Dr. Gabor Balazs received his PhD. at Bar Ilan University in Israel. His main interest is the connection between morality, politics and religion; art and contemporary Jewish identity; Israeli art, society and identity. He is a professor of Jewish and Israeli Philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary-University of Jewish Studies. He is the vice-rector of the institution and the head of the Rabbinical Training Program. He is also active in numerous frameworks of Jewish adult education, he is one of the founding members of Limmud Hungary. Formerly he worked as the Head of Jewish and Israel Studies at Lauder Javne Jewish Community College School, the director of the Israeli Cultural Institute in Budapest, and the headmaster of the school of the Orthodox Jewish Community of Hungary. As a community activity, he serves as the vice president of the Orthodox Community of Hungary.
Josh grew in up in Western Australia, with his biologist parents and their menagerie. Following a brief career as an opera singer, he completed a Masters in Music, Mind and Technology at the University of Jyväskylä, and is currently working towards a Doctorate on the social bonding functions of music and dance, at the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford.
Elisheva Baumgarten is the Prof, Yitzchak Becker chair for Jewish Studies and teaches in the Departments of History and Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Baumgarten is a social historian and her work studies the Jews of Ashkenaz in the High Middle Ages, focusing on Jewish-Christian relations and social hierarchies within the Jewish communities. She currently leads a European Research Council funded research group that focuses on "Beyond the Elite: Jewish Daily Life in Medieval Europe."
Hagit Ben-Yaakov serves currently as the Ambassador of Israel to Finland and Estonia. She started her term in Helsinki in autumn 2020. Ben-Yaakov has held several senior posts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel in Jerusalem, most recently the Director of Israel-China Economic Affairs. During her time in the National Security Council of the Prime Minister’s Office, she was the Senior Director for European Affairs (2016-2018). Ben-Yaakov served as the Ambassador of Israel to Latvia and Lithuania in 2011-2015. Ambassador Ben-Yaakov holds a B.A. in History and Middle East studies and a M.A. in Middle East studies from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Executive program of the Negotiation Strategies Institute (NSI/Harvard University). She lives in Helsinki with her two children.
Mike Abery and Benny Lemer
Mike and Benny are 70 somethings who spent 3 months learning the basics of preparing and cooking a series of nutritious meals taught by their two daughters. This live cooking session and discussion. We will make hamantashen and English scones in the session. Ingredients will be sent out in advance so that the participants can cook alongside Mike and Benny.
David Bilchitz is a Professor of Fundamental Rights Law at the University of Johannesburg and the University of Reading and Vice-President of the International Association of Constitutional Law. He was a founder of Limmud South Africa and was chair of Limmud International. He teaches on the Melton adult education programme and is a board member of Animal Law Reform South Africa.
After finishing army service in the IDF (currently a major) Zvi has devoted his life to happiness oriented coaching. Since 2006, he has added several holistic expertise to his clinic, including Homeopathy, NLP, NFB and nutrition. Nowadays he is mainly focused on Training courses, though he does see people in the clinic on specific occasions.
Roy Doliner has the same sort of bizarre and eclectic background as Michelangelo. His studies include several foreign languages, including Italian, Sign Language, French, Hebrew and Latin, amongst others. His researches have included art history, religious history, Western civilization, architectural history, theatre and ﬁlm. Learning of his Jewish heritage at a later age, he is today a passionate lecturer on Judaism and an eternal student of Torah, Talmud and Kabbalah. As a renowned Art Detective, his discoveries include the Model for Michelangelo's Pietà in the Vatican, and his international best-seller, The Sistine Secrets, which shocked the world by decoding Michelangelo's visual messages concealed in the world\s most famous frescoes. For his work in art history and interreligious understanding, Roy was the first Orthodox Jew authorized to be a VIP docent in the Vatican. When in Rome, Roy does what very few Romans do - he is a constant ﬁxture both in the Vatican and the Jewish Museums.”
Qesher - Dóra Korányi and Sebastian Mizrahi
Dóra Korányi and Sebastian Mizrahi are the co-founders of Qesher:
Based in Jerusalem, but a tireless traveler to all parts of the globe, Avraham Infeld has dedicated his long and distinguished career to helping Jews find meaning and joy in their Jewish identities.
Born in South Africa and raised in a strongly Zionist family, Avraham made aliyah to Israel and studied Jewish History and Bible at theHebrew University, and Law at Tel Aviv University. Embarking thereafter on what would become a career in Jewish education, Avraham served among other roles in the following leadership positions: Program Director at Ulpan Akiva, First Community Shaliach in the US, serving Baltimore and Washington, Founder and President of Melitz Centers of Jewish Zionist Education, Director of Shalom Hartman Institute, Director of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Youth Department for
English-Speaking Europe, Director of Planning Process of Taglit Birthright Israel, International President and CEO of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, President of the Chais Family Foundation, Mentor to the Reut Institute for Tikkun Olam and Jewish Peoplehood.
In recognition of his contributions to Jewish education, Avraham is the recipient of the Hebrew University's prestigious Samuel Rothberg Prize for Jewish Education, Hillel’s Renaissance Award, and honorary doctorates from Muhlenberg College and Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.
Director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. Professor Emeritus of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London; Professor of Political Science at Bar-Ilan University; Principal Research Fellow (and former Director) of the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia), where he also edits the scholarly journal Middle East Quarterly; founding editor of the scholarly journal Israel Affairs, now in its twenty-fourth year, and founding general editor of a Routledge book series on Israeli History, Politics and Society, with over 60 books published.
Jeremy Langford (born London, England, 1956) is a British/Israeli glass sculptor and designer. He is the son of British/Israel television director and producer Barry Langford. His artistic specialties are monumental size stacked glass sculpture, architectural glass, and stained glass. His artwork is internationally known and he has been commissioned around the world in the creation of glass art for governments, private residences, corporations, hotels, and religious organizations. Major works of his include monumental glass installations at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the ancient tomb of the Matriarch Rachel in Bethlehem, three massive sculptures for the Trump Towers at Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, and the new Waldorf Astoria hotel in Jerusalem.
Rachel Langford is a neuroscientist researcher, lecturer and clinician. Some of her areas of interest are: Consciousness and behaviour, Brain treatment for ADHD, the neuroscience of romantic relationships, and brain functions in minimally conscious states in the medical setting.
Born in Israel in 1976, mother of six, Tamar Meir holds degrees in Talmud and Jewish philosophy, and a PhD in literature from Bar-Ilan University. She currently serves as head of the Literature Department at the Givat Washington College of Education and teaches Aggadah at Efrata College and at Bar-Ilan University. Meir is also member and head of various Ministry of Education committees responsible for the literature curricula at schools and kindergartens. In addition to her academic and literary work, Meir is a social activist, empowering women in the religious community. Tamar established and heads the “Kulana” women's Beit Midrash, and is a member of the Board of Rabbis of Beit Hillel, an Orthodox rabbinical organization that also includes women in its ranks. Francesco Tirelli's Ice Cream Store, Meir's first children's book, was awarded the Yad Vashem Prize (2017) and the Devorah Omer Prize for Children's Literature (2017).
Yoad Mick was born in Israel, grew up in California, served as an IDF officer, majored in psychology, studied photography and acting, performed in theater and festivals, worked years as creative in global ad agencies, defected to the client-side to become a brand marketer in the gaming industry, keynote speaker, relocated to Helsinki which brought him to the world of impact and enabled him to finally unleash his real imagination and art. Most importantly, married to Alisa and father to 3 amazing girls, who share his love of imagination - oh and... he plays the trombone.
Raymond O'Brien was born to a Jewish mother and an Irish father, his mother's side of the family were a family of 'seers' he is a natural born medical intuitive, he has died 10 times in one night and had multiple near-death experiences. Raymond has worked with the medical profession to help NDE survivors to try to process the psychological ripples that come through such an event, he has been published by the John Hopkins University in connection with the gap of care for survivors. He has spent 18 months on a chemo-unit as Registered Healer and as a diagnostic seer with the 'Healing Trust UK, and has done voluntary work for a major UK charity as a trained counsellor, Raymond is also a member of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapy, he has also had a been keynote speaker for IANDS, specialising in the psychological effects of NDE's .
Kornél Salamon is a Hungarian Jewish teen currently studying in high-school. He is an alumni of the Helsinki Jewish School and he was the president of the student council for two consecutive academic years. Currently he is the president of BBYO Finland and he received BBYO's Tree Of Life Recruitment Award in the February of 2019. Kornél has been also helping in Limud for multiple years doing photography and IT-help.
Abby Stein is a Jewish educator, author, speaker, and activist. She was born and raised in a Hasidic family of rabbinic descent, and is a direct descendant of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism. Abby attended Yeshiva, completing a rabbinical degree in 2011. In 2012, she left the Hasidic world to explore a self-determined life. In 2015 Abby came out as a woman of trans experience. Since coming out, she has been working to raise support and awareness for trans rights and those leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy. Her memoir Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman was published in November 2019.
Yaron Nadbornik, President of the Jewish Community of Helsinki, Nic Abery, City Consultant from EFI (moderator), Beto Guzman, Activity and Event Coordinator, Daniel Shaul, Teacher and Change Manager in Jewish School of Helsinki