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Presenters - S


Jeffrey Saks

Organisation: ATID / WebYeshiva.org
Website: www.webyeshiva.org

Jeffrey, founder of ATID and its WebYeshiva.org programme, edited 'Wisdom From All My Teachers'; 'To Mourn a Child: Jewish Responses to Childhood Death'; and authored 'Spiritualizing Halakhic Education'. He is associate editor of 'Tradition' journal, and editor of 'The Agnon Library' (Toby Press), and lectures regularly at Jerusalem’s Agnon House.

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Doreen Samuels

Organisation: Tell Me Text

Doreen is a passionate advocate of Modern Orthodoxy; a Jewish educator; 'Brad Grad'; teacher trainer; Co-chair of Harrow Day Limmud 2011 and 2013; and Woman Trustee Rep in United Synagogue. She writes for various Jewish publications and has written several books on Jewish topics, including the Tribe Children's Siddur.

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Marc Saperstein

Organisation: Leo Baeck College / King's College London

After teaching Jewish Studies in American Universities for 29 years, Marc became Principal of Leo Baeck College for a five year term in 2006. He currently teaches at LBC and at King's College London. His most recent of six books is 'Jewish Preaching in Times of War, 1800-2001'.

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Katrina Sarig

Organisation: Jewish Genetic Disorders UK
Website: www.jewishgeneticdisordersuk.org

Katrina is the founder and executive director of the charity Jewish Genetic Disorders UK – established to improve the prevention, diagnosis and management of Jewish genetic disorders. She is actively involved in outreach education, signposting, and facilitating access to responsible genetic testing for severe genetic conditions that disproportionately affect our community.

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Talia Sasson

Organisation: New Israel Fund

Talia is a board member of the New Israel Fund, the Council for Peace & Security, and the Geneva Initiative. A 2009 candidate for the Knesset (Meretz), she has taught on democracy at Tel Aviv University, authored a report on settlement outposts, and represented the Israeli government as a senior attorney.

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Hannah Sassoon

Organisation: Grassroots Jews
Website: grassrootsjews.org

Hannah teaches geography and enjoys getting young people engaging with the complexity of global issues. She has studied at both Midreshet Lindenbaum and Kehilat Hadar and is currently a coordinator of Grassroots Jews independent minyan and festival collective. She is passionate about making traditional services accessible, meaningful, and tuneful.

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Rob Sassoon

Sassy (aka Rob Sassoon) is the Site Co-Chair for Limmud Conference 2013. An avid Limmudnik and keen bridge player and tournament director, in his spare time he works at the University of Reading as a Deputy Admissions Officer.

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Olga Savchuk

Olga is studying for an MSc in Energy Studies. She is a graduate of Paideia, the European Institute for Jewish Studies. She has worked with antique Jewish manuscripts, as well as researching genealogy. Olga currently serves as an informal educator to expand inter-ethnic and inter-faith understanding among teenagers.

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Eilon Schwartz

Website: www.shaharit.org.il

Eilon is founding director of the think tank Shaharit, bringing together Israelis from many communities, advocating policies in which all may flourish. He is a teacher at the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at Hebrew University, and served as Director of The Heschel Center for Sustainability.

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Kevin Sefton

Organisation: Limmud
Website: www.limmud.org

Kevin is the chair of Limmud and one of several thousand Limmud volunteers around the world who put on events like this Conference. Driven by seeing ideas take shape and become reality, professionally he runs a consulting business and a luxury menswear brand which launched in early 2013.

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Dani Serlin

Organisation: Limmud International
Website: www.limmudinternational.org

Dani is the Limmud International Coordinator, developing, supporting and networking Limmud volunteers across the globe. As a volunteer, Dani was a YAD and then a madricha for Young Limmud before joining the Limmud Fest team. Her background is in project management and social research. Dani lives in London.

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Zahavit Shalev

Organisation: New North London Synagogue / Leo Baeck College

Zahavit is Rabbi’s Assistant at New North London Synagogue - where she runs the conversion programme - and a student at Leo Baeck College. She gets her kicks from seeing her students successfully join the Jewish people (40+ and counting), going to shul, her family, and undignified dancing.

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Natan Sharansky

Organisation: Jewish Agency for Israel

Natan is the Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel. A former Prisoner of Zion, Natan spent nine years in a Soviet prison. He later served as Deputy Prime Minister of Israel. The author of three books, Natan has received the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Andrew Shaw

Organisation: United Synagogue
Website: www.theus.org.uk

Andrew is the founder of Tribe, the Young United Synagogue, Director of US Living and Learning, and Community Development Rabbi at Stanmore Synagogue. He graduated in engineering from Leeds University, has a masters from SOAS in Hebrew and Judaic studies, and was national education co-ordinator of the Union of Jewish Students.

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Marvin Shaw

Organisation: Tiferet
Website: tiferet.co.uk

Marvin is an economic and social miracle, and is still looking to make his fortune (do a mitzvah, offer him a job) and to find his true love. In his spare time he writes self-help books and poetry in order to cheer himself up.

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Sybil Sheridan

Website: sybilsheridan.tumblr.com

Sybil is a rabbi at Wimbledon Synagogue, Chair of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis (UK) and director of Meketa, a charity supporting Jews in Ethiopia. A long term Limmudnik, her passions are Bible study, interfaith, feminism, social action and world Jewry.

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Danny Shine

Danny avoids having to plan his Limmud sessions by getting the attendees to do the hard work and create the sessions whilst he just facilitates. Danny therefore requests that only the highest calibre of people attend. Crying, laughing and yawning have occurred in the past.

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Shir

Website: www.shirmusic.co.uk

Ivor Goldberg has been performing, recording and teaching music for nearly 30 years and runs a rock school for young musicians. Maurice Chernick is Deputy Director of Music at a school in London and a composer of music for the theatre. Together, they have been running Jewish music group Shir for 16 years.

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Michael Shire

Organisation: Hebrew College, Boston
Website: www.hebrewcollege.edu

Michael is the Dean and Professor of Jewish Education at the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education at Hebrew College Boston. He recently co-authored 'Jewish Ways of Learning' in the 'Routledge International Handbook of Learning 2013'.

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Corinne Shmuel

Organisation: Gefiltefest

Corinne has a background in History of Art - but her other passion is food. After making aliyah in 2012 she studied at Tadmor Culinary Institute. and now works as a chef in Jerusalem.

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Marc Shoffren

Organisation: Alma Primary
Website: almaprimary.org

Marc is head of Alma Primary, an inclusive Jewish primary school which opened this year in North Finchley, London. He holds an MBA in Educational Leadership and an MA in Religious Education, is a member of Kol Nefesh Masorti Synagogue, father of two exceptional daughters and married to the incomparable Shelley Marsh.

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Julie Siddiqi

Organisation: Islamic Society of Britain
Website: www.isb.org.uk

Julie is Executive Director of the Islamic Society of Britain and has been involved with grassroots community work for 18 years. She is regularly interviewed on TV and in national newspapers. She has a keen interest in gender issues and in strengthening ties between UK Jewish and Muslim communities.

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Judith Silver

Website: www.judithsilver.com

Judith is an inspiring musician, teacher and performer who works with a wonderfully eclectic mix of people throughout the UK and abroad. Among her many projects, she is currently choir director for two choirs and leads a ‘Singing for the Brain’ group.

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Jerry Silverman

Organisation: LimmudPhilly

Jerry has been a Jewish and public mathematics educator for 40 years. The combination of the two fields has given him a fascination for Jewish numerology, often referred to as gematria. He holds degrees from Gratz College, the oldest independent college for Jewish studies in North America, and from Temple University.

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Mike Silverstone

Organisation: Jewish Volunteering Network
Website: www.jvn.org.uk

Mike is the Youth Co-ordinator at the Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN). Having completed an MA in Political Theory from the University of Manchester in 2011, he abandoned politics in favour of the charity sector. After an internship, JVN offered him a job directing volunteering-related programmes for young people.

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Michael Slater

Organisation: Kavod v'Nichum - Honor and Comfort
Website: www.jewish-funerals.org

Michael is President of the Board of Kavod v'Nichum (Honor and Comfort). KVN educates on and advocates for traditional practices around illness, death, burial and bereavement. He is a physician, specialising in emergency medicine. He is married to a Limmud Chicago/International 'macher'.

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Lara Smallman

Organisation: Jewish Vegetarian Society
Website: www.jvs.org.uk

Lara is the Director of the Jewish Vegetarian Society, an international charity dedicated to promoting a kinder society without killing animals for food. She has previously worked in environmental and anti-poverty campaigning.

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Alma Smith

Organisation: Keshet UK
Website: www.keshetuk.org

Alma is the co-chair of Keshet UK, the forum working to champion the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all areas of UK Jewish life. Alma has attended more than 25 Limmud events and is a student social worker in her professional life

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Norman Solomon

Organisation: Oxford University
Website: www.normansolomon.info

Norman, born in Cardiff, has served as an orthodox Rabbi, worked in the field of interfaith relations, and taught Modern Jewish Thought at Oxford University. Now retired, he has published several books including 'A Very Short Introduction to Judaism', 'The Talmud: A Selection' (Penguin Classics), and 'Torah from Heaven'.

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Shira Solomons

Organisation: Reading Hebrew Congregation
Website: www.rhc.org.uk

Shira has been a Jewish educator and events organiser in England since 2000. She runs the exciting new cheder at Reading Hebrew Congregation, where she works as rebbetzin. She is passionate about practical spirituality and Jewish education that enables children, women and men to expand their intellectual and spiritual horizons.

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Zvi Solomons

Organisation: Reading Hebrew Congregaton / Jewish Spark
Website: www.rhc.org.uk

Orthodox Rabbi of Reading for the past five years, Zvi has been a Limmudnik since the 1997 Conference in Manchester. A keen kalamophile, whisky buff and active gardener, Zvi enjoys his busman's holiday at Limmud, with his wife Shira and children Gavi Ora and Shula.

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Barbara Lerner Spectre

Organisation: Paideia - the European Institute for Jewish Studies
Website: www.paideia-eu.org

Barbara is the Founding Director of Paideia, the European Institute of Jewish Studies in Sweden, an academic institute that serves as a resource and stimulus for the renewal of European Jewish culture. Paideia now has more than 400 graduates in 35 countries, heavily engaged in Jewish knowledge and activism.

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Vivien Spevock

Vivien works as a primary and special needs teacher. In her spare time she enjoys making beautiful handicrafts. Embroidering Hebrew Letters has been a hobby of hers for some years now. It is relaxing and creative.

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Debbie Staniland

Organisation: ORT SA CAPE
Website: www.ortsacape.org.za

Debbie is passionate about improving the quality of education in South Africa. A qualified educator with twenty years in the corporate world and ten in education, she has been involved in community organisations for fifteen years: school bodies, synagogue boards, Limmud South Africa Cape Town’s organising committee, and ORT SA CAPE.

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Benji Stanley

Organisation: West London Synagogue
Website: www.wls.org.uk

Benji is in the rabbinic team at West London Synagogue. He received rabbinic ordination from Leo Baeck College, and is a fellow of Yeshivat Hadar. Benji is passionate about texts, people and responsibility. He is a co-organiser of the Open Talmud Project, in which people get stuck into Jewish text together.

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Joel Stanley

Organisation: Moishe House
Website: www.moishehouse.org

Joel is Director of International Programming for Moishe House, where he works with Jewish young adults around the world and facilitates immersive Jewish learning retreats. He was a founding resident of Moishe House London, uses drama in education across the Jewish spectrum, and creates Jewish theatre in his spare time.

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Laurence Stein

Organisation: British Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem
Website: www.boystownjerusalem.org.uk

Laurence has been Development Director of the British Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem since 2006. Since his appointment the profile of the charity has increased which means that more money has been raised to enrich disadvantaged Jewish boys who study and in many cases live at Boys Town Jerusalem.

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Beth Steinberg

Organisation: Shutaf - Inclusive Programs for Children and Teens
Website: www.campshutaf.org

Beth is the co-founder of Shutaf, offering year-round, inclusive, informal-education programmes for children and teens with disabilities in Jerusalem. Shutaf welcomes all children - with and without disabilities - regardless of educational, religious and socio-economic differences. Beth also co-founded Theater in the Rough, creating new kinds of theatrical experiences.

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Sebastian Steinfeld

After qualifying as a solicitor at a magic circle firm, Sebastian left the profession but maintained an interest in international law. He aims to equip activists and legal professionals with both the rhetoric and the content of international law.

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Stereo Sinai

Website: www.stereosinai.com

Stereo Sinai steals lyrics from God. Their heretical combination of holy tongues and blasphemous backbeats is the Good Book like you've never heard it before. If Kelly Clarkson and A-Ha had been on the mountain with Moses they’d have come down sounding much like this pop singer/songwriter and songwriter/producer duo.

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David Yehuda Stern

Organisation: Alyth - North Western Reform Synagogue
Website: www.alyth.org.uk

David-Yehuda is an educator and social entrepreneur from London. He has a degree in Film and Television Studies and has attended long-term Jewish Studies programmes in both Israel and America. He is the Rosh Chinuch (Head of Education) at Alyth (North Western Reform Synagogue) and founder of the online magazine CartoonKippah.com

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Evelyn Stern

Organisation: Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning
Website: www.meltonlondon.org.uk

Evelyn is a New Yorker and political scientist with a graduate degree in Jewish Studies. She has lectured at the London School of Jewish Studies, is a senior faculty member and board member of Melton UK, is co-author of the UK Melton Ethics course, and has taught it since it began.

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David Stoleru

Organisation: The Beit Project Association
Website: www.thebeitproject.org

David, founding director of The Beit Project, has graduated from the Mandel Leadership Institute for Senior Educators, Jerusalem. He is an architect, graduating in 1999 from the Paris-La Seine Architecture School, specialising in heritage rehabilitation. He is very much involved in the creation of Jewish education projects.

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Maurice Stone

Organisation: Israeli Dance Institute
Website: www.idi.org.uk

Maurice is chairman of the Israeli Dance Institute (IDI) and works for UJIA. He has been teaching dance for many years at Limmud in the UK, Russia & Ukraine. He believes that Israeli dance is a fundamental educational tool promoting Jewish identity and a connection with Israel. So let’s dance!

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Ben Stross

Organisation: Jerusalem U
Website: www.jerusalemu.org

Ben is director of the UK Division of Jerusalem U. As part of his role, Ben works on partner development and oversees strategic planning, educational programming and product distribution for the UK. He holds a BA in Talmudic Law from Ohr Sameach.

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Simon Style

Composer, entertainer and itinerant chartered accountant, Simon honed his singalong skills in Habonim before becoming a founder member and arranger for Jonah & the Wailers. He has been running song sessions for the last 150 years and knows over a million songs.

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David Suissa

Organisation: Jewish Journal
Website: jewishjournal.com

David is President of Tribe Media Corp / Jewish Journal in Los Angeles, where he has been writing an award-winning weekly column since 2006. Previously, he was founder and chief executive officer of SuissaMiller Advertising.

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Gideon Sylvester

Organisation: United Synagogue / Tribe / T'ruah
Website: www.theus.org.uk

Gideon is Tribe's Israel Rabbi and Senior Rabbinic Educator for T'ruah (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights USA). He was an adviser at the Israeli Prime Minister's Office and directed the Beit Midrash for Human Rights at Hebrew University. He writes for Ha'aretz, performs weddings across Israel, and was rabbi of Radlett United Synagogue.

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Joseph Symons-Smyth

Joseph is a famously long-haired Limmudnik who enjoys playing the fiddle and other instruments, singing, recreational mathematics, and even the occasional bit of Jewish learning. He is currently doing an MA in Jewish Studies at King's College, London, and has an essay deadline for it frighteningly soon after Conference.

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Ilai Szpiezak

Organisation: Israeli Dance Institute
Website: www.idi.org.uk

Ilai is the Dance Development manager for the Israeli Dance Institute (IDI). From Argentina, he has been in the UK for almost 3 years and teaches children, youth and adults as well as creating stage choreographies.

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Elana Sztokman

Organisation: Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance
Website: www.jofa.org

Elana is the Executive Director of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, author of several books on gender issues in Jewish life, and a veteran educator, writer and activist on issues of social change in the Jewish community.

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