Past Festivals - 2010 Guests

Ahmad Amara

AHMAD AMARA is Palestinian human rights practicing lawyer in Israel, litigating cases on land, housing and education rights. Amara is a PhD candidate on History and Hebrew and Judaic studies in NYU. For the last three years he has been serving as a clinical instructor and global advocacy fellow with the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program. His work at Harvard focuses on social, cultural and economic rights in the Middle East and on the Law of Occupation, where he published few reports and articles on this area. He completed his Bachelor and Masters degrees in Law at Tel-Aviv University, where he also served as a teaching assistant and a coordinator of the Street Law Clinic Program at the Faculty of Law. In 2005, he completed a second Masters degree in International Human Rights Law at Essex University in the United Kingdom. In 2005, he co-founded a human rights organization, Karama (Arabic for “Dignity”), in Nazareth where he served as a senior staff attorney.

T-Mira Awad

MIRA AWAD was born in Rameh village in Galilee, Israel to an Arab Christian father from the Galilee, and a Bulgarian Christian mother. She studied at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Ramat HaSharon, and at the Body Theatre School. Awad became an instant star on Israeli television after appearing in the sit-com Arab Labor. She also appeared in The Bubble, a film by director Eytan Fox. She sang the songs for the films Forgiveness (directed by Udi Aloni), and Lemon Tree (directed by Eran Riklis). In 2006 she appeared as an IDF soldier in the Cameri production of a musical adaptation of Maya Arad’s novel in verse “Another Place, a Foreign City”. Awad represented Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, along with Achinoam Nini (Noa). Awad was the first Arab-Israeli singer to represent Israel in the contest.

Aharon (Arale) Barnea

Many Israelis are used to see Mr. Aharon Barnea every night on the TV screen discussing issues relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict. Mr. Barnea is currently based in D.C and serving as a senior correspondent to the USA for Channel 2 TV News. In the last 8 years he serves as an anchorman and special correspondent on Arab affairs on channel 2 TV News in Israel. In the past, Mr Barnea served as an advisor to Ezer Weizman, the President of Israel and as a journalist at Hadashot newspaper and correspondent of Arab Affairs in Israel Radio and Chief Editor and Anchorman on weekly news magazine on Israel Radio. Mr. Barnea’s academic background includes a Ph.D. (candidacy) in Middle Eastern Studies and Linguistics from the University of California in Berkeley and M.A in Middle Eastern Studies and Linguistics from the University of California. Mr Barnea got his B.A. in Middle East History and Arabic language and Literature from Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Rani Bleier

RANI BLEIER is an Israeli TV Academy Award winner director and screenwriter. In the mid- eighties Bleier finished his studies in the Department of Cinema and Television at Tel Aviv University and began directing TV reports for the Israeli Broadcasting Authority and Channel 8. In 1999 – 2004 Bleier wrote and directed, along with Anat Assouline and Ari Folman the hit television series “weekends and holidays”. In 2008 Bleier became the head of the Israeli Directors Guild.

Ruth Carmi

RUTH CARMI is an attorney in the Legal and Public Policy Department at the Israel Religious Action Center, the public and legal advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel. She specializes in constitutional, administrative and human rights law and is currently the Director of IRAC’s project to defend civic equality for the Arab minority in Israel. Ms. Carmi is also a legal advisor for the Rape Crisis Center in Jerusalem, where she has been volunteering since 2004. She is a graduate of the Hebrew University, where she completed both her undergraduate and law degrees.

Nate Geller

NATE GELLER joined the staff of The Abraham Fund in 2008 to relate to foundation and corporate donors and deal with communications, marketing, and new media. Mr. Geller has worked in the Jewish Federation and Community Relations field in Miami, FL and Clifton, NJ; for the National Conference on Soviet Jewry; as Executive Director of the North American Campaign for Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies; and as a consultant for corporate and foundation sponsorships with Sandra Divack Moss, Inc. While working for NCSJ he twice participated in Human Dimensions conferences of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Bucharest and Warsaw providing testimony on minority rights. Mr. Geller holds a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and an MA in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University and spent periods studying in Israel while pursuing both his BA and MA.He is a member of the board of JCRC of UJANNJ, has served as chair of the Israel and World Affairs committe

Brooke M. Goldstein

BROOKE GOLDSTEIN is a human rights attorney based in New York City and an award-winning filmmaker. Brooke currently serves as the director of The Lawfare Project, a not-for-profit dedicated to raising awareness about the abuse of the law and legal systems for political or military means and is also the founder and director of the Children’s Rights Institute (CRI), a nonprofit whose mission is to raise awareness and legally combat violations of children’s basic human rights as occurring throughout the globe. CRI has a special focus on the incitement and recruitment of children to become suicide-homicide bombers, child soldiers and human shields. Brooke co-produced and co-directed the documentary film “The Making of a Martyr” which received the Audience Choice Award for Best Film at the United Nations Documentary Film Festival (2006) and is currently broadcast worldwide. Brooke is the 2007 recipient of the E. Nathaniel Gates Award for Outstanding Public Advocacy, is currently an associate

Amy Goodman

AMY GOODMAN is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 850 TV and radio stations in North America. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its “Pick of the Podcasts,” along with NBC’s Meet the Press. Goodman is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” She is also one of the the first recipients, along with blogger Glenn Greenwald, of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named for the great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone. PULSE named her one of the 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009. Goodman’s latest book is Breaking the Sound Barrier, which just hit the New York Times bestseller list.

Leonard Grob

DR. LEONARD GROB is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey. He has published extensively in the areas of Holocaust Studies, philosophy of dialogue and peace studies, with an emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is co-editor of two anthologies based on Martin Buber’s philosophy: Education for Peace: Testimonies from World Religions and Women’s and Men’s Liberation: Testimonies of Spirit. Dr. Grob has served on the Meretz USA Executive Board since 1992; he is currently a vice president of this organization. In 1983 he served as an observer and participant in an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue project with Jewish and Bedouin children in southern Israel. From 1995-1999, he co-coordinated Fairleigh Dickinson’s Israeli campus in Tel Aviv. In 2006 he edited–with a Palestinian-American partner–a book of interviews with Israeli and Palestinian teenagers, entitled Teen Voices From the Holy Land: Who Am I To You? During the last se

Sayed Kashua

SAYED KASHUA was born in Tira in the Triangle region of Israel. He studied sociology and philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Kashua writes satiric columns in Hebrew for Haaretz newspaper and a local Jerusalem weekly, HaIr. In a humorous, tongue-in-cheek style, Kashua addresses the problems faced by Arabs in Israel, caught between two worlds. Kashua’s works Dancing Arabs (2002), and Let it be Morning (2006) had been translated and published throughout the world. His most recent book Second Person (2010) was recently published in Israel and instantly became best seller.

Clara Khoury

CLARA KHOURY was born in Haifa in 1976. To an artistic family (father Makram J.Khoury a well known actor and Wadea the mother an art teacher). Studied cinema at the Open University in Tel Aviv, her studies lasted for one year making her realize that she wants to be in front of the camera. She went to study acting in Bet-Tsvi school of drama in Tel Aviv (a leading acting school in Israel) .in 2000, finished her 3year of studies in Excellency. Since, she is working in theatre playing in Arabic and Hebrew among her roles in theater were: title role in “Antigone”, by Jean Anouih . Laura in “Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams, title role in “Salome” by Oscar Wild. “Cruel & Tender” by Martin Crimp. Currently she is acting in Tennessee Williams latest play “Period of Adjustment”. In 2002 Clara acted in her fist feature film” Rana’s Wedding” directed by Hany Abu Assad the film was premiered at “Semaine de la Critique” Cannes Film Festival. She was awarded the Best Actress Prize or the role o

Edna Kowarsky

EDNA KOWARSKY has studied law and journalism in Tel Aviv University. She worked as a journalist and her writing focused on issues related to social disparity, education and art. She founded Eden Productions in 1989 and her early productions, directed by her, were the documentation of Israel’s contemporary art scene for television, museums and artists. Her film Meeting Points on Israeli contemporary art has won the “Unesco” award for Best Documentary. She has won the award of The Israel Foundation for her contribution to the display of social issues through a TV series she co-developed co-edited and co-produced on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Eden Productions which she owns together with Elinor Kowarsky is a leading Israeli production company, responsible for many prizewinning documentaries amongst them Checkpoint, NO. 17, 9 Star Hotel and A Hebrew Lesson.

Gideon Levy

Gideon Levy is an Israeli journalist and editor for the Haaretz newspaper. Levy’s weekly column in Haaretz, “The Twilight Zone”, deals with the politically and emotionally charged subject of the hardships of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, and their conflicts with the Israeli military and Jewish settlers. He has been called everything from a “propagandist for the Hamas” to a “heroic journalist”. He has won awards for defending human rights.

Prof. Benny Morris

BENNY MORRIS is professor of History in the Middle East Studies department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in the city of Be’er Sheva, Israel. He is a key member of the group of Israeli historians known as the New Historians. Morris’s work has won praise and criticism from both sides of the political spectrum in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Danny Paran

DANNY PARAN is one of the leading producers in Israel, responsible for some of the biggest hits on Israeli TV. Paran’s production company was a leader in bringing the telenovela genre to Israel.

Naomi Ragen

NAOMI RAGEN is the author of eight novels, including several international bestsellers, and her weekly email columns on life in the Middle East are read by thousands of subscribers worldwide. An American, she has lived in Jerusalem for the past thirty-nine years and was recently voted one of the three most popular authors in Israel.

Orna Raviv

Graduate Film and Television, Tel Aviv University. M.A in philosophy, Tel Aviv University. Producer and director of both documentary and feature films, among them: Jerusalem Day, Hats of Jerusalem, The Samaritans – White robes, Blue Jeans and Dogs Are Color Blind

Khalil Rinnawi

DR. RINNAWI is a Senior Lecturer in the Dep. of Social Behavior in the Collage of Management in Tel-Aviv, and in the TV and Cinema Department of Tel-Aviv University. Most recently appointed director of Department of Communication in Nazareth College, the first Arab college to be recognized by the Israeli Board of Higher Education. His research on the topic of sociology and media in Arab Israeli society and the Arab world won numerous awards, and his books and publications were published in prestigious outlets throughout the world. Among his published books are Perception of the Jews and the State Authorities through the Arab Media in Israel (2007), Instant Nationalism: McArabism and al-Jazeera: Transnational Media in the Arab World (2006), and The Social Agenda of the Palestinian Minority in Israel (2003). Dr. Rinnawi is a member of the Israeli Cinema Council since 2004, as well as a member of the Administrative Board and Authority of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority since 2006.

Neil Rosen

NEIL ROSEN is the entertainment critic/reporter for NY1, having served in that capacity since the station went on the air in 1992. He has won two Emmy Awards for entertainment journalism. He was also nominated for four other Emmy Awards for his celebrity interviews, his film reviews, and for his entertainment reporting. He is a frequent on-camera contributor to CNN, MSNBC, USA Network, A&E, Bravo, American Move Classics, and can also be heard regularly on BBC Radio.He was a regular writer for The New York Post where he showcased his interviews with movie, television and music stars, directors, screenwriters and producers.He hosted the popular weekly radio program “The Movie Show With Neil Rosen” on WABC Radio, where listeners get the opportunity to “call in” and “talk back” to a critic. He also served as WABC’s entertainment reviewer.

Uri Rosenwaks

An independent film-maker directs and Produces his works. He is involved in an ongoing cinematic project in the Bedouin city of Rahat located in the southern part of Israel. Seven years back Rosenwaks founded a film class for Bedouin women in Rahat. What began as a modest afternoon course for teaching the use of a video–camera evolved into a full scale documentary workshop that has already produced two films. “The Film-Class” (2006) Which won the Israeli Documentary TV Film of the year award for 2007, followed by the workshops new release “Back and Forth” (2010). He is a graduate in Film and Television and has a master degree in Near East Studies both from Tel Aviv University. 45 years of age, Is currently the chairman of the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum.

Yaron Shani

YARON SHANI is a graduate of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Film and Television. his thesis film, Disphoria, won the Audience Award at the Babelsberg International Student Film Festival, as well as a Special Jury Mention at Karlovy Vary. The film was broadcast on ARTE and ZDF (Germany), and participated in several other international festivals. He has also directed and edited documentaries and 3D films for Orpan Group, shown in museums and cinemas all over the world.

Vivian Silver

VIVIAN SILVER is the Co-Executive Director of the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development situated in Beer Sheva Israel. NISPED is a non-profit association concerned with conflict-resolution and the advancement of sustainable human development. NISPED works with populations in transition internationally in developing countries, in the Middle East through cross-border projects with Palestinians and in Israel specifically focusing on the Arab-Bedouin population in the Negev. Ms Silver, born and raised in Winnipeg, has been a kibbutz member since moving to Israel in 1974. She was the founding director of the Department Promoting Gender Equality in the United Kibbutz Movement. She resides in Kibbutz Beeri located on the border of the Gaza Strip. She is a founding member of the kibbutz’s philanthropic fund which supports grass-roots and social change projects in the Negev.

Mary Ann Stein

MARY ANN STEIN is the President of the Moriah Fund, a private foundation seeking to promote human rights and democracy, help disadvantaged people gain self-sufficiency and control over their lives, foster sustainable development, and promote women’s rights and reproductive health. Ms. Stein sits on the boards of the Americans for Peace Now and the New Israel Fund. She represents The Moriah Fund on the international Human Rights Funders Group and is the founding chair of the fund for global human rights organizations around the world that lack access to international funding. A graduate of Wellesley College and George Washington University Law Center, Ms. Stein has chaired several committees, coalitions, and mayoral advisory commissions on family and children’s issues. She served on the D.C. Nominations Commission and has written and published papers on public assistance and child welfare.

Anat Tel

ANAT TEL is a producer, screenwriter, and director. I’m Not Filipina is her first full length documentary. Some of her previous work include A 25 minute feature film “Maybe Tomorrow”, and “Blind Faith”, a 13 minutes documentary. Anat is currently studying for her Masters degree in Film & Television Department at Tel Aviv University.

Sofi Tzdaka

SOFI TZDAKA was born and raised in a Samaritan family in Holon, Israel. A graduate of the Yoram Levinstein Acting Studio, Tzdaka hosted and starred numerous TV shows, some on the Israeli Children’s Channel. Her first single, Bereshit, was released in 2007.

Uzi Weil

UZI WEIL is one of the most prolific writers working today in Israel. He has published novels and short stories, wrote some of the most talked about Israeli TV shows in the last 15 years, and for about a decade wrote a weekly satirical column which dealt, for the first time, with all things taboo in Israeli humor – racism, sexual anxieties, the manipulative use of the Holocaust in Israeli politics, and downrightsilliness (the last one, surprisingly enough, being the biggest taboo of all). His books and TV shows have influenced a generation of writers, and redefined the boundaries of satire in Israel. Amongst his best known works: The 1990 book The Day They Shot the Prime-Minister, which predicted the Rabin assassination long before anyone thought such a thing is possible; The scandalous TV sketch shows The Chamber Quintet and The Strip;and most recently – the Israeli adaptation of the hit sitcom The Office.

Regina Weinreich

Regina Weinreich is a co-producer/ director on the award-winning documentary Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider and a writer on The Beat Generation: An American Dream. The author of the critical study, Kerouac’s Spontaneous Poetics, she edited and compiled Kerouac’s Book of Haikus. A leading scholar of the Beat Generation, she has contributed to numerous essay collections and literary journals includingThe Paris Review and Five Points. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Talk Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, American Book Review, Hamptons Magazine, The Forward, The East Hampton Star, among others. She is a Professor in Humanities & Sciences at The School of Visual Arts in New York. Visit her blog, Gossip Central, a diary of the arts.

Debra Winger

By her own definition, Debra Winger is first, a mother, second, an ambassador for Sight Savers International, an organization working to eradicate blindness in the world’s poorest countries, and thirdly, an actor. As an actor, her credits include more than 20 films and three Academy Award nominations (An Officer and a Gentleman, Terms of Endearment, and Shadowlands). While Winger has been acknowledged as one of the finest actors of stage and screen, her talents for the articulation of her craft are outmatched only by her elegance of character as mother and emissary.