SIIS Presenters in Israel
THABET ABU RAS is a lecturer in the Department of Geography and Environmental Development at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and co-director of New Horizon – the Arab-Jewish Institute for Shared Society in Israel. His areas of expertise include ethnic relations, land and planning and regional development. Dr. Abu Ras previously served as director of Shatil's Beer Sheva office and as director of a joint project for the development of the recently-recognized Bedouin villages in the Naqab. He holds a B.Sc. in geology and mineralogy from Ben Gurion University, an M.A. in geography from the University of Northern Iowa and a Ph.D. in geography and regional development from the University of Arizona.
KHER ALBAZ is the director of social services for the Negev Bedouin community (Segev Shalom) and the co-director of the Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation of the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development (AJEEC-NISPED). An experienced social worker, Mr. Albaz work focuses on the needs and concerns of the Negev Bedouin community and he is involved in numerous development projects for this community. He has also worked as a mediator and group facilitator with a wide range of groups mainly focusing on cultural sensitivity and Jewish/Arab issues. He is a board member of several NGOs and has served as a member of several government policy development committees. Mr. Albaz holds a B.A. in social work from Ben Gurion University, an M.A. in Social Planning and Policy from WLU in Canada, and an MBA from the University of Haifa.
AMAL EL-SANA AL-H'JOOJ is the co-executive director of NISPED (the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development) and founding director of AJEEC (NISPED's Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation). She works to promote the rights of the Arab minority and is active in many organizations which advance the status of Arab women in Israel, including being a member of the Executive Council of the Lakhia Women's Association and a founding member of the Forum of Negev Arab Women's Organizations and Initiatives. Ms. El-Sana Al-H'jooj is also a member of the Prime Minister's Commission for Economic Development in the Arab Sector and a member of the Steering Committee of Women Lawyers for Human Rights. At the age of 17, she established the first local Bedouin women's organization. She was chosen as one of 1000 women worldwide who were jointly nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize and received a special award from the World Association of Small and Medium Enterprises for her contribution to economic empowerment programs for Arab Bedouin women. Ms. El-Sana Al-H'jooj holds a B.A. in social work from Ben Gurion University and an M.A. in community development from McGill University.
RABBI HAIM AMSELLEM is a member of Knesset representing the Am Achad (Whole Nation) Party, which he founded and currently heads. He previously was an MK for the ultra-orthodox Shas Party, from which he was ousted due to ideological disagreements. He envisions a haredi community whose members participate in the workforce, enlist in national and IDF service, and study secular subjects alongside torah study. He has authored publications offering halakhic solutions to remedy the problems of conversion in Israel. Following the traditional Sephardic Jewish perspective, he promotes tolerance, co-existence and dialogue and works to mend the rift between the different sectors of Israeli society. Prior to joining the Knesset, he served as rabbi of the Sephardi Jewish community in Geneva, Switzerland. M.K. Rabbi Amsellem received his rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and served as head of a yeshiva and kollel, rabbi of Moshav Sharsheret and as head rabbi of the municipality of Netivot.
AHARON BARAK, a former president of the Supreme Court of Israel, is currently a professor at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya. He served as attorney general of the State of Israel, and justice of the Supreme Court. Prof. Barak was dean and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Law School and a visiting professor at the Law Schools of Harvard, Yale and Michigan University. He holds an LL.B., M.A. and Ph.D. in law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from many prestigious universities including Yale University.
DAN BEN-DAVID is the executive director of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, an independent, non-partisan, socioeconomic research institute based in Jerusalem. He also serves as a faculty member of the Department of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University. Prof. Ben-David is a research fellow at CEPR (Centre for Economic Policy Research) in London and previously was a faculty research fellow at NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) in Cambridge. His areas of expertise include macroeconomics, economic growth, international trade and the Israeli economy. Prof. Ben-David has served as an advisor to the World Bank, the Director-General's Office at the World Trade Organization and the Israeli government. He is a recipient of Tel Aviv University's "Outstanding Teacher Award" and was ranked among the 100 most influential people in Israel in 2010 by HaAretz newspaper. Prof. Ben-David holds a B.A. in economics from Tel Aviv University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.
MARC BRETTLER is the Dora Golding professor of biblical studies and former chair of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. He has taught at Yale University, Brown University, Wellesley College, Middlebury College, Hebrew College, Skidmore College and Shandong University as well as in various adult Jewish education settings, including the Wexner Heritage Program and the Me'ah Program. Prof. Brettler has published and lectured widely on metaphor and the Bible, the nature of biblical historical texts, and gender issues and the Bible. He is co-editor of The Jewish Study Bible, which won the National Jewish Book Award, author of How To Read the Bible, contributor to My People's Prayer Book, and has published many other books and articles on the Bible. He recently served as a visiting research fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem and is a recipient of the Michael A. Walzer Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Keter Torah Award. Prof. Brettler holds a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern and Judaic studies from Brandeis University.
HANA BENDCOWSKY is the programs director at the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations. She has been involved in interfaith activities in Israel and overseas for 14 years. Ms. Bendcowsky is a professional tour guide, educator and lecturer, focusing on the Christian Communities in the Holy Land, in particular for Israeli Jewish audiences. She holds a B.A. in history and general studies, and an M.A. in early Church studies (Department of Comparative Religions) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and did postgraduate studies in history at Delhi University in India.
AMIR DAJANI is the deputy managing director of Bayti Real Estate Investment Company and coordinator of donor participation for Rawabi, the first planned Palestinian city now in development. Mr. Dajani previously worked in the private enterprise office of USAID's West Bank and Gaza Mission in Tel Aviv, where he was responsible for the design, implementation and monitoring of multi-million dollar institution and capacity building programs. Mr. Dajani has designed and launched a number of business development initiatives in different economic sectors, including the Palestinian tourism sector, where he developed a business plan and conducted a feasibility study for a successful tourism investment project in Jericho.
MOHAMMAD M. DARAWSHE is the co-executive director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives. He is also the trustee of the Bishop Riah High School in Nazareth. Mr. Darawshe previously served as director of resource development at the Abraham Fund Initiatives and as director of public relations and deputy director at Givat Haviva. He also served as director general and elections campaign manager of the Democratic Arab Party, executive director of the Young Leadership Forum, an organization fostering Arab-Jewish coexistence and cooperation, director of the Nazareth Arab Institute, and Middle East Program consultant to Legacy International USA, where he operated an international program of youth exchange. He is a political analyst for Middle East and Israeli TV and radio and was editor of News of Arabs in Israel magazine. Mr. Darawshe was also a leadership fellow of the New Israel Fund and is the recipient of many awards in recognition of his work for peace, including the UNESCO Prize for Education. Mr. Darawshe holds a B.A. in sociology and an M.A. in public administration from Hartford University.
RABBI NAAMAH KELMAN EZRACHI is the dean at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. She previously served as director of the Year-in-Israel Program for HUC's North American students. A descendent of 10 generations of rabbis, Rabbi Kelman Ezrachi was the first woman to be ordained a rabbi by the Hebrew Union College. She has been actively involved in the emerging education system of the Israeli Movement for Progressive (Reform) Judaism. Among the founders of the first Progressive day school, Rabbi Kelman Ezrachi has overseen development of curricular materials, teacher-training programs, family education and rabbinic student training. Born in the U.S., she is a board member of Rabbis for Human Rights, MELITZ and the Tali Education Fund and deeply engaged in interfaith dialogue and feminist causes.
ILAN EZRACHI is an independent consultant on effective partnerships in today's Jewish world. He has pursued a career in Jewish education, serving in many executive positions, including executive director of Masa – Israel Journey, director of the International Department at Melitz - Centers for Jewish and Zionist Education, director of the Charles Bronfman Mifgashim Center, director of the Division of Israel Programs and Experiences at the Jewish Agency, and director of the International School for Jerusalem Studies at Yad Ben Zvi. Dr. Ezrachi is also the founding chair of Panim – the Coalition for Jewish Renaissance in Israel. His research focuses on the relationship between Israelis and American Jews. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in education and Jewish thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
MICHAEL GRANOFF is the head of Oil Independence Policies at Better Place, a global provider of electric vehicle networks and services. In this capacity, he helps governments, industry, NGOs and others calibrate policies which end dependence on oil. Mr. Granoff is also the founder of Maniv Energy Capital, a New-York-based investment group which was the first investor in Better Place and instrumental in the founding of Israel Cleantech Ventures. He also founded Maniv Bioventures, a $20 million fund that invested in 10 early-stage life science companies. In addition, Mr. Granoff is a founding board member of Securing America's Future Energy, a Washington DC-based group that works with corporate and retired military leaders to advocate for policies that contribute to the energy security of the U.S. He holds a B.A. from Tufts University, an MBA from Northwestern University and a J.D. from the Northwestern School of Law.
ISRAEL HAREL is the founding chairman of the Institute for Zionist Strategy. He also writes a weekly column for Ha’aretz newspaper and is the author of several books, including The Lion's Gate and The Valor of the Heart. Mr. Harel founded the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which he headed, first as secretary general and later as chairman. He was the founder and first editor of Nekuda, the monthly journal of the Israeli settler movement. Mr. Harel also initiated and founded the Forum for National Responsibility, which created the “Kinneret Covenant,” a document of basic understandings between the major sectors in Israeli Jewish society. He served as director of the Leadership Forum at the Shalom Hartman Institute, established the Center for Religious Zionism and initiated the Gavison-Meiden Project, which formulated a comprehensive covenant to regulate the joint existence of secular and religious populations in Israel. He currently chairs the Association of the Paratroopers who Liberated Jerusalem. Mr. Harel graduated from the Kfar HaRoeh Yeshiva and continued his studies at Bar Ilan University, majoring in literature, history and economics. He resides in the settlement of Ofra.
TOVA HARTMAN is the co-founder of Kehilat Shira Hadasha ("a new song"), an orthodox congregation organized to increase women's participation and leadership within traditional Jewish prayer and halakha. She is also a professor of gender studies and education at Bar Ilan University, specializing in gender and religion, and gender and psychology. The daughter of a rabbi, Prof. Hartman is the author of several books including Feminism Encounters Traditional Judaism: Resistance and Accommodation, which won the National Jewish Book Award, and Appropriately Subversive:: Modern Mothers in Traditional Religions. She was a lecturer at Harvard University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ono Academic College. Prof. Hartman holds a B.A. and M.A. in Jewish philosophy from Hebrew University, an M.A. in counseling psychology from Boston College and a Ph.D. in human development and psychology from Harvard University.
EINAT KAPACH is a screenwriter and director. She lectures on film and Jewish identity in Israel and abroad. Among other projects, she directed the award-winning film Jephftah's Daughter, produced a series of short films about international charity organizations, and recently directed the documentary film Two Legacies. She is a graduate of the Ma'aleh Film School and holds an M.A. from the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem.
RONI KEIDAR, an educator, is an active member of Other Voice, a non-partisan grassroots group of diverse citizens from the Sderot region and Gaza region who are interested in finding a civil solution for the region and express a new voice promoting hope and non-violent actions for the benefit of the local residents. Born in England, and having lived in Egypt, Ms. Keidar currently resides at Netiv Ha'asara, a moshav in the Northwestern Negev, which was founded by families evacuated from the Sinai as a result of the Camp David Accords, and is today the closest community in Israel to the Gaza Strip. Living in an area which suffers from missile, rocket and mortar attacks, Ms. Keidar works to advance coexistence, understanding, and respect between Israelis and their neighbors across the border.
ETGAR KERET is a popular Israeli writer known for his short stories, graphic novels, and scriptwriting for film and television. He has published several books of short stories and novellas, two comic books, two feature screenplays and numerous teleplays. His books, which were all bestsellers in Israel, have been translated into many languages and some are included in the literature curriculum for Israeli high schools. Works of his which have been translated into English include The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be G-d and Other Stories, The Nimrod Flipout, Missing Kissinger, The Girl on the Fridge, Four Stories, Dad Runs Away With the Circus, Jetlag (comics), and Pizzeria Kamikaze (comics). Mr. Keret has also directed several films, including Jellyfish (Meduzot), a film based on a story by his wife which won the Golden Camera Award at the 2007 Cannes Festival. He is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Literature in Israel and the Chevalier (Knight) Medallion of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
ERAN LERMAN is deputy for foreign policy and international affairs at Israel’s National Security Council. He previously served as director of the American Jewish Committee’s Israel/Middle East Office. Col. (res.) Dr. Lerman also served as the assistant for analyses to the deputy director for intelligence production at the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Directorate of Military Intelligence. He was a member of Israel’s arms control delegation to the Arab-Israeli peace talks from 1992 until 1995 and frequently conducts public briefings on strategic issues. A former lecturer at the Department of Political Science at Haifa University, he holds a B.A. in history from Tel Aviv University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of London, as well as an M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
NAZIER MAGALLY, a writer and journalist, is a former editor-in-chief of Al-Ittihad, Israel's only Arabic-language daily. He is currently a member of the editorial staff of Eretz Aheret, a columnist on Israeli affairs for Asharq Alawsat, a London-based newspaper, and the host of several news magazines on Israel Television's Second Channel. He teaches at Bir Zeit University and in the past taught at Ben Gurion University. The author of six books, he is a commentator on Israeli affairs on various television channels in the Arab world. He is an activist promoting better relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. With Father Emile Shofani, he led a delegation of Arab and Jewish notables to Auschwitz. He serves as general secretary of N.A.S., an Arab movement which values the contribution Israeli Arabs can play in solving the Israel-Arab conflict. Born in Nazareth, Mr. Magally studied journalism in Tel Aviv.SHULA MOLA is the chair of the Board of Directors of the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews, a non-profit organization working to further the cause of equal access to educational and employment opportunities for Ethiopian immigrants and advance their absorption and integration into Israeli society. She previously served at IAEJ as the executive director and has been on the forefront of protecting the rights of Ethiopian Israelis for more than two decades. Ms. Mola currently works as a social science and history teacher at the Reut School in Jerusalem, where she has created a multicultural curriculum. Born in a small village in Ethiopia, Ms. Mola immigrated to Israel at the age of 12, after walking over 700 km. from her village to refugee camps in Sudan. She is a graduate fellow of the Mandel School for Educational Leaders, holds a B.A. and M.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is currently studying towards a Ph.D.
DALIA OFER is the Max and Rita Haber professor of Holocaust and East European studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry and the Melton Center for Jewish Education of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She previously served as academic head of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry, head of the Vidal Sassoon International Research Center for the Study of Anti-semitism, head of the Directorate of the Hebrew University High School and head of the history committee of the Israeli Ministry of Education. Prof. Ofer also served as a visiting professor at Richard Stockton College, the University of Maryland, and Yale University. She was a Charles H. Revson Foundation fellow for archival research, and a visiting scholar at Brandeis University. She has written extensively about the Holocaust, immigration, and gender. Her books include Escaping the Holocaust: Illegal Immigration to the Land of Israel, Women in the Holocaust and Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia. Prof. Ofer holds a B.A., M.A and Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Post. Doc. from the Harvard University Center for Judaic Studies.
YARIV OPPENHEIMER is the general director and spokesperson for Peace Now. He is also the spokesperson for the Israeli half of the Israeli Palestinian Peace Coalition. Mr. Oppenheimer previously served as director of the Youth Department of the Israeli Labour Party. He served in the Israel Defense Forces as educational commander for new recruits. Mr. Oppenheimer holds a degree in law and public policy from the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya.
SHUKI ORBACH is the director general of the Hof Ashkelon (Ashkelon Coast) Regional Council, which covers 19 communities in the Southern district of Israel. Previously, he worked for many years as deputy director general of the human resources management department for leading firms and organizations in Israel, including Polgat, Tadiran, Applied Materials, Arkia, and WIZO. He served as an officer in the Paratroopers Brigade during his service in the Israel Defense Forces. Mr. Orbach holds a B.A. in behavioral sciences and an M.B.A.
SMADAR PERRY is the editor for Middle East affairs and the Arab world at Yediot Achronot, the largest daily newspaper in Israel. She writes on Middle East affairs, the peace process, the Arab-Israeli conflict and social, economic and cultural events in the Muslim world. During working visits in eight Arab countries, Ms. Perry gained exclusive interviews to prominent personalities in the region including President Mubarak (Egypt), H.M. King Abdullah (Jordan), President Buteflika (Algeria), President Mahmoud Abbas (the Palestinian Authority), and women in senior posts. She is also a frequent contributor to TV and radio programs on the Middle East. She holds a B.A. in Middle East history and Arabic language and literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
DANIEL REISNER is head of the Public International Law, Defense and Homeland Security Division at Herzog, Fox and Neeman, Israel's largest law firm. He is also a lecturer at three Israeli universities. Col. (res.) Adv. Reisner is the former head of the International Law Department in the Israel Defense Forces Military Advocate General's Corps. He also served as a senior member of Israel's peace negotiations with both Jordan and the Palestinians, working in the triple role of negotiator, legal advisor and drafter. Following his retirement from the IDF, he opened a law firm, specializing in international consulting, and he advises senior members of the government on issues relating to the Middle East peace process and security issues. His areas of expertise include the Arab-Israel conflict, legal aspects of terrorism, law of armed conflict, international criminal law, the law of trans-boundary water resources, general public international law and international negotiations.
ELIE REKHESS is one of Israel’s leading experts on the Arab minority in Israel, Jewish-Arab relations, Palestinian politics and Islamic resurgence in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. He currently holds the position of visiting Crown chair in Middle East studies at Northwestern University where he teaches in the Department of History and is co-chair of its Middle East Forum. Prior to this, he served as a senior research fellow of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University and headed the Program on Jewish-Arab Cooperation in Israel sponsored by the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung. His recent publications include The Arab Society in Israel: A Compendium, Arab Youth in Israel: Caught Between Prospects and Risk, The Arab Minority in Israel: An Analysis of the ‘Future Vision’ Documents, The Arab Minority in Israel and the 17th Knesset Elections, Together But Apart: Mixed Cities in Israel, and The Evolvement of an Arab-Palestinian National Minority in Israel. Prof. Rekhess holds a B.A. in Arabic language and literature and history of the Middle East from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in the history of the Middle East from Tel Aviv University.
EDWARD RETTIG is the director of AJC Jerusalem, where he previously served for nine years as associate director. Born in the U.S., Dr. Rettig has lived much of his life in Israel. In the United States he served in the congregational rabbinate and in Jewish educational positions, including as a lecturer on Jewish history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In Israel he served in the military where he is a combat veteran of the Yom Kippur and First Lebanon Wars. He was an attorney in the Israel Ministry of Police and a manager of the Kibbutz Yahel date palm plantation. He has been active in support of human rights activities in Israel, having served on the board of a well-known rabbinical human rights organization. Dr. Rettig writes AJC’s weekly commentary on Middle East affairs. He has published articles in Israeli newspapers, in Boston College’s “Studies in Christian Jewish Relations", in the Hebrew University’s law journal Mishpatim and is working on a book about American Jewish relations with Israel. He holds a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a masters’ degree and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College. Dr. Rettig was awarded a Wexner Graduate Fellowship and received his doctorate in Jewish history from Hebrew Union College.
ELYAKIM RUBINSTEIN is a justice on the Israel Supreme Court. He previously served as attorney general of Israel, government secretary, and legal advisor to the Government. He also served as deputy director general and legal advisor to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and legal advisor to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Justice Rubinstein has been a prominent member of Israel's negotiating team in many peace negotiations, including the Madrid Peace Conference, Camp David, etc. and also headed negotiations with Jordan. He served as a judge on the Jerusalem District Court and has written several books on law, the peace process, etc. Justice Rubinstein holds B.A.s in Hebrew language and literature and law, an M.A. in contemporary Jewry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and honorary doctorates from several universities.
HAIM SANDBERG is an associate professor at the Haim Striks Law School at the College of Management Studies and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He teaches courses and seminars on property law and his main fields of interest are property law, land law and transactions, and history of land law. He is the author of several books including The Lands of Israel: Zionism and Post-Zionism, and Land Title Settlement in the State of Israel and Eretz-Israel. He is a member of the Israeli Bar and holds an LL.B., LLM. and LL.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
STAV SHAFFIR, a journalist and social activist, is one of the leaders and spokespeople of the Israeli social movement, a series of ongoing mass demonstrations in Israel which began in the summer of 2011 to protest the continuing rise in the cost of living and the deterioration of public services and expanded to focus on other issues relating to social order and power structure in Israel. Ms. Shaffir's articles have been featured in Time Magazine, The NY Times and the BBC and her columns have been published in Ha'Aretz, Yediot Achronot and other newspapers. Ms. Shaffir has worked as an editor for Yediot Achronot's website and as a journalist for the IDF magazine. She was a conflict resolution professional facilitator between secular and religious Jewish communities and worked with asylum seekers in Israel. She holds a B.A. in journalism and sociology from City University London, where she was the recipient of the Olive Tree Program scholarship for young leaders from Israel and Palestine. In addition, she studied music at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music and is currently studying for an M.A. in philosophy and history of science and ideas at Tel Aviv University.
ANITA SHAPIRA is the head of the Weizmann Institute for the Study of Zionism at Tel Aviv University. A professor of Jewish history, her research focuses on the history of the Jewish community in Palestine (the Yishuv) and Israel and the history of Zionism. She was founding director of the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies. In addition, she has served as dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Tel Aviv University, president of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, chair of the board of Am Oved publishing, and vice-chairperson of the Israeli Historical Society. Prof. Shapira is currently a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute and is a recipient of the Israel Prize. She is the author and editor of numerous books including Berl: The Biography of a Socialist Zionist, Berl Katznelson; Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948; Yigal Allon, Native Son: A Biography; Zionism and Religion; and Essential Papers in Zionism. She holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in history and Jewish history from Tel Aviv University.
SMADAR SHEFFI is an art and culture critic for the Israeli media, including HaAretz newspaper, and Galei Zahal (Israel Army Radio). In addition, she is the art critic for Artery, NYC, a web-based publication for art and culture. Ms. Sheffi has lectured on art for various cultural institutes in Israel and abroad and currently teaches a writing workshop at the Faculty of Arts at Tel Aviv University. She is the curator and editor of Leumi Art Collection/Collected Works and has written numerous articles about Israeli art in the media. She holds a B.A. and M.A in art history from Tel Aviv University, an M.A. in art history from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, and is a doctoral candidate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
GERALD STEINBERG is the president and founder of NGO Monitor and a professor of political studies at Bar Ilan University. His research interests include international relations, Middle East diplomacy and security, the politics of human rights and NGOs, Israeli politics, and arms control. He is the founder of the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation at Bar Ilan University. Prof. Steinberg's op-ed columns have been published in The Jerusalem Post, The Wall St. Journal, and The International Herald Tribune and he has appeared as a commentator on BBC, CBC, CNN and NRP. His recent publications include NGOs, Human Rights and Political Warfare in the Arab-Israel Conflict, Europe's Failed Middle East Policies, The UN, the ICJ and the Separation Barrier, and Best Practices for Human Rights and Humanitarian NGOs. He holds a B.A. in physics and Near Eastern studies and an M.Sc. in physics from the University of California, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Cornell University.
JACOB STEINBERG is the director of the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev. He has participated in the establishment of many educational and socially-oriented initiatives. He served as policy consultant for the Department for Gifted Children at the Israeli Ministry of Education and as coordinator of a subcommittee of the Dovrat Committee. He has worked to promote financial and legal literacy and social entrepreneurship among youth, and marginalized groups such as refugees and illegal immigrants. He has practiced law, specializing in the fields of ethics of public systems and criminal justice and served as a staff member of the Israeli Securities Authority Enforcement Division. In addition, he has been involved in the development of technological systems for regulation and enforcement in the capital market. Adv. Steinberg is a graduate of the School for Educational Leadership at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem.
ILAN TROEN is Stoll Family chair in Israel studies at Brandeis University and director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies which sponsors the Summer Institute for Israel Studies. He has served as director of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute and Archives in Sde Boker and as dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ben-Gurion University. Prof. Troen has authored or edited numerous books on American, Jewish and Israeli history. He is also the founding editor of Israel Studies, an international journal that publishes three issues annually on behalf of Brandeis and Ben-Gurion University. Prof. Troen's most recent books include Jewish Centers and Peripheries: European Jewry Between America and Israel Fifty Years After World War II; The Americanization of Israel (special issue of Israel Studies); Divergent Jewish Cultures: Israel and America; Imagining Zion: Dreams, Designs and Realities in a Century of Jewish Settlement; with Jacob Lassner, Jews and Muslims in the Arab World: Haunted by Pasts Real and Imagined; and with Maoz Azaryahu, Tel-Aviv: The First Century, Visions, Designs, and Actualities.SARAH WEISS MA'UDI is the deputy director of the International Law Department at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her primary areas of practice include maritime law, water law, international borders, international law relating to gas and oil, the recognition of States, Israeli domestic sanctions policies regarding Iran and Israeli policies vis-à-vis its neighbors. Att. Weiss Ma'udi was responsible for finalizing Israel's maritime border agreement with the republic of Cyprus and currently heads the Israeli delegation in negotiations with Cyprus on an agreement for the joint development of cross-boundary gas reserves. She also serves as the Ministry's expert on complex maritime legal issues relating to the protest flotillas to the Gaza Strip. Prior to working at the Ministry, she worked as an associate lawyer at GKH, a top corporate law firm specializing in international contract law, and taught public international law at Ono Academic College. Prior to this, she worked at the Israeli Ministry of Justice's International Treaties and Litigation Department. She holds degrees in Arabic and Islamic studies and political studies from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in regional studies of the Middle East from Harvard University, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.