Israel Portnoy was Born is Cheshire, just outside of Manchester (UK) into a Musial family of 9 children. His parents were the Rabbincal couple of the local community of “Hale Synagogue”. From the age of 8, Israel could be heard leading the services at the synagogue and singing at wedding ceremonies. He began writing his own songs from as young as 6 years old and would record himself on cassette tapes. He initially started playing piano at around age 5 and at the age of 11 he discovered guitar after (as he puts it) his younger brother “overtook him on the piano”. At the age of 16 he moved to Israel alone initially to study in a Talmudical college and subsequently moved on to music school and cantorial schools. It was in Israel that he formed a band with his brother Mendy, aptly named “PORTNOY” (also fondly referred to as “the PORTNOY Brothers”) and they have literally travelled the world together with their music. Israel is a multi-instrumentalist as well as a Cantor and has has filled the roll as cantor in places as far and wide as New Zealand, Bratislava and Los Angeles. In May 2019, whilst living in “Moshav Mevo Modi’im”, a forest-fire wiped out his entire home and home-studio (complete with over 15 instruments and many recordings and lyrics, never to be seen or heard again).
Israel’s music style is deeply rooted in an eclectic mix of liturgical music, growing up on the bima in the synagogue and has since been influenced by everyone from the Beatles (particularly George Harrison) to Paul Simon and Eric Clapton. His writing style varies but there is an undeniable soul-drenched bluesy sound in most of what he performs. Since moving to Israel, has also enjoyed soaking up the colours of modern Israeli music. He is a versatile musician and can be seen effortlessly appropriating his repertoire to the crowds’ specific tastes.
Yael Elbaz is a Senior Consultant and Cybersecurity Project Manager at Ernst and Young’s Cyber Division. Yael draws on her experience as an Intelligence officer in the Israeli Sigint National Unit (aka unit 8200), and a techno-intelligence team leader to ensure the highest standards of security for international and Israeli high-tech corporations.
After studying Judaism at the “Bruriah” Midrashah, Yael joined the IDF and was accepted into the elite military intelligence unit, where she served for 5 years in various positions. These roles involved in-depth technical analysis and operational activities in high pressure emergency scenarios.
During her military service, Yael volunteered at numerous projects including “CyberGirlz” and “SheCodes”, non-profit organizations focused on female empowerment in the cyber and technology industry in Israel, and “Magshimim”, a national program dedicated to incorporating youths from under developed populations into high impact cyber related roles in the IDF.
As a Modern Orthodox woman in the booming Israeli high-tech sector, Yael is a true believer in bursting through the glass ceiling to fulfill her potential and supports other women and minorities in similar situations.
Dr. Racheli Kreisberg serves as the Innovation Attaché of the Netherlands Innovation Network, Ministry of Economic Affairs, at the Netherlands
Embassy in Israel. She is responsible for developing R&D and business collaborations between Dutch and Israeli companies, Universities and research institutions.
In 2016 she established the Israeli-Dutch Innovation Center (www.idic.org.il).
Racheli is also an authorized tour guide in Israel and has developed unique innovation tourism tours for the general public as well as for blind and
visually impaired people. Additionally, she commemorates the legacy of her late grandfather Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Nazi Hunter (https://www.facebook.com/RememberWiesenthal/).
Her 20-year long genealogy hobby, focusing on Galicia, nowadays in the Ukraine, has led her to interesting family history discoveries, such as the identification of many of the 89 murdered family members of Cyla and Simon Wiesenthal as well as to the development of a unique House Number Database of the Galician town from which the Wiesenthal family originates.
Racheli holds a PhD in Biotechnology and Molecular Microbiology from Tel Aviv University (TAU), an Executive MBA from TAU, an MSc in Chemistry (summa cum laude) from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and an BSc in biology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. \
Racheli was born in the Netherlands and immigrated in 1977 with her family to Israel. She is the proud mother of three grown-up girls.
Rabbi Engelmeyer serves as a community rabbi in Karmiel, in
the north of Israel, and loves to excite people with Shiurim
and Torah thoughts.
He grew up in Switzerland (his father served as Rabbi and
Chazan in Bern), and after studying in Israel and serving in
the IDF he worked for 10 years as a Rabbi in several communities in Germany. Rabbi Engelmeyer believes his main purpose is to reach out to Jews wherever they are and connect
them to Jewish life and identity, especially the youth.
Five years ago he and his family decided to move back to Israel, where the Shlichut continues.