The Most Engaging Speakers in the World
Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D. is the Senior Rabbi of the Jewish Council of the Emirates (UAE) and
Chief Rabbi of the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities.
He hails from a long and distinguished rabbinical lineage dating back to 15th century Spain and Provence. Following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, and later Provence, his family migrated throughout the ages through Italy, the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon. Rabbi Dr. Abadie was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and grew up in Mexico City. He moved to the United States to attend Yeshiva University, and later became a naturalized, United States citizen.
Rabbi Dr. Abadie earned his B.A. in Health Sciences in 1983, B.Sc. in 1984 in Bible Studies, Hebrew Teacher's diploma in 1985, and a Masters’ degree in Philosophy in 1986. He then received his Rabbinic ordination in 1986 from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He attended SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where he graduated in 1990 with an M.D. degree. He did his residency in Internal Medicine, and later his fellowship in Gastroenterology at Maimonides Medical Center, finishing in 1995.
Rabbi Dr. Abadie is the former Rabbi and Spiritual Leader of the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue, and was the founding Rabbinic Advisor of the Moise Safra Community Center in Manhattan. He was the Co-President of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC).
Presently, he is the Founder and Head of School of the Sephardic Academy of Manhattan, and is also the Director and Professor of the Jacob E. Safra Institute of Sephardic Studies at Yeshiva University. He is a scholar and professor of Sephardic Judaism, history, philosophy, and comparative traditional law. He is an Officer of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), and Treasurer/Vice-President of the New York Board of Rabbis. Very often, he consults with and guest lectures at a variety of yeshivot regarding Jewish Studies curricula.
In addition to countless of awards received throughout his career, Rabbi Dr. Abadie was especially honored to receive the Orden Del Merito Civil, the highest civil decoration by His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain. He is honored to be following in the footsteps of the greatest Jewish scholar and philosopher Moses Maimonides, who was both a rabbi and a physician.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and founder of the AHA Foundation. She served as a Member of the Dutch Parliament from 2003 to 2006.
While in Parliament, she focused on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society, and on defending the rights of Muslim women. She has written several books including Infidel (2007), Nomad: from Islam to America, a Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations (2010), Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now (2015) and The Challenge of Dawa (2017). Her next book Prey will be published by Harper Collins in 2021.
Prior to joining the Hoover Institution, she was a Fellow at the Belfer Center’s Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard University, and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. She received her Master’s degree in Political Science from Leiden University in the Netherlands.
Dan Arbell, U.S Foreign Policy, Middle East and Israel Expert based in Washington D.C., is an Associate Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Washington and a Scholar-in-Residence at the School for International Service and the Center for Israel Studies at American University in Washington.
Formerly a Non Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, he completed a comprehensive study on the US-Turkey-Israel Triangle and co-authored a study (under the Center for American Progress) on the US-Israel relationship in a Changing Middle East. At American University he has been teaching courses since 2012 on the intersection between Israeli politics and foreign policy, as well as on the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Dan is a 25 year veteran of the Israeli Foreign Service, having served in senior posts overseas, mainly in the US and Japan, and having held senior positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Headquarters in Jerusalem. Notably he was Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the Embassy of Israel in Washington D.C and worked as Ambassador Michael Oren's second in command for nearly 3 years (2009-2012). In the 90's he served at the embassy as Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich's Chief of Staff and a member of Israel's negotiating team with Syria (1993-1996) and later as DCM at the Israeli Embassy in Tokyo, Japan (2001-2005). Back in Jerusalem (2005-2009) he was Acting Head of the North America division at the MFA.
He holds a Master's degree (MA) from Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Political Science and a Bachelor's degree (BA) from Hebrew University in World History and Political Science.
He's a frequent guest speaker and lecturer nationwide, as well as an interviewee in leading American, European and Middle Eastern media outlets (including the New York Times, CNN and BBC) focusing on his areas of expertise which include the US-Israel relations, Israel's strategic environment and challenges and Israel's place in the changing Middle East, the Turkish-Israeli relationship and the politics of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Arieli is a founder of Synthesis, a global leadership assessment firm, and author of Chutzpah: Why Israel Is a Hub of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (HarperBusiness, 2019).
Born in Israel and raised on hummus and chutzpah, Arieli fostered her entrepreneurial skills during her mandatory military service, serving as lieutenant in unit 8200, the Israel Defense Forces’ elite intelligence corps. After completing her military duties, and for the past twenty years, she embraced leading executive roles in the flourishing Israeli tech sector and has founded a series of programs for innovators, where she currently holds board seats.
Arieli lectures widely to business and government leaders around the world. Among her most popular keynotes are “Chutzpah: The Roots of Entrepreneurship”, “From Special Forces to the Board Room” and “The Secrets of Successful Interviewers.”
Arieli holds an LL.B. Law, B.A in Economics and an MBA, all from Tel Aviv University. A force to be reckoned with, she was featured as one of the 100 most influential people in Israeli tech and as one of the top 100 tech business women speakers in the world. She lives in Tel Aviv with her spouse and their three sons.
Topics: Chutzpah - Skills For The Future; From Special Forces to the Board Room; Secrets of Successful Interviewers; Leadership in Times of Uncertainty; Unpacking Start-Up Nation, Data and Phenomenon
Brigadier General Amir Avivi is a 15th generation Jerusalemite but as the son of an Israeli diplomat, was educated at British and American schools in Italy, Chile and Argentina where he became fluent in English, Spanish and Italian.
He served in the Israeli army for 30 years, rising to the rank of Brigadier General of the Engineers Corps, serving as a Brigade commander on the Egyptian border, Deputy Division commander of the Gaza Division and as the aide d’camp under Chief of General Staff Bogie Yaalon.
A prolific speaker, Brigadier General Avivi has spoken in universities, communities and Parliaments across the world about Israel’s security needs and has promoted innovative peace plans that protect Israel’s security interests such as the New State Solution .
Noted Israeli musician, singer, storyteller and comedian, Shlomy Assaf Azoulay runs an organization called Wings of Peace, to promote pluralism, diversity and co-existence in Israel and beyond.
A native of Jaffa - one of the most diverse cities in Israel - Assaf Azoulay understands the importance of bridge building. His life story is magical, having come originally from Morocco with a family of nine siblings and living alongside an Arab-Christian family in Jaffa,
Assaf Azoulay's stories are both compelling and inspiring. He is a perfect performing guest for your synagogue, church or your magical event or mission in Israel. He regularly invites friends from the diverse community of Israel to perform with him.
Assaf Azoulay also regularly travels to North America and Europe as an invited musical guests and host for various functions where Israeli culture is always desired.
Alan Baker, jurist and diplomat, is one of Israel's prominent experts in international law. A graduate of the University of London and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem he has served as the Legal Counsel of Israel's Foreign Ministry and as Israel’s Ambassador to Canada.
He currently serves as the Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, where he heads the Center's International Law program. He has served as senior attorney in the Legal Division of the United Nations in New York.
He participated in all the Middle East peace process negotiations with Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinians and Lebanon, as well as in the negotiation and drafting of international treaties dealing with such spheres as human rights, international humanitarian law, maritime and aviation law.
He headed the legal team defending Israel at the International Court of Justice. He presently serves as a member of Israel's panel of judges at the International Court of Arbitration. Ambassador Baker has edited books and published articles on legal and political issues affecting Israel.
Former Canadian Ambassador to Israel, Vivian Bercovici, is an astute observer of Israeli domestic politics. A regular media commentator and columnist in the US, Canada and Israel, she is known for being unsparingly clear and incisive in her observations. Her current work is heavily focused on ultra-orthodox political influence; impact of corona on current electoral mood and key social, political, religious flash points, Bercovici speaks about the outcome of the next vote, coalition wrangling and the increasingly controversial role of the ultra orthodox in society and government.
Vivian Bercovici served as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel from 2014-16, having been appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Her tenure was noted for bringing vigour and deep knowledge to all aspects of the Canada-Israel relationship with a focus on developing bilateral commercial ties.
Since then, Vivian has continued to reside in Tel Aviv and is engaged in the global medical cannabis and medical device sectors as a board member and consultant. She has contributed to numerous publications, among them The Toronto Star, Wall Street Journal, the National Post, Commentary Magazine, Jerusalem Post, and others. She is a regular columnist and frequent commentator for television and radio in Israel, Canada and elsewhere. Prior to her service as Ambassador, Vivian practiced law for 25 years in Toronto, focusing on defamation and financial services.
Vivian is an accomplished, knowledgeable and passionate speaker and has adapted very well to participating in Zoom events. She understands the North American and Diaspora perspectives and now lives in the Israeli reality, bringing a unique and sharp eye to a wide range of complex issues.
“Vivian’s speaking topics include, The Diplomatic Reality: What Goes on Behind the Scenes?; #VacciNation - Israel's COVID Triumph; Startup Nation 2.0; Jews in Public Service and "Dual Loyalty"; The Haredi Concept of Israel and National Loyalty; Making Sense of Chaos; How Israelis see DIaspora Communities; Making Aliya: From Ambassador to Real Life.
As one of the most notable international human rights defenders, Avi Abraham Benlolo has worked with many notable figures including Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Shimon Peres and Prime Ministers Tony Blair, David Cameron, Stephen Harper and many others.
Mr. Benlolo is an expert in Holocaust education, Anti-Semitism, Middle East Affairs and universal human rights. For two decades, he has been at the forefront of interfaith relations, religious freedom, and Israel advocacy. He received many honours including the Order of Vaughan for humanitarian work, the Queens Diamond Jubilee for community engagement, an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy from Haifa University for Holocaust education and combating antisemitism and the Canadian Race Relations Award for best practices.
He was recently appointed to the Vaughan Race Relations and Diversity Task Force. Mr. Benlolo previously served as President and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies from 2000-2020 – a Canadian organization he built from the ground up.
He has raised over $100 million over the years and is responsible for many of its programs including the largest dinner gala, the Spirit of Hope; Holocaust and Tolerance education platforms like the Tour for Humanity and the Tolerance Training Center which has educated more than 250,000 students from 1,000 schools. He has led annual missions to Auschwitz and Israel with top leaders, to name a few.
Ilan Berman is Senior Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC. An expert on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation.
He has consulted for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency as well as the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and has also provided assistance on foreign policy and national security issues to a range of governmental agencies and congressional offices.
He has been called one of America's "leading experts on the Middle East and Iran" by CNN. Mr. Berman is a member of the Associated Faculty at Missouri State University's Department of Defense and Strategic Studies.
A frequent writer and commentator, he has written for the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post and USA Today, among many other publications.
Inna Braverman founded Eco Wave Power at the age of 24.
Under her leadership the company installed its first grid-connected wave energy array, secured a significant projects pipeline of 254MW, and became the first Israeli company to ever list on Nasdaq Stockholm.
She was recognized by Wired Magazine as one of the “Females Changing the World”, by Fast Company as one of the world’s “Most Creative People in Business for 2020” and is the winner of the United Nations “Global Climate Action Award”.
For Inna, clean electricity is a very personal journey, as she was born two weeks before the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster and suffered respiratory arrest due to the pollution in the region. Luckily, her mother, a nurse, came to her crib on time and gave her a mouth to mouth resuscitation, which saved her life.
She got a second chance in life and decided to devote it to the development of a clean and safe method of electricity production.
William Browder, founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005, when he was denied entry to the country for exposing corruption in Russian state-owned companies. In 2009 his Russian lawyer,
Sergei Magnitsky, was killed in a Moscow prison after uncovering and exposing a US$230 million fraud committed by Russian government officials. Because of their impunity in Russia, Browder has spent the last ten years conducting a global campaign to impose visa bans and asset freezes on individual human rights abusers, particularly those who played a role in Magnitsky’s false arrest, torture and death.
The USA was the first to impose these sanctions with the passage of the 2012 “Magnitsky Act.” A Global Magnitsky Bill, which broadens the scope of the US Magnitsky Act to human rights abusers around the world, was passed at the end of 2016. The UK passed a Magnitsky amendment in April 2017 and recently imposed its first wave of ‘Magnitsky sanctions’ on 6th July 2020. Magnitsky legislation was passed in Estonia in December 2016, Canada in October 2017 and in Lithuania in November 2017.
Similar legislation is being developed in Australia, France, Denmark, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden and Ukraine. In February 2015 Browder published the New York Times bestseller, Red Notice, which recounts his experience in Russia and his ongoing fight for justice for Sergei Magnitsky.
Shoshana Bryen is a leading specialist in U.S. defense policy and Middle East affairs. The former Executive Director and SeniorDirector for Security Policy at JINSA, Mrs. Bryen was author of the widely republished JINSA Reports. She has worked with the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College and the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, and lectured at the National Defense University in Washington.
Mrs. Bryen coordinated programs in the Middle East for military professionals that allowed more than 450 American military officers to engage in professional discussions of issues that both unite and divide the United States, Israel and Jordan. She also created a program to take the cadets and midshipmen of America’s service academies to Israel for a three-week work/study program that has permitted hundreds of future officers to have a positive, in-depth experience in Israel. She has also taken Turkish and Israeli military officers to speak at the service academies and has lectured in the academies as well.
Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Sun and Defense News, among other outlets, as well as in JINSA Reports.
She is a Member of the Advisory Board of the Aleethia Foundation that provides opportunities for wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and is a Member of the Board of the Naval Academy Jewish Chapel Foundation.