I was born in Rome to a Jewish Roman father (proud to be here since Caesar’s time!) and a Libyan Jewish Sephardic mother. I am married to Angelo and we have three sons, Gabriel, Nathan, and Isaac.
THE ONLY CHANCE TO
Come and discuss the challenges your community or organisation is facing due to COVID
The e-Summit is addressed to presidents, board members, volunteers and professionals from Jewish communities, national Federations, regional organisations, foundations, cultural and sport associations, Jewish museums, grassroots organisations and innovative Jewish ventures from across Europe.
The e-Summit will start on Saturday, November 21st at 18.00 and will conclude on Monday, November 23rd at 14.00 hours. During all that time, we will offer the most innovative and relevant programme, including plenary sessions, parallel sessions, group discussions, guided tours to European cities, presentation of innovative solutions, supporting communities’ challenges, etc.
In a very particular year where COVID has shown the force of its impact, Jewish Community life thrives.
With no travel and government regulations on lockdowns and isolation worked as catalysts for a new reality: social, financial and of course impacting our Jewish life in Europe.
We believe that now more than ever, we need a space to discover how many communities used this challenge as an opportunity to change direction, pivot and grow.
JOIN US IN THE LARGEST JEWISH EVENT OF 2020
After our acclaimed Summits in Barcelona, Meetings of Presidents in Milano, Barcelona and Prague, where we celebrated the ECJC 50th anniversary, this e-Summit is the natural continuation of our events addressed to European Jewish leaders.
In a year where we cannot travel to meet our peers, we will still do our best to bring you all together.
Resistance stars Jesse Eisenberg and tells the true story of how mime artist Marcel Marceau helped orphaned Jewish children to safety in the second world war.
Written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, the film tells the story of Marcel Mangel, who will become Marcel Marceau, and his role in the French Resistance.
COME AND JOIN THE EXCLUSIVE SCREENING FOLLOWED BY A Q&A SESSION WITH JONATHAN JAKUBOWICZ DIRECTLY FROM LOS ANGELES.
Grab a coffee and feel like walking in Warsaw from your sitting room. Or perhaps, you fancy Majorca or Venice instead?
Tapas in Barcelona or a bit of Golem in Prague?
Even an early drink in Rome or a beer in Berlin, all can be possible accompanied by some of the greatest professional guides in those cities.
COME AND DISCOVER WHAT THESE CITIES HAVE TO OFFER FROM YOUR SOFA. (COSY FOOTWEAR RECOMMENDED)
COME AND JOIN THE EXCLUSIVE SESSION WITH SIR SIMON SCHAMA CBE AND THE BRIGHT INPUT FROM JOSH SPINNER.
The Coronavirus crisis is and will continue to impact harshly Jewish communities in Europe. This will have consequences in many of the communities' sustainability.
As with any other business it is necessary to rethink the dynamic of the incomes and research other sources of funding.
COME AND JOIN AN EXCLUSIVE SESSION FOR PRESIDENTS AND DIRECTORS OF COMMUNITIES.
Sir Simon Schama, CBE is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University and a Contributing Editor of the Financial Times. He is the author of nineteen books and the writer-presenter of fifty documentaries on art, history and literature for BBC2. His art criticism for The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for criticism in 1996; his film on Bernini from The Power of Art won an Emmy in 2007 and his series on British history and The American Future: a History, Broadcast Critics Guild awards. He won the NCR non fiction prize for Citizens, National Book Critics Circle award for Rough Crossings, the WH Smith Literary Award for Landscape and Memory. In 2015 he received the Premio Antonio Feltrinelli in historical sciences from the Accademia nazionale dei Lincei in Rome. His The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words was published in 2015 and the second volume Belonging in 2017. In the autumn of 2016, The Face of Britain, a history of British portraiture appeared as a five-part BBC television series; a book and an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. In 2018, Civilizations, a nine-part BBC television series on world art, of which he wrote and presented five. In May 2019, Wordy. Sounding off on high art, low appetite and the power of memory, was published. His latest television series, The Romantics and Us, is currently airing on the BBC.
picture by Margherita Mirabella
Katharina von Schnurbein was appointed the first European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life in December 2015. Her mandate includes liaising closely with the Jewish community on behalf of the European Commission, proposing and implementing EC policy to prevent and fight antisemitism.
Prior, she worked for five years as advisor to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso on the dialogue with churches, religions and non-confessional organisations. Katharina started working for the Commission in 2002, serving as press officer for the EU Delegation in Prague. With enlargement in 2004, she moved to Brussels as spokesperson on employment, social affairs and equal opportunities for the Czech EU Commissioner Vladimir Špidla.
Prior to the Commission, Katharina worked for the Chairman of the European Affairs Committee at the German Bundestag in Berlin (2000-2002) as well as for an international crisis management consultancy.
Her educational background includes undergraduate studies of Political Science and Slavonic Studies at Charles University in Prague and the University of Bonn, a Master of Slavonic Studies from Oxford University (1997) and a Master of European Studies from the Center for European Integration Studies in Bonn (1999).
She spent the academic year 2017/18 as EU Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence researching measures to combat antisemitism across Europe.
Katharina received the B’nai B’rith Europe’s Human Rights Prize in April 2018.
Katharina is married and has four children. She speaks German, English, French, Dutch, and Czech.
Jerusalem - Israel
Zvi Bekerman teaches anthropology of education at the School of Education, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is a faculty member at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem. He is also an Associate Fellow at The Harry S. Truman Research Institute for The Advancement of Peace. His main interests are in the study of cultural, ethnic and national identity, including identity processes and negotiation during intercultural encounters and in formal/informal learning contexts. He is particularly interested in how concepts such as culture and identity intersect with issues of social justice, intercultural and peace education, and citizenship education. His recent work has examined the intersection between civic and religious epistemologies in educational contexts. In addition to publishing multiple papers in a variety of academic journals, Bekerman is the founding editor of the refereed journal Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education: An International Journal; today he serves as the editor of the Journal of International Migration and Integration. Among his most recent books: Bekerman, Z., & Zembylas, M. (2017). Psychologized language in education: Denaturalizing a regime of truth, Palgrave Macmillan – Springer; Bekerman, Zvi (2016), The Promise of Integrated and Multicultural Bilingual Education: Inclusive Palestinian-Arab and Jewish Schools in Israel, Oxford University Press; Bekerman, Z. & Michalinos, Z. (2012), Teaching Contested Narratives Identity, Memory and Reconciliation in Peace Education and Beyond. London, Cambridge University Press; C. McGlynn, M. Zembylas, & Z. Bekerman (Eds.) (2013) Integrated Education in Conflicted Societies, Palgrave, Mcmillan; and Bekerman, Z. & Geisen, T. (Eds. 2012) International Handbook of Migration, Minorities and Education Understanding Cultural and Social Differences in Processes of Learning. New York: Springer.
Los Angeles, United States
Jonathan Jakubowicz, winner of the German Film Peace Prize 2020 for his film "Resistance", is Venezuela's most celebrated filmmaker and writer. His film Secuestro Express was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the British Independent Film Awards and was a New York Times "Critics' Pick" in 2005. He is Jewish of Polish descent.
Secuestro Express became the nation's biggest box office hit of all time, which enraged then-Pres. Hugo Chavez, whose government opened two trials against Jakubowicz, who was forced to leave Venezuela.
His latest film, Resistance, stars Academy Award-nominated actors Jesse Eisenberg, Ed Harris, Clémence Poésy and Édgar Ramírez. The film tells the story of how a group of Boys and Girls Scouts created a network that ended up saving ten thousand orphans during World War II. One of them went on to become the greatest mime of all time, Marcel Marceau. Warner Bros Germany produced the film together with Epicentral Studios, which is owned by Jakubowicz and his wife and producing partner Claudine Jakubowicz. It was released in the United States on March 27, 2020, by IFC Films during the Coronavirus epidemic, and it became the number one theatrical movie in America for two weeks in a row. Most multiplexes were closed, and only a few independent and Drive-in theaters remained opened, which gave Resistance the most unusual top box office spot of all time. The Film went on to win the German Film Peace Prize 2020, it Premiered at in the official selection of the Shanghai Film Festival, The Festival du Cinema Americain in Deauville, and The Munich Film Festival, among others.
Jakubowicz second film, Hands of Stone (2016), is about the relationship between Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán (played by Édgar Ramírez) and his trainer Ray Arcel (played by Robert De Niro). Hands of Stone premiered in the Cannes Film Festival 2016 and was warmly received with a 15 minutes standing ovation. It's the first Latin movie to have a simultaneous wide release in all of Latin America.
Hands of Stone also landed Jakubowicz in political controversy when it was invited and then pulled from the official selection of the Havana Film Festival after Jakubowicz made comments denouncing censorship for Cuban filmmakers in the Island.
In November 2016 Jakubowicz published his first novel Las Aventuras de Juan Planchard and it immediately became a best seller in the Spanish Language market. In February 2017, it became the number one Amazon bestseller for all foreign language fiction. In Venezuela the book sparked unprecedented success, not only in the record breaking sales but also in the amount of public gatherings to read it. One community of fifty thousand people that define themselves as "resistance to the Maduro dictatorship (Resistencia Venezuela hasta los tuétanos)", read the book aloud every night on the encrypted frequency of the app Zello. The book is on it's way to become the biggest bestseller of all time for a Venezuelan author. And it is being adapted to the stage by legendary playwright Moisés Kaufman, whom US Pres. Barack Obama awarded the Medal for the Arts in 2016.
Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum is Dean of the London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS), the UK’s premier Jewish centre for training, teaching and scholarship.
He lectures in Jewish Education and New Readings of Classical Texts, as well as training teachers, rabbis and educators. He has rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and the Montefiore Kollel, a PhD in Theoretical Physics from King’s College London, an MA in Adult Education from University College London, and is a graduate of the Mandel School in Jerusalem. Raphael gives guest lectures in Jewish institutions across the Jewish world.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Netaly Ophir Flint is a Partner at KONU - an international consultancy for leadership development and change management that specializes in the art of Adaptive Leadership. At KONU, she works with mission-driven individuals, executives, and organizations to help them adapt and thrive as they tackle complex challenges in a rapidly changing world.
Until recently, Netaly served as the CEO of the Reut Institute Group - a 21st Century think tank and leadership group designed to address the most pressing issues facing Israel and the Jewish people. In the past, Netaly led Reut’s groundbreaking work on the changing relations between Israel and world Jewry, specifically focusing on the Israeli Diaspora as a catalyst for Jewish Peoplehood.
Netaly holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Wexner Israel Fellow and a dual MA in International Relations and Conflict Management and Resolution from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is also a certified mediator and facilitator.
Founding President and current Vice-President of Leatid, Michel is also the Founder of CLEF-Conseil (CLEF-Conseil is a leadership reinforcement consulting firm ). As an Executive Coach, Michel has been involved in coaching missions for companies throughout Europe.
He has been involved in community life for many years including membership of the French office of the European Jewish Congress; founding member of the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherche sur l’Antisémitisme Contemporain (C.E.R.A.C), and founding member of the Centre de Formation du FSJU and MJLF-EST. He was previously Assistant Professor in Economics at University Paris X Nanterre (IUT de Ville d’Avray), Master Lecturer (1989-1993) at l’ENA (French National School of Administration), Lecturer at IIAP (International Institute for Public Administration), and “Guest Professor” at the Prague University of Economics.
Pinchas Goldschmidt (born 21 July 1963) has been the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Russia since 1993 serving at the Moscow Choral Synagogue. He also founded and heads the Moscow Rabbinical Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) since 1989, and since 2011 serves as President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) which unites over seven hundred communal rabbis from Dublin to Khabarovsk.
Goldschmidt, was born in Zurich, Switzerland, to a Jewish Orthodox family of business people and left to Israel alone at an early age to pursue rabbinic studies at the Ponevezh Yeshiva, (1979–1981) He pursued afterwards his studies at the Telshe Yeshiva, Chicago, Il (1981–1982), and continued at the Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore USA, where he received his MA in Talmudical Jurisprudence. In parallel, he pursued his secular studies at Johns Hopkins University, where he received his Masters in Science in 1985. After a short courtship he married Dara Lynn Brodie from Monsey, NY, a student at Yeshiva University. They married in NY in 1985, and moved to Jerusalem, where Goldschmidt continued his rabbinical studies in the Shevet Umechokek Institute for Rabbinical Judges. In 1987 he was ordained by the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Rabbi Yitzchak Kolitz, Rabbi Yisrael Grossman and Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg.
After ordination, the Goldschmidt family left Jerusalem to jump starts an outreach center in the North of Israel, in Upper Nazareth, with a fellow group of rabbinical students. In 1988, Goldschmidt was approached by a coalition of Jewish organization dealing with Soviet Jewry to go and serve as an adviser on Jewish law for the Chief Rabbinate of the Soviet Union.
The young Goldschmidt family moved to Soviet Russia in 1989 with the blessing of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the World Jewish Congress and an assembly of Jewish organizations and activists, who supported the Jewish underground in the Soviet Union. Goldschmidt set up the first Rabbinical Court in the Soviet Union since the Stalin period and dealt with all acute issues of personal status of Soviet Jews pertaining to Jewish law.
He authored articles on issues of Jewish law regarding post-Soviet Jewry and has published a collection of responsas with a compilation of Russian Jewish names “Zikaron Basefer”, (Moscow 1996). In 1990 he created the guidelines in conjunction with the Israeli Ministry of Interior to reconfirm Jews who have hidden their Jewish identity during Soviet times.
In 1991 after the failed putsch and the founding of the new Russian State, Goldschmidt was instrumental in founding and developing communal structures of the newly freed Jewish community, starting with colleges, day schools and kindergartens, soup kitchens and rabbinical schools, and ending with political umbrella structures, such as the Russian Jewish Congress and the Congress of the Jewish Religious Organizations and Associations in Russia (KEROOR).
Goldschmidt represents also the Russian Jewish community politically. He published op-eds in the international press pertaining to the issues of the day. He has also addressed the US Senate, the EU Parliament, The Council of Europe, and The Israeli Knesset, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's “Neeman Commission“, Oxford University, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Berlin Conference on anti-Semitism, and Harvard University, discussing the state of the Jewish Community, and the threats of anti- Semitism.
In January 2005, five hundred people, including newspaper editors, public intellectuals and 19 Duma deputies published an appeal to the Prosecutor General of Russia and called for the closure of Jewish organized life in Russia, recycling anti-Semitic accusations used during the blood libel Beilis trial in Kiev in 1912. Goldschmidt wrote a detailed response to all the accusations in the official Izvestiya newspaper and addressed the letter to Dmitry Rogozin, leader of the nationalist Rodina (Motherland) party, who, after receiving Goldschmidt’s letter, apologized and distanced himself from the petition.
Goldschmidt was denied entry to Russia in September 2005, and returned to his community after three months, thanks to an international campaign. In 2010 by special decree of Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, he was made a citizen of Russia.
In July 2011, Goldschmidt, who speaks seven languages, was elected president of the Conference of European Rabbis, after having served as Chairman of the Standing Committee
for the previous ten years. He succeeded the Chief Rabbi of France, Joseph Sitruk, who had held the post since 1999. Only the fourth president of the CER in its 54-year history, Rabbi Goldschmidt is the first to hold the post from Eastern Europe.
When Rabbi Goldschmidt took the helm of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), he shifted the organisation’s focus from its post WWII mission of rebuilding Jewish communities to a forward-looking approach, seeking to inspire Jewish continuity. He believed that the creation of a tolerant society where all minorities flourish, is the hallmark of a free, healthy and democratic Europe.
However, achieving this vision was far from simple. Multiple obstacles littered the way. Legislative restrictions against Jewish ritual, in particular the sacred practices of circumcision and shechita, made Jewish religious life in Europe nigh impossible. Jewish communities in countries such as Poland, Germany, Holland and Scandinavia, felt threatened and wondered what the future would bring.
The CER stood by the communities and supported their local infrastructure through legal counsel and political guidance. The organisation initiated US congressional letters and drummed up support in the EU Commission and Parliament to counter these attacks on religious practice.
In 2016 in a groundbreaking move, the CER engaged in interfaith dialogue by publishing ‘Between Jerusalem and Rome’, the first ever Jewish theological response to the Catholic church’s Nostra Aetate, issued fifty-one years ago. Rabbi Goldschmidt looked to bring together the international Jewish community and secured the co-signatories of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel on the document. This move resulted in unprecedented positive relations between Jewish and Catholic communities. In addition to this, Rabbi Goldschmidt established the first pan European Council for Muslim and Jewish Leaders (MJLC) to build bridges and open dialogue between Europe’s 1.6 million Jews and 40 million Muslims.
In 2011, the CER established the Lord Jakobovits Prize of European Jewry to award individuals who have shown support to European Jewry, defended their religious rights and combatted anti-Semitism. Since then, the prize has been awarded to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, in recognition of her steadfast support in the circumcision debate in Germany. Speaking at the award ceremony in the Great Synagogue of Europe, Rabbi Goldschmidt confessed that the decision to award the prize to a German Chancellor was difficult, but correct. Other former recipients of the prize include the Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls, in appreciation for his role in securing France’s Jewish Institutions during the Great Wave of Terror and King Felipe VI of Spain for his role in reviving Jewish life in Spain.
Since the great wave of terror swept through Europe in 2014, the cost of security for Jewish institutions has become a financial burden with local Jewish communities allocating up to 50% of their annual budgets to keep themselves safe. The CER has raised the profile of this ongoing issue amongst international stakeholders and activity has included presenting at the Munich Security Conference in both 2017 and 2018. The events brought together numerous
high-level stakeholders with their united goal of securing a safe European landscape for all faiths.
In his role as the President of the CER, Rabbi Goldschmidt has written many articles and addressed multiple audiences. This material is collated into his book ‘Communitati Et Orbi’, originally published in English and since translated into German and Russian.
Rabbi Goldschmidt has been awarded the Jerusalem Prize by the Speaker of the Knesset, Mr Avram Burg, and in 2002 received Certification to serve as candidate for the Position of Chief Rabbi in Israel by the Council of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. In the spring of 2009, Goldschmidt took a sabbatical as a visiting Scholar at the Davis Center at Harvard University.
On July 27, 2016 Francois Holland the French President, awarded Goldschmidt the title of Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honor for his paramount contribution to the strengthening of relations between Russia and France.
Rabbi Pinchas and his wife Dara have seven children, five who are married and have eight grandchildren.
Maram Stern has been the Executive Vice President of the World Jewish Congress since October 2019, having served for three months prior as the interim CEO of the organization. Prior to that he was Deputy CEO for Diplomacy (2013-2019) and Deputy Secretary General (1996-2013). Mr. Stern is also responsible for WJC participation in inter-religious dialogue and consultations with the Christian churches and other faiths.
From 1983 to 1988 Mr. Stern served as President of the European Union of Jewish Students, the youth arm of the WJC. In 1988 he became Counsellor of the WJC and in 1989 was appointed Political Advisor to the President and to the Secretary General of the WJC.
Mr. Stern heads a representative and research office located in Brussels (Belgium).
Mr. Stern has extensive knowledge of and experience in Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, North America & South Africa. For over 15 years, he has nurtured relations with the government of the People's Republic of China, and with other governments in South East Asia (especially Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore & Thailand).
In February 2004, Mr. Stern was decorated with the Golden Laurel Medal of the Republic of Bulgaria, and in September 2004 was appointed as Honorary Consul of Bulgaria in Belgium (Province de Liège).
Mr. Stern speaks English, French & German.
Sanford (“Sandy”) Cardin is the CEO of Our Common Destiny, a joint initiative of Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Israeli, Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, under the auspices of President Reuven Rivlin, the president of Israel. He is also a Senior Consultant for Philanthropy and Impact at Cresset Capital. Sandy spent 25 years leading the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, retiring as its president in 2019, and has written for the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel and other publications.
Minos was born in 1962 and raised in Larissa, Greece in a traditional Sephardic family and received Jewish education in the Community school. He holds a BSc in Mathematics and a MSc in Actuarial Science.
Minos has a 30+year career in Financial Services including top management and C-suite positions in Banking and Insurance. He currently leads a boutique advisory firm dealing with strategy, M&As and corporate transformations and is the Government’s appointed Board member in the national entity managing public assets.
Minos has a long record as a volunteer in Jewish life. He was the elected President of the Jewish Community of Athens for two consecutive terms (2013-2019) and has served his Community from a variety of positions. He was the founder of the Greek Jewish Youth in the 80’s and keeps very active in all matters regarding extrovert strategies of the Jewish Community and the fight against antisemitism. He is a member of the Executive Board of ECJC since 2016.
Assoc. Prof Alexander is the President of the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom”. Prior to that, he served two terms as Chairman of the Sofia, Bulgaria, Jewish community, becoming in 2007 the youngest leader in the history of the community. He was also President of the European Association of Jewish Community Centers and Deputy Chairman of the European Council of Jewish Communities.
Assoc. Prof. Oscar was born on November 11th, 1978, in Sofia. He graduated magna cum laude from the Medical University in Sofia in 2003 and has since finished two residency programs – in Neurology and in Ophthalmology, as well as a Master Degree in Healthcare Management. Currently he is head of the Ophthalmology Clinic at Alexandrovska University Hospital and of the ophthalmology department at the Medical University in Sofia.
In 2017 he was awarded by the mayor of Sofia with the "Badge of Sofia", for his active public and social activity and medical dedication.
In 2019 Assoc. Prof. Oscar was awarded with the State Order of Civil Merit First Degree, for merits in the development of civil society, the protection of human rights and freedoms and the strengthening of democratic institutions in Bulgaria.
On October 19th, 2020 he was awarded the title “Doctor of the Year 2020” by the Bulgarian Medical Union.
He developed welfare programs in benefit of the Bulgarian Jewish community members as well as the general Bulgarian society. One of his most praised charity initiatives – the “Do Good”, started back in 2012, where over 30,000 children have been examined for free over the past 7 years and more than 1,000 glasses have been donated.
Assoc.Prof. Oscar is also the basis of the joint initiative between the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom”, the Bulgarian Medical Association and the Bulgarian Society for Ophthalmology - “Together we will make it” which took place during the coronavirus lockdown. Thanks to their joint efforts and great desire, nearly 500 families of medical practitioners and their relatives in quarantine from across the country have been supported.
He is married to Karina Oscar, a marketing executive. Together, they have two children, Avi and Noa.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Since 2002, Smadar Bar-Akiva is the Executive Director of JCC Global, a network that represents more than 1000 Jewish Community Centers worldwide and is a preeminent organization in Jewish Peoplehood education. In this capacity, she initiates, designs and implements global Jewish leadership programs, global partnerships and the facilitation of the professional and volunteer network of JCCs the world over.
Prior to that, Smadar worked for JCC Association of North America and also served as a Jewish Agency Community Shilcha (esmissary) at the Columbus Jewish Federation, Ohio. As a university student, she was a Jewish summer camp specialist in North America, South Africa and the former Yugoslavia.
Smadar holds an M.A. degree (with honors) in Contemporary and a B.A. (with honors) in International Relations and English Literature from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of “Kolot” Pluralistic Beit Midrash, a two-year mentorship at the Mandel Leadership Institute and a course in “Strategic Management for Leaders of Non-Governmental Organizations” at the Harvard Kennedy School. Smadar is currently studying to become a Life Coach at Tel Aviv University. In her spare time, she volunteers as a mentor for an Israeli NGO and serves on the steering committee of a new local JCC. Among her hobbies are music, sports and creative writing.
She resides in Tel Aviv and is the mother of Noam and Hadar.
Helise Lieberman, Director of the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland Foundation.
A former Hillel director, Helise was the founding principal of the Lauder Morasha Day School in Warsaw and has served as a consultant to the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Baltic region, the Westbury Group, and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. She was appointed director of the Taube Center, and its flagship program, Taube Jewish Heritage Tours, in 2009.
Alvertos was born in 1969. He holds a BSc in Computer Information Systems from the American Deree College of Greece, a BA in Economics from University of Athens, and an MBA in Finance from City University Business School, London.
Alvertos is a Finance Manager in a multinational company in Greece.
Alvertos has a long volunteer record on Athens Jewish issues. He was elected as president of the Athens Jewish Youth in 1988 and had also served as member initially and then president of the Lauder Athens Jewish Community School Committee for the period 2007-2016. He is also active in Maccabi Athens table-tennis team.
Since 2019, Alvertos has been elected and serves as President of the Board of the Jewish Community of Athens
Alvertos is a father of two children Zakinos (22) and Moses (18).
Ruth Ellen Gruber is an award-winning writer, researcher, photographer and public speaker. She is an expert on Jewish heritage and other contemporary Jewish issues in Europe and has carried out extensive research on European country music and the “imaginary Wild West." Her books include the influential “Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe” — in which she coined the term “virtually Jewish” to describe the way the so-called “Jewish space” in Europe is often filled by non-Jews -- and "Jewish Heritage Travel," the first Jewish guidebook to post-communist east-central Europe. She has lectured widely and is the coordinator of www.jewish-heritage-europe.eu, a web site project of the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe that serves as an on-line clearing house for news, information, insight, and expertise regarding Jewish historic monuments in 48 countries. Ruth's honors and awards include Poland's Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit -- one of Poland’s highest honors granted to foreigners, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a grant from the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, the Michael Hammer Tribute Research Award from the Hadassah Brandeis Institute (HBI), and other honors, including a Scholar in Residence fellowship at the Hadassah Brandeis Institute, a Visiting Scholar fellowship at the Autry National Center/Institute for the Study of the American West in Los Angeles, and three Simon Rockower awards for excellence in Jewish journalism. In Spring 2015 she was the Arnold Distinguished Visiting Chair in Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston (South Carolina).
Olomouc, Czech Republic
Petr Papoušek was born in Olomouc, Czech Republic in 1977. During his university studies at the Faculty of Economics he spent one academic year at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. After graduating M.A. in the fields of macroeconomics he was accepted in Stockholm at the European Institute for Jewish Studies - Paideia. Since 2004 he works for Jewish Community in Olomouc and is elected as President.
From 2012 he serves as President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, reelected in 2016. He is vice president of World Jewish Congress - Executive Board representing small Jewish communities (reelected April 2017) and member of European Jewish Congress executive board.
He is married with two children.
Ruth Dureghello was born in Rome on 5 of July 1967. She graduated from law school in the University of Rome La Sapienza and then she dedicated to business activities. Ruth Dureghello is married and she has two children. In 2008 she runs for the first time for election in the Jewish Community of Rome in the electoral roll "Per Israele", "For Israel", that was led by Riccardo Pacifici. She becomes alderman for the school of the Jewish Community, by handling formation and growth for seven years. In 2015 she led the electoral roll "Per Israele" as a presidential candidate. She got the 44,08% of the vote and on the Council's advice she becomes the first female president of the Jewish Community of Rome. As a president she receives, togheter with the Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, Pope Francis for the historical meeting in the Synagogue on the 17 of January 2016. In the same year, in the election for the renewal of the Council of the Union of the Jewish Communities in Italy.
Oliver Rolofs is Co Founder and Managing Partner of the Munich based strategy consultancy connecting trust In this field he advises investors, business leaders, political decision makers as well as religious leaders from all over the world on the realization of new projects, business potentials, political strategies and new dialogue formats The main focus of his work is on questions of strategic communication, public affairs, resilience and security as well a s the interfaith dialogue
He looks back on a successful longstanding career in politics, business and communications international conference organization and strategy consulting for
political decision makers, business leaders and faith leaders
Prior to joining connecting trust he worked as Global Head of Media Relations for the strategy consultancy firm Roland Berger Earlier he was the longstanding Head of Communications for the internationally renowned Munich Security Conference where
he also established the cybersecurity and energy security programs Previously he worked as a parliamentary assistant and head of a parliamentary office in the European Parliament
He studied political science, international law and sociology and graduated with a master’s degree from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
In addition to that he serves as a Reserve Officer in the German Army and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (Res In this capacity he completed several assignments as a Press Officer in the NATO and EU peace missions in former Yugoslavia
Dr. Sandra Anusiewicz-Baer is a Berlin based Jewish educator. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in education, Jewish studies and Islamic studies. She served as the head of the educational department and later as the head of the cultural department of the Jewish community in Berlin before she left to pursue her doctoral studies in education. Her dissertation about the alumni of the Jewish High School in Berlin asked how the education of the school influences the students’ self-perception and identity. The dissertation, which was published under the title The Jewish Gymnasium in Berlin—Identity and Jewish Schooling since 1993 was awarded the Humboldt-Prize in the category “Judaism and anti-Semitism.” As a passionate educator, Anusiewicz-Baer founded and worked as the editor of Familienmentsch, the first Jewish family magazine for the German-speaking region. At present, Anusiewicz-Baer works as the coordinator of the Zacharias Frankel College, a rabbinical seminary established in 2013 to train Masorti/conservative rabbis.
Russell Wolkind is JDC's Director of Planning and Partnerships in Europe, as well as Africa & Asia. Born and raised in London, Russell decided to make Aliya after working as national director of a UK-based Zionist youth movement. He has worked at JDC for almost 16 years, first in the International Relations Department before beginning his current position. Russell lives with his wife Julia and two children in Modi'in, in central Israel.
Rabbi David Meyer has been the Executive Director of PaJeS since 2015, a post which utilises over three decades of experience in education.
During his time at PaJeS he has revolutionised the way that Jewish schools interact with and support each other. Under his leadership the organisation has committed itself to excellence, innovation and collaboration in Jewish schools. In particular he focuses on areas of strategic development, teaching and learning, and school services to achieve these aims.
Rabbi Meyer has previously held leadership positions including Executive Headteacher of Hasmonean High School and Executive Director of the Jewish Association for Business Ethics. Under his leadership Hasmonean achieved Outstanding in every category in both Ofsted and Pikuach. He is also a highly acclaimed public speaker and has been invited to present at conferences across the UK as well as in Israel, USA, Europe and Australia.
Rabbi Meyer has been honoured with an OBE for Services to Education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2020 which recognises his hard work over the past 30 years.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Susie grew up in London within a modern orthodox family and attended local and national Jewish youth movements. This all helped to cultivate her love of Jewish culture, values and traditions.
Susie also had a passion for the arts. She graduated from the prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (set up by Paul McCartney!) with a degree in management and began her career working in the entertainment industry.
After working in London, and travelling the world for a couple of years, Susie relocated to Leeds, West Yorkshire. It didn't take long for Susie to settle and enjoy the beautiful countryside and lifestyle that this beautiful part of the world had to offer.
After working in local government projects, and having her first child, Susie realised how important it was to her to not just feel connected to Leeds as a city but to the local Jewish community as well.
At around this time an opportunity arose for a Community Development Executive to support the development of the Leeds Jewish community.
Since her appointment, this role has taken her on an incredible journey. With the support of the JDC, the outcomes have led Leeds to being JDC’s most successful example to other communities around the world.
Susie wanted to learn more about how best she could help individuals at a deeper level and was attracted to personal and business coaching. This developed into a passion for facilitating meaningful group conversations and helping people work towards group goals, not just individual ones.
Susie has supported the development of other faith groups as well. She feels passionately about the importance of this work and feels it is often underestimated. This is not easy work but it is essential. Communities need access to resources, expertise and support, especially as we navigate our way through an international pandemic.
Difficult times can produce innovation and positive change. As leaders we need to work together to identify and harness the best opportunities for our communities. Although a daunting task, Susie is relishing making the most of the opportunities that lie ahead.
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”(William Arthur Ward)
As a teacher for many years in Jewish schools in France, Dvorah is also a scholar and the newly appointed CEO of the Alliance Israelite Universelle in Paris.
She studied Modern Hebrew at the INALCO in Paris, was a fellow in the Scholar Circle Program at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education in New York and a fellow at the Melton school in the Morim Behirim Program at Hebrew University.
In France Dvorah cordinated many traning programs of the André Neher Institute.
In 2009, she became director of the Tachkemoni school Antwerp (Belgium).
In 2016, Dvorah is called to become director of the school network of the Alliance Israelite Universelle as of director of education and training.
At the request of the president of the Alliance, she becomes director of Lamorim, a project in building partnership between the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and main fondations in France.
She is married with three boys and lives with her family in Paris.
Dani is the Director of Yesod, a partnership of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe, and American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, investing in key individual Jewish communal professionals, educators and activists to strengthen Jewish life in Europe through professional development and Jewish fluency opportunities.
Dani previously led Limmud International, supporting and advising Limmud volunteer leaders and teams in Europe as well as worldwide to deliver diverse cross-communal Jewish learning events to over 80 Limmud communities in more than 40 countries. She was responsible for delivering regional and international development and connection programmes. Her background is in project management, social research into community conflict, and she was a madricha in a pluralist youth movement. Dani has a BA in Modern History and Political Science and an MA in Mediterranean Studies. She lives in London.
Daniel Rose is a British-born educator with a background in informal and formal Jewish education in the UK, the US, and Israel. He has taught in Jewish day schools in the UK and the US, as well as gap-year programs in Israel, and also has an experience in online learning platforms in Jewish education. He has extensive experience in content and curriculum development, working with educational institutions across the world. As Director of Educational Projects for Koren Publishers, Daniel was series editor and core contributor to the Koren Magerman Educational Siddurim series, a series of educational siddurim used by schools and synagogues around the world. More recently Daniel worked as an educational consultant for various educational agencies, including the Lookstein Center, Bar Ilan University, PaJes (UK), the United Synagogue (UK), Koren Publishers and the Office of Rabbi Sacks, where he has developed educational resources based on the thought of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks such as the Ten Paths curriculum and the Family Edition of the weekly Covenant & Conversation.
Daniel has a BA from the London School of Jewish Studies in Jewish Studies, a Master’s in Religious Education from University College London’s Institute of Education, and received a Ph.D. from the Melton Center, Hebrew University, in Education. He also studied for two years in Yeshivat HaMivtar in Israel. Daniel lives in Modiin.
Colin was born in London and started his career in the UK as a youth and community worker and informal educator in a variety of roles including running a youth club, working with an information and advice project and supporting a Zionist youth movement. In 1992, Colin made Aliyah to Jerusalem and continued his work with Zionist youth movements, including running a year-long leadership program for young madrichim on their gap year, later serving as the director of the Machon L’Madrichim program. Returning to the UK for specific roles since 1992, Colin ran a leadership institute for the British Jewish community, oversaw educational initiatives as a shaliach, and was the first program director of JW3, London’s new JCC. In the last two years he has been working as the Director of JDC Hungary, setting up a new foundation there and having overall responsibility for the well-known Szarvas camp experience.
Colin has an MA in The management of Youth and Community Work and Applied Anthropology’ and is a graduate of the Jerusalem Fellows Programme at the Mandel School of Educational Leadership. In this role at Yesod, Colin works with Jewish community professionals and educators to identify their growth and development goals and supports them in making plans to reach them. Colin also manages Yesod’s Professional Development Fund.
"Judaism is a technology that makes the world better," says Rabbi David Levin-Kruss, Jewish Education Director for JDC-Europe, which supports European Jews in finding their Jewish voice. David loves text-life interplay. Prior to JDC, DLK taught at Pardes, directed the overseas department at Melitz, and was community director of Stanmore Synagogue. David has a BA from Hebrew University in Jewish Philosophy and English and served in the IDF Spokesman's Unit.
Dalia Grinfeld is the Assistant Director of European Affairs at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Based in Berlin, she manages ADL’s programs in Europe and supports European Jewish communities in their advocacy efforts. Further, Dalia Grinfeld is on the board of Keshet (Rainbow) Germany e.V., Germany’s LGBTIQ*-Jewish organization, of which she is also a founding member. Her academic background is in Political Science and Jewish Studies, which she studied at the University of Heidelberg, Buenos Aires and Herzliya.
Leonie Lewis MBE, is a leading charity and community consultant. She retired from her role as the first Director of the Jewish Volunteering Network and is currently consulting for several charities and a government project.
She has a Masters in Sociology of Education and has an MBA in educational leadership. She is particularly interested in faith, young people and community development issues and holds several voluntary positions including, Vice Chair of the Faiths forum for London, Trustee of Paperweight ,coordinator for The Cities of Faith & Community Forum, Trustee of the Interfaith Network UK and Advisor to the Children’s Aid Committee.
Leonie is an assessor for the Queens Award for Voluntary Service Assessment Committee.
She is an active member of Pinner Synagogue, is married to Howard and has 8 grandchildren!!
Jonathan Boyd is the Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR), an independent UK-based research centre and think-tank that provides data and policy insight on contemporary Jewish issues for organisations working to support Jewish life in the UK and across Europe.
A specialist in contemporary Jewry, he holds a doctorate in education from the University of Nottingham UK, and a BA and MA in Modern Jewish History from University College London. He was formerly a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Institute in Israel, and has held professional positions in research and policy at the JDC International Centre for
Community Development in London and Paris, the Jewish Agency for Israel in London and New York, and the UK-based United Jewish Israel Appeal and Holocaust Educational Trust.
He is a columnist for the Jewish Chronicle, his writings have been published in various newspapers, publications and journals, and he is the editor of The Sovereign and the Situated Self: Jewish Identity and Community in the 21st Century (Profile Books, 2003).
He is a board member of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry (ASSJ) and the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism. His current work focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on Jews in the UK and around the world, antisemitism in the UK and across
Europe, European Jewish demography and sociology, Jewish education and Jewish peoplehood. He was the academic director for the 2018 European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) study of Jewish perceptions and experiences of antisemitism in
thirteen EU Member States, which was conducted by JPR in partnership with the international polling agency, Ipsos. He oversees management of the European Jewish Research Archive – an open access depository of research conducted about European
Jews since 1990 – and in 2019 established JPR’s new European Jewish Demography Unit which generates up-to-date demographic statistics for European Jewish communities to support community planning across the continent.
His recent publications include: Hidden effects: the mental health of the UK’s Jewish population during the COVID-19 pandemic (JPR, 2020); Young Jewish Europeans: Perceptions and Experiences of Antisemitism (JPR/FRA/European Commission, 2019); The apartheid contention and calls for a boycott (JPR, 2019); Synagogue membership in the UK in 2016 (JPR, 2017); and Searching for community: A portrait of undergraduate Jewish students in five UK cities (JPR, 2016)
Since its opening in April 2008 by HRH, The Prince of Wales, Jonathan has served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Centre of Krakow, an organization devoted to rebuilding Jewish life in Krakow. The JCC boasts over 750 Jewish members, welcomes 10,000 visitors a month and has become one of Poland’s most visible signs of Jewish revival.
Prior to the JCC’s opening in 2008, he lectured in Modern Hebrew at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University Department of Jewish Studies for 6 years and founded the “Gesher” association for Polish-Israeli dialogue. A native of New York City, Jonathan moved to Israel in 1994, living for 7 years on a kibbutz in the Negev desert and served in a combat unit in the I.D.F. before making his way to Poland in 2001.
He is a founding member of “Przymierze,” the Krakow Association of Christians and Jews where he serves as vice president. He also serves on the boards of the Krakow branch of the Child Survivors of the Holocaust organization and JCC Global.
Jonathan, a primary architect of Poland’s contemporary Jewish rebirth, is a frequent international lecturer on issues relating to Jewish Poland.
Marina was born in St-Petersburg and moved to Tallinn (Estonia) almost 40 years ago. She was an active volunteer of the Jewish Community of Estonia in the period of its post-Soviet revival. Logically, later she was invited to work in the Community as the Director of Welfare Programs. After 4 years she have changed her involvement into professional Jewish life by joining the JDC (the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) Baltic team and later the JDC Europe team. Marina works for the JDC for more than 12 years already.
Marco lives in Rome, Italy working as a professional solider in the Italian army. He’s lived for almost 10 years with his partner Federico with whom he made the ghiur (formal conversion to Judaism) in 2012 in Paris at the Mouvement Juif Libéral de France (MJLF). Marco and Federico married on September 11th, 2016 in Rome in a religious ceremony with a Rabbi, kippa, ketubah, and lots of friends. .
He is the head of the organization Magen David Keshet Italia. Their mission is to help Jewish homosexual people to live their lives with serenity without having to give up any part of their personality, especially for those who are religious. Under his leadership, MDKI hosted the 2017 Board Meeting and World Conference.
Marco is currently organizing a European Regional Conference for the World Congress: Keshet Ga’avah for 2021.
Marcelo Dimentstein is a Social Anthropologist and since 2009 directs the JDC International Centre for Community Development (JDC-ICCD). In his position as Director of the JDC-ICCD, he has been coordinating research on different phenomena of Jewish contemporary life in Europe and is himself dedicated to analyzing the transnational history of the reconstruction of the Jewish communities after the fall of communism. Marcelo also teaches at different JDC Europe’s Leatid leadership training seminars. He has also taken an active role in organizing and running inter-faith dialogue events in Europe. He lives in Barcelona with his wife and daughter.
In the mid-1990s, he founded several technology and service companies in Latin America.
In 2002 he moved to Europe where he worked at Marca newspaper in the international business development department.
In 2004 he founded Mobile Dreams Factory one of the most recognized Mobile Consultancy Firm in Europe with clients such as Burger King, Vodafone, Banco Santander among others. Since 2012, he has founded several startups related to retail and ecommerce, three of them sold to listed companies in the last 5 years.
Alberto has been a professor of Entrepreneurship, Emerging Trends and Mobile Business since 2008, and was Academic Director (2010-2013) at IE Business School. In 2018 he was awarded an innovation grant from the American government “Eisenhower Fellowship”.
Today Alberto participates in different Boards of Directors and advises several CEOs from Spain, US and LatAm on how disruption will affect the future of their businesses. Since 2019 he has been dedicated to developing his new and ambitious project based in Spain: Gelt Ecosystem.
Her early positions included working with the Claims Conference to obtain restitution for Holocaust victims, consulting on community development issues and running Bulgaria’s Jewish summer camp.
Former JDC director of JDC programs in Bulgaria
Julia is a graduate of the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, and has also earned a master’s degree in insurance and social activity. Julia and her husband were both born and raised in Sofia. They have two children.
Lavi is a serial social entrepreneur and a professional community organizer, who believes that networks are key to shaping our reality. Lavi is co-founder of MAKOM: the national umbrella organization of intentional communities in Israel; and founder and general director of Hakhel: the Jewish Intentional Communities Incubator in the Diaspora.
Lavi is also a thinker who believes Judaism can inspire and inform all walks of life, and vice versa. He holds Rabbinic Semicha from Rabbi Riskin, as well as a B.A. in Economics and Geography, an M.A. in History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science, and currently writing his PhD on Israel-Diaspora relations. He has Orthodox Semicha from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and was a fellow in several research institutions in Israel and published a book on Judaism and Economics and numerous articles. He lives with his wife, Liat, and their four children in Shuva, and on his spare time he is also a professional mountain biking racer and trainer.
David Stavrou is an Israeli journalist based in Stockholm, Sweden, currently writing for Israeli daily "Haaretz".
Born and raised in Israel, Stavrou relocated to Sweden in 2005 but spends extended periods of time in Israel too. As a journalist he writes about Scandinavian and European issues as well as human rights and democracy worldwide. He's now a regular contributor for "Haaretz" and has also written for Israeli publications "Globes", "i24News", "Masa Acher" and "Telem" as well as various English language Swedish publications.
His book "An Israeli Cross" which was co-authored with his brother, Daniel Stavrou, was published in 2014 by Israeli publisher "Indibook". His second book about the Israeli diaspora in Europe, "Leaving Zion", was published in 2020 by "Pardes".
Stavrou also works as a teacher and a guide and he has four children.
Laura Cazés works as Head of Communication and Digitalization for the Central Welfare Board of Jews in Germany (ZWST). She studied Psychology and began her professional career as Coordinator of the newly founded German-Israeli Volunteer Service. In 2019 she was appointed as Advisor on Organizational Development for the ZWST.
Between 2017 and 2019 she was furthermore serving as elected vice-president of the European Union of Jewish Students. As a speaker, her fields of expertise are the diverse realities of young Jewish life in Germany, womens rights and gender equality as well as interfaith and intercultural alliances.
She developed the concept of the first Jewish Women Empowerment Summit in Germany on behalf of the Educational Department of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Jewish Student Union in Germany, that took place in February 2019 and September 2020.
Barry has served as faculty member and department chair at Herzog College, and as Global Education Director for the Center for Educational Technology in Israel. Prior to his Aliyah in 2016, Barry began his teaching career at the Ramaz Upper School in NYC, and then served as Head of School and Principal at Fuchs Mizrachi School in Cleveland, OH for over a decade.
Barry received Semicha from Yeshiva University and a Doctorate in Education from Yeshiva University and a Doctorate in Education from Columbia University Teachers College. He has been selected as a Bronfman Fellow, Wexner Graduate Fellow and Covenant Foundation Pomegranate Prize Recipient.
Barry currently lives in Israel with his wife and four children.
Aron Verständig was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1985 and grew up within its Jewish Community. Over the course of the years, he has been active in the community in many different capacities. In 2014, he was elected Chairman of the community that currently has about 4,300 members making it the largest Jewish community in the Nordics. As chairman of the Stockholm community, he is also head of the Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities representing Swedish Jews in relation to the Swedish government and official institutions. He is a lawyer by profession.
Agata Rakowiecka, JCC Warsaw CEO. Graduated from Polish Philology and Speech Language Therapy at the University of Warsaw and from Melton Program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Jewish educator with years of experience in informal Jewish education in Poland and abroad. Involved in the JDC operations for 15 years. Apart from her involvement in the facilitation of Jewish education and culture, she studies graphic design, plays the piano and loves charades.
Raymond has been the CEO of JW3, London's award-winning Jewish Community Centre – the only JCC and Jewish arts venue of its kind in the UK – since it opened in 2013. He is a professionally qualified Youth & Community Worker with a BA in Jewish History, an MA in Applied Anthropology and Community & Youth Work, and over 20 years' experience in informal Jewish education, leadership development and community building. He was the first full time Executive Director of Limmud, and played a key role in the development of Limmud International across the world. Prior to that he was the UJIA/Jewish Agency Director of Informal Jewish Education, where he spent a decade working with thousands of Jewish educators and youth leaders across the UK and in Israel.
In a lay capacity, he sits on the Limmud FSU International Steering Committee, and the advisory boards of Mitzvah Day and the London Jewish Forum, and mentors a number of young professional leaders within the British Jewish community. He is particularly proud to sit on the Advisory Board of Amal, a British-Muslim charity that seeks to increase understanding of British Muslims among peoples of other faiths.
Raymond is the author of the chapter “Limmud: A Unique Model of Transformative Jewish Learning” published in the ‘International Handbook of Jewish Education’. He is grateful that his wife, an NHS Psychiatric Nurse, and two children, are incredibly patient.
Marcell finished high school at the Lauder Jewish Community school in Budapest, and spent his youth at Szarvas Camp. From 2002 he permanently took part in the work of Haver Informal Jewish Educational Foundation as a volunteer, an informal educator, and also as a general advisor. At Haver Marcell has been organizing and conducting dialogue programs for Hungarian public school students.
In 2007 he graduated as a political scientist at the ELTE University - Faculty of Law. During his university years he specialized in international political relations and the history of the middle-east in the twentieth century. In 2007-2008 Marcell was a fellow at Paideia - The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden. At Paideia – besides Jewish textual studies – he was a member of the “professional track”, and organized an inter-faith dialogue project for Jewish, Muslim and Christian students in Stockholm.
From 2008 Marcell took part in the establishment of the Israeli Cultural Institute in Budapest, he was responsible for resource development. From January the 1st, 2011 Marcell served also as the deputy director of the Institute until he joined the team of Centropa in June 2011. Centropa is a non-profit, Jewish historical and educational institute dedicated to preserving 20th century Jewish family stories and photos from Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and disseminating these stories and photos through films, books, exhibitions, and a variety of educational programs.
Marcell served as the director of Centropa Hungary, the Centropa Jewish Network, and he was also the deputy director of Centropa international. Marcell left Centropa in 2020, and joined the team of the JCC Budapest – Bálint Ház, where he currently is the director for resource development, and from September the 1st, Marcell is taking over as the next director of the institute.
Besides JCC Budapest, Marcell currently serves as the president of the Board of the Haver Informal Jewish Educational Foundation, he is also member of the Board of the UCCU Informal Roma Educational Foundation, the Charity Taxi Foundation, and recently he also joined as a member of the Advisory Board of the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund.
Prague, Czech Republic
Michaela Efrati was born in Prague in 1976, grew up under a communist regime, participated in the demonstrations of the Velvet revolution of '89, graduated High School in the US, moved to Israel age 20 and spent the next 14 years living between Prague and Jerusalem. She has two kids, many cats and dogs later. Michaela moved back to Czechia and became a tour guide for a very diverse Jewish clientele, from the very secular Israelis, Reform US federations, modern Orthodox from all over, to the Haredi world of Yeshivot, Beit Yaakov etc.. She participated in many Jewish educational and University programs, Israeli government or other countries members of diplomacy. She teaches Czech, Hebrew and English.
Victor Sorenssen is director of the AEPJ since 2017. He has studied Political Science at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, where he did a stage at the Observatory of European Policies. He has been director of the Comunidad Israelita de Barcelona and founder of the Jewish Cultural platform Mozaika, where he has helped develop projects such as Sefer Barcelona, the Jewish Book Festival or the Salam-Shalom initiative.
Dekel Peretz has been a top guide in Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden and the ShUM cities, the cradle of Ashkenazi tradition, for over a decade. He holds a PhD in German-Jewish history and has published extensively on German Zionism. In recent years, Dekel has been innovating Jewish life in Berlin. He currently heads the association rebuilding the main sanctuary of the Fraenkelufer Synagogue, destroyed by the Nazis, as a community and cultural center.
I was born in Rome to a Jewish Roman father (proud to be here since Caesar’s time!) and a Libyan Jewish Sephardic mother. I am married to Angelo and we have three sons, Gabriel, Nathan, and Isaac.
I have lived in Rome my entire life, except for one year I lived in Argentina and another year in Israel. I am in love with my city and that’s the reason why I decided to study Art History at Rome’s university. Traveling has given me the opportunity to meet other Jews, share my story with them, and compare my community with their and other communities. Throughout my time as a guide, while meeting people along my journey, I have come to realize how miraculous the existence of the Jewish Community of Rome really is.
I founded Jewish Roma Walking Tours in 2003 after completing my studies in Art History and a year of research at the central Archive of Rome where I was looking for documents about my family during the ghetto times.
Dani Rotstein moved from New Jersey to the island of Majorca, Spain, in 2014. There, he
learned of the taboo history of the Conversos of Chuetas of the island. In 2018, he founded
Limud Mallorca and has run over 50 successful events promoting diversity and inclusion in
the small, yet growing, Jewish community.
Moshe was born in Milan 54 years ago from Jewish Iranian parents. His mother came to Italy at age of 11 and met his father in Milan where they got married. He has three frum married brothers that live in Milan all the family is continuing the family business of jewelers and diamond dealers.. He has been working in Venice since 1991 and moved there from Milan 15 years ago, married to Tally that is British born . They have three children. Moshe speaks five languages and has a degree in economics from Bocconi University.
Daniela Greiber is responsible for the Jewish Education programme at the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, based in London. Originally from Chile, she made alyah and earned an MBA at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Daniela has worked in the Jewish non-profit world for over 22 years in Israel, USA and the UK where for the past 8 years, she has been working with European Jewish communities.
Leora Wine is the Program Manager of JDC GRID, the disaster relief and international development arm of JDC. Leora is responsible for program design and partnership development include global disaster response and initiatives that focus on women’s livelihood empowerment programs in the developing world and Tikkun in Action. Leora is also the director of the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief (JCDR), made up of 49 primarily North American Jewish organizations that seek to assist victims of natural or man-made disasters outside of North America on a non-sectarian basis.
Leora considers herself to be a citizen of the world as she spent a year with her family living in Bali, Indonesia where she learned to speak Indonesian and drive three kids on a motorbike…with helmets. Currently Leora lives in Modi'in in Central Israel with her husband and three daughters.
Prague, Czech Republic
Born in 1990, Eva is an accomplished PR specialist and Jewish educator who currently lives with her husband in the beautiful city of Prague. Eva is the Director of Global Communities at Moishe House. She graduated from the Prague College of Journalism, majoring in PR and marketing, as well as from Paideia, the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Stockholm, Sweden. Eva loves reading poetry, DIY projects and painting, spending time with her loved ones, and cooking.
Alexis is based in Madrid, Spain, and works at Moishe House as a Senior Community Manager for Global Communities. Alexis was born and raised in Uruguay, has also lived in Israel and the United Kingdom before finally settling in Madrid where he has been living for the last 5 years. He holds a BA and a Post Graduate Degree in marketing and communication, as well as, an AA in social integration studies. Alexis has served for the last five years in different roles involving counseling young adults from vulnerable populations in the non-profit sector.
Jessie is the Senior administrator for Moishe House and is based in London. She is originally from San Francisco in the US and joined Moishe House about 3 years ago. Jessie works on logistics for all the Moishe House international retreats, conferences, and donor trips each year, as well as working with the international Moishe House Without Walls host. Before joining Moishe House, Jessie worked for charities working with vulnerable families in New York and in San Francisco.
Tal lives in Venice, Italy, with her husband and family in an antique Jewish community that enjoys over 500 years of colorful history. She has fallen hopelessly in love with Jewish Europe and runs The Zehud Jewish Online School & Foundation for Jewish Life in Europe. Most communities today don't have a Jewish School, by virtually uniting smaller groups to create a critical mass, we have connected it with high quality Jewish education . Passionate about promoting sites of Jewish interest and Jewish personalities , Tal especially enjoys social encounters and hosts locals and internationals for eclectic Shabbat dinners. She has taken her management skills and applied them to various multicultural challenges, family life and even parenting. Tal believes in the power of the WE. See my blog on the Times of Israel
Ben Morrison is a Fundraising Consultant with 20+ years’ experience of working with and fundraising from a wide range of UK and international philanthropists for both capital and revenue campaigns totalling £350m. He has led fundraising teams for Variety Club UK, Shelter, Jewish Care and Weizmann UK.
Since 2015 Ben Morrison Consulting has helped clients from both within the Jewish Community and wider UK society increase their giving by more than £20m.
Ben is a Trustee of Middlesex University Student’s Union and is a regular speaker at fundraising conferences and conventions. He was a Judge for the 2020 UK Chartered Institute of Fundraising Awards and is a longstanding Mentor for CharityWorks – the UK’s charity industry graduate entry programme.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Ben created a virtual fortnightly forum for fundraisers in Jewish organisations, facilitating support and advice.
Eileen Levinson is a UK-based designer & artist. Her work re-imagines Jewish ritual for contemporary audiences. In addition to her projects within the Jewish community, Eileen served as Creative Director with Kin Community, a women’s-focused MCN on YouTube, from the brand’s launch in 2011 until summer 2015. Eileen has an MFA from the program in Graphic Design at CalArts, and BA from Washington University in St. Louis. Eileen has been nationally recognized as one of the most innovative Jewish organization in America by Slingshot Guide and featured in The Huffington Post, Ha’aretz, The Jerusalem Post, Wall Street Journal, The Forward and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”
Rebecca Missel is an ideator, gatherer and organizer. With experience in large nonprofits, Israeli start-ups, synagogues and grassroots organizing, Rebecca brings creativity and passion to everything she does. She has been published in The Forward and holds master’s degrees in public policy from the University of Maryland and in Jewish communal service from Baltimore Hebrew University. A recipient of the Brody Award and a FEREP Fellowship, Rebecca was named to The Jewish Week's “36 Under 36” for her work as president and founder of Jersey Tribe. She lives in Jersey City, NJ with her community.
Babette is a 35 year old Dutch/American Jewish yogini and writer/blogger, whose move from The Netherlands to San Francisco ignited her career as an instructor. Her students include advanced yogis, and those coming to the mat for the first time. She loves the way yoga offers a holistic approach to the physical body, breath work, strengthening and stretching. The result is best described as a teaching style that is inclusive, empowering, mindful and lighthearted.
Adrian Cristea has a background in sociology and social work. He is currently the Executive Officer of Dublin City Interfaith Forum. Adrian holds a Masters Degree from Trinity College Dublin. He played a key role in establishing the first official Interfaith Forum in Ireland launched in January 2012. He lives in Dublin where he works in interfaith and integration in a multicultural city context. He led the process of devising the recently launched ‘Dublin City Interfaith Charter’. He is passionately committed to the achievement of racial justice and interfaith dialogue. His interests include human rights, interculturalism, inter-religious dialogue and activity, and the role of religion in integration and social cohesion.
Magda is social entrepreneur, community builder and activist, particularly passionate about social change and the intersection of learning and the arts. She pioneered a number of cultural and artistic projects, such as: Jew Not Painted (presenting illustrated 19th-century history of Jews in Poland), Beit Krakow (the first post-war progressive community in Krakow) or FestivALT (independent arts collective producing a program of arts and activism, investigating complexities of the contemporary Jewish Poland). Magda currently works as Limmud's Regional Coordinator for Central and Eastern Europe.
Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina
Nela Hasic is the Regional Director of the NGO “Think Pink- Zajedno smo jedno”, which is continuation of Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP) in Bosnia-Herzegovina; she has been working for JDC from 2004 to 2018.
WHEP is a non-sectarian partnership between the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), an overseas humanitarian aid organization that works in over 70 countries, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists. WHEP is an innovative public movement which provides psychosocial support services by and for women with breast cancer and their families, provide free preventive checkups for those in need, as well as a variety of public education programs to encourage early detection of breast cancer. The Program also provides organizational development training to NGOs active in this sector in 20 different cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 2002, after spending what Nela describes as a rewarding decade in Israel – working and raising her family, learning Hebrew and English, they returned to Sarajevo. Nela began working with JDC in January 2004, and was soon appointed Director of WHEP for Bosnia, where she has expanded the program’s reach.
In 2017 she decided to establish new organization “ Think Pink- Together we are one”, to continue WHEP activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and region.
Nela is deeply committed to the WHEP, and has helped to expand it to Hungary, Russia, and to Georgia. In 2009, Nela helped WHEP expand its activities to Montenegro, and she now also supervises the program activities there.
WHEP Bosnia builds bridges between Bosnia’s complex Muslim, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish communities by bringing women, and their families, together to fight a shared enemy: breast cancer. It is still largely taboo for women to discuss personal health issues, and this project is blazing new territories by openly discussing female health issues.
In 2008, she organized first Race for the Cure in Sarajevo, bringing totally new format in Bosnia. Today twelve years later, The Race for the Cure is one of Bosnia’s most recognizable public events. It is a manifestation of altruism that brings thousands of people from all over the country together in order to bring awareness to the issue of women’s health and breast cancer.
Martin Schubert, 41, is a yoga and mindfulness teacher in Berlin, Germany. Having a background in Marketing and Journalism he offers communication workshops in addition to the personal growth retreats in Europe and Asia. In 2019 he published the audio course "7 Yogic Principles for Men". At present he is working to support Jewish communities with modern methods of mindfulness and resilience.
Shila Erlbaum serves as the Officer of Religious, Educational and Family affairs at the Central Council of Jews in Germany. She developed and manages „Mischpacha“, the Central Council’s Jewish family program for 0-3 year-olds which aims to foster Jewish values and Jewish tradition in the homes of young Jewish families (www.mischpacha.de). Shila was eager to bring PJ Library to Germany which was launched this summer. Shila was a contributing author and editor of „Ethik im Judentum“ – the first German Jewish school book on Jewish ethics. She holds an M.A. in Jewish Studies and in Sociology.
“I have been an activist since 2012; I started with various awareness-raising activities which resulted in being offered to teach at the ELTE University in Budapest. In 2017 I managed to mobilise the disabled peoples' community and organise a successful demonstration leading to the accessibility of Budapest's metro line renovation. This paved the way to becoming a community leader. After returning from my US fellowship, I started building a grassroots movement called Freekey that aims to implement the philosophy and services of the US founded Independent Living Movement, with its main focus being the Personal Assistance Service (PAS). “
Sam has lived in Panama, Thailand, the United States, and now Hungary and who spent a year serving as the International President of BBYO (the largest Jewish youth movement in the world). Sam has run a gubernatorial campaign office, interned for a Congresswoman’s Washington D.C. office, a Senate race, presidential PAC, the digital firm behind Bernie Sanders' rapid ascent, and worked as the Get Out The Vote Director for the Monroe County Democratic Party. Sam moved to Budapest four years ago to begin working with Junction and is currently the community program manager.
Thanks to his family commitment, Jonas has been a volunteer and a professional in many actives of his community (Talmud Torah director, summer camps counselor and director, synagogue board etc.) since his childhood. After a B.A from Yeshiva University (NYC) a master degree of financial management in a French Business School, he has been for 7 years a financial consultant for social housing firms and banks. 4 years ago Jonas decided to change his path and became fully professionally at the service of the community. In FSJU, an umbrella organization of the French Jewish Community, he has the pleasure of being Deputy Director at the Youth departement, in charge of the Call to projects and Incubator NOE, responsible for International Relations for Youth. Jonas has also the honor of being a fellow of the Yesod Kaplan leadership program.
Joonas is 35 years old, married and a happy father of 3.
Mila Stojanovic is Executive director of the European Union of Jewish Students, the umbrella organization of national Jewish student unions across Europe, that supports its members and represent them in international institutions and organizations.
Mila’s professional involvement in the Jewish community started as a leader at the Center for Informal Jewish Education in Belgrade and the JDC–Lauder Szarvas International Jewish Youth Camp.
For 3 years, Mila was the Education coordinator of Haver Srbija, a nonprofit seeking to create a more tolerant and open society. She was volunteering with several community programs and is on the organizational team of the Limmud Ex-Yu.
Mila holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the Faculty of Teacher Education in Belgrade, Serbia.
ALL THE TIMINGS IN THE PROGRAMME ARE IN CET – CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME (PARIS)