In the program, renowned contemporary Jewish thinkers expound on their individual perspectives and interactively explore together with participants the evolving nature of the conversation about Judaism in today’s open environments. The following speakers taught at the program in previous years:

2013

Ruth Calderon

Ruth Calderon is the founder and executive director of Alma College in Tel Aviv, an institution dedicated to the study and advancement of Hebrew culture. Ms. Calderon founded and directed Elul, the egalitarian Beit Midrash for secular and religious women and men. She trained at the School for Educational Leadership. In 1997 she received the prestigious Avi-Chai prize for outstanding achievement in public action. Ms. Calderon is currently completing her doctorate in Talmudic studies.

Fania Oz-Salzberger

Fania Oz-Salzberger is former director of Paideia. She is Professor of History at the Faculty of Law and Center for German and European Studies, University of Haifa. She previously also taught at Monash University and at Princeton University. Fania was raised in Kibbutz Hulda on modern Hebrew culture and the kibbutz movement’s creative understanding of the Jewish legacy. Her Oxford University thesis became her first book, Translating the Enlightenment: Scottish Civic Discourse in Eighteenth-Century Germany (Oxford, 1995). Her main field is the history of political ideas in Europe, especially their transfer between cultures and languages. She also researches Jewish ideas in historical perspectives – from early modern political Hebraism (Grotius to Hobbes) to her current work on Jewish textual nationhood. Her most recent book, Jews and Words (Yale, 2012), co-authored with Amos Oz, has been translated into 13 languages. Fania is deeply engaged with public and current affairs, and takes part in an ongoing Israeli-European dialog. Her book Israelis in Berlin first appeared in Hebrew and German in 2001, with a new edition in 2014.

Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan Rosen is the author of The Talmud and the Internet and the novelsEve’s Apple and Joy Comes in the Morning. His essays have appeared in The New York Times and The New Yorker. He is the editorial director of Nextbook.

Tova Hartman

Prof. Tova Hartman is a scholar, author, and social entrepreneur. She currently serves as the Dean of Humanities at Ono Academic College, a model of multicultural graduate and undergraduate programming and education-based social reform, as well as the fastest growing institute of higher education in Israel.


2014

Konstanty Gebert

Columnist and international reporter with Gazeta Wyborcza, Warsaw. Associate Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations. Advisory Board member, Einstein Forum, Potsdam, and Jewish Humanitarian Fund, The Hague. Media consultant, Media Investment Loan Fund, New York. Board member, Remembrance and Future Foundation, which sponsors the future monument to Poles who saved Jews during WWII. Founder and first editor of the Jewish intellectual monthly Midrasz. Former Polish democratic underground activist. Author of twelve books, on i.a. the Polish round table of 1989, the Yugoslav wars, the wars of Israel, the European 20th century, contemporary Polish Jewry, and Torah commentary. His essays have appeared in two dozen collective works in Poland, Japan, US, UK, Italy, France and Belgium, and his articles in many newspapers in Poland and around the world. Frequent lecturer at universities in Poland, US and Israel. Currently working on a book on comparative genocide.

Rabbi David Wolpe

Named the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, David Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California. Rabbi Wolpe’s work has been profiled in the New York Times, and he is a columnist for Time.com, he regularly writes for many publications, including The LA Times, the Washington Post’s On Faith website, and The Huffington Post. He has been on television numerous times, including the Today Show, Face the Nation, ABC this Morning, and CBS This Morning. In addition Rabbi Wolpe has been featured in series on PBS, A&E, the History channel, and the Discovery channel. Rabbi Wolpe is the author of eight books, including the national bestseller Making Loss Matter. Rabbi Wolpe’s new book is titled, David, The Divided Heart available from Yale University Press in November of 2014.

Avivah Zornberg

Avivah Zornberg holds a PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University. She is the author of three books: Genesis: The Beginning of Desire (JPS), which won the National Jewish Book Award in 1995; The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus (Doubleday, 2002); and The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious (Schocken, 2009). Her latest book, Bewilderments: Reflections on the Book of Numbers, will be published by Schocken in Spring, 2015. Zornberg has grown to world acclaim through her writing and teaching of biblical commentary on the books of the Torah.


2015

Rabbi Art Green

A historian of Jewish religion and a theologian, Art Green is the founding dean of the Rabbinical College at the Hebrew College in Boston, where he is now the rector and the Irving Brudnick Professor of Philosophy and Religion. His fields of research are Jewish mysticism, Hasidism, which he has taught extensively at the University of Pennsylvania, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he served as both dean and president, Brandeis University and Hebrew College. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books; his most recent is “Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings From Around the Maggid’s Table” (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2013). Green has been named to Newsweek’s list of Top 50 Influential Rabbis in America every year since 2008.

Sharon Brous

Rabbi Sharon Brous is the founding rabbi of IKAR, an independent Jewish community in Los Angeles that seeks to inspire people across the religious spectrum through soulful religious and spiritual practice that is rooted in a deep commitment to social justice. In 2013, Rabbi Brous blessed the President and Vice President at the Inaugural National Prayer Service and was recognized as the most influential Rabbi in the United States by Newsweek and the Daily Beast. She is the first woman rabbi to top the list and, at 39, is also the youngest to hold the top spot. She sits on the faculty of the Hartman Institute-North America, Wexner Heritage and REBOOT, and serves on the International Council of the New Israel Fund and rabbinic advisory council to American Jewish World Service and Bend the Arc. She earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Human Rights from Columbia University, and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York in 2001.

Konstanty Gebert

Columnist and international reporter with Gazeta Wyborcza, Warsaw. Associate Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations. Advisory Board member, Einstein Forum, Potsdam, and Jewish Humanitarian Fund, The Hague. Media consultant, Media Investment Loan Fund, New York. Board member, Remembrance and Future Foundation, which sponsors the future monument to Poles who saved Jews during WWII. Founder and first editor of the Jewish intellectual monthly Midrasz. Former Polish democratic underground activist. Author of twelve books, on i.a. the Polish round table of 1989, the Yugoslav wars, the wars of Israel, the European 20th century, contemporary Polish Jewry, and Torah commentary. His essays have appeared in two dozen collective works in Poland, Japan, US, UK, Italy, France and Belgium, and his articles in many newspapers in Poland and around the world. Frequent lecturer at universities in Poland, US and Israel. Currently working on a book on comparative genocide.


2016

Admiel Kosman

Since 2003, Admiel Kosman has held the Chair for Rabbinic Studies at the University of Potsdam in Germany, and is the Academic Director of Geiger College in Berlin. His research explores the interface between anthropology and Talmudic discourse, as well as questions that are connected to Gender studies (especially with regard to Jewish-Christian polemics from theological perspective). His books include: Men’s Tractate (Keter, 2002); Women’s Tractate (Keter, 2007); Femininity in the Spiritual World of the Talmudic Story (Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2008); Men’s World: Reading Masculinity in Jewish Stories in a Spiritual Context (Ergon, 2009); and Gender and Dialogue in the Rabbinic Prism (Studia Judaica; de Gruyter, 2012). Additionally, Admiel Kosman is the author of 9 collections of poetry in Hebrew. A collection of his poems (“Approaching You in English”) translated into English by Lisa Katz and Shlomith Naor and was published in 2011 by Zephyr Press in USA.

Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin, Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University, is the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. Her memoir, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award, and she was named to the 2012 Forward 50 list of influential or courageous American Jews. She is also the author of seven books of poetry. Her work has been recognized with a National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, and an American Council of Learned Societies research fellowship. She has spoken and published widely about gender identity issues, and serves on the Board of Keshet, an American organization devoted to full inclusion of LGTBQ Jews in the Jewish world. She is currently writing a book of trans Jewish theology entitled, I am What I Will Be: Meeting God at the Burning Bush of Becoming.

Sharon Shalom

Sharon Shalom is a Rabbi, Congregation Kidoshei Yisrael, Kiryat Gat, and a lecturer at the Bar Ilan University. He holds a Ph. D in Jewish Philosophy from Bar-Ilan University. Sharon is teaching several courses, including “Ethiopian Jewry Between Segregation Gettoization”, “Halacha, custom and tradition in the Ethiopian Community”, and “Tolerance and Pluralism in Jewish sources – Ethiopian Jewry as a test case”.


2017

Ariel Picard

Ariel Picard is the Educational Director of Shalom Hartman Institute’s Be’eri program. He has a doctorate in philosophy from Bar-Ilan University and conducts research in contemporary Jewish law. He was ordained as a rabbi by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and formerly served as the rabbi of Kibbutz Shluchot. His most recent publication, Seeing the Voices: Tradition, Creativity and the Freedom of Interpretation Judaism was published by Yediot Sefarim in 2016.His book “Halakha in a New World: Rabbinic Discourse in Modern Society” was published by the Shalom Hartman Institute in 2012. His book, The Philosophy of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in an Age of Transition: Study of Halakha and Cultural Criticism, was published in 2007 by Bar-Ilan University Press

Barbara Lerner Spectre

Barbara Lerner Spectre is the Founding Director of Paideia.  She was formerly on the faculty of the Hartman Institute of Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she taught Jewish Thought. She was among the founders of the Seminary of Judaic Studies in Jerusalem. Her area of research is in models of inference in Christian and Jewish post-Holocaust theology, for which she received a research grant from Yad V’Shem Institute. Barbara’s publications include “A Theology of Doubt” (Hebrew) and, together with Noam Zion of the Hartman Institute, the two-volume “A Different Light: The Hannukah Book of Celebration.” In 2007, she received the prestigious Max M. Fisher Prize for Jewish Education in the Diaspora and in 2016 the Abraham Geiger Medal. In 2018, she received The King’s Medal for her outstanding contribution for Jewish culture in Sweden and beyond. 

Konstanty Gebert

Columnist and international reporter with Gazeta Wyborcza, Warsaw. Associate Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations. Advisory Board member, Einstein Forum, Potsdam, and Jewish Humanitarian Fund, The Hague. Media consultant, Media Investment Loan Fund, New York. Board member, Remembrance and Future Foundation, which sponsors the future monument to Poles who saved Jews during WWII. Founder and first editor of the Jewish intellectual monthly Midrasz. Former Polish democratic underground activist. Author of twelve books, on i.a. the Polish round table of 1989, the Yugoslav wars, the wars of Israel, the European 20th century, contemporary Polish Jewry, and Torah commentary. His essays have appeared in two dozen collective works in Poland, Japan, US, UK, Italy, France and Belgium, and his articles in many newspapers in Poland and around the world. Frequent lecturer at universities in Poland, US and Israel. Currently working on a book on comparative genocide.


2019

Carol Gilligan

Carol Gilligan is best known as the author of In a Different Voice, the “little book that started a revolution.” Her subsequent books include The Birth of Pleasure, Kyra: a novel, Joining the Resistance, and most recently, Darkness Now Visible (with David Richards) and Why Does Patriarchy Persist? (with Naomi Snider). She was a member of the Harvard faculty for over 30 years and held the university’s first chair in Gender Studies; she was the visiting Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University; and she is currently a University Professor at New York University, where she has initiated the radical listening project.  In 1996, she was named by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans.

Konstanty Gebert

Columnist and international reporter with Gazeta Wyborcza, Warsaw. Associate Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations. Advisory Board member, Einstein Forum, Potsdam, and Jewish Humanitarian Fund, The Hague. Media consultant, Media Investment Loan Fund, New York. Board member, Remembrance and Future Foundation, which sponsors the future monument to Poles who saved Jews during WWII. Founder and first editor of the Jewish intellectual monthly Midrasz. Former Polish democratic underground activist. Author of twelve books, on i.a. the Polish round table of 1989, the Yugoslav wars, the wars of Israel, the European 20th century, contemporary Polish Jewry, and Torah commentary. His essays have appeared in two dozen collective works in Poland, Japan, US, UK, Italy, France and Belgium, and his articles in many newspapers in Poland and around the world. Frequent lecturer at universities in Poland, US and Israel. Currently working on a book on comparative genocide.

Moshe Halbertal

Moshe Halbertal is the John and Golda Cohen Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy at the Hebrew University and the Gruss Professor at NYU Law School, and a member of the Israel’s National Academy for Sciences and the Humanities. Among his books are “Idolatry” (co-authored with Avishai Margalit); “People of the Book: Canon, Meaning and Authority”, both published by Harvard University Press. His books “On Sacrifice” and “Maimonides: Life and Thought” were published by Princeton University Press. His latest book “The Beginning of Politics: Power in the Biblical book of Samuel” (co-authored with Stephen Holmes) was published by Princeton University press at 2017.


Staff

Rani Jaeger
Director, Paideia Paradigm Program

Rani Jaeger is a faculty member of Hartman Institute and the director of the Be’eri School for Teacher Education which is aimed at pioneering a nationwide model of Jewish education for Israeli high schools. Rani obtained his doctorate at Bar-Ilan University in the interdisciplinary program of Culture and Interpretation. He is one of the founders of Beit Tefilah Israeli, a secular synagogue in the heart of Tel Aviv. He spent a year at Paideia, the European Institute of Jewish Studies in Stockholm, Sweden, where he was scholar-in-residence.

Oriol Poveda Guillén           
Program Facilitator

Oriol Poveda is originally from Barcelona and recently obtained his PhD in sociology of religion at Uppsala University, Sweden. His research project is a study of the intersection of gender and religion in the lives of transgender with a Jewish Orthodox background. Besides the PhD, Oriol is also part of the staff at the Paradigm Facilitators Program and a member at the board of Paideia. Oriol was a Walter Benjamin fellow during the academic year 2008/2009 and after his time at Paideia he went on to earn a MA in Jewish Studies at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien.

Ivana Koutníková            
Project Coordinator

Ivana Koutníková studied Jewish studies and German studies at Palacký University, in Olomouc, the Czech Republic. She holds a diploma in Jewish studies, German studies and History. She is also a Paideia Baruch Spinoza Fellow 2013/2014. Ivana worked at Centropa in Vienna in 2010/2011. She has been involved in the creation and organization of the movie section for the festival The Days of Jewish Culture in Olomouc and in running a school project Forgotten Path of a Town, with focus in research on local Jewish history in the Czech Republic. She was working on a project “Positive Action for Intercultural Understanding and Curiosity” for AFS Interkulturell Utbildning in Sweden. She also worked as a Resident Director at CET Academic Programs in Prague for Jewish and Central European Studies.  Currently, Ivana works as project coordinator and event organizer at Paideia and Paideia Folkhögskola. She is responsible for more than 50 events taking place every year reaching more than 1,000 people

Erik Gribbe
Program Coordinator

Erik Gribbe is CFO at Paideia. Until 2017, he served as Director of Paideia Project-Incubator at Paideia, and has been responsible for a number of other Paideia programs. He also does program development, administration and resource development at Paideia. He holds a BA and MA in Business and Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics and ESADE in Spain, and a BA in Liberal Arts from Stockholm University. Prior to joining Paideia in 2007, he has worked for the UNICEF, setting up a municipal statistics office in the Dominican Republic, as a high school teacher, translator and as volunteer at the Red Cross for many years. His previous background is in the performing arts, as a dancer at the Royal Swedish Ballet for ten years.

Adrienne Palmer
US Program Coordinator

After graduating with a B.A. from Tulane University, Adrienne worked as an Editor at a major pharmaceutical company, then Senior Editor in the fast-paced New York medical advertising and communications field.  Her facility with language and mastery of detail soon attracted independent projects as varied as international political speech writing, published Holocaust memoirs, Radio City Rockette marketing packages, professional ghost-writing, and synagogue-based adult Jewish education programs. Her 25 years as an Independent Communications Consultant have provided her myriad professional challenges that have taken her around the world, building bridges with words and understanding through nuanced communication.