Akiva Gersh – Israeli and Environmental instructor, musician and Rabbi

Akiva made aliyah from the USA together with his wife in 2004. He has rabbinical ordination from Yeshivat Sulam Yaakov in Jerusalem, an MA in Jewish education from Yeshiva University and a BA in religious studies from Brown University. He serves as an Israeli instructor in the JNF Alexander Muss High School in Israel. In the past he worked as a Jewish Environmental Instructor in the Eco Activist Beit Midrash, and as an educator and musician in the Ohr Chadash program for college students from abroad studying in Israel for the year. He is also the editor of the book “Becoming Israeli”, a compilation of blogs and essays about the funny, challenging and inspiring situations of his Aliyah experience.

Lydia Clem – Judaica, Paper-cut and Watercolors Artist

Lydia was born in the Ukraine and studied for a B.A. degree in Art Education in Vladimir, Russia. The artistic languages she express herself in are various kinds of art, including paper-cuts, painting in both oil and watercolor, portraits, nature scenes, sculpting, as well as piano and vocals. She made aliyah to Israel in 1995. Lydia discovered paper-cutting almost by accident, when she was a Hebrew student at the Ulpan. In the last few years, she continued to develop in this unique field. Her works are displayed in exhibitions and purchased by art collectors world-wide. Paper-cuts contain a rich internal wealth, displaying religious texts alongside symbols. With the years she has experienced, via paper-cutting, a process of development and personal discovery of new and creative possibilities, while still treasuring the ancient traditions in her work.

Reuven Bransburg – Musician and producer

Reuben was born in Buenos Aires and immigrated to Israel in 1978 with his family.He served in the military band and then continued his musical training at the Jerusalem  Academy of Music and other prestigious institutions.Ruben has also worked in the past as director of youth music groups in the Jerusalem       Municipality, and has produced over 40 albums in his studio.

He currently conducts children’s choirs,  produces events, teaches music  and performs with his band at weddings and other events.

Miriam Cieslar – Tour Guide

Miriam Ciesler grew up in a small village located in southern Poland. Her parents discovered their Jewish identity after they were married and decided to raise their six children as Jews. Miriam embraced the idea of living in Israel where a better education and a safer Jewish life awaited her. Miriam is a talented violinist, in Israel she joined the Yemin Orde choir and performed with them in the United States. She served in the Israel Defense Forces as a commander and educator working with new immigrant soldiers. Today, Miriam is working for Masa Israel as a guide and educator for young people from around the world.