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Welcome to the Be'chol Lashon Speakers Bureau

We invite you to browse through the list of dynamic presenters who address a wide range of topics of interest to congregations, organizations, and communities across the country and around the world. The speakers include community leaders and pre-eminent scholars in history, philosophy, sociology, demography and other fields. They are African American, Latino, Asian, mixed-race Jewish men and women from the United States and around the world who are emissaries for racial and ethnic diversity in the Jewish community.

Speakers are available for lectures, concerts, or scholar-in-residence weekends. Fees vary.

For more information about booking a speaker please call 415-386-2604, email speakers@bechollashon.org.

Speakers

Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder


Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD, Rabbi in Residence at Be'chol Lashon, received her doctorate from Yale University. The recipient of many grants and fellowships for her work on Jewish food and women's history, in 2006 she was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem.


Rivka Amado

For years Rivka sang Ladino songs and played the piano informally, and sang in her synagogue choir in Jerusalem. Since moving to the Bay Area, she has dedicated much of her time to researching Sephardic culture and performing traditional Ladino music. Rivka earned her PhD from the University of Toronto


Sarah Aroeste


With Ancestral roots in Greece and Macedonia, American-born Sarah Aroeste works to reinvent Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) and Sephardic music for a new audience.


Alex Barnett


Alex Barnett's comedy is about family, specifically his family. As the White, Jewish husband of a Black woman (who converted to Judaism) and the father of a 2 year–old, Biracial son, he focuses his attention on the challenges of being a parent in a bad economy and the issues that confront interracial families.


Ruth Behar


Ruth Behar, PhD was born in Havana, Cuba, and grew up in New York. Ruth has worked as an ethnographer in Spain, Mexico, and Cuba, and is known for her humanistic approach to understanding identity, immigration, and the search for home in our global era.



Lior Ben–Hur


Lior Ben–Hur was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. In the last nine years his home base has been San Francisco where he has been teaching music, Hebrew and Jewish Identity classes in a variety of schools and congregations emphasizing on the importance of music in education.



Siona Benjamin


Siona Benjamin is an artist of Bene Israel Indian Jewish descent. Her lectures and workshops reflect her complex cultural background.




Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl


Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, senior cantor of Central Synagogue, NY, was born in Seoul, Korea and is the first Asian-American to be ordained as a rabbi and cantor.




Maria Ramos–Chertok


Maria Ramos–Chertok is a Latina Jew currently working on her debut novel, Rosie's Blues, a story about friendship, race, redemption and oneness.




Rabbi Romiel Daniel


Rabbi Romiel Daniel is of Bene Israel descent and president of the The Indian Jewish Congregation of USA. He is also a cantor, having studied at Yeshiva University.




Galeet Dardashti


Galeet Dardashti, PhD, Middle Eastern vocalist, composer and anthropologist, is the granddaughter of Persian singer, Yona Dardashti, and daughter of cantor Farid Dardashti.



Reuben 'Prodezra' Formey


Southern, Jewish Rap!? A Baal T'shuva, Prodezra Beats hails from Savannah, GA. An independent hiphop rapper/producer, he broke out big on the scene when he produced the track "Change" with Y-Love & DeScribe and G-dcast's biggest video for Rosh Hoshanah, "Shofar Callin."



Rabbi Capers Funnye


Rabbi Capers Funnye is the spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation, Chicago.




Gina Gold


African American humorist, filmmaker and stage artist Gina Gold grew up in a New York neighborhood thinking "oy vey" was something all black people said.


Jane Anna Gordon


Jane Gordon, PhD is Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at the University of Connecticut at Storrs.


Lewis R. Gordon


Lewis R. Gordon, PhD is professor of philosophy, African American studies, and Judaic studies at the University of Connecticut at Storrs.




Carolivia Herron


Professor Carolivia Herron, PhD is an author and educator best known for her controversial children's book, Nappy Hair, and recent book, Always An Olivia, about her Jewish ancestor.


Vanessa Hidary


Vanessa Hidary, AKA The Hebrew Mamita, is an inspired performance and spoken word artist and speaker, based on her experiences as a Sephardic Jew with close friends from different ethnic and religious backgrounds.


Ephraim Isaac


Ephraim Isaac PhD, of Ethiopian-Yemenite heritage, received his PhD from Harvard University and is the director of the Institute of Semitic Studies in Princeton, NJ.



Walter Isaac


Walter Isaac, PhD actively promotes interracial dialogue in the American Jewish community. As a professor, philosopher and rabbi, he gives lectures and presentations on how African Americans have re-imagined Judaism for the 21st century.



Kenny Kahn


Camp Be'chol Lashon Co-Director, is the son of a Jewish mother and black father, is drawn to the message and mission of Be'chol Lashon, and has been involved since its founding. Kahn is exceptional in relating to young Jews navigating their multiple identities.



Andre E. Key


Andre E. Key, PhD earned his doctorate in African American Studies from Temple University. He engages in historical and ethnographic research on Black Jews.



Helen Kim


Helen Kim, PhD is Associate Professor of Sociology at Whitman College. Her research with co-author and husband, Noah Leavitt, focuses on intermarriage and family dynamics among Jewish Americans and Asian Americans.



Samson Koletkar


As a first generation Indian immigrant in America, Samson brings a refreshingly new approach to cerebral, witty, thought–provoking, clean humor with a global perspective.



Benjamin Kweskin


Benjamin Kweskin (MA, International Studies; MA, Political Science) specializes in the histories, cultures, and politics of the Middle East and has been researching and writing for over fifteen years. He is passionate about including more knowledge about "esoteric" Jewish communities historically and presently, particularly Mizrahi communities.


Sandra Lawson


Sandra Lawson, a former military police officer turned personal trainer, wasn't religious about anything, except maybe fitness. Now in rabbinical school, Lawson reaches audiences through her innovative Snapchat Torah Lessons.


Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber


Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber, of Yemenite descent, holds a PhD in Communication, and a Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. She is a professor of Journalism and Media at Suffolk University.


MaNishtana


In Life of a Unicorn, his latest publication, MaNishtana tells the story of growing up Black, Orthodox, and Jewish, with an identity seen as multiple and conflicting, but really being just one whole.


Shahanna McKinney Baldon


Born and raised in Wisconsin, USA, Shahanna McKinney Baldon is a former classroom teacher who has served in educational leadership roles in Jewish settings including synagogue Education Director and Jewish federation high school program director.


Rabbi Juan Mejía


Rabbi Juan Mejia, born and raised in Columbia, lives in the Southwest and is helping spanish speaking Jews overcome past persecution and rejoin the Jewish people.


Avishai Mekonen


Yeganyahu Avishai Mekonen’s latest film, 400 Miles to Freedom, is about his dangerous journey from Ethiopia to Israel to the United States.



Rahel Musleah


Rahel Musleah tells the story of her Calcutta Jewish family that traces its roots to 17th-century Baghdad through multi-media song, story and slide programs.


Anthony (Mordechai-Tzvi) Russell


Anthony (Mordechai–Tzvi) Russell is an African–American Jew who has worked primarily in the field of opera for the past fifteen years. More recently, he has devoted himself in the repertoire of Sidor Belarsky (1898–1975), one of the twentieth century's most prolific performers of cantorial music, Chassidic nigunim and Yiddish art song.


Lindsey Newman


Lindsey is biracial and adopted and grew up in an Ashkenazi Jewish family on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. As the program manager excited to advance the cause for Jewish diversity at Be'chol Lashon.


Aaron Samuels

Aaron Samuels is a Pushcart-nominated poet, a TEDx speaker, and an acclaimed facilitator of critical identity discussions. After declining the advice of a teacher to not break meter, Aaron went on to become one of the premiere performance poets in the country.


Lacey Schwartz

Lacey Schwartz, Harvard graduate and Bechol Lashon’s National Outreach Director, is directing a courageous documentary, Outside the Box, about her mixed-race identity.


Joshua Silverstein

Joshua Reuben Silverstein is an award winning actor, comedic writer, beatboxer and educator. Beatboxing since the age of 5, Joshua has become the West Coast's most sought after beatboxer.


Rabbi Gershom Sizomu


Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, the leader of the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda, is the first black rabbi from sub-Saharan Africa to be ordained in an American seminary.



Tema Smith

The proud daughter of an Ashkenazi Torontonian and a Bahamian New Yorker, Tema is committed to making the Jewish community more accessible to everyone, especially interfaith and interracial families.


Sarah Spencer

Sarah Spencer, LMFT Camp Be'chol Lashon Co-Director, earned her Masters in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Her marriage and family therapy practice is focused on adolescent identity development and multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religious blended families.


Isaama Stoll

Isaama Stoll is a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. Isaama is passionate about questions of Jewish diversity and the importance of diversity in the rabbinate.


Diane Kaufman Tobin

Diane Kaufmann Tobin is the founder of Be’chol Lashon (In Every Tongue), a community-building initiative of the Institute that seeks to grow and strengthen the Jewish community through a global understanding of the Jewish people.


Michael W. Twitty

Michael W. Twitty is a recognized culinary historian, community scholar, and living history interpreter focusing on historic African American food and folk culture as well as a seasoned Jewish educator.


Rabbi Manny Viñas

Rabbi Rigoberto Emmanuel Viñas born in Cuba of converso or anusim heritage, is rabbi of Lincoln Park Jewish Center and founder of Torat Emet.


Robin Washington

A nationally award–winning journalist, Washington has appeared on National Public Radio, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC News, CNN and the BBC. He was most recently the top editor of Minnesota's Duluth News Tribune and was previously a columnist for the Boston Herald.


Marcella White-Campbell

Prior to working with Be'chol Lashon, Marcella was an editor, copywriter, social media and content manager, and marketing consultant with Silicon Valley startups in the parenting and education spaces.


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