The Team

Founders

Dóra Koranyi

Psychologist and tour guide in the Jewish quarter of Budapest. After completing her studies in Israel, Dóra returned to Hungary. where she worked actively in different Jewish organizations and also took an active role in a grassroots, egalitarian Jewish community.

Sebastian Mizrahi

Originally from Venezuela, Sebastian has lived most of his life between Israel and Europe. He studied Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and History and Tourism in Salamanca, Spain. Sebastian is currently based in Budapest, Hungary.

Speakers

Europe

Merci Czimbalmos

Mercédesz is a researcher at Åbo Akademi University in Finland and project coordinator in the project "Reconstructing the Fate of Hungarian and Bačka-Serbian Victims of the Holocaust". She is an active member of the Jewish Community of Helsinki,

Joseph Benatov

Joseph is originally from Bulgaria and a member of Sofia's Jewish community. He is PhD. in comparative literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Hebrew.  Every summer takes groups to the Balkans.

Artur Livshyts

Born in Minsk, as a child of the Soviet Union, Artur discovered Jewish life while staying in the US, where he studied Hebrew and had a bar mitzvah. Arthur has made it his life's work to strive for a revival of the Jewish community in Belarus.

Debra Brunner

Debra is originally from London and has been working in Belarus for over ten years growing The Together Plan in order to empower local Jewish communities and give them skills to rebuild and revive.

Miriam Camerini

Theatre director, writer, singer, actress, journalist and published author. Miriam is the founder and artistic director of Benhashmashot, the first professional Jewish Theatre in Italy, based in Milan. She's also a rabbinical student at Beit Midrash Har'El.

Łukasz Godlewski

Lukasz graduated in Psychology of Intercultural Relations at the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw, Poland. He is a volunteer in the Jewish community of Warsaw and an official city guide.

Dóra Pataricza

Originally from Budapest, Dóra is a Post-doctoral researcher in History, research fellow at Åbo Akademi University in Finland and project director at the Szeged Jewish Community in Hungary, she is also a board member of WIZO Finland.

Dominique Tomasov

Born in New York, raised in Argentina and based in Barcelona, Dominique is an architect specialized in Jewish heritage. She is an independent researcher, educator and activist as well as a founding member of the first egalitarian synagogue in Spain.

Joseph Vardakis

Originally from Greece, Joseph has lived and studied in the UK, South Africa and Israel. M.A in Psychobiology and currently completing his M.Sc in Clinical Psychology, he offers themed tours in Athens, including sites of Jewish interest.

Peninah Zilberman

Born in Israel to Romanian Holocaust survivor parents, Peninah served the Toronto Jewish Community for over 40 years. Founder & CEO of "Fundatia Tarbut Sighet- Cultura si Educatie Iudaica" (FTS) and speaker at all programs sponsored by JDC in Romania.

Daniel Gurevich

Daniel was born in Vilnius and made Aliya to Israel before returning to Lithuania and becoming an expert in the travel industry. Today he runs his own travel agency with tours conducted in Hebrew, English, Russian, and Lithuanian, focusing on Jewish heritage, religion, history, and culture

Nachshon Rodrigues

Nachson is the community leader and cantor of the Bendigamos community in Amsterdam. His family has been part of the local Portuguese Jewish community for four centuries. He works for the Jewish Seminary, teaches bar- mitzvah students, writes for a Jewish news website and organizes Jewish concerts.

Moisés Hassán

Spaniard of Moroccan heritage, Moisés is an honorary lecturer on Holocaust Studies and Antisemitism at the University "Pablo de Olavide" in Seville, Spain. He is also the founder of "Jewish Spain Tour", a fully licensed Tour Operator specializing in Jewish travel inside the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco.

Gregory Touretsky

Gregory was born in Novisibirsk, Russia. He was an activist in the raising Jewish community during the 90s. A few years ago Gregory relocated to the US, where he works as Product Manager and Architect. In his rare spare time, he continues to explore his family history - and the overall Jewish history of Siberia.

Irene Shaland

Irene is an internationally-published art and travel writer and educator She is a contributing author and lecturer at academic institutions such as the Siegal College of Jewish Studies and Touro Law School of New York; and museums and cultural institutions, like the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland.

Alexander Vard

Alexander was born in Dublin into a once prominent furrier family. After studying History in Trinity College and the University of Edinburgh and many years traversing the globe, he settled in his hometown to found a walking tour company focusing on the history of Dublin's Jewish quarter, known locally as "Little Jerusalem".

Emmanuelle Stein

Emma is from Paris, France. She graduated from Sorbonne's Master of International Relations, Humanitarian Aid and International Development. In April 2018, she set up the NGO "Exilophone" dedicated to the integration of refugees through arts and music.

Evgenia Kempinski

Evgenia has been an official St. Petersburg tour guide for over 15 years and is the owner of St. Petersburg Jewish Tours - a company offering Jewish travelers a unique experience of showcasing the best of the former USSR from a Jewish point of view. She currently lives in Haifa, Israel.

Cristian Ezri

Although born in Romania, Christian has lived for long periods in Austria, the US and Israel. He has a long history of involvement with the Jewish community as the former president of local Jewish youth movement and Founding Member & Director of the first Jewish Community Center of Romania.

Natalia Gross

Natalia has been involved with the Romanian Jewish community for many years, starting as a guide in the first ever Holocaust Museum in Romania and then coordinating JCC activities in Transylvania. She has also been an on-going volunteer for most of the Jewish events happening in Romania for the past 15 years

Sonja Viličić

Sonja Viličić was born in Serbia and has a rich Jewish education with a community development background. Currently serving as the Executive Director of NGO Haver Srbija, Sonja leads initiatives combating prejudice and promoting active citizenship through educational programs exploring Jewish culture.

Ian Fagelson

Ian is a member of the London Jewish community. After serving more than 35 years as a lawyer he decided to study history and qualified as a guide in the Cities of London and Westminster. Introducing guests to the splendors and secrets of his hometown is his passion.

Charlotte Thalmay

Charlotte is the founder and CEO of the tour company "Jewish Copenhagen", which is the largest company in Scandinavia promoting Jewish heritage tours. In her tours, Charlotte shares the dramatic and inspiring journey of the Danish Jews focusing on her own family stories of survival, prosperity, and catastrophes.

Eitan Bergman

Born in Liège, Belgium, Eitan is the Executive Director of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS). He is an Executive member and Secretary General of the Belgian Jewish community, and a member of the World Jewish Congress Jewish Diplomatic Corps (WJC JDCorps).

Micki Weinberg

Micki was born in LA and currently lives in Germany. With a BA from the University of California and studies in Talmud at the Mir Yeshiva, he is the founder of SHIUR, a Berlin based international project and community innovating text-based discourse and other Jewish traditions for the 21st century.

Aleksandra Sajdak 

Aleksandra was born and raised in Warsaw. Today she works as a Genealogist at the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute as well at the Taube Centre for the Jewish Life and Learning as a Senior Program Manager, Researcher, and Educator.

Olga Bokhonovskaya

Founder of "Odessa Walks" tour agency, she moved to Berlin and Krakow because of the war in Ukraine. While she continues giving virtual tours of Odessa, she now creates live, virtual and in-person cultural and historic tours of many destinations in Europe.

Emma Günsberger 

Emma graduated from the Lauder schools in Prague, where she got involved in Jewish activism. She is the current president of the Czech Union of Jewish Students (ČUŽM) for which she won the title "Union leader of the Year". She also collaborated on the "Never Again Right Now" campaign.

Middle East and Africa

Gavriella Bigio Dahan

Gavriella is an American/Israeli of Yemenite heritage. She is a "shlicha" (emissary) to Greece and has worked with various Jewish communities around the globe in informal education and programming.

Louise Arwas

Originally from London, Louise's father, grandparents and great-grandparents were all born in Egypt. She is involved in several related education projects, including organizing heritage tours to Cairo and Alexandria with former community members.

Nisya Isman Allovi

Bron is Istanbul, Nisya is the Director and Curator of The Quincentennial Foundation Museum Of Turkish Jews. She graduated from the International Relations Faculty of Bilgi University and in Cultural Heritage and Tourism.

Shoshana Nambi

Shoshana grew up in Uganda's Abayudaya Jewish community. She graduated in BBA at Kampala University before spending two years studying in Israel. Now she serves as a Student Rabbi for North Fork Reform Synagogue, New York

Omar Mohammed

Omar is a historian from Mosul, Iraq, named by THE ALGEMEINER on the list of The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life in 2020 for his work on the recovery and preservation of Mosul's Jewish History and cultural heritage. Known until recently only as the anonymous blogger 'Mosul Eye', through which Omar set out to inform the world about life under ISIS.

Yona Abeddour

Born in Morocco and based in Israel, Yona is a researcher examining identity formation among second and third generation Jewish-Moroccan immigrants in France and Israel. As a documentary filmmaker, his films explore Moroccan and Sephardic Jewry and highlight the dynamics of Muslim-Jewish relations.

Alan Niku

Alan Niku is a filmmaker, writer, and scholar of Mizrahi culture based in Los Angeles. A native speaker of Persian, he spends his time learning related Jewish languages, deciphering Judeo-Persian manuscripts, and interviewing community members about their stories. He is also a musician and an amateur chef, teaches history and Jewish heritage.

Levi Meir Clancy

Originally from L.A,. Levi is also the co-founder of "Foundation of Ours", which conducted first-of-its-kind, in-person events around the Kurdistan Region that taught about the region's multi-faith history. For his outspoken advocacy on Jewish life in the Islamic world, he survived being a political prisoner as well as attempts against his life. Today, he is based in the United States and Israel.

Rafram Chaddad

Born on the island of Djerba off the coast of Tunisia, Rafram is an artist working between Tunis and New York. Rafram's work reflects on his personal life experiences and comments on broader socio-political issues including migration and displacement, identity and belonging.

Ebrahim Nonoo

Ebrahim is a Bahraini businessman whose family originally came from Iraq over a century ago. He sat in the upper house of the Parliament's Shura Council between 2001 and 2006 and is the first Jewish member of the council. He is also the chairman of the board of trustees of the "House of the Ten Commandments".

Carol Castiel

Carol is the former director of current affairs programming at the Voice of America. In 2007 she founded the "Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project, Inc.," a non-profit organization which aims to honor the memory and document the legacy of the many Sephardic Jews who immigrated to Cabo Verde from Morocco and Gibraltar in the 19th century.

Jessica Hammerman

Jessica is an Associate Professor of World History at Central Oregon Community College in Bend, Oregon. She has published several chapters and articles featuring her research on the history of Algerian Jews before and since French decolonization.

Edwin Shuker

Businessman born in Baghdad and based between London and Dubai. Public speaker campaigning on behalf of Jews from Arab countries, Edwin is the Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and a former Vice President of the European Jewish Congress.

Leslie Hakim-Dowek

Leslie was born and grew up in Beirut but had to leave at the beginning of the Lebanese civil war in 1975. She is a visual artist based in London and a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouth involved in both art and academic projects. Her practice often focuses on issues of identity, memory and migrancy.

Jono David

Jono David is an American-British independent photographer based in Tokyo who, since the 1990s, has traveled the globe to amass what is perhaps the most extensive archive of contemporary images of Jewish heritage and heritage sites in the world - a growing compendium of more than 120,000 photographs from 116 countries and territories.

Eszter Koranyi

Eszter was born in Budapest, Hungary. She has been living in Jerusalem for the last 8 years. She is a co-founder of Freedom School, a study program on peace activism for young Israeli Jews and Palestinians and she is about to complete her studies as an official Israeli tour guide.

Caucasus, Central Asia and the Far East

Lasha Shakulashvili

Lasha was born in one of the most multi-faith cities of the world - Tbilisi (Georgia). Ph.D. in Jewish Studies, he is currently a lecturer of Yiddish at the Tbilisi State University in Georgia and is undertaking research at the National Library of Israel.

Valeriya Nakshun

Originally from Dagestan in Russia, Valeriya is a Kavkazi Jewish culture writer and marketer. She's a Community Outreach Fellow at Sephardic Heritage International DC (SHIN-DC) and a former dancer at Silk Road Dance Company (SRDC).

Ruben Shimonov

Born in Uzbekistan, Ruben has lectured throughout the world on the culture and history of the various Sephardic and Mizrahi communities. He is also a visual artist specializing in multilingual calligraphy interweaving Arabic, Hebrew and Persian.

Rachel Wahba

 An Egyptian-Iraqi Jew, Rachel was born in India and grew up stateless in Japan within an international community based in Kobe. She is as an advisory board member for JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa)

Pablo Faivel Levinton

Originally from Argentina, Pablo is a fluent Yiddish and Chinese speaker. He studied for three years in Beijing, China, from where he started the popular traveling YouTube channel "A mole around the World" dedicated to showing Jewish life in faraway places. He currently teaches Economics at the University of Buenos Aires and plans to return to China..

Eliaz Reuben-Dandeker

Eliaz Reuben-Dandeker is a 4th generation Israeli, descendant of leaders of the Bene-Israel community. Eliaz is the founder and owner of the "Kammodan Mocadem" publishing house. He is also a co-founder of the "Next generation group" of Jewish-Indian activists in Israel.

Misha Gulko

Misha is a photo-journalist based in Brooklyn, New York, born in Odessa, Ukraine. He has worked with various photo agencies, covering news and entertainment events in and around New York City as well as in Europe, Americas and Asia, which took him to document the traces of Jewish Burma.

Jael Silliman

A member of the the Baghdadi Jewish community of Calcutta (Kolkata) in India, Jael was an Associate Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Iowa, USA. She was also a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, New York. She is the author of several papers, articles and books relating to Kolkata's cultural history.

The Americas

Felipe Lichand

Felipe is a Brazilian historian, researcher and tour guide with a focus on South American Jewish heritage. He is an active member of São Paolo's Jewish community and part of the local "Hashomer Hatzair" youth movement leadership.

Ruth Behar

Ruth was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in New York. She is a cultural anthropologist, poet, and writer of fiction. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and is the James W. Fernandez Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Monica Unikel

Monica is a member of the Mexican Jewish community. She was part of the restoration team of the "Historical Synagogue" in Mexico, which used to be abandoned. She proposed to turn it into a Jewish Cultural Center open to the public, and since its reopening in 2010 she has been its director.

Claudia Hercman

Claudia was born and raised in Buenos Aires, into the Argentinian Jewish community. She is tour guide and translator. She is also a sculptor and painter, whose main subjects are Memory and Uprooting, in honor of her four grandparents who emigrated from Poland to Argentina in the ´30s.

Barry Judelman

Barry is the founder and President of New York Jewish Tours, a company that offers in-depth walking tours of various Jewish neighborhoods in New York. Barry is an active advocate in supporting and sustaining what remains of historic and important Jewish institutions and sites throughout the city.

Rivka Campbell

Rivka is a Canadian Jew whose parents immigrated from Jamaica. She is the co-founder of Jews of Colour - Canada, the Executive Director for Beth Tikvah Synagogue and a Board Member of the North American Association of Synagogue Executives (NAASE). Rivka is a recognized speaker and educator on Jewish Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).

Ron Gomes Casseres

Ron descends from Sephardic Jews who came to Curaçao in 1690. He is a leader of the historic Mikvé Israel-Emanuel community. Now retired, one of his interests is the history of his Jewish community and its practices. He was awarded decorations by the Kingdom of the Netherlands for social and cultural contributions to the Curaçao community.

David Mizrachi

David Mizrachi Fidanque was born in Panama, into a family of long-time Jewish Community and pro-Israel activists. He has served as President of the Central Jewish Community Council and of B'nai B'rith Irving Zapp of Panama. He is a practicing international lawyer.

Henry Grunberg

Henry was born in Venezuela, to parents who escaped the Holocaust. Currently based in Florida, he is a former University professor of TV production. In 2000 he directed the movie It was worth it, a documentary on the Jewish Ashkenazy community in Venezuela.

Neal Rechtman

Neal is an American writer and historian who has lived in Barbados for six years. He is the author of two novels, numerous essays, and short stories. He is an active member of the Barbados Jewish Community and a volunteer docent at the historic Nidhe Israel synagogue in Bridgetown.

Lizzi Meister

Lizzi is the Public Programs Manager at the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, in New Orleans. Originally from Milwaukee, Lizzi also lived in Seattle, getting her Masters in Museology at the University of Washington and working with a Jewish co-op.

Vivianne Tesone

Vivianne is from Bogotá, Colombia. She is the Deputy Director of the Colombian Jewish Federation, and a member of the Jewish Diplomatic Corps of the World Jewish Congress Her work is focused on interfaith initiatives, combating antisemitism, Holocaust remembrance, diplomacy and advocacy.

Shai Abend

Shai is the founder and director of "The Jewish Experience," in Uruguay, a non-profit community initiative dedicated to connecting individuals with Jewish heritage in through educational, cultural, and tourism projects. He is also the founder and director of the "Uruguay Jewish Museum".

Daniel Soyer

Daniel Soyer is professor of history at Fordham University. His most recent books are Left in the Center: The Liberal Party of New York and the Rise and Fall of American Social Democracy (Cornell, 2021), and, as editor, The Jewish Metropolis: New York City from the 17th to the 21st Century (Academic Studies Press, 2021).

Jewish Culture

Judith Cohen

Canadian ethno-musicologist and singer., born in Montreal, and based in Toronto - Judith may frequently be found in Spain, Portugal, and wherever else her fieldwork, concerts, conferences, research and general curiosity and love of travel take her.

Dror Sinai

Dror Sinai grew up in Israel to a family where prayers, chants, music and dance were all part of the culture and lifestyle. Today he is an international performer and educator. He received the Gail Rich award for supporting the arts, and is a founding member of the World Music Committee for the Percussive Arts Society.

Sarah Benor

Sarah is a Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (Los Angeles campus) and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California Linguistics Department. She has published and lectured widely about Jewish languages, linguistics, Yiddish, American Jews, and Orthodox Jews.

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Yale Strom

Yale is a professor in the Music Dept. at San Diego State University. He is also one of the world's leading ethnographer-artists of klezmer and Roma music and history. He has conducted extensive ethnographic research throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans since 1981.