Coral Amiga, Director, The Bris of Michael Moshe Solomon

Coral Amiga, a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, is now based in London. She has worked as a writer-performer in both TV and Film. Her projects have included short films, a mockumentary sketch series (Shallow VS), and a dramedy pilot (Bored). She currently has two feature films in development: a satirical thriller (Mary Jane in Real Life) and her directorial debut (Tribe), for which the script was a finalist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab in 2018. The Bris of Michael Moshe Solomon serves as a proof of concept for this feature.

Mira Awad, Producer, Muna

Mira Awad is singer, songwriter, actress, and artivista (activist through art). Born in Rameh village in the Galilee, to a Palestinian father and Bulgarian mother, Mira now lives in Tel Aviv. She is a multicultural, multidisciplinary performer who has acted in theatre productions, hosted tv shows, and starred in Arab Labor. She has released two solo albums and has collaborated with artists including Noa, Idan Raichel, Andrea Boccelli, and Bobby McFerrin. Mira has developed a unique fusion of sounds, combining  Arabic language and instrumentations with Western harmonies to create a rich tapestry of sounds.  She also writes music for theatre and film. Mira’s name has become identified with promoting dialogue and co-existence, she is a relentless peace activist, and uses her art to advocate human solidarity and empathy across cultures.

Nir Caspi, Speaker, Good Morning Son

Nir Caspi is the Co-Founder of Café Landwer, an Israeli chain of gourmet casual dining cafes. Caspi, a former Israeli Navy SEAL, planned and led over ten special operations during his army service, and represented the Israeli SEALs in a joint training program with their US counterparts. Nir recently relocated to Boston with his wife and three young children in order to expand Café Landwer’s operations into North America. Their first café in North America opened in Toronto February 2017.

Keren Ben Horin, Speaker/Co-Creator, Mrs. G

Keren Ben-Horin is a fashion historian, curator, author, and educator. She is endlessly inspired by fashion’s ability to empower, define, and transform the self. Keren is the co-creator of the Mrs. G., which was adapted in part from her MA thesis on the topic. She co-authored the fashion history survey She’s Got Legs: A History of Hemlines and Fashion and was the editor of the book The Sweater: A History. Keren has curated several fashion exhibitions and teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She is currently enrolled in the PhD program in History at NYU. Website: kerenbenhorin.com Instagram: @kerenbenhorin

Dr. Yael Berda, Speaker, The Lost Crown

Dr. Yael Berda is currently the Gerard Weinstock visiting lecturer on sociology at Harvard University. She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Hebrew University and teaches Sociology of Law, State Bureaucracies, Sociology of Empires and Society in Israel. She received her PhD from Princeton University; MA from Tel Aviv University and  LLB from Hebrew University faculty of Law. Berda was a practicing human rights  lawyer, representing in military, district, and Supreme court in Israel. Berda has always been highly engaged in social and political struggles in Israel, from co-founding and leading the student movement Mahapach–Taghir, to involvement in public actions for equality in education, housing, and public participation, and the struggle against privatization of prisons.

Rabbi Chaim Bruk, Protagonist, The Rabbi Goes West

Rabbi Chaim Bruk is Co-Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Montana & Spiritual Leader of The Shul of Bozeman. Together with his wife Chavie they are raising their five adopted children.

Bettina Ehrhardt, Director, Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds: The Conductor Zubin Mehta

Bettina Ehrhardt is the director of Good Throughts, Good Words, Good Deeds: The Conductor Zubin Mehta.

Mason Dunn, Director of Advocacy, Keshet, Flawless

Mason Dunn (he/him or they/them) has over 15 years of experience in transgender rights advocacy, and currently serves as the Director of Advocacy for Keshet. They are the former executive director at the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, co-chair of the Yes on 3 campaign, and teaches as an adjunct faculty member at UNH Manchester. Mason earned their J.D. from University of New Hampshire School of Law and is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association.  They are also a board member of Equality Federation and commission member of the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth.

Amy Geller, Co-Director/Producer The Rabbi Goes West

Amy Geller is a long-time producer whose credits include: the PBS/BBC broadcast docudrama Murder at Harvard (2003), the Sundance Institute-supported narrative Stay Until Tomorrow  (2005), the four-hour PBS mini-series, The War That Made America (2006), and the documentary feature, For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism  (2009). From 2012-2014, Geller served as the Artistic Director of the Boston Jewish Film Festival, where she received a young Jewish leadership award. Her feature-length directorial debut The Guys Next Door (2016) has won jury prizes and audience awards at film festivals across the country. She currently teaches production classes at Boston University.

Tyler Gildin, Director/Producer, The Starfish

Tyler Gildin is a director and producer whose work has earned him four New York Emmy Awards. He recently established his own company, Gildin Media, to expand his portfolio of creating content for brands and digital publishers, as well as producing his own projects. The Starfish is his directorial debut and his first Gildin Media documentary short. The film has screened at festivals all over the country, most recently winning the Audience Award for Short Films Documentary at the Syracuse International Film Festival.

Tovah Feldshuh, Actress, Golda’s Balcony: The Film

Tovah Feldshuh is a six-time Emmy & Tony nominee and has been awarded three honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters. Additionally for her theatre work, she has won four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, three Drama Logues, the Helen Hayes and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Actress, the Obie, and the Theatre World Awards.  She most recently was chosen to play Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Los Angeles Premiere of Sisters in Law. She has starred in numerous Broadway productions including  Yentl, Sarava!, Lend Me a Tenor, Dreyfus in Rehersal,  and Pippin. Her Off-Broadway roles included the three queens of Henry VIII,  Tallulah Bankhead and boxing promoter Yussel “The Muscle” Jacobs. She has appeared on TV shows like The Walking Dead, Law and Order, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and in films such as Kissing Jessica Stein (BJFF 2001), A Walk on the Moon, and Just My Luck. Her one-woman show Tovah is Leona!  just closed after three sold-out engagements.You can find her fan page on Facebook, her Twitter @TovahwithaV, or follow her adventures all over the world on Instagram: @tovahfeldwww.tovahfeldshuh.com

David J. Fishelson, Producer, Golda’s Balcony: The Film

David Fishelson has been a producer for film, theatre, and television, based in New York City, since 1982. He has 4 published plays, over 60 credits off and on Broadway as a producer, and his films have been on PBS as well as at over 60 film festivals.

Barbara Wallace Grossman, Moderator, Golda’s Balcony: The Film

Barbara Wallace Grossman is a theatre historian, voice specialist, director, and author with strong interests in contemporary American musicals, Holocaust and Genocide-related theatre and film, and arts advocacy. A Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Tufts University, Grossman also directs dramatic and musical departmental productions. She was a presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts and the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and served as Vice Chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Council from 2007 to 2019. She currently is a member of several boards including the American Repertory Theater, the ADL’s  New England Region, and MassCreative.

Ilana Hurwitz, Speaker, The State Against Mandela and the Others

A South African native, Ilana is an attorney and has taught at Boston University School of Law for over 20 years. She was an associate at Boston’s Hill & Barlow, a clerk for a federal court judge, and a fellow at Legal Resources Centre in Johannesburg. Long interested in international human rights, Ilana has been involved in refugee issues since the late 1980’s. She has represented asylum seekers, served as a director of an organization providing pro bono legal services to asylum seekers, and has worked most recently with refugees at Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights. Ilana serves on the board of directors of South Africa Partners, a nonprofit that builds mutually beneficial partnerships in health and education between the U.S. and South Africa. She advises Integrity Initiatives International, an organization combatting grand corruption across the globe.

Ramy Katz, Director, Cause of Death

Ramy A. Katz was born in Jerusalem and graduated from the Steve Tisch School of Film & Television at Tel Aviv University.  His award winning documentary film Free Flow (2011) participated in human rights film festival around the world, Cause of Death is his second documentary.

Debra Kaufman, Speaker, #Female Pleasure

Debra Kaufman was the founding director of the Women’s Studies department at Northeastern University in 1982. She later co-founded the Jewish Studies program and was named a Matthews Distinguished University Professor in the sociology department. Her work contributes to our understanding of how we construct and are shaped by our ethnic, religious, and gender identities. Debra analyzes contemporary identities, deconstructing the ways in which we measure and take meaning from religion, ethnicity, the sacred, and the secular. Her research has shown that almost all identity structures are shaped by the power relations within and among institutions.

Kay Kaufman Shelemay, Speaker, Fig Tree

Kay Kaufman Shelemay is the G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Before moving to Harvard in 1992, she taught at Columbia University, New York University, and Wesleyan University. Shelemay’s has written several books including, Music Ritual, and Falasha History, which won the Prize of the International Musicological Society and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award.  Shelemay has also published numerous articles, recordings, and a museum catalogue. She is currently completing a book on musicians from Ethiopia and Eritrea who  have migrated to the United States. A past-president of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Shelemay has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy for Jewish Research, the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.  She has been awarded fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Stanford Humanities Center. She held the Chair of Modern Culture at the John W. Kluge Center of the U.S. Library of Congress during 2007-2008.  At Harvard University, Shelemay has been named a Walter Channing Cabot Fellow and was awarded the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, and the Everett Mendelsohn Graduate Mentoring Prize.

Justin Long, Actor, Safe Spaces

Justin Long is the star of such films as He’s Just Not That Into You, Dodgeball and Live Free or Die Hard and TV series such as “The New Girl,” “Ed” and “King of the Hill.”

 

Judith Manassen Ramon, Producer, The Lost Crown

Judith Manassen Ramon is a producer of documentary films and interactive projects and the founder of Micha’s films. Judith’s films include Dolphin Boy (BJFF 2011), One Angry Vegan, and The Lost Crown. She also produced Place,  a VR documentary  journey through time to a space that no longer exists. She is currently writing her PhD thesis in Media Psychology and teaches cinema therapy.

Dani Menkin, Director, Picture of His Life

Dani Menkin is a two-times Israeli Academy Award winner. His award-winning narrative and documentary films include Picture of His Life, On the Map (BJFF 2016), Aulcie, Dolphin Boy (BJFF 2011), 39 Pounds of Love (BJFF 2005), and Is That You?.  His movies have been sold world-wide including to Disney and HBO. Menkin is an internationally renowned speaker and film juror at International Festivals around the world, as well as a film professor in universities and colleges in Israel and the U.S. He co-founded “Hey Jude Productions.” Dani currently lives with his family in Los Angeles.

Oren Nimni Speaker, Advocate

Oren Nimni is a Staff Attorney at the Lawyers for Civil Rights where he manages their immigrants’ rights and criminal justice docket. His legal practice focuses on cutting-edge constitutional litigation on behalf of people of color and immigrants. Among many cases, he is currently litigating the first lawsuit filed in the country against the Trump Administration to save Temporary Protected Status on behalf of Haitian, Honduran and Salvadoran immigrants, and a groundbreaking lawsuit to bar ICE from arresting people in and around courthouses. Oren also teaches at Suffolk University Law School and serves as legal editor for the popular political magazine Current Affairs.

Élise Otzenberger, Director, My Polish Honeymoon

Elise Otzenberger started her career acting in Classical Theatre. Her first film role was in Gerard Jugnot’s Most Promising Young Actress. She has kept alternated between roles in classical theatre and modern comedies for the stage while continuing to shoot films and TV Series, including Après Vous, Le Doux Amour des Hommes, La Jungle, Gamines, and Love and Bruises. She wrote and directed her first one woman show My Hollywood… Dear Mr Spielberg in 2006 and has since continued working as a screenwriter for TV and films. My Polish Honeymoon is her directorial debut.

Gerald Perry, Co-Director/Writer, The Rabbi Goes West

Gerald Peary is the director-writer of For the Love of Movies: American Film Criticism (2009) and Archie’s Betty (2015). He was a film studies professor at Suffolk University, is a veteran film critic for The Boston Phoenix, and acted in the 2013 feature film, Computer Chess, which premiered at Sundance. Currently, he writes reviews for The Arts Fuse and is the programmer of the Boston University Cinematheque.

Oren Rudavsky, Director, Witness Theater

Oren Rudavsky’s documentary films include Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People, Colliding Dreams,  The Ruins of Lifta, Hiding and Seeking, and A Life Apart: Hasidism in America. His feature film, The Treatment, was awarded Best Film at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival where it was awarded Best Film. Rudavsky is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and several National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts grants.

Daniel Schechter, Director, Safe Spaces

Daniel Schechter is the writer and director of Life of Crime (2014) starring Jennifer Aniston, Supporting Characters (2012) starring Lena Dunham and the Safe Spaces which stars Justin Long, Kate Berlant and Fran Drescher.

H. Alan Scott, Protagonist/Writer/ Executive Producer, Latter Day Jew

H. Alan Scott is a writer/comedian/producer whose work has been published on VICE, Fusion, Esquire, Newsweek, Nerdist, MTV, and OUT. He’s contributed to Jim Henson’s “No, You Shut Up” on Fusion, TV Land’s “Younger,” and BBC’s “Danger Mouse.” He co-hosts Out on the Lanai: The Golden Girls Podcast; and Talking Crime: A “Not So Serious” True Crime Response Podcast. He’s appeared on MTV, Fusion, CNN, ABC, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and “Ellen.” Scott resides in LA with his cat Frasier and possesses perhaps the world’s most kickass “Golden Girls” tattoo.

Rachel Sharanksy Danziger, Speaker, From Slavery to Freedom 

Rachel Sharansky Danziger is a Jerusalem-born writer and a lover of juxtapositions. She blogs about the intersections between life, parenting, history, and text for The times of Israel, 929, Kveller, and other online venues. Having researched connections between religion, emotion, and storytelling for her MA thesis in American history, she now explores similar connections in the Bible and in real life.

Barnabas Tóth, Director, Those Who Remained

Barnabas Tóth a director of short and feature length films. His 2013 short film My Guide was viewed on Vimeo over 1.5 million times within a week making it one of the most successful short films ever made in Hungary. His latest short film, Chuchotage (2018), was shortlisted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the 91st Oscars in 2019. Those Who Remained is his second feature and is Hungary’s official entry for the 2020 Oscars.

Micah Smith, Director, Sustainable Nation

Micah Smith is an award winning director of feature-length documentaries, short films and web series. His three award-winning documentary films focus on human rights and the environment, and have been screened in over 40 festivals on five continents. His shorts and web-series have been screened at over 70 festivals, including the Austin Revolution Film Festival, NYC Web Fest, and the San Francisco Dance Film Festival. Smith graduated from the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Kelly Woyan, Executive Producer, Latter Day Jew

Kelly Woyan has nearly 20 years experience as a producer, author, freelance writer, and television personality. Currently she’s producing Imaginary Friend, an animated feature film. Kelly has experience in story development and as a production assistant, is the author of three books, wrote an award-winning blog, has appeared on national television shows including The Today Show and Martha Stewart Living and in publications such as LA Home, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Chicago Tribune.  Prior to her work in film and publishing, Kelly worked as a producer at CBS Morning News in Chicago. Kelly is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at University of Southern California.

Dr. Shayna Weiss, Speaker/Moderator, Autonomies and Muna

Dr. Shayna Weiss is the Associate Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University.  was the inaugural Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Israel Studies at the United States Naval Academy. She earned her PhD from New York University in Hebrew and Judaic Studies. She completed postdoctoral fellowships in Israel at Bar Ilan University and Tel Aviv University, where she taught courses about Israeli history and society. She has also taught at Brooklyn College and New York University. Her research interests converge at the intersection of religion and gender in the Israeli public sphere, as well as the politics of Israeli popular culture. She is completing a book on gender segregation in the Israeli public sphere.

 

William Novak

William Novak, Moderator, From Slavery to Freedom

William Novak is the author or co-author of some two dozen books, including the memoirs of Lee Iacocca, Tip O’Neill, Magic Johnson, Oliver North, Nancy Reagan, Tim Russert, and Natan Sharansky’s Fear No Evil.   He is the co-editor, with Moshe Waldoks, of The Big Book of Jewish Humor.   His most recent work is: Die Laughing: Killer Jokes for Newly Old Folks.