Advisors

Dr. James J. Zogby

Founder and President of the Arab American Institute
Member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee

Dr James J Zogby co-founded the Arab American Institute in 1985 and continues to serve as its president He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee and was twice

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Reverend Dr. Serene Jones

President of Union Theological Seminary
President of the American Academy of Religion

A highly respected scholar and public intellectual, the  Rev Dr Serene Jones is the 16th President of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York The first woman to head the

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Rabbi Amy Eilberg

First Female Rabbi in the Conservative Movment
Author and Interfaith Mediator

Rabbi Amy Eilberg is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America She currently serves as the director of the Pardes Rodef Shalom

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Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Founder of Ms Magazine
Author & Activist

Letty Cottin Pogrebin is an author, activist, and national lecturer
 A founding editor and writer for Ms Magazine, Pogrebin is also the author of eleven books, including her latest novel, Single Jewish Male Seeking

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Sidney Topol

Innovator and Entrepreneur
Peace Activist

Sidney Topol was born in 1924 in Dorchester, Massachusetts His parents were Yiddish speaking immigrants from Poland Topol enlisted in the Army Air Corp during WWII, where he was trained as a radar officer

Topol

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Aziz Abu Sarah

Founder and CEO Mejdi Tours
Peace Builder & Explorer

Aziz Abu Sarah is an entrepreneur, speaker, peace builder and author He is a National Geographic Explorer and a TED Fellow In 2009, Aziz co-founded MEJDI Tours, a cultural exploration vehicle for an ever-changing

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Board Members

Joseph Montville, Chair

Originator of “track two” diplomacy used by the USA State Department

Joseph V Montville is the originator of “Track Two,” nonofficial diplomacy He is Director of the Program on ‘Healing Historical Memory,’ School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, at George Mason University He is also a Senior Associate and Chair of the Goldziher Prize Committee in the Center for the Study of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Relations at Merrimack College

Montville founded the Preventive Diplomacy Program at Washington, DC’s Center for Strategic and International Studies in 1994 and directed it until 2003 Before that he spent 23 years as a diplomat with posts in the Middle East and North Africa He also worked in the State Department’s Bureaus of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs and Intelligence and Research, where he was chief of the Near East Division and director of the Office of Global Issues

Montville serves as Director of the Abrahamic Family Reunion, the Esalen Institute project to promote Muslim-Christian-Jewish

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Mubarak Awad

First Palestinian Leader of Non-Violent Action

Dr Mubarak Awad is a Palestinian-American psychologist and an advocate of nonviolent resistance He has been named by Newsweek, and other publications as “The Palestinian Gandhi” Awad is an Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at the School of International Service, American University He is the Founder and national President of the Youth Advocate Program, which provides alternative foster care and counseling to “at risk” youth and their families He is also the Founder of the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem, and was deported by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1988 after being jailed for organizing activities involving nonviolent civil disobedience Dr Awad has since formed Nonviolence International, which works with various movements and organizations across the globe

Degrees

PhD, psychology, International Graduate School, MS, education, St Francis University, BA, social work and sociology, Bluffton University

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Kathleen Peratis

Co-Chair Middle East North Africa Advisory Committee and board member emerita at Human Rights Watch

Kathleen Peratis is co-chair of the Middle East North Africa division of Human Rights Watch; an emerita member of HRW’s board of directors; founding chair of HRW’s Women’s Rights division; and helped to create and implement HRW’s policy on officially tolerated violence against women and reproductive freedom under international human rights law She is also one of the founders of J Street and a member of the board of directors of The Jewish Daily Forward Ms Peratis was on the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union for many years and was its president from 1988 to 1993 She joined the board of the New Israel Fund in 1993 and was its Vice President in North America until 1999

Peratis is a partner at Outten & Golden LLP in New York She has practiced employment law for over 25 years including employment contracts and separation agreements At Outten &

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Maya Berry

Executive Director of the Arab American Institute

Maya Berry is Executive Director of the Arab American Institute, steering the Institute’s policy agenda In 1996 she established AAI’s first Government Relations department, which she led for 5 years before becoming Legislative Director for House Minority Whip David Bonior, where she developed policies on international relations, human rights, trade, and immigration Berry started her career in public service working for ACCESS, the nation’s oldest and largest Arab American human services non-profit Berry is also the founder of MidAmr Group, a private consulting firm dedicated to enhancing US-Arab economic, political, and cultural cooperation

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Steve Apkon & Marcina Hale

Film Makers

Stephen Apkon (Director and Producer) is a filmmaker and social entrepreneur He is the Founder and former Executive Director of the Jacob Burns Film Center, a non-profit film and education center located in Pleasantville, NY Opened in 2001, the JBFC has become one of the premier film institutions in the United States, with a Board of Directors that includes Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Jonathan Demme among others Disturbing the Peace is his directorial debut He is a Co-Producer of Presenting Princess Shaw, directed by Ido Haar (distributed by Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media), Producer of I’m Carolyn Parker, directed by Jonathan Demme and Enlistment Days, also directed by Haar, and Executive Producer of Planetary Mr Apkon is the author of The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in April 2013 – foreword by Martin Scorsese

Marcina Hale (Co-Producer)

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Nizar Farsakh

Middle East Expert, Farsakh Training & Consulting, LLC

Nizar Farsakh is a trainer, private consultant, and public speaker who focuses his work around leadership, negotiation and advocacy He used to work at the Project On Middle East Democracy in Washington DC where he focused on building the advocacy capacity of Arab civil society Before that he served as the General Director of the PLO Delegation in Washington DC for two years Between 2003 and 2008 Farsakh served as an adviser to senior Palestinian leaders including President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and various ministries He is currently involved in several non-violence initiatives in Palestine and the US

Nizar holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, a Masters in International Boundary Studies from King’s College London and BA in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut

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Don Raphael

Chief Executive Officer and Director at Italfoods

As a member of J Street’s San Francisco Bay Area Executive chapter, Don Raphael has been actively involved in political advocacy in the US for a pro-peace and two-state solution  In addition, in 2016, he became a member of the Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue group in San Francisco, and this work, along with numerous other endeavors in community events and activism, has fueled his desire to gain greater involvement in communal dialogue, and to work more diligently toward the advocacy for peace in this conflict

Raphael worked as a CPA for Grant Thornton in the early 1980’s In 1983 he became the Chief Financial Officer in the start-up of Descente America and Arena North America, makers of performance sports apparel, and continued in that organization through the late 1990’s Since 1999, and to the present he has been the Chief Executive Officer and a Director, at Italfoods, a locally owned

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Ann Berdy

Ann is an entrepreneur and activist philanthropist She built a successful commercial real estate company and now applies her resources to nurturing the ecosystem of Palestinian and Israeli activists transforming the current inequities and injustice through nonviolent initiatives  Ann’s vision includes a world where conflict is perceived as an opportunity to nurture relationships and cultivate community
Ann holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from New York University She is on the Board of Friends of Taghyeer Movement, Inside the Middle East at the Eisenhower Institute, the Biomimicry Institute, and co-facilitates the Middle East Peace Funding Circle of the Threshold Foundation
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