Jewish As Civilizations 2008 Attendees

Ruth Bevan is David W. Petegorsky Professor of Political Science and Director of the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Center for International Affairs at Yeshiva University. She is author of the forthcoming Petra Kelly: The Other Green.

Avraham Burg
is a former Speaker of the Knesset and a former Chairman of the Jewish Agency. Currently, he is leading a British-Israeli investment company which seeks to strengthen business in Israel. He is the author most recently of God is Back.

Patricia Cohen is a cultural reporter for the New York Times, covering ideas and intellectual life. She worked as an editor and writer at The Washington Post, Rolling Stone Magazine and New York Newsday. Currently, she is writing a history of middle age for Scribners.  

Esther Dischereit is a poet, novelist, essayist, stage, and radio dramatist living in Berlin. She has lectured widely in the United States and is the author of Lessons in Being Jewish. Her most recent film is A Dress from Warsaw (Ein Kleid aus Washau).

Arnold Eisen is the seventh chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. Previously, he served as Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University. He is the author of Rethinking Modern Judaism: Ritual, Commandment, Community.

Wayne Firestone is President of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Previously, he served as the Director of the Israel Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League. He has been a lecturer at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology.

Jonathan Freedland is a columnist for the Guardian and writes a weekly piece for the London Evening Standard, presents BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series, The Long View, and writes a monthly column for the Jewish Chronicle. He is the author most recently of Jacob’s Gift.

Konstanty Gebert is a columnist and international reporter for Gazeta Wybrocza in Warsaw. He is the author of numerous books including most recently A Place under the Sun: The Wars of Israel.

Beatrice Godlewicz is Director of the Institute for Jewish Audiovisual Memory based in Belgium. She is also the author of several publications, including most recently Belgiuqe, Identite, Judeite.

Rebecca Goldstein is a philosopher and novelist. In 1996 she was awarded the MacArthur “Genius” grant.  She is the author most recently of Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew who Gave Us Modernity.

Gidi Grinstein is founder and president of The Re’ut Institute and a leading policy analyst in Israel. Previously, he served in the Office and then in the Bureau of Prime Minister Barak as the Secretary and Coordinator of the Negotiation Team of the Government of Israel to the Permanent Status negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

Enrique Krauze is a historian, essayist, publisher, and president of Editorial Clío and Letras Libres. He serves on the board of directors of the Instituto Cervantes and Televisa.  He is the author of Mexico: Biography of Power.

Benny Lau is head of the Beit Midrash Program at Beit Morasha of Jerusalem and serves as Rabbi of the Ramban Synagogue in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem.  He lectures at Beit Morasha’s Robert M. Beren College and Bar-Ilan University. 

Deborah Lipstadt is a historian and Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University.  She is the author most recently of History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving.

Judith Liwerant is Senior Professor at the Center for Social Theory and Director of the Graduate School of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Mexico.  She is also a member of the Mexican Academy of Science. Her forthcoming books include Jewish Identities in an Era of Globalization and Multiculturalism and Society, Politics and Identities.

Yehudah Mirsky is a fellow at The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute.  He is an ordained Rabbi and received his Ph.D. in religion from Harvard University.  Previously, he served as a special advisor in the U.S. State Department's Human Rights Bureau.

David Myers is Professor and Director at UCLA’s Center for Jewish Studies and co-editor of the Jewish Quarterly Review. In 2008 he published Between Jew and Arab: The Lost Voice of Simon Rawidowicz.

Esther Perel is a marriage and family therapist and author of Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic. She is also the host of the Downtown Salon in New York City, a capacity crowd forum that addresses zeitgeist issues. 

Daniel Septimus is Editor-in-Chief of He hosts the 92nd Street Y's Jewish Literary Exchange.  His literature column, "Reading between the Lines," is published monthly in the Jerusalem Post.

Gábor T. Szántó is an author, poetand Editor-in-Chief of the Hungarian Jewish monthly Szombat.  His forthcoming book – a volume of selected short stories – is being published in Russian in March 2008. His stories and essays have been translated into English, Dutch, German, Italian, Romanian and Bulgarian.

Viviane Teitelbaum is a member of the Brussels Parliament and President of the Institute for the Jewish Audiovisual Memory. She is the author of numerous books including most recently Ixelles se raconte.

Shmuel Trigano is a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and professor of sociology at the University of Paris X-Nanterre. He is Director of the College of Jewish Studies at the Alliance Israelite Universelle and editor of Pardes and Controverses. He is also the founder of L’Observatoire du Monde Juif and has written numerous books.

Leon Wieseltier is the author of Kaddish and essays on Jewish thought and Jewish history. He has been the literary editor of The New Republic since 1983. 

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