Past Festivals - 2012 Guests

Lucy Aharish

Lucy Aharish is an Israeli news presenter, reporter, and television host. She currently co-hosts a late-night show and a current events program for teenagers on Channel One. Aharish is notable for being the first Arab news presenter on mainstream Israeli television.

Erez Aloni

Erez Aloni is a post-doctoral research fellow at Columbia Law School. His main fields of interests lie in the areas of family law, and sexuality and the law. Specifically, he has written about reproductive technologies and the way they could impact less traditional families, and about the legal recognition of non-marital unions in the United States and Europe. He holds a doctorate and masters in law from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and an LL.B. from the College of Management School of Law in Israel.

Rony Sasson Angel

Rony Sasson Angel was born in 1979. She graduated from the film and television department in Tel Aviv University at 2005. Her graduation film, “Swannettes”, participated in numerous festivals around the world and won many prizes including the DAAD prize in Berlin Film Festival 2006. In 2005 she directed and edited a short documentary – “Sergei” – which was shown on television. Sasson-Angel also produced a number of films, and edited the documentary “Through the Eastern Gate” which participated in many festivals. Today, Sasson-Angel is producing a documentary series and working on her next film.

T-Mohammad Bakri

Mohammad Bakri was born in the Arab village of Bi’ina (see Shaghur) in the Galilee in 1953. He went to elementary school in his hometown and received his secondary education in the nearby city of Acre. He studied acting and Arabic literature at Tel Aviv University in 1973 and graduated three years later. Bakri began his professional acting career in plays in several theaters in Israel and the West Bank notably the Habima National Theatre in Tel-Aviv, the Haifa theater and al-Kasaba theater in Ramallah. After a few years of acting in Israeli film, Bakri began to act in international films in nations such as France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Canada. Bakri also directed two documentary films including the controversial “Jenin, Jenin” and most recently the autobiographical documentaries “Since You Left”, and “Zahara”.

Peter Beinart

Peter Alexander Beinart is an American political comentator. A former editor of The New Republic, he has written for Time, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books among other periodicals, and is the author of three books. He is associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York, senior political writer for The Daily Beast and the editor of its blog “Open Zion”.

Yael Berda
Speaker, Other Voices of Consciences: Challenging the Status Quo in Israel Today

Yael Berda is an Israeli Lawyer and a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University. Born in New York City and raised in West Jerusalem, Yael has been highly engaged in social justice activism and politics in Israel. She is the author of “the Bureaucracy of the Occupation in the West Bank: The Permit Regime 2000-2006” was published in July 2012, Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem and Hakibutz Hameuhad Publishing. Yael graduated from the faculty of Law at Hebrew University, and pursued her M.A in Sociology at Tel Aviv University. At Princeton, Yael is currently working on her dissertation that examines the persistence of bureaucratic legacies following regime change in former colonies, focusing on population management practices and the construction of citizenship in post colonies afflicted by partition plans: Israel, Cyprus and India. Her work has been recognized and supported by SSRC, The National Science Foundation, ACLS, Ford Foundation and others. In 1997, she co-fo

Robi Damelin

Robi Damelin was born in South Africa and immigrated to Israel in 1967 as a kibbutz volunteer. She lost her son David, an active member of the peace movement, in March, 2002, when a Palestinian sniper shot him. Robi, who was very active in anti-apartheid activities in South Africa, closed her public relations firm in Israel after she lost her son so she can devote her time to promoting reconciliation through the Parents Circle – Families Forum. Since 2003 Robi has been telling her story to promote peace and reconciliation as an alternative to revenge.

Shlomi Elkabetz

Born in Israel in 1972, Elkabetz is an acclaimed screenwriter and director. After studying acting and photography in NY, he moved on to collaborate with his filmmaker/actor sister Ronit Elkabetz. Together, they directed award winning films To Take a Wife (2005), and Seven Days (Shiva, 2008). He currently teaches film at Sapir College, and Minshar School for the Arts.

Adi Ezroni

Ms. Ezroni is an award winning actress and film producer. She is a lead actress in the Israeli TV dramas HATUFIM (which was remade as Showtime’s HOMELAND) and WHEN SHALL WE KISS, and has won a Golden Screen Award for her work as a host in The Israeli Children Channel. As film producer, Adi produced the narrative film HOLLY starring Ron Livingston and produced and co-directed the documentary REDLIGHT narrated by Lucy Liu that was acquired by Showtime. As a result of these films and her work in raising awareness to human trafficking, Adi received the 2008 US State Department Global Hero Award. Her most recent productions include THE ENGLISH TEACHER starring Academy Award Nominees Julianne Moore and Greg Kinnear; and A LATE QUARTET directed by Yaron Zilberman starring Academy Award Winners Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken which will be released on November 2nd 2012 in the US.

Ron Gerlitz

Co-Executive Director, Sikkuy – the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel Ron Gerlitz joined Sikkuy as Co-Executive Director in January 2009. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a B.Sc. in mathematics and computer science and an MA in public policy, both magna cum laude. He began his professional career in hi-tech, working for six years, both in Israel and in Silicon Valley, California. In parallel Ron also devoted his energy to political activism, both in Israel and in the United States. Before joining Sikkuy, Ron was a project manager at the Israel Venture Network (IVN). He took part in developing strategies and implementing projects advancing local economic development in the periphery, both in the Jewish and Arab sectors. He lives in the town of Srigim in the Ela Valley near Beit Shemesh.

J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg (Jonathan Jeremy Goldberg) is Editor-at-Large of the newspaper The Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007). He served in the past as U.S. bureau chief of the Israeli newsmagazine Jerusalem Report, managing editor of The Jewish Week of New York, as a nationally syndicated columnist in Jewish weeklies, as editor in chief of the Labor Zionist monthly Jewish Frontier, as world/national news editor of the daily Home News (now the Home News Tribune) of New Brunswick, N.J., and as a metro/police-beat reporter for Hamevaker, a short-lived Hebrew-language newsweekly published for the Israeli émigré community in Los Angeles. Goldberg is the author of Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment, published in 1996 by Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. of Reading, Mass., which was named by The Philadelphia Inquirer as one of the “100 Most Important Books of 1996” and was described by The New York Times as a book that “can teach even the init

Dor Guez

Dor Guez is a Jerusalem-born photography and video artist, lives and works in Jaffa. He is a lecturer in the history and theory department at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem. Guez received his BFA from the Department of Photography and Video, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (2006), and his MFA from the Interdisciplinary Program in the Arts, Tel Aviv University (2008). Guez is a graduate of the Museology Studies (Curatorship) Program, Tel Aviv University (2009), he is currently a PhD researcher at the Faculty of the Arts, Tel Aviv University. Guez’s work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions, including Georgeopolis (Petach Tikva Museum), the Monayer Family (Jewish Museum, New York, 2010), and the survey of his work at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. As a curator, his major projects include Back to the Canon: The Photographic Portraits of Claude Cahun (The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon, 2008), Forbidden Junctions (The Israeli Cen

Ali Haider

Co-Executive Director, Sikkuy- the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel Ali Haider has served as the Co-Executive Director of Sikkuy since 2004. He was previously the director of Sikkuy’s Employment Equity and Fair Representation project. Ali holds L.L.B and L.L.M. degrees from Bar-Ilan University and was admitted to the Israeli Bar Association in 1997. He is widely recognized and extensively published as an expert in the field of affirmative action for the disadvantaged and minorities in Israel. Ali lives in the village of Ibellin in the western Galilee.

Rabbi Jill Jacob

Rabbi Jill Jacobs is the Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, an organization of 1800 rabbis who mobilize their communities to protect human rights in North America and Israel. She is the author of Where Justice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community (2011) and There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition (2009). Rabbi Jacobs has been named to the Forward’s list of 50 influential American Jews (2006, 2008, 2011), to The Jewish Week’s first list of “36 under 36” (2008), and to Newsweek’s list of the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). She holds rabbinic ordination and an MA in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, an MS in Urban Affairs from Hunter College, and a BA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University. She lives in New York with her husband, Guy Austrian, and their daughter Lior.

Ramy Katz

Ramy Avraham Katz was born in Jerusalem, 1976. Ramy has been living in Tel Aviv in the last 10 years, working in Israeli TV and Film Industry. He graduated his film studies from Tel Aviv University Film Department in 2005. His graduation short fiction film , “Alaska”, was officially selected to Clermont Ferrand Film Festival and broadcasted on national TV(channel 1). His short “Awakening” was selected to Mezipatra Film Festival. “Freeflow”,his first feature film has won the “Other Israel” Award for a documentary film in Haifa International Film Festival.

Vanessa Knutsen

Vanessa Knutsen recently earned her Directing MFA from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. While at UCLA, Vanessa wrote and directed four short films: “The Deep End,” “About A Girl,” “The Weekend,” and her award winning thesis film “The Promised Land.” A Blue Ribbon Panel of Hollywood directors, producers and agents selected “The Promised Land” out of over 80 UCLA films to screen at the Directors Guild of America as part of the 2011 UCLA Directors Showcase. The film had its world premiere at the 2011 Palm Springs International ShortsFest where it won two awards – Best Student Short Film and Cinema Without Borders. The film has since screened at several festivals across the US and internationally. Vanessa is a recipient of the 2008 Motion Picture Association of America Award, the 2010 Stanley Kramer Fellowship in Film Directing, the 2010 Edie and Lew Wasserman Film Production Fellowship, the 2010 Women in Film Foundation/Verna Fields Memorial Fellowship, a 2011 Caucus F

Naomi Levari

Graduated Summa cum Laude from the Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem 2004.
Her graduation film “Draft” which she wrote and directed, was screened in over 40 international film festivals, won six awards, and was sold to international broadcasters. In 2005 she collaborated with Saar Yogev for the first time during the Jerusalem International Film Festival and in 2008 the two started BLACK SHEEP Film Productions. Naomi lectures on Israeli short film around the world, moderates professional panels and is a member of the Sam Spiegel Film School script committees.

Simcha Leventhal

Simcha Leventhal is a veteran of the Israeli military artillery corps, where he served between 2000 -2003. He is a founding member of Breaking the Silence, a group of former members of the Israel Defense Forces.

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.

Ami Livne

Ami Livne, born in 1975, in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Graduated from the Beit-Berl College, Film Department in 2003. Wrote, produced and directed several short drama and documentary films. Sharqiya is his debut feature film.

Judy Maltz

Judy Maltz, co-director of “From the Black You Make Color,” is a feature writer for the English-language Haaretz digital edition. She has worked as a reporter for the Hebrew edition of Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post and The Jerusalem Report. Her articles and essays have also appeared in The Financial Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Jewish Exponent. This is her second feature documentary. Her first documentary, “No. 4 Street of Our Lady,” has been broadcast in the United States, Israel and Poland and was the recipient of numerous awards.

Ibrahim Miari

Born in Acre, Israel, Miari holds an MFA in Theater Education from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts 2009. He Graduated from Western Galilee College in 1997 and Acco Theatre Center’s Actor Training Program in 1999. Ibrahim has performed internationally in Turkey, Austria, New York, and New Mexico. Since 1997, Ibrahim has also been performing and teaching folkloric, and sacred dances, and acting in various commercials and short films in Israel. Since 2005 he has directed the drama program at several peace camps with high school age Israeli and Palestinian youth.

Merav Michaeli

Merav Michaeli is an op-ed writer for “Ha’aretz” newspaper, a lecturer of communications in various colleges and a social activist. Recognized for her advocacy and public activism for women’s rights, she is one of Israel’s most prominent journalists and host of prime-time television entertainment talk shows.
Known for her ability to consistently challenge views and positions, she has been the star of her own two-hour daily radio talk show, television current event magazine hour, and documentary series.

Yariv Mozer

Yariv Mozer had graduated with distinction from Tel-Aviv University’s Film and Television Department. He is currently completing his first feature film “Snails in the rain”, supported by The Rabinovich film fund. Previously he directed the documentaries, “The Invisible Men” (Israel-The Netherlands 2012), Winner of The 2012 Doc Aviv Special Jury Award and “My First War” (Israel 2008), a co-production with Zdf-Arte, Winner of The Doc Aviv Special Jury Award, IDFA First Appearance Nominee and Best Film Winner of The Toronto Jewish Film Festival. 
Mozer is a member of the European Film Academy and the first Israeli producer to participate in EAVE (European Audio Visual Entrepreneurs). In addition, Mozer is a member of the Israeli Film Producers Guild as well as the Israel Academy of Motion Pictures and the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum. 
Mozer, former head of Entrepreneur Production Studies at the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, former Supervising Producer of I

Caterin Ormestad

Born in Sweden 1975. Master degree in Professional Journalism at the University of Uppsala. Studies in Colloquial Arabic and Palestinian Contemporary Society at Birzeit University in the West Bank. News reporter, editor and deputy chief of culture at Upsala Nya Tidning, a regional newspaper in Sweden. Since 2006 permanently based in Israel. Freelance correspondent for Swedish newspapers and periodicals. Covering Gaza for Israeli Haaretz. Columnist and freelance correspondent for Aftonbladet, one of the Nordic regions biggest newspapers. 2008-2010 The Economist’s correspondent in Gaza and the West Bank. In 2008 publishes “Gaza. A Love Story”, a reportage book about the Gaza Strip, at Norstedts publishing house in Sweden. Also contributed to the books “Shalom, inshallah” and “22 Sleepless Nights” about the Palestinian conflicts, published in Sweden.

Mandy Patinkin

An award-winning American actor of stage and screen and a tenor vocalist. He is a noted interpreter of the musical works of Stephen Sondheim, and is best known for his work in musical theatre, originating iconic roles such as Georges Seurat in Sunday in the Park with George and Che in the original Broadway production of Evita. He has appeared in television series such as Chicago Hope, Dead Like Me and the first two seasons of Criminal Minds. He currently plays Saul Berenson in the Showtime series Homeland. His best-known film role was as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride in 1987. Other film roles include Alien Nation (1988), Yentl (1983), Dick Tracy (1990), and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)

Gal Peleg

Gal Peleg Laniado is the central shaliach (emissary) for the Givat Haviva Educational Foundation and the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement in North America. Prior to assuming these positions in New York, Gal was the International Development Manager for Mifalot – Education and Society – an international NGO based in Israel, which uses soccer as a tool for social change. He worked at the Peres Center for Peace, an Israeli NGO that promotes Arab-Israeli peace-building projects and cooperation, for six years. Gal was the Director of the Sports Department at the Peres Center, which promotes Palestinian-Israeli dialogue through sport and education, thereby spreading the values of peace among youth, their families, and coaches. Gal is a native of Kibbutz Sdot Yam near Caesarea, and holds an M.A. degree in Conflict Resolution and Mediation from Tel Aviv University.

Richard Peña

Richard Peña is the American film program director of the prestigious Film Society of Lincoln Center noted for his organization of the New York Film Festival, and New Directors/New Films series.

Idan Sasson

Idan Sasson is currently a second year undergraduate student at New York University, studying Urban Political Ecology and Environmental Stewardship. Prior to attending NYU, Idan spent a gap year in Israel on a Hashomer Hatzair youth movement program, which included working at a school in Barta’a, an Israeli Arab town, which is divided by the green line. In addition to being a full time student, Idan is the current Maskir of Hashomer Hatzair North America, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. In this role, Idan is the leader of the youth movement as well as the liaison between Hashomer Hatzair’s summer camp, Camp Shomria in the Catskills, the Hashomer Hatzair board, and the world Hashomer Hatzair movement, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Rachel Sussman

As the Associate Director of B’Tselem USA from July 2010 through June 2012, Rachel was instrumental in the early growth of the organization. Rachel spearheaded new programming, communication and fundraising initiatives, including the 2011 Camera Distribution Project Tour, “Visual Impact.” Over the past two years, Rachel represented B’Tselem USA in diverse arenas, from policy roundtables to religious conferences. While the Associate Director of B’Tselem USA, Rachel traveled widely in the West Bank and Gaza, observing firsthand the violations of human rights in the area. Prior to her work with B’Tselem, Rachel was a middle school teacher and coordinator of student activism in New York City, initiating innovative, social justice programming on a range of topics, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She won professional awards and grants, developed multiple student campaigns to meet substantial fundraising goals, presented frequently at conferences, led staff initiatives and served

Tawfik Abu Wael

Tawfik Abu Wael was born in 1976, in Umm al-Fahm, a Palestinian town in Israel. He graduated in directing from Tel-Aviv University, where he also worked in the film archives. He then taught drama at the Hassan Arafe School in Jaffa. In 2001 he made his first short, DIARY OF A MALE WHORE, and the documentary WAITING FOR SALLAH AL-DIN before shooting his first feature film in 2004, ATASH (THIRST), which won the Fipresci Prize at the Semaine de la Critique in Cannes. Tawfik Abu Wael also works as a stage director.