Professor Ariel Novoplansky
Professor Ariel Novoplansky was born and raised in Israel and received his Ph.D. in ecology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Following a post-doc period at the University of Michigan he joined the Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Institutes for Desert Research of the Ben-Gurion University.
His scientific work focuses on evolutionary ecology of plants. His current research is related to the evolutionary rationale and physiological mechanisms enabling plants to make developmental decisions based on information they perceive from their environment and neighbors.
Photo courtesy of Tzafrir Abyov.
Avi Shoham is a software engineer and management expert, after 23 years of taking part in state-of-the-art software projects and managing leading software companies in Israel, he went on retirement at the age of 40.
For the last 15 years, Avi has been a management consultant to companies in Israel and Europe and has devoted his life to empowering and enabling organizations and individuals to fulfill on the matters and interests that are most important to them.
Professor Carlo Strenger
Carlo Strenger is a philosopher, existential psychoanalyst and public intellectual. He serves as Professor of Psychology at Tel Aviv University, on the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists, the Seminar of Existential Psychoanalysis in Zurich, and the Scientific Board of the Sigmund Freud Foundation in Vienna in addition to maintaining a part-time practice in existential psychoanalysis.
Strenger has published numerous papers and books. His work has been reported on, and he has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time Magazine as well as hundreds of newspapers and websites in more than twenty languages.
As a publicist he writes primarily on Israeli politics and the Middle Eastern conflict, on an ongoing basis in his blog 'Strenger than Fiction', at Haaretz.com, and occasionally in The New York Times, The Guardian, Huffington Post and Foreign Policy.
His professional passion is the study of human freedom and meaning in our global age. He is particularly interested in the new species he calls Homo Globalis, the first tribe in the history of humanity defined not by territory but by its networks and common values. He shows how Homo Globalis evolves new meaning systems that allow the evolution of global solidarity.
Professor Daphna Joel
Professor Daphna Joel received her Ph.D. in psychology in Tel-Aviv University, and joined the faculty of TAU in 1998. Prof. Joel is presently the head of the Psychobiology graduate program at the School of Psychological Sciences, and a member of the Sagol School of Neuroscience.
Prof. Joel's research interests focus on understanding the involvement of basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits in normal and abnormal behavior, using mainly animal models of psychopathology. More recently Prof. Joel has expanded her work to research questions related to brain, sex and gender, and in particular the complex interplay between sex and environment in the development of psychopathology.
Professor Dorit Aharonov
Professor Dorit Aharonov was born in Washington D.C and grew up in Haifa, Israel. She did her BSc in Physics and Mathematics summa cum laude in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she continued to do her PhD (after a break of one year at the Weizmann Institute), jointly in the Computer science and Physics departments.
In her PhD she discovered ways to make quantum computers noise tolerant. After a one year postdoc in the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton and one year in UC Berkeley, she joined the Hebrew University computer science department where she is now a full professor, and together with her group of students studies quantum computational processes. More generally, she is fascinated by mathematical beauty and its connection to the physical world.
She received several awards for her research work. Her other passion is body-mind processes, and in particular, martial arts. For the past 18 years she has been practicing and studying Tai-Chi, Yoga and Kung-Fu, and in addition has recently become a teacher in the Feldenkreiz method of self improvement and awareness through movement. Other interests of hers include human rights, art, literature, being outdoors, hiking, inspiring human stories and human potential in general.
Merav Michaeli is an op-ed writer for "Ha'aretz" newspaper, a lecturer of communications in various colleges and a social activist. Recognized for her advocacy and public activism for women's rights, she is one of Israel's most prominent journalists and host of prime-time television entertainment talk shows.
Known for her ability to consistently challenge views and positions, she has been the star of her own two-hour daily radio talk show, television current event magazine hour, and documentary series. Her career has also spanned into the world of comedy and political satire, guest starring in programs such as Israel's equivalents of "Saturday Night Live" and Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect."
Merav also founded and presides over the national lobby to advance the struggle against sexual assault in Israel.
Photo courtesy of Ron Kedmi.
Niveen Rizkalla was born and raised in Palestinian family in Ramle and currently lives in Haifa, where she works for the Ministry of Health as the manager of a mobile clinic treating women working in prostitution.
Niveen studied psychology and english literature (BA) as well as social work (BA) and couple and family counseling. During the last five years she has been working on her Ph.D. in social work at Tel-Aviv University.
Her main areas of interest are Couple Intimacy, Differentiation of the self, Collectivism-Individualism and Marital Satisfaction, and comparing married couples within the Arab and Jewish societies in Israel. She facilitates groups of Palestinians and Jews in conflict, women's empowerment groups and teaches courses on sexual abuse and trauma as well as general sexual education. In addition, Niveen is an active volunteer in feminist and women's rights organizations.
Ora and Ihab Balha
Ora Balha was always attracted to mysticism, and the ability of the body to be used as an instrument for spiritual communion. Trained as a dancer, Ora found her way to the Sufi path and has been whirling since 2007, in addition to teaching the art to others. Along with her husband, she also operates a coexistence center which brings together Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals, organizes conferences on nonviolence, runs an Arabic/Hebrew bilingual kindergarten in the Rudolph Steiner method, and manages an organic coop.
Ihab Balha is a Palestinian Arab who has been investigating Islam, and Sufism in particular, for many years. Trained in the Mevlevi order since 2007, he has been whirling ever since. With his wife, he is involved in many community projects, including Sulha Peace Project, as well as other efforts dedicated to reconciliation between Arabs and Jews. His main interest is to use Islam as a bridge between hearts.
Judge (ret.) Shlomo Shoham
Judge (ret.) Shlomo Shoham served as the first Commissioner for Future Generations and as a legal advisor to the Constitution Law and Justice Committee in the Israeli Parliament. In addition, since 2010, he has served as a Chair of the Parole Committee in the Israeli Prison Services.
Shoham was a lecturer in the Law Faculties of the Universities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Bar Ilan on range of subjects on Human Rights and Criminal Law. He also taught Emotional Intelligence at the executive MPA program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Meditation and Bio-energy for thousands of people worldwide.
In recent years, Shlomo was an honorary fellow of the Bertelsmann Foundation; within this framework he wrote the book "Future Intelligence". Shoham also teaches Future-oriented Leadership, Sustainable Leadership and Holistic Leadership in Colleges and conferences all over the world and is the founder of the Sustainable Global Leadership Academy which will train promising future leaders with the greatest potential to create global transformation. With future intelligence at the core of the curriculum, the Academy will facilitate the world's future leaders to internalize a holistic approach and embody leadership at the intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual levels.
Yaron Engler is a passionate drummer, composer and a teacher. He worked as a freelance drummer for several years in Israel until he went to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, U.S.A. where he graduated Summa cum Laude in 2003.
His collaboration with the tap artist Sharon Lavi in show Keshev Ketzev before college brought him to Barcelona where he became the Musical Director and Composer of Tapeplas, a company that combined tap dance, music and rhythm.
Since 2004, Yaron has been collaborating with the world acclaimed choreographer Hofesh Shechter. He took part as the lead drummer, arranger and Musical Director in the research and creation of several works of the company including Uprising, In Your Rooms, Political Mother and Survivor and has been touring with the company around the world.
Currently Yaron also plays drums, percussion and vocals in the folk-rock band Kindle Trails. A very important part of Yaron's love for music lies with teaching and he has delivered workshops and master classes for musicians and dancers in the UK, USA, Japan, Spain, Israel, South Korea and New Zealand.
Ronny Edry is a graphic designer, an illustrator and a teacher. He grew up in Paris, France and has been living in Israel since 1989. Ronny graduated with honors from the BezIalel Academy of Art and Design, and has since been a permanent staff member teaching Visual Communication at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, and formerly at the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design.
Ronny works as a designer and is the acclaimed author of several graphic novels. He is the owner and founder of "Pushpin", a Preparation School for the art and design academies and has received awards for his works as a graphic designer, in addition to taking part in numerous art exhibitions.
Ronny has always been involved with social topics and political media and has been a constant voice in the conversation on many topics with the bold social awareness posters, that he's come to be known for.
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