Presenters

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Over 60 accomplished, exciting and diverse presenters will be part of Limmud FSU San Francisco.

This page will be continuously updated as we confirm the speakers leading up to the event.

Tatiana Amirova

Tatiana Amirova

Singer, Songewriter

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Odessa native. “Voice of Ukraine” contestant. Unique side of Tatiana’s versatile repertoire are Jewish songs, gently seasoned with Soul, Funk and Jazz, and her own lyrical compositions. Tatiana won her first music competition “Morning Star” at 3 years of age, in Ukraine. Later on – win at Hungarian festival “Vesprem games” in 2003, in 2004, she conquered an Italian contest “the Golden Vine,” followed by contests in Paris and Cannes. Her shows envelop with a wave of charm, charisma and natural magnetism.
Ami Horowitz

Ami Horowitz

Documentary Filmmaker

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Writer, producer, and director of Ami on the Streets, a satirical short film series made for Fox News. Horowitz co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in the 2012 documentary U.N. Me, a critical examination of the United Nations. Prior to that, he work in political campaigning and then spent sixteen years in that field. including at Lehman Brothers.
Daniel Kluger

Daniel Kluger

Books and Songs Writer, Journalist

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Israeli writer in science fiction and detective genres. He writes in Russian language. Graduate of Simferopol State University as physicist. Began to publish his works in the 1970s. Medical scientist and book publisher before moving to Israel and becoming a journalist, as well as continuing to write books, as well as write and translate poems. His poetic work Jewish Ballads was distinguished with Jerusalem Olive award in 20007.
Gregory Asmolov

Gregory Asmolov

Social Scientist, Journalist

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Gregory (Grisha) Asmolov is the new media, innovation and literacy Professor from London School of Economics and Political Science. His focus – crowdsourcing platforms. Gregory has consulted on information technology, new media, and social media projects for The World Bank and Internews Network. Gregory is a co-founder of Help Map, a crowdsourcing platform used to coordinate assistance to victims of wildfires in Russia in 2010 and won a Russian National Internet Award for best project in the “State and Society” category. Gregory holds MA in Global Communication from George Washington University (Washington, DC) and BA in Communication and International Affairs from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Leonid Kaganov

Leonid Kaganov

Literary Author

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Futurist writer, poet, humorist, screenplay and song writer. Award winning book author. ”
Oleg Kuvaev

Oleg Kuvaev

Artist, Designer, Animator

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Creator of famous Masyanya animated serious, first featured on internet in 2001. St. Petersburg native, Kuvaev has been a painter and sculptor during 1987-1997 period, but since 1997 he turned to computer graphics, working as designer and developer at some studios. In 2001, he founded Mult.ru studio and has fought for copyrights on his own creation – Masyanya brand. In 2006, Kuvaev moved to Israel.
Evgenia Dodina

Evgenia Dodina

Actress

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Graduate of Moscow State Academy of the Arts and actress at the Mayakovskiy Theater before moving to Israel in 1990. Founding member and leading female actor of Gesher Theater, and later – Habima Theater. Winner of numerous theater and movie awards. Most recently – 2016 Cannes Film Festival award for a short film “Anna.” 
Yelena Khanga

Yelena Khanga

Journalist

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Russian journalist of African/Jewish/African-American ancestry raised in Moscow, USSR, who came to the USA in 1990 to write Soul to Soul: The Story of a Black Russian American Family: 1865–1992. Khanga was the moderator of the Russian television talk show The Domino Effect. She also moderated Russia’s first talk show about sex, called About That.
Jonathan Medved

Jonathan Medved

Investor, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

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Founder and CEO of OurCrowd, the leading Global Equity Crowdfunding platform for accredited investors and angels. Serial entrepreneur and “One of Israel’s leading high tech venture capitalists” according to the Washington Post. “Top 10 most influential Americans who have impacted Israel” according to NY Times. One of the “50 most influential Jews” according to Jerusalem Post.
Stella Grizont

Stella Grizont

Positive Psychologyst

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Stella Grizont is the Founder and CEO of WOOPAAH, which companies like Google, Genentech and Johnson & Johnson employ for programs in work place culture design, engagement and well-being. In the past 12 years, Stella has coached over 1,300 high performers in 17 countries. Grizont was one of the first 150 people in the world to receive a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a regular contributor in many TV and print media outlets and has lectured for several universities including NYU, MIT, Rutgers..  
Benzion Klatzko

Benzion Klatzko

Rabbi, Social Entrepreneur

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One of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis” per Jewish Forward magazine. Founder of Shabbat.com and many other Jewish social websites and apps. Jewish thought teacher to Hollywood producers, actors, directors. Formerly, campus rabbi at UCLA and congregation rabbi in New Jersey.
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson

Music Performer and Composer

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Josh Nelson brings his extraordinary message of hope, unity and spirituality to concert stages and worship services across the globe. Josh is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose work is celebrated and integrated into the repertoire of congregations, camps and communities around the world. Recently hailed by Time Magazine as a “star of the New Jewish Music,” Josh is the music director for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial Convention, faculty for the Hava Nashira Music Institute, and a musical artist in residence for the JCC Maccabi Artsfest. In 2014, Josh was cast in the starring role of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach for the NYC off-Broadway revival of Soul Doctor.
Ilya Novikov

Ilya Novikov

Attorney, TV personality

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Ilya Novikov is Russian attorney, often serving as a lawyer in politically controversial trials, including Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko and Moldovian businessman and politician Vyacheslav Platon. Another side of Novikov’s fame comes from being an active member of TV intellectual club “Что? Где? Когда?” since 2002. In 15 years since, he earned multiple best player awards from the club, but in 2016 his team was prevented from participating in that TV season because of Novikov’s involved in political legal cases.
Klara Novikova

Klara Novikova

Actress, Comedian

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Soviet and Russian pop artist, humorist. Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, People’s Artist of Russia. Members of the Public Council of the Russian Jewish Congress. Actress in the Moscow theater pop miniatures, headed Mikhail Zhvanetsky.
Lori Palatnik

Lori Palatnik

Writer and Educator

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Lori Palatnik is a writer, Jewish educator, sought-after international speaker, who has appeared on television and radio, and is the author of several books. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik; and is a regular speaker on Capitol Hill. Lori is the Founding Director of The Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, an international initiative that has brought thousands of women, and hundreds of men, to Israel each year from 19 different countries, on highly subsidized programs to inspire them with the beauty and wisdom of their heritage. She is the busy mother of five children.”
Yakov Palatnik

Yakov Palatnik

Writer and Educator

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Originally from Chicago, Yakov traveled through Europe and then to Israel, where he discovered the vibrancy and relevancy of Judaism. He studied at Aish Jerusalem for 10 years and received rabbinic ordination. For 13 years, he worked with Aish Toronto and became the founding rabbi of The Village Shul. He then worked with Aish Denver, and in 2005 moved to Washington. Together with his wife, Lori, he has started many new classes and programs which have resulted in the growth of a vibrant, Jewishly-committed community in the North Bethesda/Rockville area. Rabbi Palatnik is co-author of Remember My Soul, and the father of five children.”
Yulia Patrakova

Yulia Patrakova

Art, Literature Historian

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Yuliya Patrakova is a teacher. She was born and lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In the past Yulia taught Russian language and literature, but lately she has been teaching Hebrew, and authored and led Jewish culture education projects. Her interests lie in the literature in general, and children’s literature more specifically, Jewish artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the history of Saint Petersburg. Her motto: I love everything that flows.
Pinchas Polonsky

Pinchas Polonsky

Philosopher, Educator

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Russian-Israeli Jewish-religious philosopher, researcher, and educator. He has written several original books as well as a number of translations of important works on Judaism. One of the founders of the clandestine network for the study of Torah in Moscow in 1979. Today he lives in Israel, is an activist in the process of the modernization of Judentums, teaches in a Ariel University, is a researcher on the topics of the late Rav Kook.
Garrett Reisman

Garrett Reisman

Astronaut, Engineer

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American engineer and former NASA astronaut. Currently – director of crew operations at SpaceX. He was a backup crew member for NASA Expedition 15 and joined Expedition 16 aboard the International Space Station for a short time before becoming a member of Expedition 17. He returned to Earth on June 14, 2008 on board STS-124 on Space Shuttle Discovery. He was a member of the STS-132 mission that traveled to the International Space Station aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis from May 14 to 26, 2010.
Alti Rodal

Alti Rodal

Historian, Writer

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Alti Rodal is a historian, writer, former professor of Jewish history, and advisor to the Government of Canada. She is currently the Co-Director of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Initiative. Born in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) in western Ukraine, she received her early schooling in Israel, and was educated at McGill, Oxford and Hebrew universities in the fields of history, religion and literature. Her professional experience includes eight years of full-time teaching on aspects of medieval and modern Jewish history at universities in Montreal and Ottawa, and twenty-five years of senior advisory and management experience in government in Canada, including as Director of Research for the Commission of Inquiry on Nazi War Criminals in Canada.
Nathan Sharansky

Nathan Sharansky

Human Rights Activist, Politician, Author

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One of the most famous former Soviet Refuseniks and an Israeli politician, author and human rights activist. English interpreter for Andrei Sakharov. Sharansky became the first political prisoner ever released by Mikhail Gorbachev due to intense political pressure from Ronald Reagan and the United States. In Israel, Sharansky founded new party, served as Minister of Industry and Trade, Minister of Housing, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of The Jewish Agency.
Marina Sirota

Marina Sirota

Professor of Biomedical Informatics

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Assistant Professor at the Institute for Computational Health Sciences at UCSF. Prior to that – Lead Research Scientist in the Division of Systems Medicine at Stanford University and Sr. Research Scientist at Pfizer. She completed her PhD in Biomedical Informatics at Stanford University. Her primary focus is on leveraging and integrating different types of clinical data to better understand the role of the immune system in disease.
Laurina Todesaite

Laurina Todesaite

Chef

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Born in Vilnius, graduated from Haifa University with a degree in sociology and education. Returned to Lithuania and was accepted into one of the best business consulting firms working in the areas of sales and human resources. Later, Laurina became the Baltic States Representative of the Israeli security company Nemesysco. Beyond work, she is an active volunteer in the Lithuanian Jewish community (LJC), Gesher and student organizations. Laurina is also a member of the organizing committee of Limmud Baltics. Founder of Eat&Travel project that offers guided Jewish tours of Vilnius. And a project #CookJewishBeJewish.
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