List of Presenters

Michael Berenbaum is the Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust and a Professor of Jewish Studies at the American Jewish University. He oversaw the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, was the first Director of its Research Institute and later served as President and CEO of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. The author and editor of 20 books, Michael was also Executive Editor of the Second Edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica.

Mayim Bialik is best known for her award-winning role on the hit CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory, as ‘Amy Farrah Fowler’ and her lead role as ‘Blossom Russo’ on the hit 90’s sitcom, Blossom. Bialik has lived a life of hard work and accomplishments. She earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at UCLA, has gained almost two-dozen award nominations for her role on The Big Bang Theory, is raising wonderful two boys, has started her own website (GrokNation.com), and written three best-selling, important books.

Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. Rabba Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has taught worldwide at esteemed Jewish educational organizations including The Wexner Foundation, The Dorot Foundation, Hillel International, and Moishe House. She has taught at over 30 Limmud events around the globe.

As JDC's Director of Strategic Relations, Diana Fiedotin focuses on the welfare of Jews at-risk and strengthening Jewish communities around the world. Previously, as a senior executive of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, she oversaw relief efforts for the earthquake in Japan and the wildfire in Israel. Diana also founded Lifeline to Argentina, which raised over $2 million during the 2001-2004 Argentine economic crisis. A graduate of Brown University, she served on JFNA's National Young Leadership Cabinet.

Sherre Hirsch is a rabbi, author and spirituality expert. She currently serves as the Senior Rabbinic Scholar for Hillel International. Her mission is to empower individuals to become more in tune with their well-being, way of life and ability to impact the world. After eight years in the pulpit, Hirsch left Sinai Temple, Los Angeles’ largest and oldest conservative synagogue. Since then, she has published We Plan, God Laughs: What to Do When Life Hits You Over the Head and Thresholds: How to Thrive Through Life’s Transitions to Live Fearlessly and Regret-Free.

Since Benji Lovitt made aliyah in 2006, the comedian/educator has performed for audiences around the world including Jewish Federations, JCCs, Hillels, Masa programs, and more. His perspectives on Israeli society have been featured on Israeli television and radio and in publications such as USA Today, Time Magazine, and the Times of Israel. During 2014's Operation Protective Edge, his humorous observations on the war led to his being called in Israel "the only reason to go on Facebook.”

Chaim Seidler-Feller recently celebrated his fortieth year of working with students and faculty as the Executive Director of the Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA. He is currently Director Emeritus and also serves as Director of the Hartman Fellowship for Campus Professionals. Chaim was ordained at Yeshiva University. He has been a lecturer at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University, and serves on the faculty of the Harvey Fields Institute of the New Israel Fund and the Wexner Heritage Foundation.

Doreen Seidler-Feller earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Ohio State University. She serves as Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA where she teaches courses in systems-based healthcare and in human sexuality and sex therapy. Her clinical practice of individual and couples therapy also draws heavily on her expertise in sexual disorders. She is a teacher and public speaker on topics involving relationships, ethics, sexuality, marriage and Holocaust-related psychological themes.

Hillel Smith is an artist and graphic designer focused on re-imagining the potential of Judaica. Hillel has painted dynamic Jewish murals in Southern California and Israel. He revitalizes ancient rituals with digital projects like his Parsha Posters (now available in hardcover) and GIF the Omer: The Best Omer Counter Ever, which encourage creative reconsideration of religious practice. Hillel also teaches Jewish typographic history, using print as a lens for Jewish life and culture. See his work at hillelsmith.info.

Hillel Tigay serves as Hazan/Music Director at IKAR. He majored in musicology and specialized in composition, classical guitar, the renaissance lute and pop music, then went on to co-found the Jewish rap band MOT. The son of a rabbinical scholar, Hillel has spent his life expressing his love of Yiddishkeit. He spent several years in Israel and has cantored during High Holy Days since his high school years. In addition to leading IKAR services, Hillel spends his time writing his own Jewish music, which can be explored at JudeoMusic.com.


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