Limmud South Africa is proud to announce its full line up of International presenters for 2019:

Jessica Kate Meyer – Sacred Sounds

Jessica Kate Meyer strives to build community through song, and to lift song through community.  She is rabbi-hazzan at The Kitchen in San Francisco, and served for 4 years as rabbi and musical leader at Romemu in New York City.  She received rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in 2014. Jessica studies sacred Jewish music with masters from Sephardic and Ashkenazi traditions, and has performed as a vocalist with ensembles in the US and Israel.  In a previous life, Jessica pursued graduate theater training in London, and appeared in film, theater, and television projects in Europe and the United States: most notably, as a principal role in Roman Polanski’s The Pianist.

Ari Engelberg – The Religious Zionist “Singles Problem”

Ari Engelberg is a sociologist and anthropologist. His expertise is religion and Israeli society. He is an academic staff member at Hadassah Academic College and lectures at Tel Aviv and Hebrew Universities. His doctoral research focused on the phenomenon of prolonged singlehood in the Religious Zionist community. His research has extended to Orthodox marriage guidebooks as well. Ari’s most current research focused on an organization by the name of Lehava and more generally on the Israeli urban extreme right-wing.

Jessica Montell – Defending The Other

Jessica Montell is Executive Director of HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, and has been a leading figure in Israeli civil society for two decades. Jessica served as Executive Director of B’Tselem from 2001-2014. She was founding director of the Israel-Diaspora partnership SISO: Save Israel, Stop the Occupation. A frequent lecturer and commentator on human rights and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Action Against Armed Violence named Jessica as one of the 100 people making the world a safer place.

Jonathan Webber – Making Sense of the Jewish Experience in Poland

Jonathan Webber is a British anthropologist and Jewish activist living in Kraków, Poland. Specializing in modern Jewish society, Holocaust studies, Polish–Jewish studies, and Jewish heritage, he taught at Oxford, Birmingham, and the Jagiellonian University, Kraków; he is now retired. He has had a long-standing interest in the Polish Jewish heritage and was the co-founder of the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków, where he co-curated its permanent exhibition.

Gloria Greenfield – The Fight of our Lives

Gloria is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and president of Doc Emet Productions, a nonprofit organization that produces educational films that contribute to the strengthening of Jewish identity, Jewish nationhood, and the values of freedom and democracy. In January 1980, Ms. Magazine cited Gloria as a woman to watch in the ’80s; she walked out of the women’s movement in 1983 in defiance of its intensifying Anti-Semitism and illiberal dogmas.

Jodi Magness – Unearthing Ancient Stories

Jodi Magness ( is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at UNC-Chapel Hill. She holds a B.A. in Archaeology and History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania. Magness’ most recent book is Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth. Since 2011 she has been directing excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee

Elie Holzer –  Spiritual Growth Through Chavruta and Song

Internationally recognized as a spiritual activist, Elie Holzer designs and leads learning opportunities for spiritual and religious growth through prayer, song, and text study. Rabbi; Professor of Jewish education at Bar Ilan University; teacher,  expert on Havruta text study and Hasidic Renewal and Post-Critical Jewish Religiosity and founding president of Shma Koleinu (, a non-profit organization which aims to inspire individuals and communities through online interactive learning, workshops and public events

Mishy Harman – Israel Story

Mishy Harman is the host and co-founder of Israel Story. He’s a curly-haired Jerusalemite who stumbled upon radio by chance. He studied history at Harvard, archaeology at Cambridge and wrote his PhD – a biography of the first Protestant missionary in Ethiopia at the Hebrew University. He now lives in Somerville, MA, with his wife Federica and their two dogs, Nomi and Golda.

Wendy Amsellem – Abundance of Torah

Wendy Amsellem is a rabba who teaches Talmud at Yeshivat Maharat and is the Editor of Yehivat Maharat’s Keren Journal. She is also a faculty member at Drisha Institute and Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, and is an editor at The Lehrhaus. Wendy brings Torah texts alive.

Brett Lockspeiser – Recognizing the Possibility of Technology and Torah

Brett Lockspeiser is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Sefaria, a non-profit dedicated to creating the future of Torah. Sefaria makes Torah texts available to the world for free on its website and mobile apps in their original and in translation and creates tools and experiences to help people learn and explore. Brett lives in San Francisco, California.

Sonja Vilicic-Blue Star Belgrade

Serbian Sonja Viličić worked for the Joint Distribution Committee in Budapest in various positions. She is also a graduate of the Melton Senior Educators Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Based in Belgrade, Serbia, she is one of the founders and an Executive Director of NGO Haver Srbija, coordinator of the educational program of the Federation of Jewish communities of Serbia and volunteers at local Limmud events.

Haroon Moghul-The Humanity that Unites Us

Haroon is a commentator on Islam and public affairs who serves as the Fellow in Jewish-Muslim Relations at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is the author of ‘How to be a Muslim: An American Story’. He has appeared on CNN, Al Jazeera, NPR and the BBC. His works have been featured in TIME, Guardian and the Washington Post. Check out his latest TED Talk.

Daniel Taub-Israeli Diplomat and TV Writer

Daniel Taub is an Israeli diplomat and international lawyer who served as the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2011 until 2015 and is currently Director of Strategy and Planning of the Yad Hanadiv (Rothschild) foundation. Taub has held a wide variety of positions in the Israeli Foreign Ministry and served as a member of Israel’s negotiation teams in Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. He writes and lectures widely on international law and international negotiations, has penned a book of diplomatic insights on biblical texts and was also the creator and chief scriptwriter of a popular Israeli drama series, HeChatzer, set in an ultra-orthodox Hasidic sect.  Speech at the Oxford UnionYou can read more about Daniel here

Edwin Shuker – Remembering Baghdad

Edwin Shuker is an activist and international public speaker on Middle East issues, especially on Jews from Arab counties, Edwin is a protagonist of the documentary “Remember Baghdad”. He is Vice President of the British Board of Deputies and a member of the Limmud International Advisory Council. Listen to Edwin speak about leaving Iraq as a young person more about Edwin here

Irwin Kula – Disruptive Spiritual Innovator

Disruptive spiritual innovator, rogue thinker, and author of the award-winning book, Yearnings. Irwin is also president of Clal-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership which works at the intersection of religion and innovation and the science of human flourishing. He is a co-founder The Disruptor Foundation with Craig Hatkoff and Cay Christensen. It is the foundation’s mission to raise awareness and encourage the advancement of disruptive innovation theory and its application in societal critical domains. See Irwin here this interview with Irwin

Arash Abaie

Arash is an activist in Iranian Jewish culture and community life, based in Tehran, a community which has had a presence in the region since 727 BCE.  He teaches Judaism at the University of Religions and Denominations and is a service leader at synagogues around Tehran. He is also served as the editor  of the Tehran Jewish magazine-BINA.

Calev Ben-Dor

Calev Ben-Dor is Director of Research at BICOM, an independent British research centre producing analysis on Israel and the Middle East, and Deputy Editor of the Fathom Journal. He has previously worked as an analyst in the Reut Institute and the Policy Planning Department of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Based in Jerusalem, Calev is a member of the David Cardozo Think Tank, a forum of Jewish thinkers which explores a wide range of Jewish topics.

Avi Ben-Tzur – Mission Impossible? Urban Development in Jerusalem

Avi Ben-Tzur is Director of Planning at Israel’s Ministry for Environmental Protection – Jerusalem District. He supervises the Ministry’s planning department for the cities of Jerusalem, Mevasseret, Beit Shemesh and the surrounding rural communities, and sits on the District Planning Committee (based within the Ministry of the Interior) that approves all large-scale development projects for Jerusalem and the District. Avi is a native of Jerusalem and has a BA and MA from the Hebrew University.

Connie Webber – Being Jewish in Krakow Today

Connie Webber was born in Britain, educated in Britain and Israel, and lived and worked there and in many other countries. Since 1988 she has been involved in the field of Polish–Jewish relations; in 1998 the Polish government awarded her a Silver Cross of Merit, and since 2011 she has lived in Poland. Professionally she is a publisher of academic books in Jewish studies with the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization.

Reuven Taub – Split Second Decisions

Reuven studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and runs an organisation that conducts leadership programmes in Israel and overseas.

Ayelet Taub – Israeli Innovation meets Tikkun Olam

A graduate of Bnei Akiva, Ayelet is a student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and volunteers with Reservists on Duty, an NGO which advocates for Israel and counter Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions organisations on college campuses.