Rabbi Fred Guttman
Fred is a congregational rabbi in Greensboro, NC. He specializes in social justice advocacy, and Holocaust and Israel education. He was one of the lead activists against the LGBT discriminatory “Amendment One” in NC. In 2015, he organized the National Jewish commemoration in Selma of the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
Seattle-based Chava Mirel is a nationally touring singer, guitarist, composer, prayer leader and recording artist. Performing in a multitude of genres, She bridges communities with her universal approach to spirituality through song. A highly sought-after vocal recording artist, Chava is known for her rich, luxurious vocals, lush harmonies and rhythmic phrasing. An award-winning Jewish music composer, Chava provides outstanding artist-in-residence services at congregations from coast to coast. Her compositions have been included in compilations and songbooks throughout the Jewish world. She is a recent alumnus of Hadar Institute’s Rising Song Fellowship, and her voice has been featured in multiple recordings that have gained popularity across denominations. Chava recently released her third full length album, “Into The Light”, a dreamy, heart-wrenching and deeply personal reinterpretation of the Great American Songbook. Her fourth album, “Source Of Love”, featuring 10 original Jewish songs, will be released this fall.
Gili Getz is an Israeli-American actor, photojournalist and activist. He served as a military photographer for the IDF and as a news editor for Ynet. His work in recent years has focused on American Jewish politics and activism and he is published regularly in Jewish and Israeli press. Gili graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, performed across the country in numerous theatrical productions and was the recipient of the Kirk Douglas scholarship and the Artistic Director’s Award in Los Angeles. He is currently performing his new one person show, The Forbidden Conversation, across the country in Jewish spaces.
Dave Miller grew up in Los Angeles, California. Dave has been working in education since 2009 with a bachelor’s degree from California State University Northridge and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Mississippi. He has worked diligently to improve educational outcomes for students as a teacher and administrator. He is now starting his 5th year as the Director of the Institute for Southern Jewish Living’s Department of Community Engagement. Over the last year, his department has been hard at work on reaching more students and families with the ISJL’s TAP (Talk About the Problems), Our Reading Family, and Literacy Achievement Bonanza programs to help students with conflict resolution and literacy. He is also extremely excited about the success and growth of ASK (Act, Share, Keep), the ISJL’s Jewish social justice modules that help communities to find ways to make a difference by deciding how best to Act after Sharing in study and conversation, and to Keep meaningful work going strong, today and tomorrow.
Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich is the Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies and director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She earned a doctoral degree in Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism from Brandeis University and a Masters degree in Hebrew Bible from Harvard University. Her articles have been published in such journals as the Harvard Theological Review and the Journal for the Study of Judaism, as well on online forums such as TheTorah.com, The Lehrhaus, and the Times of Israel. Malka’s first book, The Making of Jewish Universalism: From Exile to Alexandria was published in 2016, and her second book, Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism, was published in 2018. She has recently completed a co-authored commentary to the book of Zechariah with her colleague Leslie Hoppe, which will be published by Liturgical Press in 2020. A native of Philadelphia, Malka lives in Skokie, Illinois, with her husband Aaron and their four children.
Dr. Jane Shapiro is one of the founders of Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning. She has been a teacher, mentor, and coach through her work at the Florence Melton School and as a consultant. She is passionate about helping adults connect Jewish wisdom to their lives in vibrant and meaningful ways, and writes and speaks nationally on the topic. She has a degree from Princeton University in Jewish Studies, and a doctorate from the Davidson School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. she is also a graduate of MTEI and Visions Project of the Mandel Foundation. In 2017, she was honored to receive the Educators Award from the Covenant Foundation. Her ELI talk on “The Torah of Bubbiehood” (https://elitalks.org/torah-bubbiehood)and seems to make people cry. Jane lives in Skokie, Illinois with her husband David and is the proud mother of four sons, mother-in law to three daughters and a Bubbie to four grandsons.