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YL Eastern Regional Conference: Confirmed Speakers
Shmuel Bowman -- Director of International Programs at Livnot U'Lehibanot
Matt Dorff -- Partner at Rabinowitz Media
Stephen J. Dubner -- Author of  "Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper"
Steven Eisenberg -- Managing Director of the Wall Street investment firm of Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum, Inc.
Sharon Faulkner -- World renouned photographer
Ellen Fein -- Co-Author, The Rules, as well as The Rules ll, The Rules for Marriage and The Rules for Online Dating
Michael Fisher
Bettysue Feuer -- Community activist
Rabbi James Gibson -- Spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Allen Goldberg -- Executive Director of The Jewish Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Dr. Zipora Gur -- Director of Advanced Education at the Jewish Education Institute
Macy B. Hart -- President of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Jewish Life
Gili Houpt -- Singer, songwriter, musician, and Jewish educator.
Farooq Hussaini -- Director of Interfaith Relations at the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh
Carl Kurlander -- Hollywood screenwriter and creator of St. Elmos Fire and Saved by the Bell
Amichai Lau-Lavie -- Israeli born mythologist, storyteller and teacher of Judaic Literature
Clive Lessem -- Private consultant to major international Jewish organizations
John Loftus -- Terrorism expert
Moshe Naime --
Lori Palatnik -- Author and Jewish educator
Debra Rappaport -- Rabbinic intern at CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
Glenn Rosenkrantz -- Media Relations Director at UJC
Joyce Rothermel -- Executive Director, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Sherrie Schneider -- Hatha Yoga expert
Linda Scherzer -- Former Middle East correspondent for CNN and Israel Television
David Segal -- Washington Post's pop music critic
Karen Shapira -- Vice Chair of UJC, heads the overseas distributions of UJC.
Lisa Steindel -- Director of the Squirrel Hill Kosher SuperPantry
Bill Strickland-- Community activist
Jos Thalheimer

Shmuel Bowman

Shmuel Bowman is the Director of International Programs at Livnot U'Lehibanot. His responsibilities include running the Alumot organization of Israel programs alumni, and representing Livnot outside of Israel. His main focus is building communities of Livnot past chevre worldwide, and to partner with Jewish community organizations, Federations, and Israel advocacy groups. Shmuel had been the Program Coordinator of the Livnot Jerusalem campus from 1994-1996, and returned to Livnot in July 2002. Shmuel was the founding director of the Hillel Centre at Tel Aviv University from 1997-2002, and worked with all segments of TAU's student population. With 26,000 students, most of them Jewish, the Hillel Center at Tel Aviv University served the largest Jewish student campus in the world. Shmuel's collection of real life stories has been the subject of several speaking engagements in Israel, Russia and across North America.

Shmuel Bowman's professional training as a Gerontologist has shaped his philosophy on informal education. His approach to learning is that it must be personally-relevant and experiential. Shmuel's passion for whitewater kayaking has also influenced his work as an educator. It was clear to Shmuel when he first encountered the raging Madawaska River that the idea was to work with the elements, and not ignore them.

Shmuel's favorite Jewish educational experience is the Shabbat opportunity. Shmuel started the ShWG (Shabbat Weekend Getaway) program for Aish HaTorah while in Toronto on a leave of absence from Hillel in 1999, and has replicated the ShWG concept in communities across North America. Shmuel also serves as the rabbi to TorahCanoe, and outdoor adventure organization that incorporates Jewish wisdom and experiences. (Two years ago, Shmuel led the Yom Kippur program in Algonquin Provincial Park in Northern Ontario.)

Shmuel and his wife Leah have four children and a sea turtle and live in Efrat, Israel. His hobbies include sofrut (sacred text scribe), swimming, and collecting (and telling) amazing stories. Leah Bowman is a writer and is currently working on Livnot's 25th Anniversary Book - a collection of prose and poetry from alumni and staff.

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Matt Dorf

Matt Dorf is a partner at Rabinowitz Media, a public affairs and media consulting firm in Washington, DC, and is former Director of Governmental Relations and Public Affairs for the American Jewish Congress. For more than five years, he served as Washington Bureau Chief for Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).  He frequently trains Jewish communal leaders in media relations.

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Stephen J. Dubner

Stephen J. Dubner is the author of "Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper,"
which tells the story of his childhood hero, a football player, whom he
tracked down many years later in order to explore the extraordinary pull of
hero-worship. His previous book was the 1998 national best-seller
"Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family," which has
been translated into several languages and has been adopted into college
curricula across the country. Dubner is also an award-winning journalist, a
regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine.

"Turbulent Souls" was based on a cover story Dubner wrote for the New York
Times Magazine, where he was a writer and editor from 1994 to 1999. The
article was one of the most widely discussed stories in the Magazine's
history. "Turbulent Souls" was reviewed in hundreds of newspapers and
magazines and received prominent media coverage, including "Nightline,"
"Good Morning America," and USA Today. It was named a Notable Book by the
New York Times and a finalist for the Koret National Jewish Book Award.

Before coming to the New York Times, Dubner was a writer and editor at New
York Magazine, covering crime, politics, the arts and New York City's urban
oddities. He received an M.F.A. in Writing from Columbia University, where
he also taught in the English Department. During his undergraduate years,
at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, he started a rock band,
which was signed to Arista Records. In 1988, he stopped playing music to
begin a writing career. As a journalist, he has written for the Times, the
New Yorker, the Washington Post, and Time Magazine. He has appeared
regularly on national TV and radio, and has given more than 100 lectures
across the country. Raised in upstate New York, the last of eight children,
he now lives in New York City with his wife, Ellen Binder, a photographer,
and their two children.

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Steve Eisenberg

Steve Eisenberg is a Managing Director of the Wall Street investment firm of Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum, Inc. Steve was a Vice President at Bear Stearns specializing in Risk Arbitrage. He serves as a lay leader in kiruv and as a consultant developing programs for many outreach organizations in the United States. Steve gives a very popular class on the weekly parsha, Monday nights at Aish New York. He is an active partner of Aish International and has taught in many of the branches.

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Sharon Faulkner

Sharon Faulkner discovered her father's camera when she was nine years old. Today she is a freelance photographer who uses her craft as a catalyst for social change.

For the past fifteen years, she has worked closely with many Jewish organizations on a variety of projects, including photographic essays on the resettlement of Ethiopian and Soviet Jews in Israel.

More recently, she traveled to document elderly Jews now living under the most difficult conditions in the former Soviet Union. Her presentations describe their plight, and how the American Jewish Federation system has reached out to bring them food, medicines, home care and above all, hope. The bold honesty of Sharon's work, along with her passionate commitment to improving the lives of these people, has helped focus much needed public attention on these compelling human stories.

Her most recent travels took Sharon north of the Arctic Circle, to the top of the world (in northern Siberia), where she made the initial western connection to the Jews of the Gulag Trail. She met survivors of Stalin's infamous Soviet prison system and their children. Today, they are struggling to create their own Jewish community in a place where no Rabbi or Synagogue has ever stood.

Combining photography with social action is a special part of Sharon's heritage. As daughter of world-renowned underwater photographer, Douglas Faulkner, she spent much of her childhood traveling throughout the world experiencing many different cultures. She lived for a time on the Micronesian islands of Palau, where her father produced books on the region's deep-sea habitation and helped to protect it from industrial exploitation.

Sharon's work has appeared in national and international magazines, newspapers and books.  She has appeared on FOX and ABC television and has given live radio interviews.

In addition to photojournalism, she has also worked extensively in architectural, public relations and commercial \ corporate photography. Sharon attended the School of Visual Arts and the New School for Social Research in New York City.

She resides in New Jersey.

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Bettysue Feuer

Bettysue Feuer started at the Anti-Defamation League in the Fall of 1999. Her law and nonprofit background serve the four state ADL region well. Feuer graduated with a BA in 1969 from the University of Michigan and received her law degree from Cleveland Marshall Law School in 1979.

Bettysue practiced corporate law for approximately three years with Benesch, Friedlander, Copeland & Aronoff, LLP.  In 1985 she left the practice of law to become the Regional Director of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky.  In that capacity she served almost 40 congregations assisting them with programming, administration and training. Feuer remained with United Synagogue as the director for more than ten years.

Feuer's main responsibilities at the ADL include programming, training, development and working throughout the region on issues of concern to the ADL and the Jewish Community. Feuer has enjoyed being a forceful voice in the communities that comprise her 4 state region.

Feuer is a member of both the Northern Ohio Working Group on Hate Crimes and the West Virginia Hate Crime Taskforce. She has recently been honored by both the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the Northern Ohio District of the FBI for her work in the area of community relations.

Feuer is known for the innovative programs and enthusiastic leadership that she brings to non-profit work.

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Allen Goldberg

Allen Goldberg, had a long career in grassroots lobbying before making the jump to the Internet while it was still in its infancy. He enjoyed success with an Internet audience measurement company, MediaMetrix, and then felt the bubble burst while at online college bookseller, He is a marketing and communications consultant in Washington, DC and serves as the Executive Director of The Jewish Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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Rabbi James A. Gibson

Rabbi James A. Gibson is the spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelors Degree with Distinction on History from the University of Michigan in 1975. After several years of secondary school teaching and Jewish youth work, Rabbi Gibson attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religions as both Jerusalem and Cincinnati, Ohio.There he earned his Master's Degreee in Hebrew Letters and was ordained in 1983. He spends much of his time teaching liberal Judaism to young and old and lectures at Chatham College as a Jewish Chautuauqua Society Scholar-in-Residence.

Rabbi Gibson is also very involved in the life of both the Jewish and secular communities. He is co-convener of the Pittsburgh Rabbi-Priest Dialogue and serves as chair of the UJF Jewish Unity Project. He is a member of the National Commission on Rabbinic-Congregation Relationships of Reform Judaism. He serves as President of Great Lakes-Ohio Valley Association of Reform Rabbis. He is also on the board of Jewish National Fund and the Israel Heritage Room of the University of Pittsburgh. He is deeply involved in the interfaith coalitions that tackle society's critical challenges, such as racism and AIDS.

Rabbi Gibson is married to Barbara Schilmeister Gibson. They have three children, Micah, Avi and David.

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Dr. Zipora Gur

Dr. Zipora Gur is the Director of Advanced Education at the Jewish Education Institute.  She has held this position for the past nine years.  Prior to that time she was principal of the School of Advanced Jewish Studies and head of Hebrew-Judaic Studies at Community Day School.

While in Israel she was a Head Teacher for a Ulpan Program in Haifa, Israel. She served in the Military Service in Israel as a Lieutenant with a Honorable Discharge.

She has served on many committees in the Pittsburgh community and is a recent graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh.  In 1993 she accepted the "Shazar Award for Excellence in Jewish Education", on behalf of the JEI, which was presented to her by the President of Israel, Chaim Herzog.

Dr. Gur holds teaching certification from Israel and from the University of Pittsburgh.  She graduated from Haifa University with a Bachelor's degree in Hebrew Language and Literature and Sociology.  She earned a Master of Education degree in secondary education from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh in the areas of Teacher Development, Curriculum, and Supervision. 

Dr. Gur is deeply committed to Jewish education and Jewish continuity.  She devotes herself to teacher training as a priority.

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Macy B. Hart

Macy B. Hart, currently President of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Jewish Life, grew up in the only Jewish family in Winona, Mississippi.  "My parents, who ran a rural retail business, raised the four of us in an atmosphere of great affection and struggle," Macy explains.  "The struggle was to give us a Jewish identity.  So every Sunday morning, they had us on the road to the closest Sunday school in Greenwood, 30 minutes away until that congregation disbanded, then to Cleveland, which was 80 miles each way."  Their efforts made a lasting impression.  "That surely had something to do with the growing flame within me that embraced Jewish identity.  I grew up understanding that to be Jewish, you have a responsibility to make the world better.  You must be a giver, not a taker as I understand and espouse Jewish values today."
That philosophy stayed with Macy throughout his 30 years as director of the UAHC Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica, Mississippi.  Under Macy's direction, the Camp grew from a $400,000 facility in its beginning to a recently rebuilt complex of approximately $5 million.
One of Macy's most unique contributions has been the establishment of a remarkable one-week residential camping program for physically challenged children, known as Dream Street.  The campers who come from the secular world are paired with volunteer counselors from the Jewish world.  This program has been a life-changing experience for both camper and counselor alike.
At the Jacobs Camp, Macy had many campers who came from small and declining Jewish communities. Committed to ensuring that these small-town Southern Jewish communities would be remembered by later generations, Macy began to collect religious artifacts as well as the magnificent stories about Jewish settlement and adaptation in the region.  And so was born the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience in 1989.

Macy has also been involved in giving back to the secular community.  He is one of the founders of Parents for Public Schools, which began in Jackson, Mississippi in 1990 and has since expanded to become a national organization.  Its goal is to improve public schools and educational opportunities for all children by enabling parents to become more involved.
After his retirement from the Jacobs Camp, Macy has built the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, which has greatly expanded on the missions of the Museum.  The Institute is committed to providing rabbinical and educational support to underserved communities.  It also has offered a wide array of Jewish cultural programming, including film festivals and a literary series, to Southern communities that otherwise would have limited access to such events.  The Institute's history department works to document and interpret the history of Southern Jewish communities, as well as preserving historic synagogues and cemeteries.  The mission of the Institute is to preserve and document the practice, culture, and legacy of Judaism in the South.
In 1999, Macy was named one of the three recipients of the prestigious Covenant Awards for Outstanding Jewish Educators in North America.  In May 2000, Macy was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.
Macy and his wife of 32 years, Susan, have raised 3 children in Utica and Jackson, Mississippi.

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Gili Houpt

Gili Houpt is a singer, songwriter, musician, and Jewish educator living in Manhattan. He has performed concerts all over the world, and has been a cantor in synagogues across the United States and Canada. When not traveling, Gili teaches classes on Jewish spirituality and organizes music events in New York City, where he publishes a weekly music newsletter with over 2000 subscribers. He is currently appearing with his band Remez, playing their unique brand of Jewish rock in venues all over the city. A graduate of the Isralight Teacher Training and Mentoring Program, Gili is currently studying for his rabbinic ordination and cantorial certificate at Yeshiva University and the associated Belz School of Jewish Music.

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Farooq Hussaini:

Farooq Hussaini is the Director of Interfaith Relations at the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh.

A frequent lecturer on Islam, he is a member of the Religious Leadership Forum of Southwestern Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the Daughters and Sons of Abraham program of Carlow College. 

Born in Hyder'abad, India, Farooq came to the United States in 1985 and became a United States citizen in 1991.  He lived in Saudi Arabia for five years, and also spent time in Pakistan.

Farooq currently works in the Human Resources Department of the Carnegie Museums and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh as Assistant Director of Finance and Information Systems.

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Carl Kurlander:

Having grown up in Pittsburgh, Carl Kurlander arrived in Hollywood as an intern to the president of Universal Studios as part of a scholarship he won while attending Duke University.  The award was based in part on a short story he wrote called St. Elmo's Fire which inspired the Columbia Pictures release of the same name which he co-wrote with director Joel Schumacher.  Carl has subsequently written screenplays for Paramount, Universal, Orion, Columbia, and Disney studios.   He has also been a writer/producer on over one hundred episodes of television including such shows as Saved By The Bell, The Louie Show, Hang Time, USA High and Malibu, Ca. in addition to writing TV pilots and movies of the week for various networks.  In 1988, he participated in the first reality-based television show in a Fox TV special called 3000 MILES, 21 DAYS, 10 CENTS where was forced to work his way across America on only a dime accompanied by his mother.  He recently co-authored The F Word: How To Survive Your Family with comedian Louie Anderson.

Carl is a visiting assistant professor in the English department at the University of Pittsburgh where he serves as faculty advisor for Pitt In Hollywood, an organization which links the entertainment industry with the Pittsburgh community.   (Visit    He has also written articles for The Los Angeles Times, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and various magazines.   

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Amichai Lau-Lavie

Amichai Lau-Lavie is an Israeli born mythologist, storyteller and teacher of Judaic Literature. He is a graduate of the Shalom Hartman Institute and the Elul Center in Jerusalem. Between 1992 and 1996 he worked as an educator at Melitz: the Jewish Zionist Centers in Jerusalem, focusing on the integration of Jewish education via the arts. His theatrical experience includes the Jerusalem Theatre Project with Gabriella Lev as writer and performer, The Acco Theatre Group, and the Metatron Ensemble.  Between 1997-2000 he served as Scholar in Residence at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in NYC.  In 1998 he founded and currently serves as Artistic Director of Storahtelling: Jewish Ritual Theatre Revived.

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Clive Lessem

Clive Lessem is a private consultant to major international Jewish organizations.  His areas of expertise include the case for giving, the overseas needs of the Jewish people and the building and development of community based organizations.  His clients include organizations active in Israel, The Former Soviet Union and North America. He is also well qualified to update your communities on Israel.
Until recently Clive was the Senior Jewish Agency Representative to the United Jewish Communities where he worked extensively with Federations and the UJC Young Leadership Cabinet. Prior to his New York-based UJC post, Clive held a number of senior positions in the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization, these included advisor to the Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Secretary General of the Zionist Executive and the Director of JAFI's overseas
human resource department – responsible for over 500 JAFI emissaries and educators world wide. Clive has also represented the Jewish Agency in Australia and New Zealand.
He is a passionate and experienced Jewish educator who served for six years as the director of the World Union of Jewish Students International Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in Arad, Israel. 
He completed his military service in the Liaison Unit to The Egyptian Army and is still active in the IDF reserve education unit.
Clive has been involved for many years with the issue of conversion and pluralism in Israel. He has also been active in number of organizations who provide services to the Aged in Israel.
Clive now lives with Yoni in Tel Aviv and has two children.

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Moshe Naimi

Moshe Naimi is a domestically based management consultant. His family left Iran many years ago due to the anti-Semitism there and immigrated to Israel. Moshe and his sister (who resides in Israel) recently suffered the loss of their mother at the Park Hotel in Netanya when she was killed in the suicide bombing during the Seder.

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Lori Palatnik

Lori Palatnik is an author and Jewish educator who has appeared on television and radio and has lectured both in North America and abroad, illuminating traditional practices and life-styles for our contemporary world.

Points of Interest:

  • Born in 1960, grew up in Toronto, Canada.  Communications major, University of Windsor, Advertising Specialty at St. Clair College of Applied Arts.
  • Awarded national recognition for excellence in radio copywriting and production.
  • Studied at EYAHT and Neve Yerushalayim College for Jewish Women in Jerusalem.
  • Established and ran an aerobics business in Jerusalem.
  • Returned to Toronto and hosted the television show, "The Jewish Journal".
  • Guest on numerous radio and television talk shows.
  • Lectures throughout the U.S. and Israel, explaining the beauty and depth of Judaism.
  • Author of the book, "Friday Night and Beyond—The Shabbat Experience Step-by-Step", published by Jason Aronson.
  • Author of the book, "Remember My Soul", Leviathan Press, which explains the Jewish concepts of soul and the afterlife and a guide to anyone who has ever lost a loved one.
  • Contributor to the anthology, "Jewish Women Speak About Jewish Matters", Targum/Feldheim Publishers.
  • Contributor to the anthology, "Heaven on Earth", Targum/Feldheim.
  • Written articles on various Jewish topics that have appeared in newspapers, periodicals and magazines, including The Jerusalem Report and The Toronto Star.
  • New book just released:  "Gossip—Ten Pathways to Eliminate It From Your Life and Transform Your Soul", Simcha Press—featured on "Dr. Laura" and
  • For the past 10 years was the Rebbetzin of The Village Shul, a unique family synagogue in Toronto's Forest Hill.
  • Recently relocated with her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik, to Denver, Colorado, where she is the Educational and Program Director of Aish-Ahavas Yisroel.
  • Mother of 5 children, ages 14 to 4 years.

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John Loftus

John Loftus, a Boston Irishman, reveals the most chilling secrets of terrorism, but leaves his audience laughing and inspired at the end. He has an encyclopedia knowledge of the Top Secret history of terrorism including current Islamic attempts to obtain atomic, biologic, and chemical weapons. His forthcoming book, Prophets of Terror: Jonathan Pollard and Peace in the Middle East tells how negligent politicians ignored intelligence warnings that a wave of Arab warfare was heading to America.

Surprisingly, Loftus says that the worst attacks are almost over, and that terror weapons such as Anthrax really do not work well in the real world. His talk is humorously subtitled "Terrorism for Morons". He believes that we may be witnessing the death throes of the fundamentalist terror states, and the birth of a renaissance modernity in the Middle East. His inspiring and insightful explanations bring comfort and clarity to all.
As a Justice Department prosecutor, Loftus once held some of the highest security clearances in the world, with special access to NATO Cosmic, CIA code word, and Top Secret Nuclear files. As a private attorney, he works without charge to help hundreds of intelligence agents obtain lawful permission to declassify and publish the hidden secrets of our times. He is the author of four history books, three of which have been made into films, two were international best sellers, and one was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. In April 2002, the SHOWTIME channel will begin filming "SECRET WARS," the pilot of a television series based on Loftus' life story, starring Jon Voight and Aidan Quinn.

As a young U.S. Army officer, John Loftus helped train Israelis on a covert operation that turned the tide of battle in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. During the Carter and Reagan Administrations, he investigated CIA cases and Nazi War Criminals for the Attorney General of the United States. In 1982, his "60 Minutes" expose of Nazis on the US government payroll won the Emmy Award for outstanding investigative journalism.

Born in Boston, Loftus now lives in St. Petersburg where he volunteers as the first Irish Catholic President of the Florida Holocaust Museum, the fifth largest in the world. Their goal is to end racism in our children's lifetime. He is now completing his fifth book, a look at the Middle East through the life of Jonathan Pollard. He had been rated among the funniest and most inspiring speakers on the international and college lecture circuits, now he's back with a totally different lecture that could not be more timely.

During the Carter and Reagan administrations, Attorney John Loftus was a prosecutor with the Justice Department's Nazi War Crimes Unit. There he discovered Top Secret documents revealing that the Nazis he had been assigned to prosecute the shocking Nazi scandal on an Emmy Award winning segment of 60 Minutes. In 1982 he received CIA clearance to publish his first book The Belarus Secret.

During the last ten years, John Loftus has been an international advisor on Nazi prosecution, authored several books and articles, and received numerous humanitarian awards. In 1992, he co-authored Unholy Trinity, a history of how the Vatican helped Nazi smuggling networks to penetrate western intelligence. This international best seller indicts a score of American politicians who worked with the Vatican.

Born in Boston from an Irish Catholic family, Attorney Loftus now lives with his wife and daughter in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he is working on a film version of Unholy Trinity. His book The Secret War Against the Jews, (August 1994, St. Martin's Press) exposes the still classified archives of the Holocaust, how American Jews have been systematically wiretapped since 1944, and how Israel was set up for the Iran-Contra affair by George Bush. He is currently writing a book on Jonathan Pollard.

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Diane Steinke Matway

Diane Steinke Matway has been keenly interested in Hatha Yoga since 1991, and began her studies in San Francisco practicing mostly in the Iyengar tradition. 

She moved to Europe in 1993, traveled extensively and broadened her practice in both the Iyengar and Kripalu traditions.  Upon relocating to the United States in 1995, Diane found a thriving and supportive Yoga community in Dallas, Texas.  In 1997, she enrolled in the Namaste International Yoga Teacher Training Program, focusing on the Scaravelli method, taught by Canadian based Irene and Bill Beer.  She was also selected to participate in a special training program offered by Vicki Johnson, MS, Ed., LMT, Licensed Yoga Therapist.

Diane served as Associate faculty at Collin County Community College in Plano, TX where she taught Beginning Hatha Yoga.  She also taught Yoga at the Dallas Ananda Center, the Q Sports Clubs, and at various corporate wellness programs including Texas Instruments, J.C. Penney and Frito Lay.

Now happily settled in Pittsburgh with her husband and son, Diane's diverse background and overall love for Yoga makes for a unique class experience.  She has been described as "caring and adept" and creates a compassionate atmosphere for all who enter her classroom.  Her area of unique specialization is with individuals who have suffered physical and emotional trauma.  She has known Yoga to be an effective therapy that can help heal inner wounds and rebuild the unity of mind and body.

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Debra Rappaport

Debra Rappaport is currently studying to be a rabbi at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, and is a rabbinic intern at CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. Last year, she taught a four-part Adult Education series entitled, "Take Your Spirituality to Work!" as well as a class on Reconstructionism at Congregation Beth Israel in Media, PA. Debra received her BA from Vassar College in 1986, and an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School of the University of PA in 1990. She worked in high-tech businesses for twelve years, during which she ran a personal computer hardware company, and was later an internet consultant. Debra began to teach classes on spiritual leadership in 1997. 

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Joyce Rothermel

Executive Director, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Duquesne, PA

Born on June 25, 1945 in Canton, Ohio
Married to Michael Drohan in 1990; No Children

Current Activities:

Member of the Executive Directors Forum of American Second Harvest Affiliates
PA Assn. of Regional Food Banks - Government Relations Committee
Member:  Thomas Merton Center, a Ministry for Justice and Peace
Pittsburgh Haiti Solidarity Committee - Treasurer
Association of Pittsburgh Priests - Church Renewal Committee
Leadership Pittsburgh
Just Harvest: A Center for Action Against Hunger
Bread for the World
Amnesty International
Board of Directors:  America's Second Harvest
Advisory Board of Directors:  Pittsburgh Community Warehouse

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Glenn Rosenkrantz

Glenn Rosenkrantz is Media Relations Director at UJC and is former Communications Director for the Jewish Community Endowment Fund at the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. He is an award-winning journalist and covered politics and business for a Bay Area daily for eight years.

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Linda Scherzer

Linda Scherzer is a former Middle East correspondent for CNN and Israel Television with extensive experience covering the Arab-Israeli conflict. As CNN's correspondent in Jerusalem from 1988 through 1993, she covered the first Palestinian uprising, or Intifada, the Gulf War and the Middle East Peace Process. During her years with CNN, Linda was probably best known for her interview with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu through a gas mask while Israel was undergoing a scud missile attack.

At Israel TV she was Arab Affairs correspondent for Mabat, Israel's Hebrew Language news program, becoming the first North American ever to work as an on-air reporter for the Hebrew news. While at Israel Television, Linda traveled to Damascus there she produced a series of reports on Arab attitudes towards Israel and the Peace Process.

Linda has also produced a one-hour documentary called "Through the Eyes of Enemies: Is the Middle East Ready for Peace?" that travels through Syrian, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, exploring the Arabs' readiness to normalize relations with Israel.

Today, Linda is a PR and Media Consultant. Among her clients is the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, where she advises the Jewish Community on how to combat negative media images from Israel.

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David Segal

David Segal was born in Boston and raised in Rhode Island. He's been the Washington Post's pop music critic for two years and writes reviews, profiles and features about artists and the business of music. He earned an B.A. in English from Harvard and then attended Oxford for two years and left with a diploma in politics and philosophy. Early in his career, David was the speechwriter for the Israeli ambassador to the United States. He joined the Post in 1993, as an editor in the book section, then became a reporter in the Business section. His hobbies include listening to music at volumes that could charitably be described as anti-social. In 2001, he helped start The Jewish Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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Karen A. Shapira

Vice Chair of UJC, heads the overseas distributions of UJC.

Current Chair of the Ethiopian National Committee/Advocacy/UJC.

Married to David Shapira, has three adult children, two son-in-laws and two grandchildren.

UJF Pittsburgh, Executive Committee
Board of the Jewish Agency for Israel---
Incoming co-chair-JAFI/ People to People
Board of the Joint Distribution Committee
Executive Committee, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania
Incoming Chair (with my husband) annual campaign, the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania

Past Chair:
United Jewish Federation, Pittsburgh
UJF Pittsburgh, Campaign Chair-95/96
Partnership 2000/Pittsburgh in the Karmiel/Misgav/Baltimore/Pittsburgh Partnership
Overseas Liaison Committee for Budget and Allocations, Pittsburgh Federation
Community Relations Committee---Pittsburgh
Resettlement Committee-Jewish Family and Children's Service

Past Co-chair:
The Early Childhood Initiative---a program of United Way to develop a program to provide quality preschool and day care to at least 80% of all at risk children in Allegeheny County

Board, Pittsburgh Symphony
Executive Committee-Shady Side Academy---Chair - the Academic Student Life   
Advisory Board of Directors:  Pittsburgh Cares

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Lisa Steindel

As Director of the Squirrel Hill Kosher SuperPantry, Lisa Steindel oversees the development and implementation of Pantry programs and directs services that impact the lives of more than 500 Pantry clients.  She supervises Pantry staff and coordinates relationships with other agencies and funding sources.

Lisa has been with Jewish Family & Children's Service since 1993, when she came on board as a career counselor, assisting in the resettlement of newly arriving Russian refugees and holds a Masters Degree in Vocational Counseling.  She served on the initial Pantry board, responsible for the establishment of the Kosher SuperPantry in 1998 and assumed the role of Director in the fall of 2000.

Lisa is the wife of Rabbi Stephen Steindel of Congregation Beth Shalom, Pittsburgh. 

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Bill Strickland

Bill Strickland in the Manchester neighborhood of Pittsburgh's North Side, has forged a series of programs to invigorate the community - and in the process, he's made a difference in the lives of hundreds of children and adults.

While still in college, Strickland, now 51, founded the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, an after-school program to teach pottery skills to at-risk kids. Three years later, he also took over Bidwell Training Center, a neighborhood vocational-training program.
Since their inception, the two programs have each grown into more than $3 million-a-year operations, with a combined staff of 110 people. The programs reach 475 adults and 400 kids each year, and over 75% of the kids involved go on to college.

With Strickland as president and CEO, the two programs - now under one roof - are expanding in every direction imaginable: A jazz concert hall is on the grounds, which spawned an innovative Grammy Award-winning record label.

Next year, Strickland plans to roll out the Denali Initiative - a national three-year effort funded by the Kaufmann Foundation to teach nonprofit leaders how to think like entrepreneurs.

Strickland is currently working with San Francisco mayor Willie Brown to develop a project in the Bay Area based on his successful models in Pittsburgh.

Strickland has won a MacArthur Foundation grant, lectured at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and served on the board of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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