2013 Speakers

Mark Bittman

Julian Bond

Ruth Calderon

Jay Feinberg

Anat Hoffman

Ilyse Hogue

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Rabbi David Saperstein

Jonathan Sarna

Ari Weinzweig

 

Honorable
Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister of Israel

Twitter@IsraeliPM; @netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was born in Tel Aviv and grew up in Jerusalem, spending his adolescent years in the United States. Returning to Israel in 1967 to fulfill his military obligations, Netanyahu volunteered for an elite IDF commando unit and participated in a number of daring operations. After being discharged with the rank of captain, he studied at MIT in Boston and received a B.Sc. in architecture and an M.Sc. in Management Studies.

In the 1980s, Netanyahu joined Israel's diplomatic mission in the United States, serving as Deputy Chief of Mission, and later was appointed Israel's ambassador to the United Nations. He was elected in 1988 to the Knesset by the Likud party and appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, serving during a period marked by the intifada, the Gulf War, and the Madrid Peace Conference.

In 1996, Netanyahu became Israel’s ninth Prime Minister, taking a break at the completion of his term to serve as a business consultant to Israeli high-tech companies. He returned to politics in 2002, first as Minister of Foreign Affairs and then as Minister of Finance. In 2009, Netanyahu was again sworn in as Prime Minister, and as of late 2012, he also holds the portfolios of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Public Affairs and the Diaspora.

Netanyahu has authored of a number of books, including A Durable Peace: Israel and Its Place Among the Nations and Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism. he is married to Sara, a psychologist, and is a father of three.

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Lihi Lapid


Mark Bittman

Lead Food Writer,
New York Times

Twitter@bittman

Mark Bittman, whose “Minimalist” column ran in the Dining section of the New York Times for more than 13 years, is a Times Opinion columnist, the lead food writer for The Times Magazine, and a columnist for the Times Dining section. His books include the bestselling How to Cook Everything and the groundbreaking Vegan Before 6 P.M. (VB6), where he provides all the necessary tools for making the switch to a Flexitarian diet with lists for stocking the pantry, strategies for eating away from home in a variety of situations, pointers for making cooking on a daily basis both convenient and enjoyable, and a complete 28-day eating plan showing VB6 in action.

Mark Bittman will be speaking in a Friday forum.

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Lihi Lapid


Julian Bond

Former Chairman NAACP, former President of Southern Poverty Law Center, and founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Twitter@NAACP; @splcenter

Horace Julian Bond is a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement. In 1960, Bond was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and served as communications director from 1961 to 1966. Bond graduated from Morehouse and helped found the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). He was the organization's president from 1971 to 1979.

From 1965 to 1975, he served in the Georgia House of Representatives and served six terms in the Georgia Senate from 1975-86. In 1968, Bond was the first African-American nominated as Vice President of the United States. He withdrew his name from the ballot because he was too young to serve. Bond ran for the United States House of Representatives, but lost to civil rights leader John Lewis. He was elected Board Chairman of the NAACP in 1998 where he served until 2010.

Today Bond is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at American University in Washington, D.C., and a Professor in the history department at the University of Virginia. He has received 25 honorary degrees.

Julian Bond will be speaking in a Thursday forum.

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Julian Bond


Ruth Calderon

Member of Knesset, Yesh Atid

Ruth Calderon is a new member of the Israeli Knesset. She recently made headlines when she gave a shiur (Torah class) in her new-member-of-Knesset speech. Most new MKs give a speech about their resume, history or plans of action; she spoke instead words of Torah. Coming from a family of mixed heritages--a Sephardic father from Bulgaria, a German Ashkenazi mother--she grew up traditional and secular. She then went on to study Talmud in university as the only woman in the program, and later founded a secular Yeshiva in Tel Aviv. Her speech in Knesset was about uniting the Jewish people and showing how religious and secular Jews can all learn from each other and all contribute to Israel. Her Talmud-based speech was important as not only coming from a woman, but a secular, learned woman.

Ruth calderon will be speaking in a Thursday forum and the WUPJ luncheon.

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Ruth Calderon


Ilyse Hogue

President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

Twitter@Ilyseh; @NARAL

Ilyse Hogue, a social change practitioner, media consumer and analyst, and online engagement expert, is the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Previously, she served as Co-Director of Friends of Democracy and as Senior Adviser to Media Matters for America. From 2006- 2011, Ilyse was Director of Political Advocacy and Communications for MoveOn.org.

Prior to joining MoveOn, Ilyse was Program Director at the Rainforest Action Network, where she spent six years pioneering and implementing corporate advocacy campaigns in the banking, forest, and other sectors. She is the co-founder of smartMeme Strategy and Training project and serves on the board of Rebuild the Dream, Oil Change International, Story of Stuff, and National Domestic Worker's Alliance. Ilyse holds an M.S. in Resource Ecology Management from the University of Michigan where she studied the impact of resource constraints in politics and culture. Her BA is from Vassar College.

Ilyse Hogue will be speaking in a Friday forum.

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Ilyse Hogue


Jay Feinberg

Founder and CEO of Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation

Twitter@hlamatch; @GiftofLife

A 16-year transplant survivor, Jay Feinberg is Gift of Life's founder and Chief Executive Officer. Diagnosed in 1991 with leukemia and told that his only hope of a cure was a bone marrow transplant, Jay, his family, and friends embarked on a groundbreaking international search for a matching donor. After organizing 250 drives and testing 60,000 potential donors, Jay's match turned out to be the very last donor tested at the very last drive. He received his transplant at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle in July 1995 thanks to his bone marrow donor, Becky Faibisoff.

Jay formerly served on the Board of Directors of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA), currently serves on the Cord Blood Advisory Committee of the National Marrow Donor Program's Center for Cord Blood, and is on the Editorial Board of Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide.

Jay received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

Jay Feinberg will be speaking in the Wednesday evening plenary.

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Jay Feinberg


Anat Hoffman

Executive Director, Israel Religious Action Center, and Chairwoman, Women of the Wall

Twitter@IRACUpdates; @WomenoftheWall

Anat Hoffman is the executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, the legal and advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel. Previously, she held a seat on the Jerusalem City Council, where for fourteen years she stood in opposition to the policies of the city’s right-wing and ultra-Orthodox administration. Anat also serves as the Chairwoman of Women of the Wall.

Anat Hoffman will be speaking in a Friday forum and the Saturday evening plenary.

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Anat Hoffman


Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman

President, Shalom Hartman Institute

Twitter@Hartman_Inst

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, Shalom Hartman Institute President, and the Director of the Engaging Israel Project, has a doctorate in Jewish philosophy from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a Master of Arts in political philosophy from New York University, a Master of Arts in religion from Temple University, and Rabbinic ordination from the Shalom Hartman Institute. Donniel is the founder of some of the most extensive education, training and enrichment programs for scholars, educators and rabbis in Israel and North America.

He is the author of The Boundaries of Judaism and the co-editor of Judaism and the Challenges of Modern Life, both published by Continuum Press. Donniel is the co-author of Spheres of Jewish Identity, a model curriculum in Jewish philosophy for secular Israeli high schools.

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman will be speaking in the Wednesday evening plenary and a Thursday forum.

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Donniel Hartman


Rabbi David Saperstein

Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Twitter@theRAC

Selected by Newsweek magazine in 2009 as the most influential rabbi in the country, Rabbi David Saperstein represents the Reform Jewish Movement to Congress and the Administration as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC). During his over three-decade tenure at the helm of the RAC, Rabbi Saperstein has headed several national religious coalitions, including the Coalition to Protect Religious Liberty. He serves on the board of numerous national organizations including the NAACP, People For the American Way, National Religious Partnership on the Environment and the World Bank's "World Faith Development Dialogue."

In 1999, Rabbi Saperstein was elected as the first Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, created by a unanimous vote of Congress, and in 2009, he was appointed by President Obama as a member of the first White House Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Also an attorney, Rabbi Saperstein teaches seminars in First Amendment Church-State Law and in Jewish Law at Georgetown University Law School.

Rabbi David Saperstein will be speaking in a Thursday forum and a Friday forum.

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Rabbi David Saperstein


Jonathan Sarna

Professor, Brandeis University

Dr. Jonathan Sarna is the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and Chief Historian of the new National Museum of American Jewish History. Dr. Sarna attended Brandeis University, the Boston Hebrew College, Merkaz HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, and Yale University, where he obtained his doctorate in 1979.

From 1979-1990, Dr. Sarna taught at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, where he rose to become Professor of American Jewish history and Director of the Center for the Study of the American Jewish Experience. Dr. Sarna is recognized as a leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life. In 2009, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Sarna has written, edited, or co-edited more than thirty books, including the new When General Grant Expelled the Jews. He is best known for the acclaimed American Judaism: A History. Winner of the Jewish Book Council's "Jewish Book of the Year Award" in 2004, it has been praised as being "the single best description of American Judaism during its 350 years on American soil."

Dr. Jonathan Sarna will be speaking in a Thursday forum.

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Jonathan Sarna


Ari Weinzweig

Co-Owner & Founding Partner, Zingerman's

Twitter@zingermans

Ari Weinzweig moved to Ann Arbor from his hometown of Chicago to attend the University of Michigan. After graduating with a degree in Russian history, he went to work washing dishes in a local restaurant and soon discovered that he loved the food business. Along with his partner Paul Saginaw, Ari started Zingerman’s Delicatessen in 1982 with a $20,000 bank loan, a staff of two, a small selection of great-tasting specialty foods and a relatively short sandwich menu. Today, Zingerman’s is an Ann Arbor institution: Ari and Paul have built Zingerman’s into an organization with almost 600 employees and annual sales of over $45,000,000 – the source of great food and great experiences for over 500,000 visitors every year.

Ari Weinzweig will be speaking in a Wednesday afternoon intensive.

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Ari Weinzweig