Benzi Gruber – IDF Br. General (Res.)

Brigadier General Bentzi Gruber is Vice Commander (reserves) of Division 252, an armored division of 20,000 soldiers. As an entrepreneur, he has established Internet startups, been a real-estate developer and initiated biotech research.  He is founder of “Chesed in the Field,” a non-profit that brings together IDF reservists and chronically ill and disabled children for special events throughout the year instilling the values of community and social responsibility in the hearts of thousands of soldiers.  Gen. Gruber also established “Ethics in the Field” to shatter myths and present the facts missing in today’s discussion of Israeli counter terrorism.

Gruber lectures (weekly) on ethics, social responsibility and leadership to IDF commanders and officers across Israel, in order to ensure that the IDF remains the most ethical army in the world. His commitment and dedication to education has had a profound impact on thousands of soldiers in the Israeli military.

A graduate of Yeshivat Har Etzion and the Jerusalem Institute of Technology (Machon Lev), Gruber received a PhD from the The International University of Business and Law (London).  He has spoken at national conferences, community events, synagogues, military academies, college campuses, and middle and high schools around the world.

Lital Shemesh – Journalist

Lital Shemesh – Journalist

Lital Shemesh is a News Anchor and TV presenter in Channel 20.

Shemesh travels around the globe, drawing on her military and journalism experience to explain how why the media coverage has negative effects on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In her talks she also presents her perspective on how to achieve women’s empowerment through their participation in male dominated arenas. During her military service, Shemesh served as a combat soldier with the Israeli Border Police, a unique position for women. This experience later led her to cover conflict zones as a journalist, including the volatile Gaza border.

Ms. Shemesh is an out-spoken publicist who expresses her unique opinions openly and gains massive social media traction on a daily basis. As a social media expert, she has lead several viral campaigns. Her talks include advice on how to become an influential social media figure.

She holds an MA in American Jewish Studies.

Shemesh is also a TV formats creator, winning the International Formats Awards is Kiev and at MIP TV Festival in Cannes.  

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Avigayle Adler – Jewish Arts Educator

Avigayle Adler is the founding director of the Open Studio in Jerusalem. She has been teaching art and creativity since she was in high school. She has a MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University and is a graduate of the Pardes Educators’ Program.

Avigayle Adler

Avigayle made aliya from Denver, Colorado seven years ago and has been running the Open Studio every since. She has been an artist-in-residence at several summer camps, seminary programs and museums throughout the United States and Israel. Avigayle has been awarded the distinction of Oman Mitztayen, or “Outstanding Artist” by the ministry of absorption and highlighted in Celebrating 70 Extraordinary Women of Israel in The Times of Israel.

Avigayle specializes in mosaics, glass painting and paper-cutting, but her true talents lie in helping to bring out the inner-artist in each child and adult she works with.

Leah Hecht – African Refugee Advocate

Leah Hecht – Activist

Leah Hecht is the Director of Operations & Strategy at the African Refugee Development Centre (ARDC), a leading non-profit organisation based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Leah made Aliyah two years ago and initially commenced volunteering with ARDC in order to learn about the African refugee community in Israel and use her skills to lead and facilitate community initiatives.  Today Leah works with the ARDC team to advocate on behalf of the African refugees and asylum seekers living in Israel, and strengthen community capacity through access to education, vocational training, and employment opportunities.

Leah is a qualified lawyer in Australia with extensive experience practicing civil rights law and is passionate about facilitating a better life for African refugees in Israel.