Guests

Linda Menuhin Abdul Aziz - Speaker, Author & Journalist on Jewish Refugees From Arab Countries

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Linda Menuhin Abdul Aziz serves as a commentator in Middle East Affairs both in Israeli and Arab media. Entrenched in the Arab culture, she reinvented herself in Israel, rising from an Iraqi refugee to a senior journalist. Her unique background, accentuated by a worldwide network, provides her with an unprecedented scope of understanding both Arab and Israeli cultures. Having positioned herself on the seam line, between Israel and the Arab world, she provides a new perspective, often ignored by the media, yet indispensable for understanding the misconception between Arabs and Israelis. Her writings are essential for policy makers aiming at resolving the conflict. She has won a media prize from the Next Century Foundation for outstanding contribution for peace in the media. Throughout her career, Linda had the opportunity to influence public policy, primarily through her work at the Ministry of Public Security and the Union of Local Authorities where she served as a spokeswoman. Previously, she had worked as a Senior Journalist working with The Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and eventually she embarked on a mission to educate both Israelis and Arabs on the conflict and one another. She writes tri-lingual opinionated columns and articles in the Arab and Israeli press. Linda fled from Iraq to Israel when she was in her 20s. Her father, an Iraqi Jew was a highly respected attorney in Baghdad when he was abducted in 1972 by the notorious Iraqi State police or Mukhabarat, never to be heard from again. Despite her personal tragedy, she became a relentless activist for peace. She gained her B.A in Islamic Culture, Arabic and English Literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Linda is the recipient of a prestigious scholarship from the Wexner Foundation and holds two masters degrees, one from the Kennedy School of Government in Public Administration and the other in Mass Communications from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Ambassador Alan Baker - Former Israeli Ambassador To Canada & Member of The Levy Report Committee

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Prior to his term of duty as Israel’s ambassador to Canada between 2004-2008, Alan Baker held the post of Legal Adviser and Deputy Director-General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1996. In this and previous capacities in Israel Government service, he has been actively involved in the Middle-East peace negotiations with all Israel’s neighbors. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Peace Treaties and other agreements with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinians.  Throughout his professional career, Ambassador Baker has represented Israel in international conferences and negotiations in various fields of international law. He served as Israel’s representative to the Legal Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, to the preparatory committees and conferences involved in the establishment of the International Criminal Court and to numerous bodies involved in all fields of international law. He has written several articles on such matters. Between 1985-1989 he was seconded by the Government of Israel to the United Nations in New York where he served as a senior legal adviser to the UN.  Ambassador Baker studied law at University College London, United Kingdom, and has a Masters Degree in International Law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is married and has three sons. He is also a musician. Alan Baker retired from government service in February 2009 and is presently an attorney at the Tel Aviv law firm of Moshe, Bloomfield, Kobo, Baker & Co. In January 2012 he was appointed by Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu as member of The Levy Committee which compiled a detailed and lengthy Report on the Legal Status of Building in the Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria.

David Nekrutman - Executive Director of The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation (CJCUC) Efrat, Israel

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David Nekrutman is a Columnist for The Jerusalem Post Christian Edition and radio personality for Frontpage Jerusalem, David currently serves as the Executive Director for The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation (CJCUC) in Efrat, Israel. In this capacity, Mr. Nekrutman is breaking new ground in leading the first ever Orthodox Jewish institution to dialogue with Christians on a religious and theological basis. Prior to his work with CJCUC, Mr. Nekrutman served as the Director of Christian Affairs for the Consulate General of Israel in New York. He was instrumental in the successful launching of The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, The Israel Experience, The Christian Jerusalem Day Banquet, and The Watchman on the Wall program with Reverend Robert Stearns of Eagles Wings, resulting in millions of Christians praying & supporting Israel and the Jewish people.  Prior to his calling in the field of Jewish-Christian relations, Mr. Nekrutman’s professional career ranged from working for the City Council of New York as a Legislative Analyst to e-marketing for a major high tech company in Israel. He received a Bachelors of Arts in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2013, Mr. Nekrutman was accepted into Oral Roberts University’s Theology program, taking a Masters of Arts in Biblical Literature with a concentration in Judaic-Christian Studies. Mr. Nekrutman resides in Netanya with his wife and three sons.

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