Dan Meridor was born in Jerusalem in 1947, and holds a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He served in the Israel Defense Forces as a tank commander in the 1967 Six Day War and continued in the IDF reserves as a Captain. A lawyer by profession, he practiced law in Jerusalem from 1973-1982.
He served as Cabinet Secretary under Prime Ministers Menachem Begin (1982-83) and Yitzhak Shamir (1983-84). In 1984, he was elected to the Knesset. In the 11th Knesset (1984-88), he was a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. From 1988-92 he served as Minister of Justice and member of the Inner Cabinet.
In the 13th Knesset (1992-96), he was a member of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. In June 1996, Dan Meridor was appointed Minister of Finance, a position he held until his resignation in June 1997. In the 15th Knesset, he chaired the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (until August 2001). Dan Meridor served as Minister without Portfolio, responsible for national defense and diplomatic strategy in the Prime Minister’s Office from August 2001 until February 2003.
Meridor has been a Knesset observer to the Council of Europe. In February 2009, after a six-year hiatus, he was elected to the 18th Knesset on the Likud list, serving until 2013. In March 2009 Dan Meridor was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, serving until March 2013. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and he is the President of the Israeli Council of Foreign Relations.
He is married to economist Dr. Leora Meridor. They have four children.
David Witzthum was born in Petah-Tikva, Israel. His father immigrated from Berlin, his mother from Chernivtsi. He grew up (with his sister Orna) in Haifa and graduated from the Hebrew Reali School in 1966. After military service as a meteorologist in 1966-1969, he earned aB.A. in Political Science and International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1969–1972). A year later, he won a scholarship for graduate studies at the Collège d’Europe, in Bruges, Belgium, on European Integration, (Promotion “Mazzini”, 1974), and then went to Oxford University, England (political philosophy, 1974–1977, at Wolfson College). Later, Witzhum received his M.A. Degree from the Hebrew University (Political Science) and started research towards Ph.D. at the Hebrew University (2nd and final stage – of actual writing the dissertation on “the image of Germany in Israeli television, 1970–1995”). He serves on the Advisory Board of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations. Witzthum is married and has two children and one granddaughter. His wife Tsipora works for the classical music department of Israel Radio. The family lives near Jerusalem, in Mevaseret Zion.
Eva Illouz was born in Fes, Morocco, and moved to France at the age of ten. She received a BA in sociology, communication and literature in Paris, an MA in literature in Paris X Nanterre, an MA in communication from the Hebrew University, and received her PhD in communications and cultural studies at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. Her mentor was Professor Larry Gross, currently the head of the Annenberg School of Communications at USC. She has served as a visiting professor at Northwestern University, Princeton University, the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris (École des hautes études en sciences sociales ) and as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin). In 2006, Illouz joined the Center for the Study of Rationality, then headed by Professor Edna Ullman-Margalit. Her book Consuming the Romantic Utopia won the Honorable Mention for the Best Book Award at the American Sociological Association, 2000 (emotions section). Her book Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery won the Best Book Award, American Sociological Association, 2005 Culture Section. She delivered the 2004 Adorno lectures at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. In 2009, she was chosen by the German leading newspaper Die Zeit as one of the 12 thinkers most likely to “change the thought of tomorrow.” Her work has been translated in 15 languages.
Gadi Wolfsfeld holds the rank of full Professor of Communication at the Sammy Offer School of Communication at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. Previously, he held a joint appointment in political science and communication at the Hebrew University and served as the Chair of the department of communication. Professor Wolfsfeld was also elected to serve as chair of the political communication division of the American Political Science Association. Professor Wolfsfeld received his undergraduate degree from Hebrew University and his Ph.D. from M.I.T. He is originally from Philadelphia and has been living in Israel for over forty years. Professor Wolfsfeld is an expert on Israeli politics and the role of the press in the Arab-Israeli conflict. He has served as a political commentator for both the Israeli and international news media including Israeli television, the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, Fox News, and Al-Jazeera. He has also serves as a media consultant for a wide range of Israeli companies and organizations and in the past has advised the Israeli Defense Forces and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Professor Wolfsfeld has published dozens of articles on the topic and six books. His latest book is entitled: Making Sense of Media and Politics: Five Principles in Political Communication.
Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler
Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler is a Research Fellow at IDI, where she heads the Media Reform project and the Open Government project. Her work at IDI includes research on policy implementation. IDI Research Fellow Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler heads IDI’s Media Reform Project. She holds an LLB (summa cum laude) and PhD from the Law Faculty at Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2004), and spent a post-doctoral year at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University following the completion of her doctoral studies. Dr. Altshuler was a faculty member of the Political Science and Communications departments at Bar-Ilan University and at the Federman School of Public Policy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was also a visiting scholar at Brandeis University in 2007-2008 and at Harvard University in 2009-2010. During 2011, Dr. Altshuler headed the research and development department of the Second Authority for Radio and Television, which is the Israeli media regulator. Dr. Altshuler’s main academic interests are media and telecom regulation. She has published numerous articles and policy papers on matters of media and new media policy, including a book on The Implementation of the Israeli Freedom of Information Act (2009) and a book on Open Government Policy in the Digital Age (2011). She has also edited a book on online journalism in Israel (2008) and a book entitled Privacy in an Era of Change (2012). Dr. Altshuler is also interested in Hebrew literature and intertextuality. Her recent article “Jonah the prophet or Jonah the Dove: Intertextual reading of the Book of Jonah,” published in How Jonah Is Interpreted in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (2010), deals with feminist interpretation of the Bible.
As Director General of Mishkenot Sha’ananim, Mr. Moti Schwartz is overseeing the various activities of The Mishkenot Sha’ananim Conference Center, Guesthouse and Cultural Center. Prior to his position at Mishkenot Sha’ananin, Mr. Schwartz served as Deputy Director at Beit Hatfutsot – the Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, CEO at Ynet, Israel’s leading news portal, Director of content at Pelephone, Israel’s first mobile operator and VP at Jpost.com, Israel’s major English newspaper on-line.
Hirsh Goodman is a Senior Research Associate at the Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, where he directs the Bronfman Program on Information Strategy. Prior to joining the Jaffee Center in 2000, Goodman was the Vice President of the Jerusalem Post. In 1990 he founded the Jerusalem Report and served as its Editor-in-Chief for eight years. Between 1986 and 1989 he was the Strategic Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where he authored, with W. Seth Carus, The Future Battlefield and the Arab-Israel Conflict. From 1975 until 1986 Goodman was the Defense Correspondent of the Jerusalem Post, a contributing editor to U.S. News & World Report, a contributor to the New Republic, a special correspondent for the Sunday Times of London and a news analyst for CBS News. He continues to write a regular column, “My Word,” for the Jerusalem Report. Goodman lives in Jerusalem with his wife and four children.
Naava Mashiah is a former Israeli diplomat whom has been active in economic cooperation in the MENA region for over 20 years.
She established the company ME LINKS which focused on nurturing business relations in industries between Israel and her neighboring countries. M.E. Links specializes in regional economic cooperation and strives to connect businesses across geopolitical borders in transfer of technology in sectors such as renewable energies, water technologies, agriculture and medical fields. The countries in focus are Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, and UAE.
She is active in Track 2 discussions, (informal diplomacy) in conferences which take place in European capitals with influential figures from the MENA region.
Ms Mashiah is a founding Member and executive board member of the Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce, Tel Aviv, Israel.
She has authored the book IsraEL 2023: Closing the Circle, Xlibris Publishing UK. She has published articles about Middle Eastern affairs in Status magazine, Common Ground News, Khaleej Times, Daily News Egypt, ME Links has been featured in ‘Globes’. Her articles have been translated to Arabic, Indonesian, Urdu, French, Hebrew.
She is a member of the International Women’s Forum and the YPO-Young Presidents’ Organization, Alpine Chapter and the Geneva Writers Group.
Naava currently resides in Geneva, Switzerland and is CEO of a Swiss start up in the e-Health sector.
Gaby Rosenberg is the founder of G.R. Business Management and Development Ltd. The company is engaged in business development, entrepreneurship and consulting.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (EMMY). Rosenberg is the first Israeli, representing a private company, to be chosen to this prestigious international forum.
In December 2013 he joined my6sense Inc. as a Senior Adviser to the Board. My6sense is the leading Native Advertising platform provider, providing a turn-key, fully programmatic, white label SAAS platform to Ad-Networks, Media companies and Publishers who wish to create their own network.
In November 2011 he was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Best Broadband Television Ltd. The company changed its name to BestTV (2013) Ltd. It specializes in providing content and production services combined with comprehensive content management tools for video streaming over the internet.
Gaby was the President and Chief Executive Officer of JCS (Jerusalem Capital Studios Ltd.).
Gaby is married to Yael and they have three daughters, Lihi, Lori and Ronnie.