Past Festivals - 2014 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.

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.

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”.

Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and author of the national bestseller Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. She is also the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School and a frequent guest on the Colbert Report.
Before joining the Times, Bazelon worked for nine years as a senior editor at Slate. She has been a Soros media fellow, an editor and writer at Legal Affairs magazine, and a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, O Magazine, and the Washington Post, among other publications. Bazelon is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.

David Blight
Speaker, The Israel Forum: The Challenges of a Young Country

David W. Blight is Professor of American History at Yale University since 2003. He is currently writing a new, full biography of Frederick Douglass that will be published by Simon and Schuster in 2015. Blight works in many capacities in the world of public history, including on boards of museums and historical societies.
Blight is also the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Harvard University Press, 2001), which received eight book awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize as well as four awards from the Organization of American Historians, including the Merle Curti prizes for both intellectual and social history.
Blight is also a frequent book reviewer for the New York Times, Washington Post Book World, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, and other newspapers, and has written many articles on abolitionism, American historical

David Broza
Protagonist, East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem

Israeli superstar David Broza has been considered one of the most dynamic and vibrant performers in the singer/songwriter world.
His charismatic and energetic performances have brought to worldwide audiences, a fusion of the three different countries in which he was raised: Israel, Spain, and England, filling concert halls with his famous guitar playing, ranging from flamenco flavored rhythmic and percussion techniques, to whirlwind finger picking, to a signature rock and roll sound. Broza unites the three worlds by utilizing his ability to take on the troubadour tradition, up to now, featuring lyrics of the worlds’ greatest poets.
More than a singer/songwriter, David Broza is also well known for his commitment and dedication to several humanitarian causes, predominantly, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Steven Dinero, PH.D.

Steven Dinero is Professor of Human Geography at Philadelphia University, where he has taught since 1996. His primary area of research concerns the study of post-nomadic communities in transition. Dr. Dinero has studied the social and economic consequences of the forced resettlement of the Bedouin of the Negev Desert, Israel, for over two decades. He has published extensively on such topics as community planning and development, education, human rights, gender, identity formation, religion, and tourism in the Bedouin sector. In 2010, Dr. Dinero published a monograph, Settling for Less: The Planned Resettlement of Israel’s Negev Bedouin, (Oxford: Berghahn) which has been well-received both in Israel and across the globe.

Avi Goldstein
Director, Fire Lines

Avi Goldstein co-founded SocDoc Studios to produce story-driven films that engage audiences with social issues. He recently completed the documentary film FIRE LINES (to be distributed by Journeyman Pictures) with the Ma’an Network in Bethlehem and Common Ground Productions. Avi received an AB in Psychology from Princeton University and was previously a consultant at Vantage Partners, a Boston-based negotiation and relationship management consulting firm spun out of the Harvard Negotiation Project. He holds an MA in Non-Profit Management and Leadership, and facilitates interest-based negotiation and problem-solving skills workshops for high schools students.

Jared Jackson

Founder and Exec. Director of Jews in ALL Hues, has been on the cutting edge of Jewish community programming and Jewish diversity advocacy for the past seven years. In 2008 he received the Schusterman Family Foundation’s Charlie Award for excellence in communal service and was recently named one (at #1) of “Ten Young Jews [Who] Will Change the World” by Maariv News. Jared also teaches music/Jazz improvisation/saxophone and Hebrew lessons and is a proud husband. Currently, Jared in working on a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Sasha 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 book Second Person (2010) was published in Israel and instantly became best seller. Most recently, the film adaptation of his book Dancing Arabs premiered at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

Nurit Kedar

Nurit Kedar is a Producer and Director of documentary productions. Her television credits include senior producer at the CNN bureau in Jerusalem and senior producer on Israeli Channel 2 (for which she produced and directed 12 films and 5 documentary series). She directed the award winning BORDERS (2000), Lebanon Draem (2001), Asesino (2002), One Shot (2004), Hanuszka (2006), And Wasted (2008). Kedar’s Film “ Concrete” (2011) W On The Spirit Of Freedom At The Jerusalem Film Festival 2011. Kedar’s Last Film ‘Life Sentences” won the Van Leer award for the Best Israeli documentary 2013 at the Jerusalem Film Festival. Objective d’Or, the highest award and the Audience Award was awarded to “Life Sentences” at the Millenium Film Festival 2014.

Anat Kerem - Angel

Anat Kerem-Angel,Ph.D (Biochemistry), is the initiator of the documentary “Almost Friends” and it’s co-creator. After 18 years of scientific academy career and expert in the biomedical industry, Anat has moved to the Physic- Psychotherapy field, and has been involved with her husband ,(Mr Udi Angel, Chairman) in several voluntary community ventures in Israel , dealing with disabled children’s health (Variety Israel ) and a Social learning network program – “Pass the Ward”. Today, in parallel to her practice, Anat is working on a new documentary project in the educational field.

Ahuva Keren

Ahuva Keren has been acting rolls in film, theatre and TV. A graduate of the Nisan Nativ Acting Studio and the Tel Aviv University Theater Department, Keren’s latest work includes “Prisoners of war” (“Homeland”- Gideon Raff), and “The Dove Flyer” ( dir.Nissim Dayan.) which Keren has initiated, translated to Iraqi, and is acting in the role of Naima.

Dror Moreh

Dror Moreh began his career as a D.O.P and became one of Israel’s leading cinematographers. He shot a number of feature films, including Urban Feel (Berlin official competition, 1998), Desperado Square (Winner of the Best Film Award at the Montpelier Film Festival), and many more. Moreh has also worked as a D.O.P for many award-winning documentaries in Israel, including One Shot, Asesino, and Underdog: A War Movie. During that time, he also directed several projects. Moreh began working as fulltime director several years ago. His projects include: The Gatekeepers: A feature-length documentary revolving around intimate dialogues with six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service. The Rose: A 6-part documentary series about the murder of a young girl. To Be Mayumana: A documentary film portraying an Israeli dance group heading to New York for their world premiere. Under Cover: A 4-part docudrama about undercover police officers. Sharon: A feature-length documentary about the reasons why Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, considered the “Father of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories,” agreed to implement the Gaza Disengagement Plan. The film was selected for the official Panorama program at the 58th Berlin Film Festival.

Ruby Namdar

Reuven Namdar (1964) was born and raised in Jerusalem. He completed his BA (Sociology, Philosophy and Iranian Studies) and his Master’s degree (Anthropology) at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His first book, Haviv, (a collection of short stories) was published in 2000 and won The Ministry of Culture’s award for the best first publication of the year. The manuscript also won The Jerusalem Fiction award for 1998. Reuven’s new novel was published by Kinneret-Zmorah-Bitan in the summer of 2013 and received great critical acclaim. Also publishes short stories, book reviews and translations of medieval Persian poetry in different literary periodicals in Israel. He is currently living in New York and teaches Jewish and Israeli literature in various Jewish learning centers around the city.

Menashe Noy

One of Israel’s most acclaimed stage and screen actor, screenwriter and comedian, Menashe Noy was first introduced to Israeli audiences after graduating from Tel Aviv University Film Department, in the satiric TV show The Cameri Quintet. He has since starred in numerous leading rolls in theater and cinema, including Lovesick on Nana St, Year Zero, The Time that Remains, The Bourgeoisie , Testimony, Sweets, The Dove Flyer and Gett.

Nitzan Ofir

Possesses a Bachelor’s degree (Cum Laude) in psychology and philosophy from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Studied in the Tel Aviv University Master’s program (MFA) for Film and Television. For the past fifteen years has been working in the documentary film industry as an a production manager and researcher. “A most Friends” is Nitzan Ofir’s first film as a director.

Anat Saragusti
Speaker, On the Left

Anat Saragusti is the director of B’Tselem USA. A leading Israeli journalist and social activist, Anat co-founded Israel’s Channel 2 TV News Company. During her fifteen-year tenure with Channel 2 she was the editor of Israel’s leading news program, a weekly news wrap-up called “Friday Studio.”
An expert on policies affecting the occupied Palestinian territories, Anat has extensive field experience in both the Gaza Strip and Sderot, a nearby Israeli city across the Green Line. Most recently, she served as the executive director of Agenda: Israeli Center for Strategic Communication, which provides media expertise to social change organizations.
Anat’s family has lived in the Jerusalem environs for 500 years. She holds a master’s degree in law from Tel Aviv University and a diploma in conflict resolution from the University of Maryland.

Ben Schuder
Director, The Village of Peace

Sam Schuder

A proud Oakland native, Sam grew up with a passion to create. In 2007, driven by his love for film, he moved to Los Angeles to develop his skills within the industry. He got a job in television production and gained valuable work experience. Sam’s vision is to create content that inspires, empowers, and promotes positive social change. When he visited The Village of Peace for the first time, he realized that implementing his work experience to share the powerful story of the African-Hebrew Israelites would be a natural marriage.

Ari Shavit
Speaker, The Israel Forum: The Challenges of a Young Country

Ari Shavit is a leading Israeli columnist and writer. Born in Rehovot, Israel, Shavit served as a paratrooper in the IDF and studied philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jersualem. In the 1980s he wrote for the progressive weekly Koteret Rashit, in the early 1990s he was chairperson of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and in 1995 he joined Haaretz, where he serves on the editorial board. Shavit is also a leading commentator on Israeli public television. He is married, has a daughter and two sons, and lives in Kfar Shmariahu.

David Viola
Director, Fire Lines

David Viola has a long career in documentary and narrative filmmaking. His documentary credits include TRUMBO, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released theatrically across the United States and the world in 2008. That film won a National Board of Review award, and was also broadcast on the “American Masters” series on PBS and released on DVD. He also produced DOWNTOWN CALLING, a documentary that screened at film festivals around the world including HBO’s New York Latino Film Festival and the London East End Film Festival. David has worked in feature film development with Artisan Entertainment (BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB), and Julia Robert’s production company (MONA LISA SMILE). David earned a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, a Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Binghamton, and is currently a PhD candidate in history at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Maria Zreik

Maria Zreik is an actress from Haifa. She has completed a law degree at Haifa Carmel university and has played many roles/ parts in local productions as well as international productions such as British television series THE PROMISE. VILLA TOUMA is her first leading role.