmerman


Catherine has 27 years of experience filming the most powerful figures to the most overlooked in society. She specializes in documentary form, creative lighting and a “film look” on a video format. She has won a wide variety of awards for news and documentary production and has been noted for her outstanding ability to capture the heart and soul of a story through the lens. She has worked in the documentary and production unit at WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. and as a photographer and editor with NBC. 1984 she became an independent director of photography opening Matrix Media, Inc., one of the first woman owned production companies in the Washington metropolitan area.

Rick Patterson

Location Sound Technician

Born and raised in Washington DC, a city that has become one of the most diverse and exciting media markets in the country — a diversity that has given Rick the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects, from national and international news to corporate branding and documentaries in remote areas of the world. As a musician, familiarity with microphones and recording devices led him naturally into the field of sound for film, transitioning to video as its technology expanded and became the dominant visual medium. For the last 37 years he has been privileged to work with the finest production teams on many award-winning programs and pieces. An invaluable team member, he brings his enthusiasm, energy, and good humor as well as high professional skill to every project.

Irina Astashkevich, PhD

Historical Consultant

Born in Moscow and received her MA in History, Jewish History, and Archives from the Project Judaica – a joint project of the Russian State University of Humanities, Historical Archival Institute, Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the YIVO Institute of Jewish Research in New York. She has worked in various archives in Russia, Lithuania, and the United States, as well as in Jewish philanthropic organizations, such as AJJDC in Moscow. In April 2013, she defended her dissertation “Pogroms in Ukraine 1917-1920: An Alternate Universe” and received her PhD from Brandeis University. She currently is the coordinator of the Hebrew Language Program at Brandeis. She lives in Boston with her husband and two children.

Jackie Krentzman


Jackie was the executive producer/producer of the 2014 PBS documentary "American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco." American Jerusalem screened at numerous film festivals and won a Cine Golden Eagle award. Jackie owns a content creation company that produces videos, websites and publications. She has taught at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, her alma mater. She lives in Berkeley, where she is the chair of the board development committee for the Berkeley Community Fund.