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Speakers 2020

among our speakers:

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Heiko Maas

Heiko Maas is a German politician who serves as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the fourth cabinet of Angela Merkel since 14 March 2018. He served as the Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection from 17 December 2013 to 14 March 2018. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party.

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Gabi Ashkenazi

Gabriel "Gabi" Ashkenazi is an Israeli politician and former military leader. He currently serves as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces from 2007 to 2011. He was the fourth Mizrahi Jew to become Chief of Staff of the IDF.

Alexander Schallenberg

Alexander Schallenberg was appointed Minister of European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria in 2019. After joining the diplomatic service in 1997, Alexander Schallenberg served i.a. as legal advisor to the Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU in Brussels and as spokesperson to Austrian Foreign Ministers. Before his appointment as Foreign Minister, he served as head of the EU Coordination Section at the Federal Chancellery of Austria

Susanne Glass

Dr. Susanne Glass is a political scientist and one of the founders of the Startup Media Summit. Dr. Glass is the bureau chief and TV- chief correspondent for ARD, Germany’s biggest public broadcasting company, and responsible for the news coverage of the Middle East. Before moving to Israel, she was already the bureau chief and chief correspondent of ARD’s studio in Vienna, Austria, covering South-East Europe and Austria.

Jenny Havemann

Jenny Havemann is an entrepreneur and the founder & CEO of GIIN (German- Israeli Innovation Network) as well as the Co-Founder of Startup Media Tel Aviv. As a political analyst and social media expert, she frequently gives lectures about Israel related topics and advises politicians and organisations on Israeli politics and German-Israeli relations.

Susanne Wasum-Rainer

Susanne Wasum-Rainer is a German diplomat who has been serving as Germany’s Ambassador to Israel since 2018. Before, Wasum-Rainer served as German Ambassador to France; she was the first female person to hold the post and succeeded Reinhard Schäfers. Besides her mother-tongue German, she speaks English, Italian, and Hebrew.

Hannah Liko

Hannah Liko is the Austrian Ambassador to Israel since 2019. From 2013-2017, she worked at the Office of the Secretary General for Foreign Affairs, MFA. She was appointed Head of the Office of the Secretary General, MFA and in 2018, worked as Interim Director of the Department for Security Affairs, MFA.

Jean-Daniel Ruch

Jean-Daniel Ruch is the Swiss Ambassador in Israel since 2016. He joined the Swiss Foreign Service in 1992 after having worked three years in the Ministry of Defense. In 2008, he was appointed by the Ambassador and Special Representative for the Middle East, focusing on the conflicts in the region.

Charlotte Knobloch

Born in Munich in 1932, Charlotte Knobloch survived the Holocaust in hiding on a farm in northern Bavaria. After the war, she returned to Munich where she has served as head of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria since 1985. In this capacity, she oversaw the opening of the new main synagogue and community center in 2006/07.

Ulrich Wilhelm

Ulrich Wilhelm is a German lawyer and journalist. Since February 1, 2011, Wilhelm is director of the Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR).

Michael Shubitz

Michael Shubitz works as a camera operator for ARD, Germany's biggest public broadcasting company, in Tel Aviv. He is of Lithuanian origin and the second generation of Holocaust survivors, discussing his experience at our panel "3 Generations - 3 perspectives". 

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Keren Knoll

Keren Knoll is the granddaughter of Mireille Knoll, Holocaust survivor murdered in Paris, and a mother of two. She was born in Paris, and lives in Israel for 23 years. Here, she served as a military captain officer at the IDF.

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Elishav Rabinovich

Elishav Rabinovich lives in Tel Aviv with his wife and his 5 daughters. He is the Comunity Manager of the Zikaron BaSalon project. He has a MA in Talmud Studies from the Bar Ilan University and is an alumni of the Hesder Yeshiva in Tkoa.

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Barbara Glück

Dr Barbara Glück, Director of the Mauthausen Memorial, is an Austrian historian and political scientist. She has headed the Mauthausen Memorial for 14 years and established it as a separate Federal Agency.

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Eliyah Havemann

Eliyah Havemann is Cyber Security expert, German author („Wie werde ich Jude?“), and blogger. Born and raised in Germany, he converted to Judaism and moved to Israel with his wife Jenny about ten years ago. He is the son of the famous German songwriter Wolf Biermann.

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Sawsan Chebli

Sawsan Chebli has been the State of Berlin Delegate to the Federation and Permanent Secretary for Active Citizenship and International Relations since 2016. She is a strong advocate of interreligious dialogue, especially between Muslims and Jews, and campaigns against antisemitism as well as against Islamophobia.

Roger Schawinski

Roger Schawinski is a Swiss journalist and entrepreneur as well as the creator of Swiss consumer watchdog program Kassensturz. In 2003, he gained international status when he joined the German Television network "Sat. 1" and became the managing director for three consecutive years.

Ksenia Svetlova

Ksenia Svetlova, born in Moscow, is an Israeli journalist, researcher, writer and politician. She has served as MK with the Zionist Union 2015-2019. Currently, Svetlova is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya and Mitvim institute.

Nikodemus C. Schnabel

Pater ‌Dr.‌ ‌Nikodemus‌ ‌C.‌ ‌Schnabel,‌ ‌O.S.B.,‌ ‌is a Benedictine‌ ‌Monk‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Dormition‌ ‌Abbey‌ ‌in‌ ‌Jerusalem‌. He is the Director of The Jerusalem Institute of the Görres-Gesellschaft (JIGG). In 2010, Pater Nikodemus published his first book “For Zion’s sake” in which he explores the life of the Dormitio monks.

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Rabbi Dov Lipman

Dov Lipman is an Israeli politician. He served as a member of the Knesset for Yesh Atid between 2013 and 2015. Born and raised in the United States, Lipman and his wife immigrated to Bet Shemesh, Israel in 2004, where Lipman taught in post-high school yeshivot and seminaries.

Markus Spillmann

Markus Spillmann is a Swiss journalist, Entrepreneur, media adviser. He is the owner of SPILLMANN Publizistik Strategie Management GmbH. Former Head of Journalism at NZZ AG and former Editor-in-Chief of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

Joachim Rother

Dr. Joachim Rother is the project manager at Bertelsmann Stiftung and manages their Israel Portfolio. A key pillar of his project is the German Israeli Young Leaders Exchange. Previously, he worked as the Personal Advisor to the Head of the Chamber (Chambers of Commerce and Industry).

Eyal Kaminka

Eyal Kaminka is the International Director of Holocaust Studies in Yad Vashem. He holds the Lily Safra Chair of Holocaust Education, works as an author, and as a lecturer in educational roles. He has extensive, multi-disciplinary experience in management, education, and organizational consulting. He received his Ph.D. in Education Management from Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

Dina Porat

Dina Porat is the chief historian at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. She is the professor emeritus of modern Jewish history at the Department of Jewish History and also the head of the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University.

Mike Lingenfelser

Mike Lingenfelser is a foreign Correspondent at ARD German Television, Middle East Bureau Tel Aviv since 2017. Prior to that, he was working as the managing editor and author at the investigative ARD political magazine “Report München” (Das Erste). He was awarded the Bavarian TV award in 2011.

Wolf Biermann

Wolf Biermann is a German singer-songwriter, poet, author, and former East German dissident. He is perhaps best known for the 1968 song "Ermutigung" and his expatriation from East Germany in 1976 as he was the figurehead of the political opposition at that time.

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Othmar Karas

Othmar Karas is one of the Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament. He is an Austrian politician who has been serving as a Member of the European Parliament since 1999. He is a member of the Austrian People's Party, which in turn affiliates with the European People's Party.

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Iris Rosenberg

Iris Rosenberg has been working in the field of media relations for more than 26 years, 24 of them at Yad Vashem. As Director of the Communications Division, she is responsible for all aspects of Yad Vashem’s public relations, both in Israel and abroad, including its marketing, online communications, and social media activities.

Alexandra Föderl-Schmid

Alexandra Föderl-Schmid is an Austrian journalist and the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Süddeutsche Zeitung (GER). She is a Board Member at Reuters Institute in Oxford. Previously, she was a correspondent for the Süddeutsche Zeitung in Israel. She was the first female Editor-in-Chief and Co-Editor of Der Standard.

Florian Herrmann

Dr. Florian Herrmann is the Head of the Bavarian State Chancellery and Bavaria’s Minister of State for Federal and European Affairs and Media. In this capacity, he represents, among other things, the Bavarian government in the Bundesrat (Federal Council) and in Brussels. Since 2008, Minister Herrmann has been a member of the Bavarian Landtag (State Parliament) for the district of Freising.

Eytan Schwartz

Eytan Schwartz is the Head of Media and Communications at Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality. He is the former CEO of Tel Aviv Global – an initiative aimed at promoting Tel Aviv as an international center of innovation by leveraging its status as the city with the highest density of startups in the world, and as a leading urban destination for visitors, and conferences. 

Kai Diekmann

Kai Diekmann is a German journalist and the founder of the Social Media Company Storymachine. Until 2017 he was publishing director of BILD. For 15 years prior to this, he was editor-in-chief of BILD. Since November 2017, he is also Chairman of the Freundeskreis Yad Vashem in Germany e.V.

Carole Nuriel

Carole Nuriel is the Director of ADL (Anti -Defamation League) Israel for over 18 years. She engages in the struggle against antisemitism and delegitimization of Israel, promoting social cohesion in Israel. She began her career as a Senior Middle East Researcher and has 25 years of experience in research and activities related to the Middle East.

Christian Dorer

Christian Dorer is a Swiss journalist and the editor in chief of Blick-Group, and also the president of the conference of editors in chief. He is also a co-leader of SwissMediaForum.

Ulrike Demmer

Ulrike Demmer is Deputy Government Spokesperson and Deputy Head of the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government. It is her job to inform the public about the work of the German government.

Laura Groudkamp

Laura Goudkamp works as a journalist and author in Munich. Since August 2018, Goudkamp develops new storytelling formats for the ARD international correspondents in her function as a team lead of “Weltspiegel Digital”.

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Joelle Weil

Joëlle Weil is a Swiss freelance journalist, columnist and writer. She has been working for Switzerland's biggest Media companies. Since 2010 she's been writing several columns, such as «Generation Clash» for Ringier AG from 2010 - 2018. Since 2018, she is part of the columnist team of «Luzerner Zeitung». She covers life and politics from Israel for her Swiss audience.

Ruben Gerczikow

Ruben Gerczikow from Frankfurt, Germany, is the Vice-President of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), the umbrella organization representing more than 160.000 young Jews between 18 and 35 in 36 countries. Furthermore, he is the Vice-President of the German Union of Jewish Students (JSUD).

Lital Hening

Lital Henig is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Communication, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She holds an MA in Communication and Journalism and a BA in Art History and Communication and Journalism, both from the Hebrew University. In her Ph.D. thesis, she explores the act of Holocaust witnessing in digital media ecologies.

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Katharina Ciobotaru

Katharina Höftmann Ciobotaru is a German writer and journalist, working as a freelance journalist for WELT, Jüdische Allgemeine, and Edition F. She is the editor of the magazine Israel Zwischenzeilen. She published eight fiction and non-fiction books with renowned publishers.

Mati Kochavi

Mati Kochavi is a leading entrepreneur and investor in media and technology. Mati has invested and developed numerous technology projects in a myriad of fields encompassing media, entertainment, culture and sports.  He is the founder of AGT Group which develops advanced technologies in various fields and holds operations in Germany, Israel and other countries. In May 2019, Mati and his daughter, Maya Kochavi, launched Eva Stories, a groundbreaking Instagram film bringing to life the diary of Eva Heyman, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl during the Holocaust. The project received approximately 1 billion exposures worldwide and won the 2020 Webby Award.

Ben-Dror Yemini

Ben-Dror Yemeni is an Israeli journalist. After a short term in the public service, as the advisor of the Minister of Immigration and the spokesman of the Ministry, Yemini began his career as a journalist and essayist. He has worked for the daily newspaper Maariv, and in Spring 2014 began writing for the daily Yedioth Ahronoth. His articles concerning the Israeli-Arab conflict and his comparative studies led him to become the most translated Israeli journalist and a widely invited speaker about the “Industry of Lies” against Israel.

Anetta Kahane

Anetta Kahane is a German left-wing journalist, author, and activist. In 1998, she founded the Amadeu Antonio Foundation which tries to combat xenophobia, antisemitism, and right-wing extremism. In 2012 she was awarded the Moses Mendelssohn prize for her work, donated by the Senate of Berlin.

Christina Hainzl

Dr. Christina Hainzl is a scientific researcher and the head of the Research Lab Democracy and Society in Transition at the Danube University in Krems, Austria. Her work focuses on antisemitism, political education as well as health and social policy.

Lukas Mandl

Lukas Mandl is an Austrian politician of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) who has been a Member of the European Parliament since November 2017 and was re-elected in 2019. After graduating from the University of Vienna with a degree in communication, he worked as a lecturer, writer and speaker.

Omri Attar

Omri Attar is the Acting Executive Director of the Israeli operations of ELNET. He acted as Chief Operations Officer at ELNET in 2016-19 and Chief of International Staff in 2015-16. He is the founder of the Europe Forum, a leading thinking group of organizations based in Europe and Israel, and former Chief Spokesperson of the IDC Herzliya Student Union. He holds an MA in Knowledge-based Policy, Educational, Social and Public Leadership, a BA in Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, and a Certificate of Third-Sector Management studies, as well as additional certification of Negotiation studies from Harvard Law School.

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Maram Stern

Maram Stern has been the Executive Vice President of the World Jewish Congress since October 2019, having served for three months prior as the interim CEO of the organization. Mr. Stern has extensive knowledge of and experience in Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, North America & South Africa. For over 15 years, he has nurtured relations with the government of the People’s Republic of China, and with other governments in South East Asia. In February 2004, Mr. Stern was decorated with the Golden Laurel Medal of the Republic of Bulgaria, and in September 2004 was appointed as Honorary Consul of Bulgaria in Belgium (Province de Liège).

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Laurence Weinbaum

Dr. Laurence Weinbaum is the Director General of World Jewish Congress-Israel and of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations which operates under its auspices. He is also the founding chief editor of its thrice-annual publication, The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs. Together with Prof. Dariusz Libionka, Dr. Weinbaum is the co-author of a book on Warsaw Ghetto Uprising as well as several other works on the Holocaust.

Ellie Hochenberg

Ellie Hochenberg is a Diplomatic correspondent for i24 NEWS based in Israel. She holds a MA degree in Counter Terrorism and Homland Security from IDC.

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Alana Baranov

Alana Baranov is a Steering Committee member of the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps, the flagship program of the World Jewish Congress, under the vision and leadership of WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. Originally from Zimbabwe, Alana is a freelance writer, researcher and social justice activist based in Durban, South Africa. Alana is a founding member of the Hate Crimes Working Group, a multi-sectoral network of civil society groups that advocate for hate crimes awareness and legislation, on which she sits on the Steering Committee as the representative of the Jewish community.

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Pola Nathusius

Pola Nathusius has been working as a journalist for 12 years, mostly in the fields of radio & podcast, TV, social media and also online. She works for ARD, i24NEWS, Vice and has lived in Israel several times, including with The Ernst Cramer & Teddy Kollek Fellowship. She is interested in covering topics such as social media & hate-speech, antisemitism & Jewish life, and feminism in her work. Currently, she works as an innovation manager, social media strategist and format developer at ida (an innovation & digital startup from ZDF digital and mdr).

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Sivan Felder

Sivan Felder eats, sleeps and breathes video. Born a consummate storyteller, Sivan has spent her career working in the video industry, and now serves as the co-founder and CMO of TwoHeads, a video marketing firm. She’s guided video strategies and campaigns for companies such as Cynet, Ourcrowd, Mixtiles, and Google Cloud. Her videos have won awards, raised thousands of dollars, and been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people all over the globe world. Her dream is to help the "startup nation" become the 'scale up nation' by teaching Israeli companies and startups how to harness the power of video to dominate their market.

Dana Porath

Dana Porath is the Director of the Digital Department in Yad Vashem's Communication Division. Dana has been the Director of the department since its inception in 1999. Under her leadership, Yad Vashem has expanded its online activities to include comprehensive websites in eight languages and a very active presence in Social Media including: Facebook, Twitter in five languages, Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube channels.

Samuel Kassow

Samuel Kassow, Professor of History at Trinity College, is the author of many studies on Russian and Jewish history including Who will write our history: rediscovering a hidden archive from the Warsaw Ghetto. He was part of the scholarly team that planned the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw and is currently engaged in a project organized by Yad Vashem to write a history of the Holocaust in Poland. He has been a visiting professor at several universities including Harvard, Toronto and Dartmouth. 

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Oren Nahari

Oren Nahari is the Foreign News Editor & Chief International Commentator of Walla News. He has been working as a Journalist, Commentator on International Affairs, Editor and Anchorman of TV and Radio Broadcasts, Writer, and Lecturer for over 35 years now. Nahari used to lead the Foreign News Desk of Israel's Broadcasting Authority (IBA). Also, he is one of the founders, producers and editors of innovative foreign news programs that are considered the most profound and appreciated in Israel: "Seeing the World", "Globus", "Global Coverage" and "The International Hour". He interviewed the likes of U.S. President George W. Bush, the Dalai Lama, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, S.A. President Nelson Mandela and writers such as Paulo Coelho and Malcolm Gladwell.

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is a German lawyer. She held the office of Minister of Justice twice and was a member of the German Bundestag for 23 years. Mrs. Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is Deputy Chairwoman of the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation for Freedom and Deputy Chairwoman of the Theodor Heuss Foundation. Since 2019, she has volunteered for the office of anti-Semitism commissioner for North Rhine-Westphalia. Most recently, she was elected honorary constitutional judge in Bavaria. 

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