Jacob Hamburger is a Paris-based writer and translator whose work has appeared in publications such as Charlie Hebdo, Tenou’a, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Point. He is also a graduate student in political philosophy and intellectual history at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, where he is currently writing a thesis on neoconservatism and its origins in the Cold War notion of the “end of ideology.”
Abby Stein was born and raised in a Chasidic family of rabbinic descent; she is the 10th generation of the Baal Shem Tov – Founder of the Chasidic movement. She attended Yeshiva, completing a rabbinical degree in 2011. In 2012, Abby left the Chasidic world to explore different worldviews, while struggling with gender identity. A few months ago, she came out as a woman of trans experience, and she has been doing work towards her goal to raise awareness and support people going through a similar experience. Her story has been covered in the New York Times, New York Post, Jewish Daily Forward, Kveller, Daily Mail, as well as live appearances on Fox News, CNN, HuffPost Live, ShowTime and more. Abby is a second-year student at Columbia University’s School of General Studies studying Women’s and Gender Studies with a concentration in Political Science.
Copyright Kristoffer Schwetje Photography
Qualified hotelier, a former participant of the TV talent show Star Search, business administration graduate, actor in the crowdsourced film “#3Min, die mein Leben verändert haben” (#3min that changed my life), and crowd expert, Shai Hoffman is living proof that the journey really is the reward. Shai lives this way as he owes his life to a kidney donated by his father in 2007. From this act it became obvious for Shai to speak of karma in the truest sense of the word, the 33-year old became project coordinator of Karma Chakhs, blogger, and vlogger for Good Impact, co-host of the education conference #dclassconference and founder of the creative agency Shai Hoffmann. Today he reports throughout Germany on the crowd phenomenon, the power of groups, and motivating countless people.
Scott Goodstein is CEO of Revolution Messaging, the American left’s leading digital firm known for running the digital strategy and operations for top political campaigns, including Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.
Goodstein’s firm helped the Sanders campaign shatter all expectations to raise $220 million online, achieving new records in grassroots fundraising and young voter support. Revolution Messaging led online fundraising, digital advertising, email, website, mobile, video, photography, social media graphics and more.
In 2008, Scott was External Online Director for Obama for America, creating the campaign’s groundbreaking social networking, mobile and lifestyle marketing strategies. Prior to his work for Obama, Scott worked for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and managed over a dozen political campaigns. He co-founded Punkvoter.com and Rock Against Bush in 2004 which became a $4 million young voter mobilization effort.
Most recently, Goodstein and his firm have built two new services to make progressive activism easier in the age of President Trump. WhiteHouseInc.org and DailyAction.org have connected 700,000 calls in protest of Trump policies.
Goodstein has assisted national political campaign efforts in Aruba, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico. He has given presentations at Columbia University, American University, George Washington University and Georgetown University. He has also been a featured panelist at the South By SouthWest, PopTech, Brookings Institute, the Milken Institute and Personal Democracy Forum and sits on the advisory boards of The Arena Summit and Poptech.
Inbar Amir is an artist and an educator.
Inbar’s artistic work ranges from script writing to acting and directing.
Inbar writes for Israeli television and Theatre. Inbar is the writer, director, and actor of the play “Just Be You”. The play has been performed at numerous festivals and theaters and was broadcast on national radio. Inbar’s recent play “10th grade” was chosen by the fund of Israeli playwriting for 2015.
Inbar leads storytelling and public speaking workshops. She uses theatre as a medium in conflict management and communication skills workshops. Inbar works in a variety of different arenas from academia to corporations to educational programs.
Inbar teaches creative writing and storytelling at Eshkol Nevo’s writing studio.
Inbar spoke at TEDxJaffa 2014, where her lecture was entitled “Trapped by Choice”.
Martin Schubert is a Berlin-based life coach, trainer and speaker. After his degree in business he worked as a journalist and wrote for Planet-Interview.de, Berliner Zeitung, Tagesspiegel, Jüdische Allgemeine, STERN-Online and many more. As a social activist he lived in Ramechap/ Nepal working with the Israeli NGO Tevel bTzedek and is currently writing a novel about identity, spirituality and the life in a village of a disadvanced people in Nepal.
Together with his wife, the artist Alisa Poplavskaya he is coaching couples interested in an intimate spiritual relationship.
Alisa Poplavskaya is a spiritual artist, social psychologist, creative educator, founder of LoveSky – Mindful Creativity Studio and social justice activist.
In the last 15 years Alisa lived and worked in Ukraine, Israel, USA, Sweden, Austria, Hong Kong, Slovakia, Nepal and Germany.
Currently Alisa is leading mindful & creative workshops, retreats, team buildings around the world.
Michael L. Miller is head of the Nationalism Studies Program and a founder of the Jewish Studies Program at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He received his B.A. in History, Archaeology and Judaic Studies from Brown University. He received his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University, where he specialized in Jewish and Central European History. His research focuses on the impact of nationality conflicts on the religious, cultural, and political development of Central European Jewry in the nineteenth century. Miller’s first book, Rabbis and Revolution: The Jews of Moravia in the Age of Emancipation, was published by Stanford University Press in 2011. It was just published in Czech as Moravští Židé v době emancipace (Nakladatelství lidové noviny, 2015). He is currently writing a history of the Jews of Hungary.
Nate Auerbach is a partner at Versus Creative, a strategy firm with specialization in digital platforms, culture marketing and strategic partnerships. He works with clients that include Spotify, Goldenvoice, Monotone Management and Vinyl Me, Please to design tactical audience engagement solutions with on- and offline functions.
Prior to Versus, Nate spent four years as Head of Music at Tumblr, where he facilitated partnerships, editorial and program development, and worked closely with the artist community to engage Tumblr’s passionate audience. Nate created the flagship online+offline program, Tumblr IRL, and established Answer Time as the community’s native Q&A series, focusing on initiatives to enhance discovery, content and monetization.
Before Tumblr, Nate spent three and a half years at The Collective, a talent management company and multi-channel network, where he built a team to manage the digital businesses of its many clients. There he architected Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. FRIDAYS series and led the digital marketing and sales strategy on Linkin Park’s A Thousand Suns #1 global album campaign. Prior to The Collective, Nate took on many roles at MySpace, where he executed strategic and offline partnerships, and managed the development of original programs.
Nate got his start in the industry as a tour manager while finishing college at Syracuse University and, upon graduation, traveled the world for two years with multi-Grammy Award winning band, Ozomatli. Nate brings an artist perspective and digital prowess to his partners in his mission to serve music fans around the globe.
Brigitte Lipschutz has a passion to help people in their leadership development journey. She works with executives, managers, entrepreneurs and european officials doing individual, group and team coaching as well as some training. She has a background that is rooted both in science (Ph.d in cognitive neuroscience) and business (management consulting, the Boston Consulting Group and Leadership Lab, Egon Zehnder International). This diverse background allows her to feel comfortable during all types of coaching conversations, from “soft” issues to concrete business challenges and to facilitate deep and lasting change.
Viktor grew up in Bulgaria and has been living in Switzerland for the last 5,5 years. He has over 20 years of experience in helping individuals and organizations shift and develop. Viktor has worked in the Jewish Community as an Educator and Leadership Developer for 5 years, then he moved in Corporate Learning and Talent Management as a Consultant. Last year he set up a company, B on Course, aiming at helping individuals and organizations stay on course with their purpose, values and essence, and reinvent their everyday lives accordingly. If you want to know how, ask him. As part of his professional path he has managed teams of various sizes and locations. Viktor is a voracious learner. His curiosity has taken him to explore the territories of Business Administration, the Torah and the Talmud, Social Psychology, Leadership and Quantum Physics, Thai Massage, Conscious Movement, Fado Singing, Applied Neuroscience, Body Intelligence and some more. That combination makes him a reliable navigator of personal and organizational development. Viktor lives with his partner in Bern, Switzerland. He loves traveling, taking photos, cooking (and entertaining guests), mountaineering, diving, taking walks with friends, reading in bed. He has been having “an affair” with Junction since last Nov, so he is happy to join us in Berlin.
Benny Fischer is the elected president of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS). He
studied Political Sciences at Hamburg University and Law at Bucerius Law School. Benny
grew up in a traditional Jewish household as the son of an Israeli mother and a German father.
In 2010 he graduated from the Jewish High School of Berlin. Ever since he was a scholar of
the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk (ELES), a Jewish scholarship foundation which is
Before his term at EUJS he served as ELES’ national student president.
Fischer worked in Jewish and non-Jewish youth centers and youth movements (foremost the
ZWST) for more than nine years. Additionally, he started teaching and shaping the education
of new youth leaders in January 2014. Apart from that, he started a grass-roots initiative;
giving guided tours through the Synagogue of Hamburg for visitors of all age, mostly school
classes. Thereby he tried to deliver a first insight into Judaism and Jewish identity. He is the founding President of the German Union of Jewish Students and an Executive Board Member of WJC.
EUJS is a pluralistic, inclusive and non-partisan umbrella organization that supports Jewish
student unions throughout Europe and represents its members in front of European
institutions, the OSCE and the UNHRC.
Marina Tsekova is a producer, news anchor and reporter, working for the biggest Bulgarian TV station NOVA TV. She has graduated a bachelor and master degree in “Media and political communication” at the FU Berlin and has specialized journalism during the World Press Institute Fellowship in the USA. Marina has covered the terror attacks in Berlin, Cologne and Istanbul. She reported on the financial crisis in Greece and the mass protests in Romania. For her work she has received several awards – among them “Dignified Bulgarian” in 2014 and “Worlds and colors” for her story from the Auschwitz concentration camp about the only Bulgarian to ever survive the death camp. In 2016 Marina was nominated for “Woman of the year”.
Itai Arik has extensive experience in the hospitality and tourism industry. Itai has also demonstrated his skills and passion for bringing people together in deferent roles at the Jewish Agency, Birthright and Young Judaea (both in Israel and abroad). Combining his entrepreneurial flair, BA in Economics and Business Management and social conscience, Itai founded Jaffa Mama in 2013 – the vehicle that connects paying customers with local women for authentic dining experiences in their own homes. The goals of Jaffa Mama are to empower the local community and to increase employment among women. Today, he is working for Moishe House as Regional Manager for Global Communities and oversees the expansion of the organization worldwide.
Lela serves as the Director for Junction at the JDC- an initiative that seeks to empower young Jews to take part of the pan-European Jewish community.
Since she assumed her position with the JDC, her main focus has been offering innovative and creative frameworks for Jewish young adult engagement across international borders. For almost a decade now she has pioneered various programs that enabled thousands of young Jews to reconnect and engage in the Jewish world. After 15 years of shuttling her life around different cities, today Lela lives in Milan, Italy with her husband and son.
Jonathan Schorsch has worked as an environmental activist, musician, commercial fisherman, elevator operator, apartment renovator, and professor. He has taught at Emory University (Dept. of History), Columbia University (Dept. of Religion), Sarah Lawrence College and now serves as the Professor of Jewish Religious and Intellectual History at the School of Jewish Theology, Universität Potsdam. In addition to scholarly books and essays, his general-interest writing has been published in venues such as USA Today Magazine, The Times of Israel, Tikkun, Sh’ma, Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, Eretz Acheret, and European Judaism. In 2016 he established the Jewish Activism Summer School in Berlin.
Benjy Forester is originally from Chicago in the United States, and is living in Budapest, Hungary currently as a JDC Jewish Service Corps (JSC) Fellow. As a JSC Fellow, Benjy works closely with BBYO-Hungary, the Bálint Ház JCC, and other groups and programs in the Budapest community. Benjy graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology (PNP). Next year, Benjy will attend the yearlong fellowship program at Yeshivat Hadar in New York City, which is an immersive, egalitarian Jewish learning experience.
Founder and Director of the first professional Jewish Theatre of Italy in Milan (Tra i due soli), Miriam Camerini was born in Jerusalem on Purim night of 1983. Theatre director, singer and writer, Miriam grew up in Milan, where she got a degree in German Theatre discussing a thesis on G. E. Lessing’s play Nathan the wise (2007). She then worked as assistant director at Zürich’s Opera Theatre, Venice’s La Fenice Theatre and at Budapest’s Golem Theatre as guest director. Miriam studied Talmud at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she later worked as producer and assistant director for the Jerusalem Theatre Company. Back in Milan, Miriam writes and stages plays and performances dealing with Jewish themes, such as Shabbat (Mantova, Festivaletteratura, 2013), Pesach (Jewish and the City, 2014), The Golem (Milan, 2008 – 2013), German Jewish poet Else Lasker – Schüler (2012 – 2015), Chouchani (2005 – 2015) and many others. On October 2017 Miriam will also become a published author, with her first book on food and religions (Ricett& Precetti) being published in Italy.
Joey Leskin is a Yemenite Jew from London, UK, but has spent much of the last decade moving around, culminating in a move to Turkey nearly two years ago to work for the JDC-JSC. He currently works in Istanbul as the JDC’s most senior fieldworker in Turkey. He has a Master’s degree in International Relations and Global Issues and while studying spent a year abroad in Sweden, where he presented an award winning radio show discussing cultural diversity. In London, he was a Director of RSY-Netzer youth movement, and also spent time producing cutting edge online resources to educate about minorities in Israel. Joey worked as a London tour guide, eventually producing an innovative London ‘audio-tour’ which continues to be used today. Throughout all this, he has embarked on travel experience to over 50 countries. In Istanbul, Joey works across the community spectrum, with the goal of enriching Jewish life, empowering Turkish Jews to explore their personal creativity, and providing young members of the community space to develop individual Jewish identities.
Avital Ferd is the Vice President ofa Business Affairs ofCMG, the parent company of leading content properties Who What Wear (fashion),MyDomaine (lifestyle),Byrdie (beauty), andObsessee (a social-only network for Gen Z girls), which was recently named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list for 2017. Among the company’s key offerings are CMG Studios (a next-gen marketing agency specializing in content, social distribution, and experiences), the INF Network (representing 55+ top social influencers and bloggers), CollegeFashionista (a higher-education community for content creators), and CMG Brands (a consumer products division), including the successful Who What Wear apparel collection, sold exclusively at Target stores nationwide. At CMG, Avital is responsible for and internal lead on all business and legal negotiations, including sales, talent, business development, trademarks, distribution partnerships, and acquisitions. In the past year and a half since joining, she has led the Obsessee and College Fashionista acquisitions, lead the first Obsessee pop-up, and now leads video distribution strategy, leveraging her previous relationships at YouTube and Amazon. Prior to CMG, Avital held a leadership position at StyleHaul, Inc., a YouTube multi-channel network focused on fashion and beauty, which was acquired in 2014 at a deal valued at approximately $150 million. Avital is also a licensed attorney in the state of California.
Jérémie Solomon is an independant Art Director and Printmaker based in Paris. Born in 1991, he started studying drawing and traditionnal oil painting in Belgium. In 2009, he studied at Académie Julian in Paris, which led him to study graphic design at Penninghen. He also studied at University of Applied Arts «Die Angewandte» in Vienna (Austria). This enabled him to practice various printmaking techniques such as etching, lithography or screenprint. He also started experimenting with new technologies like Risograph and Photo-Polymere for instance. His first solo show took place in Paris in 2016. His latest research focuses on mixing graphic design and new technologies with traditionnal printmaking techniques.
Rabbi Ute Steyer
Rabbi Ute Steyer received rabbinic ordination and a M.A. in Jewish Philosophy from The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2009. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Jewish philosophy. Her research interest is in the development of ethical thought in rabbinic literature and contemporary Jewish thought. Rabbi Steyer was appointed rabbi of the Great Synagogue of Stockholm and Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Stockholm. She is also a permanent scholar in residence at Paideia – The Jewish Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden and lecturer at other universities in Sweden and Europe. She also has a seat at the Interreligious Council of Sweden. She was previously the research and program director in the Center for Pastoral Education and adjunct lecturer in Pastoral Theology at JTS and was the program director of the Yeshiva University Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Michelle Nahum Sembira
Half Italian and half Libyan, Michelle Nahum Sembira Sembira grew up in Milan and was always drawn by other cultures and different life models, which is why she got a Master in Anthropology.
She hates indifference and loves to learn personal stories from different people with different backgrounds, traditions and nationalities. That brought her to live in US, Israel, Australia and France.
She started to be involved with JDC in 2012 working as Junction Program Coordinator on building an european network of young jewish professionals.
She still collaborates with Junction when she doesn’t organizes YogaFestivals in different italian cities.
Her question at the moment is how to keep meanings, depth and engagement in this fast changing world; when it’s hard to answer she turns to nature, animals or creativity and to their therapeutical qualities.
Dalia Grinfeld is the elected President and also founding member of the Jewish Student Union Germany (JSUD). JSUD represents about 30.000 Jewish students and young adults in Germany. She held various political and Jewish leadership positions over the past five years. Among other positions, she was the President of the Jewish Student Union Baden (BJSB), the regional spokesperson for the German-Jewish National Scholarship ELES, and actively involved in various NGO’s. Her expertise projects are in political campaigning and policy making, interreligious dialogue, building a Jewish student community from 0-100, minority cooperation, and out of the box Jewish event planing. Moreover, she studied Political Science and Jewish Studies at the University of Heidelberg and works as a Political Advisor for the EU Council Presidency.
Ida is a Human Resources Business Partner working in the IT sector. Before going into the corporate world, she was working in Jewish youth movements, local and international Jewish camps. Her passion is volunteering and she just took part in the first TOM Makathon in Europe. TOM stands for Tikkun Olam Makers and it is a 72 hours challenge that brings together people with disabilities and Makers ( engineers, designers, people with special skills) to develop open source assistive technology to address everyday challenges.
Bernard Rorke was born in Dublin and lives in Budapest. He has a MSc in Politics and Sociology from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a PhD in Political Theory from the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, London. He has worked on Roma issues since 1998. He is Advocacy Officer for the European Roma Rights Center in Budapest. Prior to this he worked for 15 years with Open Society Foundations, and was international research and advocacy director for the Open Society Roma Initiatives until December 2013. He currently teaches the “Roma Rights” course at the Central European University in Budapest. He has been involved for over a decade in advocating for the rights and wellbeing of Romani children; promoting access to early childhood education, school desegregation and access to quality integrated education for Romani pupils across central and eastern Europe. He has an MSc in Politics and Sociology from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a PhD in Political Theory from the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, London. He has written and produced numerous reports, briefings and articles on Roma inclusion policies across Europe and a range of issues including hate speech, segregation, antigypsyism, anti-Semitism, the rights of minorities, and what goes on in “illiberal democracies.” He is a correspondent for Hope not Hate magazine, a regular contributor to Open Democracy, and editor of the ERRC Blog.
Marianna Jó has been working at JDC Hungary-Europe since February 2007, as program manager of the International Development/Non-Sectarian Programs. In the frameworks of IDP, she runs the Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP) and the Health Alliance of the Bridge Walk – two breast cancer awareness raising programs aimed to advocate for better treatment, increase screening participation rates and help survivors. WHEP is supported by the Susan G. Komen and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Born on 7th January, 1973, Hungary, Marianna lives in Budapest, is married, is a mother of one girl. She has an MA in Community Development and Civil Society studies, an MA in Economics and International Communications, a BA as a teacher of English and a certificate in Higher Education Management and Change. Marianna has previously worked for 9 years at the Open Society Institute’s Higher Education Support Program, a grant giving program which promoted the advancement of higher education within the humanities and social sciences in Central-, Eastern- and Southeast Europe, the former Soviet Union and Mongolia.