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Limmud Presenters 2015

Patrick Aleph

Patrick is a rabbi and the director of Darshan Yeshiva, an online Jewish school providing Jewish lay leadership training, adult Jewish education and distance learning based conversion to Judaism. He has written for Times of Israel, My Jewish Learning, Kveller and has presented at a number of synagogues, universities and Jewish learning environments.

Gayle Benator

Gayle Benator, M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, specializes in working with eating disordered patients as a therapist at the Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders. Her work is informed and inspired via her Jewish and spiritual lens. In addition to her fascination with the science of behavior, she believes that each of us is a unique manifestation of God--and thus to heal or even to just be fully present for one individual in need is as if an entire world were saved.

Tracie Bernstein

Tracie Bernstein has worked and taught in the Jewish community for 25 years. Currently with Israel Bonds, Tracie has spent most of her career working with Jewish organizations that sought to bring deeper meaning, ongoing education and Jewish engagement. A professional trainer/facilitator, she has trained many in the greater Atlanta area to facilitate the Ayeka program. Tracie is married to Michael Bernstein, Rabbi of Congregation Gesher L'Torah in Alpharetta GA, and has taught about mikvah, serving as shomeret (mikvah attendant), both for traditional and more creative immersions. Tracie and Michael have three children: Ayelet, Yaron and Liana.

Andrew Hahn (aka Kirtan Rabbi)

Andrew Hahn (Reb Drew) combines a variety of tools to introduce Jewish Wisdom to an increasingly global, religious village.
He holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought from the Jewish Theological Seminary (Conservative) and received rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Reform). He has also studied at the feet of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement. Dubbed “a Shlomo Carlebach for the twenty-first century,” he weaves traditional Jewish liturgy and musical modes into the increasingly popular call-and-response chant technology from India, known as Kirtan.
A more quiet side of his personality, Rabbi Hahn has also been teaching martial arts for more than thirty years. Packaging these skills together, Rabbi Hahn travels extensively bringing Hebrew Kirtan, Jewish meditation and Torah learning to Jewish institutions and yoga studios around the world.
Kirtan Rabbi’s music is characterized by great energy, passion and melodic flow. His two available CDs, “Kirtan Rabbi: Live!” and “Achat Sha’alti: One Thing I Seek” have a growing, devoted following. He has since released two cross-over singles, Havayah and Zikr, which will soon be included on his upcoming CD, Kirtan Rabbi: Non-Dual. Also expect the release of another CD, Hallel, in 2013.

Mitch Cohen

Mitch Cohen is the spiritual leader of Congregation Shalom B’Harim in Dahlonega, GA, a progressive, post-denominational congregation of 60 families from across North Georgia. Mitch is also a certified Life Coach and a 200-hour certified Hatha Yoga teacher. He teaches Torah Yoga and other Hatha Yoga classes.
Mitch has taught classes on Kabbalah (Jewish Mysticism), Creative Midrash, Experiential Jewish Prayer and Jewish Meditation. The next chapter of his teaching will focus on Non-Dual Judaism, Inter-Spiritual / Faith Mysticism and moving into a New Paradigm of Modern Judaism.
Mitch is also the co-founder of Neshama Interfaith Center in Atlanta, an organization focused on building bridges of peace and acceptance between all faith traditions.

Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein teaches Talmud at Yeshivat Maharat and serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University and has been a member of the Israeli Bar since 2003. Yaffa is a former student of the Kollel at Pardes and was a member of the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan. She has studied at the Talmud Department at Hebrew University, and is currently pursuing Rabbinical studies in the Advanced Kollel at Yeshivat Maharat.Yaffa has taught Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes, and has served as the Director of the Beit Midrash at the Dorot Fellowship in Israel, as well as the Drisha Institute June Kollel, Kayam Farm Kollel, the Lookstein Center, Ta Shma and Young Judaea Year Course. She has taught at Limmud Events around the globe, and has written curriculum for the Global Day of Jewish Learning, and Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. As well, Yaffa was an inaugural member of the “Reshut Harabim” Beit Midrash, a think tank on Modern Orthodoxy in Israel, at the Yaakov Herzog Center.Mitch has taught classes on Kabbalah (Jewish Mysticism), Creative Midrash, Experiential Jewish Prayer and Jewish Meditation. The next chapter of his teaching will focus on Non-Dual Judaism, Inter-Spiritual / Faith Mysticism and moving into a New Paradigm of Modern Judaism.
Mitch is also the co-founder of Neshama Interfaith Center in Atlanta, an organization focused on building bridges of peace and acceptance between all faith traditions.

Brad Gadberry

Brad Gadberry has studied, enjoyed, pondered, and relished folk tales since the 1980s.

Steve Gold

Steven J. Gold, BA Antioch College, Philosophy and Religion; JD Emory Law School, is the founder of Torah-Veda (formerly the Yoga and Judaism Center). He is an initiate in a Himalayan meditation tradition and a graduate of the Karin Kabalah Center course on Kabalah: A Process of Awakening. He has continued a course of self-study and practice of spirituality generally and mystical Judaism in light of yoga for several years, and teaches meditation and related subjects from the traditions of Torah and Veda. He is the author of Yoga and Judaism, Explorations of a Jewish Yogi; IVRI: The Essence of Hebrew Spirituality and Torah Portion Summaries, with Insights from the Perspective of a Jewish Yogi.

Tali Herskowitz

Tali Herskowitz, Development Associate at the New Israel Fund, grew up in the south of Israel and was politically and socially active from a young age. After working as a Case Manager for Safe Horizons and music teacher at LGA Community College in New York, She returned to Israel to complete a Masters in Conflict Studies. Tali was an Everett Fellow at ASSAF Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum seekers and remains a passionate advocate for asylum rights in Israel. Before joining NIF, she was a Fellow at the NGO Working Group on Women Peace and Security, where her work focused on the implementation of a gender perspective at the UN Security Council. Tali has been a long-time supporter of NIF’s work and is honored to work for an organization devoted to a progressive and democratic Israel.

Terri Senoff Jacobson

Terri is a native Atlantan who has been inspired by alternative Jewish education her entire life. From a 1970's Solomon Schechter Middle Schooler to active participation in Camp Barney Medintz, BBYO, and AA Monday Night School, Terri enjoyed the opportunities that came with new and innovative programming, particularly in an informal setting. Inspired by this type of education, Terri's life work became the desire to turn other young people onto the love of learning. She received her Masters in Education and taught for over 20 years, most recently Middle School English, History and Art for 14 years at The Epstein, Solomon Schechter School of Atlanta.
Creative passions have always been a part of Terri's life, and a few years ago a burgeoning beading interest turned into a small business. Evolving from the artist's passion to design and fabricate jewelry that functions as personal talisman, Terri began working in mixed metal, found objects, rough-cut gemstones, as well as ancient and modern lamp-worked glass.
Melding her talent as a veteran teacher, metalsmith and language lover, Terri not only exhibits at local galleries and art shows but also conducts enriching workshops, staff-development sessions, celebratory artistic affairs and team-building sessions for almost any age, group or purpose. She maintains her studio in Atlanta where her college-aged twins and sweet husband, along with her four, fine, furry friends provide copious inspiration.

Gwynn Kessler

Gwynn Kessler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Swarthmore College where she also serves as coordinator of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her book Reconceiving Israel: The fetus in Rabbinic Narratives (UPenn Press) explores how rabbinic traditions on the fetus served to articulate new understandings of Jewishness, gender, and God. Gwynn's current research uses feminist and queer theories to interpret (and critique) rabbinic constructions of gender and the body. She has also published several articles including ``Bodies in Motion: Preliminary Notes on Queer Theory and Rabbinic Literature,`` and is a contributor to Torah Queeries (NYU Press).

When she is not doing laundry, Gwynn currently enjoys wrestling with her 9 year old, playing with her 6 month old, and talking long walks up very steep hills.

Eliana Leader

Eliana Leader is the executive director of Young Israel of Toco Hills in Atlanta,
Georgia, and this year's Limmud ATL + SE YAD Cohort Coordintor. She has a B.A. in sociology with a minor in Jewish studies from University of Maryland, and a graduate certificate in experiential Jewish education through the Center for the Jewish Future at Yeshiva University. In the last few years, Eliana has been furthering her work in the Jewish community through a fellowship with Birthright NEXT, serving on the selection committee for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and working as Experience Imagineer for Jewish Kids Groups. She was the chair of last year's LimmudFest, and is currently serving on the board of Limmud Atlanta + SE.

Jodi Mansbach

Jodi is passionate about many things - her work, her family and many communities! She is an urban planner and currently works at Jamestown where the high-light has been working on the Ponce City Market project. She also oversees the firm’s sustainability initiatives for the US and Latin American portfolio and directs philanthropic giving for the Jamestown Charitable Foundation.

When Jodi is not at work, she is equally busy. She has three teenagers and a husband who has been an urban farmer in Morningside for many years.

Hillel Norry

Hillel Norry is a rabbi that works with groups of all ages and backgrounds to teach about spiritual and religious practice, music, art and creativity, martial arts, firearms and marksmanship, the Jewish roots of Christianity, and personal success and mastery. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two kids.

Billy Planer

Billy Planer is the founder and Director of Etgar 36 and has worked with Jewish youth for 30 years. Originally from Atlanta, GA, he has worked around the country as a youth director. In 1995, he created a weekend trip for his youth group in which they explored a city’s history and culture. On a challenge from a friend in the summer of 2001, Billy took a video camera with him to interview people on his annual personal road trip around parts of the United States. Half way through, he realized instead of filming this, he should be bringing teens to historical spots and meet with people who helped create history and are involved in changing the world.
Billy received his bachelors degree in Advertising and Psychology from Syracuse University and a Masters in Education and Counseling from Georgia State University.

Elliot Price

Elliot Price is a Georgia Master Gardener. His growing experience began when he was 9 years old. Elliot's interests include in community gardens with significant experience helping grow vegetables. His own garden is an organic style garden where he grows from both seeds and plants, uses verma-compost for fertilizer. He builds raised beds, saves seeds, and experiments with his hydroponic seed starting system

Barry Ripps

Barry A. Ripps, MD was an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University in the school of engineering with honors and received his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility were accomplished at the University of Tennessee – Memphis.
Barry has a private practice in Pensacola Florida and is Medical Director for New Leaders In Fertility & Endocrinology, aka “New LIFE,” providing state-of-the-art infertility care and reproductive services. As Clinical Professor, he teaches adult ObGyn Residents in Training for Florida State University College of Medicine.

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is an author, teacher and activist. She is the founder of JustAdopt, promoting adoption in Jewish communities in order to radically increase the numbers of orphans in permanent, loving families -- with the added bonus of supportive social contexts for their families. She is an advocate for social justice and making Israel the place where Jews can be their conceivable best.

Leah Sollish

Leah Sollish grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. Before moving to Atlanta she traveled the world teaching Judaism, in places including Seattle, Hawaii and Beijing. Leah teaches classes for adults at the Intown Jewish Academy and educates children at the Intown Jewish Preschool.

Jason Wasser

Jason Wasser has an extensive background in working with youth and adults from all walks of life. His positions have included serving as the Jewish Student Life Coordinator at Princeton University and directing non-profit community educational and recreational programming throughout the Jewish community. Over the years, Jason has conducted numerous seminars on college campuses, retreats, and educational programs on topics including: spirituality, relationships, meditation/self-hypnosis, life coaching and group leadership.
Mr. Wassser is certified in Sports & Excercise Psychology, Hypnotherapy and Addiction Counseling. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and most recently became a Certified Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) Practitioner.

Stanley Wulf

Stanley Wulf is a retired physician who travels around the United States to speak about the conflict in the Middle East and the difficulties we experience as American Jews in hearing and sharing differing views. The model he presents centers on ``The 3 No's``, the 3 areas that most often lead to conflict, and how to avoid them.

Dr. Wulf has recently retired as Chief Medical Officer of a medical technology company - he was chosen by his peers as one of the “100 Most Inspiring People in the Life-Sciences Industry.”

Melissa Baden

Melissa is thrilled to be joining the Limmud leadership team for her second year! She is passionate about the Jewish experience, and loves doing all she can in the name of tikkun olam. Melissa majored in Psychology and Music Performance at UGA, and teaches music in the Atlanta area. She hopes to help create a world without borders or judgements using the healing power of music and positive energy.

Philip J. Bentley

Philip J. Bentley has served as a rabbi for congregations in New Bedford, Massachusetts; Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles; Jericho NY; Queens NY; Chicago IL, and Santa Fe NM and Hendersonville NC. He has been involved in community affairs and Jewish organizations throughout his life and has served on the boards of such organizations as the Jewish Peace Fellowship, the Social Action Commission of Reform Judaism, the Jewish Labor Committee, as well as local interfaith organizations.. Rabbi Bentley is the author of many published articles on a variety of subjects. He has been married to Phyllis for 47 years and they have two sons and one grandson.

Yaron Bernstein

Yaron Bernstein is an avid bibliophile with a particular interest in science, philosophy, and random Latin roots. He also enjoys cooking and the eating that follows. His favorite book genre is fantasy, but he really likes Sherlock Holmes and an occasional biography.

He is a student at the Epstein School and has two sisters and a pet rabbit named Fur Ball (Fur-B for short).

Mimi Hall

Mimi Hall is a Longhorn and Yellow Jacket who loves being involved in the Atlanta Jewish and urban agriculture communities.

During the week Mimi is a Consultant at Jabian Consulting, a locally based IT and management consultancy. Nights and weekends Mimi spends time with her husband, Russell Gottschalk, and volunteering with Concrete Jungle, an urban foraging group that connects local produce to shelters and food banks. Mimi also serves as a steering committee member of Atlanta's AJC ACCESS board and is a big PAL through Jewish Family and Career Services.

Tamara Cohen

Tamara Cohen steers Moving Traditions’ training and curriculum development as the Director of Innovation, and is a key contributor to the strategic planning process. Previously, Cohen worked for Ma’yan, Hadassah, the Jewish Women’s Archive, Kolot, and Project Kesher. She served as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs at the University of Florida, Associate Dean of Students at Gratz College, and was the Spiritual Leader of the Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life. Cohen is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

Paul Flexner

Paul Flexner loves to drive and show his MG’s. He also loves Limmud and shares his love of both with whomever will listen. He’s also learned that the aging process comes much easier with a shot of Single Malt.

Peter Geffen

Peter A. Geffen is the Founder of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in NYC and the Founder and Executive Director of KIVUNIM: The Institute for Israel and World Jewish Studies, based in Jerusalem. BUT most important for Limmud-Atlanta, Peter is the Grandson of Rabbi Tobias Geffen who served Atlanta’s Congregation Shearith Israel from 1910 until his death at almost age 100 in 1970. Peter’s father, Rabbi Samuel Geffen built the congregation’s Hebrew School amidst the challenging days of the Clutch Plague. Most of Peter’s Aunts and Uncles are graduates of Emory University where his Uncle (Rabbi) Joel Geffen was the first Jewish student! He considers it a supreme honor to return to this great community to represent the legacy of the Geffen family. In 2012, Peter was the recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award. Peter Geffen’s participation in Limmud Atlanta + SE is made possible by a grant from The Covenant Foundation.

Janie Grackin

Janie Grackin is a Rabbi and Community Educator using the art of storytelling to inspire and educate. She creates MULTI-SENSORY educational programs for intergenerational populations in synagogues and schools in the United States, Europe and Israel, including “Being Torah Alive!”, the most cutting edge approach to teaching Torah. Janie was awarded the Solomon Schechter Gold Award for Family Education, as well as numerous other educational awards. She is a contributing author to “Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning”, and has just returned from a tour of the United Kingdom with the Movement for Reform Judaism in London and presenting at Limmud International.

Jordana Heyman

Jordana Heyman is the product of Jewish Education incarnate -- a graduate of a Community Day School, The American Jewish University (nee University of Judaism), and the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies' Educators Program, Joey is currently in her 6th year teaching Jewish Studies in Atlanta, at the Weber School. Outside of the academic school day, Joey also coaches Weber's Mock Trial team and moonlights as a sales associate at Anthropologie.

Steffi Aronson Karp

As founder of LimmudBoston, Steffi Aronson Karp received the 2013 K'lal Yisrael award from Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. She is on the advisory boards of Hebrew College and Reclaiming Judaism and is a board member of her local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter. Steffi just completed training to serve as a NAMI Support Group Facilitator.

Andrea Krakovsky

Andrea Krakovsky is the Director of Decatur Babysitter, an Atlanta based childcare startup with a feminist backbone. She's also a (famous) comedian and an enthusiastic social justice advocate. She's passionate about creating inclusive spaces, women in comedy, and coming-of-age movies.

Linda Lippitt

Linda Lippitt is a long-time student of Kannalah and a retired developmental pediatrician. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and is an active member of her synagogue and the Jewish community.

Rachel Meltzer

In the muggle world, Rachel Meltzer upholds the position of Data Goddess at Social123, a leading provider of B2B data. She travels through time and space in her Toyota Yardis with her pooch Kairi, attending Atlanta Jewish Music Festival board meetings and Sixth Point events. In her spare time, she also grows small containers of dirt.

Malka Packer

Malka Packer is thrilled to serve at the director of InterfaithFamily/Atlanta. She was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Pennsylvania in 2014 and was the recipient of the Reconstructionist Student Association Prize for Spiritual Enrichment in the RRC community.
Malka's passion is creating inspiring and relevant rituals and ceremonies and invigorating Jewish practices. Inclusivity is at the heart of Malka's rabbinate. She has co-founded several on-going creative prayer communities, including a monthly musical chanting and meditation Kabbalat Shabbat Friday night prayer service in Philadelphia and the first and only weekly, weekday non-Orthodox Shacharit service in Tel Aviv. Malka has served as a rabbinic advisor at both Bryn Mawr and Vassar College. Prior to rabbinical school, Malka earned a Master's degree in Elementary Education and Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and worked as a Jewish educator for over a decade. Malka recently moved to Virginia Highland, Atlanta with her partner, Mercy.

Amy Price

Amy loves Limmud and has been the program chair for the last 3 years. In her professional life, she supports people with developmental disabilities to live a meaningful life of their choice. She enjoys Shabbat dinner with friends, long runs, caring for her garden, and travels around the world. She lives in Atlanta with her 7 chickens.

Mara Price

Mara is currently the Jewish life coordinator at Hillel at the University of Georgia and in the 2015 YAD cohort! She has been practicing Acroyoga for the past year and loves how it incorporates strength of body and connection of community.

Elaine Rosenblum

Founder of ProForm U™, Elaine Rosenblum is an entrepreneur and visionary at heart. Foreseeing the impact of technology on communication skills, in 2001 she founded Courageous Conversation. As part of a second entrepreneurial adventure, five years later, she co-founded Access Test Prep & Tutoring.
Elaine now teaches collaborative communication and negotiation skills not only to professionals at all levels but also to budding professionals, including students preparing for college and job interviews. Across careers as an entrepreneur, attorney, teacher and marketer, Elaine acquired deep experience working at and consulting for corporate organizations from start-ups to Wall Street.

Howie Slomka

Howie attended the first Limmud Atlanta event and was a devoted Limmudnik before the first session was over. He and his wife, Andrea, met in Jerusalem, were married at Congregation Shearith Israel and have been devoted members there ever since. On most Shabbatot you will hear up to 4 of the Slomka family members reading from the Torah. Howie enjoys hiking, camping, waterfalls, playing ultimate Frisbee and poker and spending time with his family.

During the week he is a lawyer with the Slomka Law Firm, where his boss can be a narrow-minded, demanding jerk! Howie invites all volunticipants to try a new session and to learn from and teach to someone new this year.

Howie serves on the LimmudATL + SE board.

Eli Sperling

Eli Sperling, one of Limmud's programming co-chairs, has been actively engaged in issues relating to Israel and the greater Middle East since the beginning of his under-graduate education at Evergreen in Olympia, WA. After receiving his BA in Middle East studies and political economy in 2006 , he moved to Israel to pursue an MA in contemporary Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University. During his four and a half years in Tel Aviv, Eli worked as a research assistant to prominent Israeli scholar, Yosi Kostiner, worked with numerous political and humanitarian organizations, led groups of students and other international delegations around Israel and spent two years researching the social, political and economic conditions of the Sinai Bedouin living in Dahab, Egypt.
He is a fluent Hebrew speaker who likewise reads Arabic and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, spending significant periods of time in Cairo and the Sinai Peninsula. Eli is currently working as an Israel specialist and program coordinator at Emory University's Institute for the Study of Modern Israel and Center for Israel Education.

Eyal Yerushalmi

Eyal Yerushalmi is the Director of Outreach, Eastern U.S. for the New Israel Fund where he oversees the organization’s fundraising and outreach efforts in the Atlanta area. Previously, he served in fundraising roles at Young Women's Leadership Network and American Jewish World Service. Additionally, Eyal has consulted for several national and international organizations. Eyal spent six years as a grantmaker at Atlantic Philanthropies, a private foundation. Eyal holds a Bachelor’s in history from San Francisco State University and a Master’s in nonprofit management from the New School. He was born in Israel, but moved to the States in his teens. He is passionate about social justice, human rights and Israel.

Paul Wolpe

Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. is a sociologist and bioethicist whose work focuses on the social, religious, ethical, and ideological impact of technology on the human condition. Dr. Wolpe is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, the Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Research Professor of Jewish Bioethics, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. For fifteen years he has served as Senior Bioethicist at NASA, and is Special Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB) and Editor-in-Chief of AJOB-Neuroscience; a past President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities; and a Fellow of the Hastings Center and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest medical society.

From a rabbinic family, Wolpe is active in issues of Jewish Bioethics, helping found the Academic Coalition for Jewish Bioethics and the Society for Jewish Ethics, and advising both the Victor Center for Jewish Genetic Diseases and JScreen, the program to promote preconception genetic carrier screening among Ashkenazi Jews in the United States. Dr. Wolpe co-authored the guide to Jewish end-of-life issues, Behoref Hayamim: In the Winter of Life. He won the 2011 World Technology Network Award in Ethics, has recorded a TED Talk, was named a top thought leaders in trustworthy business behavior, and was profiled in the November, 2011 Atlantic Magazine as a “Brave Thinker of 2011.”

The Baal Shem Tones

The Baal Shem Tones (Helene and Michael Kates) released their first album All Our Lives in 2004 to worldwide critical acclaim. The Atlanta Jewish Times said their tightly-crafted songwriting ``has a powerful spiritual punch that stands out as different from standard musical Jewish fare.” Entertainer Craig Taubman said ``Helene is amazing. I couldn’t take my eyes off her no matter how I tried. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Their third CD, 8 Songs for Children, is scheduled to release this October.

Michael Bernstein

Michael Bernstein is the rabbi of Congregation Gesher L'Torah in Alpharetta, GA. He received his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1999 and served as the senior Rabbi at Congregation Bnai Jacob in Longmeadow, MA from 1999-2004, and at Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley, PA from 2004-2008.
Bernstein has a special interest in developing programs that combine meaningful approaches to Jewish thought and actions with ethical directives inherent in our tradition. He has taught Introduction to Judaism and Living our Judaism adult education courses focused on creating meaningful and relevant family experiences in the home for people from all backgrounds.
In addition to his dedication to innovative and meaningful Jewish education within the synagogue, Rabbi Bernstein has been an active outreach, educational and pastoral resource within the larger Jewish community as well as outside of the Jewish community. Their third CD, 8 Songs for Children, is scheduled to release this October.

Jerry Blumenthal

Jerry Blumenthal (Smokey) is a Graduate of Emory Med School and spent 43 years as a Prominent Cardiologist in Marietta. Smokes ONLY Low Cholesterol Cigars and founder of the Or Hadash Kiddush Club.Their third CD, 8 Songs for Children, is scheduled to release this October.

Bobby Harris

Bobby has spent his entire career working with and mentoring young people mostly as a Resident Camp Director at URJ Camp Coleman. He also created J-Jolt--the Jewish Journey of a Lifetime Program that seeks to connect young people with a group of mentors as part of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah Experience. Bobby is also associated with Hero Path for Teens .

Marshall P. Duke

Marshall P. Duke, Ph.D. received his BA in psychology from Rutgers University in 1964 and his PhD in clinical psychology from Indiana University in 1968. From 1968 to 1970, he served as a clinical psychologist in the US Army Medical Service Corps. Since 1970 he has been a member of the psychology faculty at Emory University where he is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Personality Theory. For the 12 years he was a member of the core faculty of Emory’s Center for the Study of Myth and Ritual in American Life (MARIAL). A core faculty member at the Emory Center for Ethics and author of more than 100 research articles and 9 books, his research and writings have focused on social relationship deficits in children and adults (dyssemia), locus of control, and the importance of family stories and rituals in the nurturing of resilience in children. Over the years, he has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show. His work has been written about in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Parents Magazine and Time Magazine among others. Professor Duke is the father of three and grandfather of nine, so he is blessed with lots of people to tell family stories to. He has been married to Sara Duke for a very long time.Bernstein has a special interest in developing programs that combine meaningful approaches to Jewish thought and actions with ethical directives inherent in our tradition. He has taught Introduction to Judaism and Living our Judaism adult education courses focused on creating meaningful and relevant family experiences in the home for people from all backgrounds.
In addition to his dedication to innovative and meaningful Jewish education within the synagogue, Rabbi Bernstein has been an active outreach, educational and pastoral resource within the larger Jewish community as well as outside of the Jewish community. Their third CD, 8 Songs for Children, is scheduled to release this October.

Richard Friedman

Richard Elliott Friedman is a biblical scholar and the Ann and Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia. Friedman was born in Rochester, New York. He attended the University of Miami (BA, 1968), the Jewish Theological Seminary (MHL, 1971), and Harvard University (ThM in Hebrew Bible, 1974; ThD in Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, 1978). He was the Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization: Hebrew Bible; Near Eastern Languages and Literature at the University of California, San Diego, from 1984 until 2006, whereupon he joined the faculty of the University of Georgia Religion Department.

He is a winner of numerous awards and honors, including American Council of Learned Societies Fellow. He was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford; and a Senior Fellow of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. He participated in the City of David Project archaeological excavations of biblical Jerusalem. He is probably most famous for his work Who Wrote the Bible?, a description of the Documentary hypothesis.
In addition to his dedication to innovative and meaningful Jewish education within the synagogue, Rabbi Bernstein has been an active outreach, educational and pastoral resource within the larger Jewish community as well as outside of the Jewish community. Their third CD, 8 Songs for Children, is scheduled to release this October.

The Gefilteria (Liz Alpern)

Liz is an experienced cook, food writer and event planner. She got her start in the Jewish food world working with acclaimed cookbook author Joan Nathan. She also worked with national non-profit Fair Food Network, organizing the development aspects of the organization and coordinating a multi-city book tour for Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All. Liz is an MBA Candidate at CUNY Baruch College and is co-writing a narrative cookbook on Old World Jewish cuisine with Jeffrey Yoskowitz called The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods (Flatiron Books, 2016).

Maital Guttman

Maital Guttman was born in Hod Hasharon and grew up in North Carolina since the age of 12. After graduating from Duke University with a BA in International Studies, she founded a documentary film production company, Dewdrop Films LLC. Dewdrop Films produced films that inspire hope and empower people and have been screened around the world. She received an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in 2013 with a concentration in consulting and sustainable enterprise. She interned at and is currently a consultant at McKinsey & Company in Atlanta, where she has focused on topics around economic development, innovation, strategy and talent management. She is currently serving as McKinsey’s Diversity Manager, working specifically with the LGBTQ and the Hispanic and Latino communities for recruitment and retention. This is the third time Maital and her wife, Netta, have been to LimmudSE.

Rebecca Holohan

Rebecca Holohan is a licensed massage therapist, registered yoga teacher, and the founder of The Mindful Organizer, where she helps clients optimize their time and energy and create calm and clarity in their lives.
Rebecca received her 200-hr yoga teacher certification at the Asheville Yoga Center and her massage therapy certification from the Asheville School of Massage and Yoga. She offers integrated therapeutic massage at Vista Yoga in Decatur, GA, and uses her yoga background to help clients develop body awareness and release tension in the body.
Her past work in the Atlanta Jewish community has included roles as the Afterschool Community Director at Jewish Kids Groups and the organizer of SOJOURN’s LGBTQ Women’s Shabbat Potluck series. She is passionate about Jewish spirituality, health and wellness, and building community.

Helene Kates

Helene Kates is lead singer, songwriter and storyteller with The Baal Shem Tones. She tours with the group and solo, providing concerts, professional development and education through the arts programing for all ages. She is an early childhood music specialist bringing her integrated music curriculum to synagogues across all denominations and a cantor for Congregation Ahavath Achim in Atlanta.
The Baal Shem Tones have just released their third CD titled 8 Songs for Children and will soon be launching their new program Hashir Shel Li, bringing professional songwriters into the classroom to co-write and record songs with and from the perspective of the children.

Benjamin Kweskin

Specializing in Middle East, International Affairs, and US Foreign Policy, Benjamin Kweskin has been researching and writing for over fifteen years and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.
He has presented his research in various venues and settings and has published numerous articles in Open Democracy, The Jewish Daily Forward, Jerusalem Post, and Creative Loafing among others. In 203-2014 he lived in the Kurdistan Region (Iraq) for one year as an educator, lecturer, journalist, and tour guide. He was also the main Historical Researcher for the recently published official Kurdistan Region Tour Guide.

Ruth Abusch–Magder

Ruth Abusch–Magder Ph.D., Be'chol Lashon's Rabbi–in–Residence and Director of Education has been involved in Jewish education and leadership for over 30 years. Passionate about diversity, she edits Jewish& Be'chol Lashon's blog on MyJewishLearning.com and loves spending time at Camp Be'chol Lashon. Her doctorate from Yale University focused on Jewish women, food and cookbooks and Rabbi Ruth, as she is known, bakes challah weekly and loves to explore the world of Jewish cooking. A CLAL Rabbi Without Borders fellow, she is a frequent writer and teacher and has taught and published in Europe, Israel, North and South America. She is passionate about the value of Torah as a source of wisdom for modern parenting and has recently relocated to Atlanta with her husband and children.

Eric Miller

Eric Miller is the Program Coordinator for HAMSA, a comprehensive substance abuse program for the Jewish community that aims to dispel the myth that
Jews are not affected by substance abuse and addiction. A program of JF&CS Counseling Services – Tools for Life division, HAMSA provides education and clinical services relating to substance abuse, offering Jews affected by addiction and their families a coordinated and sustained path to sobriety informed by a Jewish voice.

A native of Atlanta, and with 7+ years sober, this opportunity has given Eric a chance to merge a passion for recovery with Jewish thinking and Jewish Community development.

Elana Perry

Elana Perry earned her B.A. in Religion from Duke University in 2001, and was ordained at the Los Angeles campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2007. As a result of her life-long passion for all things related to water, she wrote a rabbinic thesis entitled “Mayim as Matter and Metaphor: An Exploration of Water in the Torah.” Rabbi Perry joined Temple Sinai in 2007, where she serves as Associate Rabbi. In addition to her rabbinic responsibilities as a spiritual leader and counselor, she demonstrates particular passions for education, women’s programming, and social justice initiatives. She currently serves on the Board and Clergy Advisory Group for MACoM – Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah. Elana and her husband Craig are the proud parents of two children, Lilah and Asher.

Bonnie Price

Originally from Atlanta, Bonnie has spent the last 30 years in Augusta, Georgia with her husband Elliot, and their three children---Amy, Mara, and Jay. She has been an active member of the Jewish community serving in many capacities including sisterhood president, Machon director of the Jewish high school, and starting the parent-toddler class at Sunday school. She is currently enjoying her position as buyer/manager of the Judaica Collection, the gift shop inside Congregation Children of Israel. Having been a teacher for 20 years working with children with special needs, she has spent the last 16 years in private practice as a massage therapist. She especially enjoys working with cancer patients at a local hospital using her skills as a Reiki master to help them during their chemotherapy treatments.

Edward Queen

Edward Queen is a faculty member at the Emory University Center for Ethics. An historian by training, Edward’s avocational interests are the history of Kabbalism, Jewish magic, Jerusalem, and esotericism. He is a long-time Limmudnik having been involved in Limmud Atlanta + Southeast from the beginning. He also is committed to ensuring that greater attention is paid to the history and contributions of Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews. This year he is looking forward to bringing to Limmud what he learned during the summer as a participant in the Pardes Executive Learning Seminar.

Janet Schatten

Janet Schatten is and Eternal Georgia Bulldog student (perk of living in Athens Ga) with a Masters in Jewish Studies/Jewish education--retired after being an employee at The Epstein School in Atlanta, GA for 28 years. She is active on Boards including Hadassah and CLEAR Coalition, playful with 4-8 year olds at CCI congregation, exercise enthusiast, poet, mother of 4 sons, stepmother of 2 daughters and wife of Richard E Friedman.

Ari Sollish

Ari Sollish, a noted author, rabbi and lecturer, is the founder and director of the Intown Jewish Academy in Atlanta, GA, a warm and non-judgmental community that gives people from a diverse spectrum of Jewish life the opportunity to experience the richness of their Jewish heritage through study and participation.

Amy Strauss

Amy is a Southern girl through and through, raised in Memphis, she took a brief hiatus for college in DC, then hightailed it back South and hopes she's here to stay. She lives in Atlanta with her husband Matthew, who makes her giggle every single day. Amy works as a healthcare consultant for Navigant Consulting. Amy's work includes aligning physician practices with hospitals to develop a cohesive physician enterprise. Amy holds a Master of Public Health and Master of Public Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Amy is also a certified yoga instructor and loves to change her perspective by being upside down. Amy loves sushi and tacos and is actively seeking a way to combine the two... the sushaco anyone? She also loves puppies, live music, the movie Frozen, and being outside.

Valerie Root Wolpe

Valerie Root Wolpe loves to explore how to express the soul's desire by awakening creative spirit. After almost 30 professional years recruiting and coaching medical leaders into a full and authentic expression of self, Valerie is exploring the land of soul through practices of sound and silence and the design of sacred spaces. She draws inspiration and purpose from prayer, the love of family and friends, the woods and singing. Valerie is grateful to the joyous and creative Limmud Atlantans for enlivening her life.

Limmud Presenters 2016

Judith Beiner

Rabbi Judith R. Beiner is the Community Chaplain at Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) in Atlanta. She has served congregations in Colorado, Kansas and Georgia; taught in day schools; and conducted many adult education classes. To fill in her spare time, Rabbi Beiner is a faculty member for the Atlanta’s Brill Institute for Adult Jewish Learning, is active in the Atlanta Rabbinical Association, and provides professional assistance to MaCom (Atlanta’s Community Mikvah). She swims, runs an occasional 5K, cooks, is learning how to knit, and is still in bed by 10pm. Together with her husband Stan, they are the parents of three daughters, Zoe 24, Adina 22 and Erin 20, all of whom will soon be independent, providing their mother with some additional hours in which to take on new projects.

Michael Bernstein

Michael Bernstein is the rabbi of Congregation Gesher L'Torah in Alpharetta, GA. He received his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1999 and served as the senior Rabbi at Congregation Bnai Jacob in Longmeadow, MA from 1999-2004, and at Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley, PA from 2004-2008.
Bernstein has a special interest in developing programs that combine meaningful approaches to Jewish thought and actions with ethical directives inherent in our tradition. He has taught Introduction to Judaism and Living our Judaism adult education courses focused on creating meaningful and relevant family experiences in the home for people from all backgrounds.
In addition to his dedication to innovative and meaningful Jewish education within the synagogue, Rabbi Bernstein has been an active outreach, educational and pastoral resource within the larger Jewish community as well as outside of the Jewish community.

Susan Big

Susan Big is an award winning international artist who creates on-of- a-kind fiber art pieces for table and for display. Working with silk, felt, and other textiles that are often embellished with hand embroidery and beadwork, she produces contemporary motifs for traditional ritual items. Combining elements of Jewish tradition and texts and sometimes humor, she designs unique challah covers, art quilts, Seder items and hangings for Sukkah decorations. She is presently President of the PeachState Stitchers Chapter of the International Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, where she raised four children.

Efraim Chalamish

Efraim Chalamish is an international economic law scholar and practitioner involved in international legal practice in New York, Paris and Israel. He received his Doctorate in international economic law from the University of Michigan. He was awarded an Olin Law and Economics fellowship. Dr. Chalamish has been serving as an adjunct or visiting professor at several academic institutions, such as University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He also attended Bar Ilan University, where he received his LL.B, Master of Law and MBA in Finance.
He is frequently involved in public service and diplomacy, helping various nonprofit organizations with their strategic thinking and leadership needs, and is a frequent guest speaker at many international organizations, communities, and universities. Named by the French Government as a Future Global Leader for 2011, He serves as a board member and a Permanent Representative to the United Nations of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers. He was also on the board of the American Jewish Committee’s ACCESS, where he was a founding Co-Chairman.

Jonathan K. Crane

Jonathan K. Crane is a rabbi and professor of bioethics and Jewish thought at Emory University's Center for Ethics. He has presented at conferences and taught around the world on such themes as Jewish ethics, bioethics, social and political ethics, warfare ethics, eating ethics, comparative religious ethics and interfaith relations, animal ethics, and Gandhian philosophy. Past-president of the Society of Jewish Ethics, he founded and co-edits the Journal of Jewish Ethics. Recent books include The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality, Narratives and Jewish Bioethics, Beastly Morality: Animals as Ethical Agents, and some forthcoming volumes include Eating Ethics: Religious, Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Eating Well, and Race with Jewish Ethics.

Jessica Frankel

Jessica Frankel was born and raised in New York, aged in New Orleans, and now resides in Decatur, GA. She comes from a blended Jewish and Puerto Rican family and holds a degree in Latin American Studies from Tulane University. Jessica was inspired to get in touch with her Jewish roots by Jewish feminist and antiracist leaders such as Gloria Steinem, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and the Jewish Freedom Riders, as well as her own civil-right marching grandparents. She loves cultures and traveling and speaks four languages. She has a dream to run her own business and live part-time in a city and part-time on a farm full of rescue pets with full wifi access. Her drag name would be Jericho Drexler.

Russell Gottschalk

Daniel Infeld

Daniel Infeld is the Director of Programming and Operations at Limmud NY and is responsible for supporting and empowering the Limmud NY volunteer team to create spaces that enable folks to build and strengthen the Jewish community, across difference, by learning together. Daniel has a master's degree in Education and Jewish Studies from New York University, and has worked at Hazon, URJ Eisner Camp, and Walt Disney World. Daniel is a graduate of Clark University and he lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Rachel and son Asher.

Yoni Kaplan

Yoni Kaplan is a Georgia native who loves to imagine, create and build.

Eliana Leader

Eliana Leader is the Director of the Kaplan Mitchell Retreat Center at Camp Ramah Darom, and this year's Limmud ATL + SE YAD Cohort Coordinator. She has a B.A. in sociology with a minor in Jewish studies from University of Maryland, and a graduate certificate in experiential Jewish education through the Center for the Jewish Future at Yeshiva University. In the last few years, Eliana has been furthering her work in the Jewish community through a fellowship with Birthright NEXT, serving on the selection committee for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and working as Experience Imagineer for Jewish Kids Groups. She is a past chair of LimmudFest, and is currently serving on the board of Limmud Atlanta + SE.

Alan Lippitt

Alan Lippitt

Geoffrey Menkowitz

Geoffrey Menkowitz is passionate about Jewish education and building community. Since 2007, he has nurtured and inspired thousands of children and emerging adults as the Director of Camp Ramah Darom. Born in Philadelphia, Geoff studied at the University of Pennsylvania where he received his B.A. and a master’s degree in education and he has completed advanced coursework in Jewish education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. In addition to Camp, Geoff has held positions on campus – working with Hillel at Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania. He also directed the Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Learning at Hillel’s International Headquarters in DC. When not at camp for the summer, Geoff lives with his wife and four children in Atlanta, GA.

Hillel Norry

Hillel Norry is a rabbi that works with groups of all ages and backgrounds to teach about spiritual and religious practice, music, art and creativity, martial arts, firearms and marksmanship, the Jewish roots of Christianity, and personal success and mastery. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two kids.

Eli Ovits

Eli Ovits is Chief Executive of Limmud International. Before his arrival at Limmud, Eli served as the COO of Jerusalem U, and also headed communications at The Israel Project. He has lectured and traveled widely working to combat extremism and strengthen the global Jewish community.

Edward Queen

Edward Queen is a faculty member at the Emory University Center for Ethics. An historian by training, Edward’s avocational interests are the history of Kabbalism, Jewish magic, Jerusalem, and esotericism. He is a long-time Limmudnik having been involved in Limmud Atlanta + Southeast from the beginning. He also is committed to ensuring that greater attention is paid to the history and contributions of Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews. This year he is looking forward to bringing to Limmud what he learned during the summer as a participant in the Pardes Executive Learning Seminar.

Lex Rofes

Lex Rofes is a Jewish Educator and Organizer. He currently works as the Institute for the Next Jewish Future’s Strategic Initiatives Coordinator and co-hosts its Judaism Unbound podcast. He is also studying for rabbinic ordination through ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in Judaic Studies, serving as Student President of Brown RISD Hillel and as a Student Representative to Hillel International’s Board of Directors. After graduating, he worked for two years as an Education Fellow for the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life. His written work on American Jewish issues has been published in a variety of publications including JTA, MyJewishLearning.com, JewSchool, and New Voices. A proud native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island. His loves include Mishnah, the Green Bay Packers, anything sung by James Taylor, and the sport of disc golf.

Bruce Rudisch

Bruce Rudisch is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst living and practicing in Atlanta. He is one of two happy and proud parents of Noa and Benjamin Rudisch, and the one and only happy and proud husband of Adina Rudisch, formerly know as Adina Marks. Bruce and Adina are also proud members of Shearith Israel in Atlanta. He spends most of his time in the office seeing patients, which he finds quite gratifying. Bruce is also a faculty member at the Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute where he teaches psychoanalytic candidates. Bruce's ambitions in life are as follows: 1) To spend more time with his family, 2) To move more toward the pole of being a dog lover on the dog lover/cat lover continuum, and 3) to continue to connect with his recently deceased father by furthering his skills and interest in sailing and motorcycle riding.

Keland Scher

Keland Scher was formally trained as a professional clown with Ringling Brothers. After riding the rails for a year, he joined the Big Apple Circus Clown Care unit in hospitals and a camp for children with life threatening illnesses. For five years, throughout hospitals in Atlanta, New York, and Chicago, Keland ``performed`` for hundreds of children with diseases, empowering them and their parents, inspiring emotional strength and healing through the art of play. Pursuing his interest in ``movement education,`` Keland received his Master of Fine Arts in acting along with a certification to teach Yoga combined with developmental movement from The School for Body-Mind Centering. This training radically shifted his point of view and helped him to understand the power of the body-mind connection. A professorship teaching body awareness, circus skills, developmental movement patterns, and emotional connection then led Keland to pursue and receive his Master in Occupational Therapy.
Keland is incredibly engaging with children and their families and handles himself extremely well in a variety of sometimes emotionally-charged settings. Drawing upon his vast background, Keland is able to use his clowning and circus-based experiences as powerful tools in reaching and teaching kids. Keland continues to seek out various outlets to foster his educational growth.

Rachel Silverman

Rachel Silverman does not profess to be an expert in Judaism per se but is very active in the Jewish community. She is a board member and volunteers at Shearith Israel's Women's Shelter, teaching residents computer and job skills. She is also an avid consumer of Atlanta's myriad Jewish offerings, such as In the City Camp Jewish Kids Groups and Camp Ramah. A native of Hollywood, Fl (yes you probably have aging relatives there), the Atlanta-based Healthcare Information Technology consultant has found the world of project management has well-prepared her for Limmud presenting/attending sessions, discussions/drinking at night and enjoying the porch. Rachel lives in Candler Park (intown Atlanta) with her husband Joel and two daughters Sophie and Mira. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, working out and throwing down karaoke on a moment's notice.

Elsie Stern

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Stern is a vibrant biblical scholar whose teaching, often focused on social justice issues, is prized by many students. Previously she was associate professor of Bible at RRC. Prior to joining RRC she was an assistant professor in the Department of Theology at Fordham University, where she taught Bible and Jewish studies, and served as the assistant director for public programs at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. She has taught widely in both formal and informal educational settings in the United States and abroad and has written curricula on a wide range of topics. Her current research focuses on the transmission and reception of biblical texts in early Jewish settings. She is particularly interested in the ways in which the torah that is transmitted by rabbis and teachers, and received by Jewish audiences, is and always has been far more expansive and variegated than the written texts themselves.

Nahum Twersky

Nahum is a marketing executive for fortune 100 companies. He is a board member and advisor to many Jewish non profits in America and Israel. His education includes an MBA, MS in Jewish philosophy and Rabbinical Ordination from Rav Soloveitchik at Yeshiva University.

Adam Strater

Adam is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and PhD student in the Hebrew Bible course of study in the Graduate Department of Religion, where he is also completing a concentration in Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding through Emory's Center for Ethics. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Adam earned a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa in 2006. Adam then began graduate work at the Graduate Theological Union Center for Jewish Studies in Berkeley, CA, and graduated with a Master's in Jewish Studies, after which he moved to Jerusalem to to study the Bible and Ancient Near East at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Outside of academia, Adam enjoys working on his house, walking his dog, Tishbi, and exploring Atlanta's food culture with his wife, Sharon.

Ella Ben-Aharon

A choreographer, Ella Ben-Aharon has a particular interest in multidisciplinary collaboration with such fields as architecture and video. Her work has been presented in Israel, Europe, Brazil and the United States (Joyce SoHo; Danspace Project, New York; REDCAT, Los Angeles, et al). Formerly on the faculty of the Jerusalem Academy of Dance and Music, she will be a Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist under the auspices of the Israel Institute at Kennesaw State for the Fall 2016 semester. She has taught at American universities as well.

Tracie Bernstein

Tracie Bernstein has worked and taught in the Jewish community for 25 years. Currently with Israel Bonds, Tracie has spent most of her career working with Jewish organizations that sought to bring deeper meaning, ongoing education and Jewish engagement. A professional trainer/facilitator, she has trained many in the greater Atlanta area to facilitate the Ayeka program. Tracie is married to Michael Bernstein, Rabbi of Congregation Gesher L'Torah in Alpharetta GA, and has taught about mikvah, serving as shomeret (mikvah attendant), both for traditional and more creative immersions. Tracie and Michael have three children: Ayelet, Yaron and Liana.

Nathan Brodsky

Nathan is excited to be at Limmud for the second year and is a participant of the YAD program. He works at Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and runs PJ Library. He also is on the board for Moishe House Inman Park and previously worked at Camp Ramah Darom for six summers. His favorite foods include: artichoke, lime, grapefruit, and chicken salad sandwiches.

David Cohen

David Cohen is one half of Atlanta based bluegrass duo, The Cohen Brothers Band. He grew up in Atlanta and learned about the subtleties of Appalachian music while attending the University of Tennessee.

Amanda Doreson

Amanda Doreson is a New York transplant who has acquired a love for the pate of the South, otherwise known as pimento cheese. A third time Limmud attendee, she has found the true embodiment of ``Shalom y'all`` in Atlanta's Jewish community. Amanda works as a behavioral scientist at CDC where she translates complex scientific research about HIV/AIDS prevention into actionable strategies for practitioners working with at-risk populations. Amanda attended Washington University in St. Louis for undergrad where she studied political science and women's studies and received her Master's Degree in public policy from NYU. She is an avid yogi and believes strongly in the power of yoga to improve both physical and mental health and emotion regulation. She recently completed her yoga teaching certification and couldn't be more excited to be leading her first class ever.

Steve Gold

Steven J. Gold, BA Antioch College, Philosophy and Religion; JD Emory Law School, is the founder of Torah-Veda (formerly the Yoga and Judaism Center). He is an initiate in a Himalayan meditation tradition and a graduate of the Karin Kabalah Center course on Kabalah: A Process of Awakening. He has continued a course of self-study and practice of spirituality generally and mystical Judaism in light of yoga for several years, and teaches meditation and related subjects from the traditions of Torah and Veda. He is the author of Yoga and Judaism, Explorations of a Jewish Yogi; IVRI: The Essence of Hebrew Spirituality and Torah Portion Summaries, with Insights from the Perspective of a Jewish Yogi.

Janie Grackin

Janie Grackin is a Rabbi and Community Educator (www.janiegrackin.com) using the art of storytelling to inspire and educate. She creates MULTI-SENSORY educational programs for intergenerational populations in synagogues and schools in the United States, Europe and Israel, including “Being Torah Alive!”, the most cutting edge approach to teaching Torah. Janie was recently recognized with the Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and the Solomon Schechter Gold Award for Family Education, as well as numerous other educational awards. She is a contributing author to “Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning”, and has just returned from a tour of the United Kingdom with the Movement for Reform Judaism in London and participated in the Teacher Seminar in the Northern Galilee as part of the Palm Beach Jewish Federation’s Partnership 2Gether. In 1997, Rabbi Grackin was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame for her commitment to AIDS education in Washington, D.C., and for her work in Palm Beach County as a member of the Union for Reform Judaism Committee on AIDS. In 2010, she was ordained by the Rabbinical Seminary International in New York. She is regularly featured as a presenter at Limmud International (www.limmud.org) and NewCAJE (www.newcaje.org).

Ellen Jaffe-Gill

Ellen Jaffe-Gill has a master’s degree in Judaic studies at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, acquiring a solid foundation in Bible, rabbinics, Jewish history, and Jewish philosophy. A recipient of cantorial certificate from the American Conference of Cantors and Hebrew Union College’s School of Sacred Music and an ordained rabbi from RRC, Ellen decided to move to the Tidewater area of southeastern Virginia, where her husband grew up, to reach out to unaffiliated Jews and spiritual seekers with the joyous, progressive approach to Judaism she has experienced all her life and was privileged to develop in seminary. She is the recent recipient of a grant from RRC to deliver a 10-week Bible study program for Jewish adults or teens with minimal background in Judaism, as well as those who are skeptical of the relevance of Jewish texts. The program aims to offer unaffiliated Jews the chance to study Torah outside of a synagogue setting, to engage Jews who may be alienated from Torah because of youthful experiences, and as the rabbi put it, “to make a tiny dent in the overwhelming ignorance among diaspora Jews of foundational Jewish texts.”

Steffi Aronson Karp

As founder of LimmudBoston, Steffi Aronson Karp received the 2013 K'lal Yisrael award from Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. She is on the advisory boards of Hebrew College and Reclaiming Judaism and is a board member of her local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter. Steffi just completed training to serve as a NAMI Support Group Facilitator.

Aaron Levi

For more than 15 years, Aaron Levi has served in numerous experiential educational and leadership roles working with children, teens, and young adults. Aaron grew up in Maryland and in the labor-Zionist youth movement Habonim Dror. After a gap-year in Israel, Aaron attended New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study and graduated in 2007 as an Honors Scholar with a B.A. in Judaic Studies, Hebrew, and Journalism. The following year, he served as the summer executive director at Camp Moshava before living in Israel for a year where he taught English and studied Hebrew. From 2010-2012, Aaron coordinated a youth leadership program called the San Francisco Diller Teen Fellows and served on the Board of Directors for the supplementary school Midrasha at Berkeley, California. In 2015, Aaron received dual M.A. degrees in Education and Judaic Studies, respectively, from NYU as a Jim Joseph Fellow. He is also a graduate of Yeshiva University’s Experiential Jewish Education Certificate Program; American Jewish World Service's Global Justice Fellowship for Rabbinical and Graduate Students; and the iCenter's Master's Concentration in Israel Education. Currently, Aaron serves as the Israel and Overseas Manager at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and is developing a curriculum with the National Museum of American Jewish History. In addition to his professional passions, he enjoys traveling, making music, and cooking old family recipes.

Linda Lippitt

Linda Lippitt is a long-time student of Kabbalah and a retired developmental pediatrician. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and is an active member of her synagogue and the Jewish community.

Eric Miller

Eric Miller is the Program Coordinator for HAMSA through Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta. The mission of the HAMSA program is to bring a message of prevention, education and hope to those in the Jewish community affected by substance abuse. HAMSA gives a Jewish voice to the recovery community and helps to reduce the stigma and barriers for Jews seeking sobriety. After being sober for over 8 years, working with HAMSA has provided for Eric a path that merges his passion for Jewish studies and community development with his life in recovery. Eric is a native of Atlanta and lives in Midtown with his dog Lucy Lu.

Johanna Norry

Johanna Norry is an artist and fiber sculptor living in Atlanta, Georgia. She explores metaphysical ideas and their metaphorical relationship with the physical realities of a body’s openings and closings and confronts seeing the bodies of animals and humans differently. Employing traditional techniques of weaving, handknitting, coiling, embroidery and stitching, her work often combines comforting materials with discomforting images and ideas.

She received her BFA in Textiles from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA in 2015, and her BA in Anthropology and Writing at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, and is currently pursuing her MFA in Fabric Design at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia in Athens, GA. Her work has been featured in a number of juried exhibitions in Atlanta and Athens, GA, as well as in group shows in New Mexico and New York.

Malka Packer

Malka Packer is the director of InterfaithFamily/Atlanta, a Jewish non-profit organization that empowers and supports folks in interfaith families and relationships. She was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Pennsylvania in 2014 and was the recipient of the Reconstructionist Student Association Prize for Spiritual Enrichment in the RRC community. Malka's passion is creating inspiring and relevant rituals and ceremonies and invigorating Jewish practices. Inclusivity is at the heart of Malka's rabbinate. She has co-founded several on-going creative prayer communities, including a monthly musical chanting and meditation Kabbalat Shabbat Friday night prayer service in Philadelphia and the first and only weekly, weekday non-Orthodox Shacharit service in Tel Aviv. Malka has served as a rabbinic advisor at both Bryn Mawr and Vassar College. Prior to rabbinical school, Malka earned a Master's degree in Elementary Education and Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and worked as a Jewish educator for over a decade. Malka recently moved to Virginia Highland, Atlanta with her partner, Mercy.

Karen Radkowsky

Karen Radkowsky first discovered her passion for all things Limmud in 2000. Since then, she has participated in over 50 Limmud events on three continents, advising Limmud teams around the globe, and facilitating chavruta study. A founder and past president of Limmud NY, Karen is currently a trustee of the global Limmud organization (headquartered in the UK) with responsibility for marketing and communications. She lives in New York City.

Brandt Ross

Brandt Ross was Managing Partner at Corporate Finance Associates, Inc.
of the Southeast in Atlanta, a 50-year-old M & A firm. Previously, he was a
“turnaround consultant” working with troubled companies as COO and President and COO of Corbin, Ltd. manufacturer of men’s and ladies better quality apparel.
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Brandt Ross has served as a board member of the Third National Bank, The United Way, Family Services, several Chambers of Commerce and as President of the Marshall University Business School Advisory Board. He is an arbitrator for FINRA, and volunteers with the USO and at the VA. He has a BA from Marshall University.

Brandt and his wife Ginny, a retired operating room nurse, live in the Atlanta area. They have three married children and six grandchildren. His hobbies include folk singing, history, genealogy, and baseball. He currently is a senior program instructor at Emory OLLI, KSU OLLI, and other senior venues doing history programs.

Noa Rudisch

Noa Rudisch is a 6th grader at Inman Middle School who completed elementary school at Atlanta Jewish Academy. She has lived in Atlanta, GA her whole life and enjoys living here. Reading, running, and biking are a few of her utmost passions. She loves Limmud and is happy to be there for her third year. She is excited to share her experience with the Beit Hatfutsot Family History project, through which she won a free trip to Israel this past summer.

Fran Shahar

Fran Shahar, PhD, ABPP is a Board Certified. Clinical Psychologist. She specializes in the treatment of people with serious mood and thought disorders in Decatur, GA. She also works as a consultant for Social Security Disability in the determination of psychiatric disability benefits. Fran got her BA at Columbia University in 1983 & her PhD from GSU in 1996. She has always worked with underserved populations in public mental health, the state and federal prison system, & the juvenile justice system. She is a life-long Jewish learner and 30 yr member of Cong. Bet Haverim. Her passions include writing, sculpting, humor, social justice, nature, her two children, and 2 basset hounds: Romeo, & Shaina Punim!

Howie Slomka

Howie attended the first Limmud Atlanta event and was a devoted Limmudnik before the first session was over. He and his wife, Andrea, met in Jerusalem, were married at Congregation Shearith Israel and have been devoted members there ever since. On most Shabbatot you will hear up to 4 of the Slomka family members reading from the Torah. Howie enjoys hiking, camping, waterfalls, playing ultimate Frisbee and poker and spending time with his family.

During the week he is a lawyer with the Slomka Law Firm, where his boss can be a narrow-minded, demanding jerk! Howie invites all volunticipants to try a new session and to learn from and teach to someone new this year.

Howie serves on the LimmudATL + SE board.

Jason Wasser

Jason Wasser has an extensive background in working with youth and adults from all walks of life. His positions have included serving as the Jewish Student Life Coordinator at Princeton University and directing non-profit community educational and recreational programming throughout the Jewish community. Over the years, Jason has conducted numerous seminars on college campuses, retreats, and educational programs on topics including: spirituality, relationships, meditation/self-hypnosis, life coaching and group leadership.
Mr. Wassser is certified in Sports & Excercise Psychology, Hypnotherapy and Addiction Counseling. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and most recently became a Certified Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) Practitioner.

Gayle Benator

Gayle Benator, MS, LAPC, NCC, is a clinical mental health counselor. She works with eating disordered clients as well as those struggling with depression, anxiety and life transitions. She practices at the Care and Counseling Center of Georgia in Decatur. Gayle's work is informed and inspired via her Jewish and spiritual lens. In addition to her fascination with the science of behavior, she believes that each of us is a unique manifestation of God - and thus to heal or even to just be fully present for one individual in need is as if an entire world were saved.

Yaron Bernstein

Yaron Bernstein is an avid bibliophile with a particular interest in science, philosophy, and random Latin roots. He also enjoys cooking and the eating that follows. His favorite book genre is fantasy, but he really likes Sherlock Holmes and some biographies.

He is a student at the North Springs Charter High School and has two sisters and a pet rabbit named Fur Ball (Fur B. for short).

Joe Buchanan

Joe Buchanan is an Americana singer-songwriter from Houston. Buchanan is a Jew-by-Choice who found his voice in the values, history, and Torah of the Jewish people. He has since written an album, toured around the US, and shared a love of this new life through music. Combining elements of country, roots-rock, and folk, Joe’s music reaches deep to tell personal stories of struggle and triumph.

Give a listen to Joe’s debut album, Unbroken

Mitch Cohen

Mitch Cohen is the spiritual leader of Congregation Shalom B’Harim in Dahlonega, GA, a progressive, post-denominational congregation of 60 families from across North Georgia. Mitch is also a certified Life Coach and a 200-hour certified Hatha Yoga teacher. He teaches Torah Yoga and other Hatha Yoga classes.
Mitch has taught classes on Kabbalah (Jewish Mysticism), Creative Midrash, Experiential Jewish Prayer and Jewish Meditation. The next chapter of his teaching will focus on Non-Dual Judaism, Inter-Spiritual / Faith Mysticism and moving into a New Paradigm of Modern Judaism.
Mitch is also the co-founder of Neshama Interfaith Center in Atlanta, an organization focused on building bridges of peace and acceptance between all faith traditions.

Dara Epstein

Dara Epstein, a graduate of Appalachian State University and City and Regional Planning graduate student at GA Tech, is the industrial stormwater fellow at Chattahoochee Riverkeepers. While an undergraduate, she studied abroad at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

Justin Goldstein

Justin Goldstein is the rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Asheville, NC where he lives with his wife, Danielle, and their daughter, Naviyah. Ordained in 2011 at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles, committed to pluralism and egalitarianism, Justin is a Rabbis Without Borders fellow and was selected by the Jewish Daily Forward as one of the most inspiring rabbis of 2016.

Mimi Hall

Mimi Hall is a Longhorn and Yellow Jacket who loves being involved in the Atlanta Jewish and urban agriculture communities.
During the week Mimi is a Consultant at Jabian Consulting, a locally based IT and management consultancy. Nights and weekends Mimi spends time with her husband, Russell Gottschalk, and volunteering with Concrete Jungle, an urban foraging group that connects local produce to shelters and food banks. Mimi also serves as a steering committee member of Atlanta's AJC ACCESS board and is a big PAL through Jewish Family and Career Services.

Amy Jaret

Amy Jaret is a teacher and Department Chair of the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) department at Clarkston High School, an area known as the most diverse square mile in the USA.  In her work with immigrant and refugee communities, Amy strives to bridge the gap between classrooms and the community, and to advocate for the academic and social-emotional needs of teenage immigrant and refugee students. The curiosity, interest in intercultural-exchange, and commitment to breaking down barriers inherent in her work extend to her social and Judaic life; Amy is passionate about interfaith community-building and activism, and, with her partner Darci, loves hosting raucous interfaith Shabbat dinners at their home in Kirkwood.

Sarah Lashinsky

Sarah Lashinsky is a designer, illustrator, and STEM enthusiast. She spent the last two years working for STE(A)M Truck, an immersive, hands-on learning tool that teaches underserved students by introducing them to high-tech tools, for the sake of learning to fail forward and hone non-cognitive skills like collaboration and perseverance.

She also cooks up a mean Shabbat dinner as one-third of Atlanta's Inman Park Moishe House. She loves hosting coloring book nights & social justice discussions.

Daniel Libenson

Daniel Libenson is the founder and president of the Institute for the Next Jewish Future and co-host of its Judaism Unbound podcast. His extensive background in Jewish communal innovation includes over a decade working on campus, as founding director of jU: Jewish U, Executive Director of the University of Chicago Hillel, and Director of New Initiatives at Harvard Hillel. Dan is a 2009 AVI CHAI Fellow and has also received the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence award, Hillel International's highest professional honor. In 2010, he was named a Jewish Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Jewish News. Dan attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude, was an articles editor of the Harvard Law Review, and assisted Professor Alan Dershowitz in criminal defense work and on book projects, including The Vanishing American Jew. Dan has published articles in Ha'aretz, The New York Jewish Week, Zeek, eJewish Philanthropy, and elsewhere. Before devoting his life to working in the Jewish community, Dan spent five years as a law professor after clerking for Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago with his wife and two children.

Amanda Marks

Not your typical anything, Amanda Marks, is a Jewish Alabama-born comedian who has performed stand-up comedy at such venues as The Atlanta Improv, The Punchline, Laughing Skull Lounge and Highland Inn Ballroom Lounge. She hosts and co-produces Highwire Comedy's monthly Off the Grid Stand-up Showcase. Marks has done `{`minor`}` voice-over work for Adult Swim's Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Squidbillies. She also played Young Bedelia on Adult Swim's live-action pilot Stiff and was a guest on FishCenter Live.

You can watch her webseries ``Mom Cam in the Minivan`` on Facebook.com/mallofamanda. Follow her on li.st (founded by BJ Novak) @mallofamanda

Aitan Mizrahi

Aitan Mizrahi is the founder of Adamah Dairy at the Isabella Friedman Jewish Retreat Center on the Hazon campus in the Connecticut Berkshires. He will be leading sessions on cheese making and the Jewish ethic of Tzar Ba’alai Hayim, prevention of suffering to animals.

Madeline Oppenheim

Madeline studied at Jewish Theological Seminary, the Conservative Yeshiva, and The Weber School. She is currently a Georgia State Religious Studies major. Madeline has been practicing yoga for nine years.

Amy Price

Amy loves Limmud and has been involved in many aspects of Fest Leadership. In her professional life, she supports people with developmental disabilities to live a meaningful life of their choice. She enjoys Shabbat dinner with friends, long runs, caring for her garden, and travels around the world. She lives in Atlanta with her 7 chickens.

Shai Robkin

Shai Robkin is a serial entrepreneur. Born and raised in Atlanta, he moved to Israel in 1976 immediately following his marriage to fellow Atlantan, Judy Birnbrey, Following a career in international banking, Shai, together with Judy, opened in 1981 Israel's first combination bookstore/coffee shop. They returned to Atlanta in 1984 to care for aging parents, using the proceeds from the sale of the Israeli store to acquire Vernon, a manufacturer and distributor of library supplies. Vernon's technology division was sold in 2011 to One Equity Partners, a division of JP Morgan. Since then, Shai has continued to direct Vernon's operations while engaging in outside business consulting and education, including a position as the transitional leader of Conexx, the America Israel Business Connector. Shai has a BA in Economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an MBA with a focus in Marketing from Georgia State University.

While ``in his youth,`` Shai's academic pursuits were focused on traditional/classical economic theory, over the past decade, he has immersed himself in the study of behavioral economics, the findings of which turn many classical economic assumptions on their head. The more he has learned about the field and the academicians who have pioneered its development, the more he has found connections between the foundations of behavioral economic thinking and Jewish texts, philosophy and history.

Adina Rudisch

Adina Rudisch is an educator living in Atlanta, GA and is always looking for ways to infuse the arts into learning. She teaches music appreciation at Jewish preschools and at The Music Class, as well as “Creative Writing” and “Math through Art” to homeschool students in Decatur. She has a Masters in the Art of Teaching and also holds degrees in English and Theatre. When she isn't teaching, she sings with Shir Harmony--”Atlanta’s Only Jewish, Female A Cappella Group.” She is happy to be returning to Limmud for her 3rd year with her family and to be involved with Limmud through family programming.

Joanna Sasson

Joanna Sasson is the Community Development Direct Services Manager for JIAS (Jewish Immigrant Aid Services) Toronto. Previous to her 10 years (and counting) with JIAS Toronto, she worked as a Jewish educator at The Family Resource Centre, Schechter Schools, Ramah camps and synagogues. She is also currently the president of the Toronto Partnership Minyan, which seeks greater spirituality and openness within the confines of halachah (Jewish law) through participatory prayer, study and other aspects of communal religious life. Joanna is thrilled to be visiting LimmudFest Atlanta, as she has been involved with Limmud Toronto since the early 2000's as a volunteer, participant and presenter. Last year Joanna served as logistics co-chair, and is now excited to be festival co-chair for Limmud Toronto 2017. Limmud Toronto welcomes all southerners to venture north, cross the border and join them Sunday, March 19!

Rami Shapiro

Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro is widely recognized as one of the most creative figures in contemporary American Judaism. A graduate of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, he also holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Union Graduate School. An award-winning poet, liturgist, and essayist, his prayers are included in worship services across the denominational spectrum of American congregations.
Shapiro was the founding rabbi of Temple Beth Or in Miami, Florida and senior rabbi of Metivta, a center for contemplative Judaism in Los Angeles, CA. He currently directs the One River Foundation, and is an adjunct professor of religious studies as Middle Tennessee State University.

Eli Sperling

Eli Sperling, a past Limmud programming co-chair, has been actively engaged in issues relating to Israel and the greater Middle East since the beginning of his under-graduate education at Evergreen in Olympia, WA. After receiving his BA in Middle East studies and political economy in 2006 , he moved to Israel to pursue an MA in contemporary Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University. During his four and a half years in Tel Aviv, Eli worked as a research assistant to prominent Israeli scholar, Yosi Kostiner, worked with numerous political and humanitarian organizations, led groups of students and other international delegations around Israel and spent two years researching the social, political and economic conditions of the Sinai Bedouin living in Dahab, Egypt.
He is a fluent Hebrew speaker who likewise reads Arabic and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, spending significant periods of time in Cairo and the Sinai Peninsula. Eli is currently working as an Israel specialist and program coordinator at Emory University's Institute for the Study of Modern Israel and Center for Israel Education.

Amy Strauss

Amy is a Southern girl through and through, raised in Memphis, she took a brief hiatus for college in DC, then hightailed it back South and hopes she's here to stay. She lives in Atlanta with her husband Matthew, who makes her giggle every single day. Amy works as a healthcare consultant for Navigant Consulting. Amy's work includes aligning physician practices with hospitals to develop a cohesive physician enterprise. Amy holds a Master of Public Health and Master of Public Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Amy is also a certified yoga instructor and loves to change her perspective by being upside down. Amy loves sushi and tacos and is actively seeking a way to combine the two... the sushaco anyone? She also loves puppies, live music, the movie Frozen, and being outside.