Dr. Raquel Ukeles
Raquel Ukeles, Ph.D., is the Head of Collections of the National Library of Israel; from 2010-2020, she was Curator of the Islam and Middle East Collection. Ukeles received her BA from Princeton (1993) and MA and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2006, all in comparative Islamic and Jewish studies. She also studied Jewish law in Jerusalem and New York, and Islamic law and Arabic in Egypt, Morocco and the Netherlands. She has published and taught on a wide array of subjects related to comparative Jewish and Islamic traditions, medieval Islamic law, the history of Islamic manuscripts, Jewish intellectual history under Islam, Arab culture in Mandatory Palestine, and creating a shared society in Israel today. She currently lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three children.
Ambassador Mark Sofer
Ambassador Mark Sofer most recently served as Israel’s ambassador to Australia (2017-20). Prior to this, he served as the Deputy Director-General, Head of Asia and the Pacific, at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2007 to 2011, Amb. Sofer was Israel’s ambassador to India and non-resident ambassador to Sri Lanka. During the course of his 39-year career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other diplomatic posts he has held include Deputy Director-General, Head of Central Europe and Eurasia Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ambassador of Israel to Ireland; Head of the Division for Middle Eastern Economic Affairs; Deputy Consul General in New York; as well as posts in Norway and Peru. In the early 1990s, he also served as Policy Advisor to then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. From 2011-2014, Amb. Sofer served as President of the Jerusalem Foundation. He holds a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from the London School of Economics, and an M.A. in Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Robert Berman is the founder and director of the Halachic Organ Donor Society. He is the author of Min Taq Taq: A Collection of Arabic Idioms – Palestinian dialect and What Happens if I Miss a Kaddish: The Origin, Development and Putative Efficacy of Mourner’s Kaddish. Berman is a graduate of Harvard University (MPA), Baruch College (MBA), Yeshiva University (BA), Gruss Kollel and Yeshivat Hakotel. He has been published in New York Magazine, the Harvard Review, the Los Angeles Times, the Tablet, Ha’aretz, the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Week, Moment Magazine, the Times of Israel, and the Jerusalem Report.