* This is a partial listing of speakers from both past and upcoming programs.
Availability for the 2015 program will be finalised in early November.

  • Oded Borowski
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    Oded Borowski has been teaching at Emory University since 1977. Born in British Mandatory Palestine in 1939, he was a member of Kibbutz Lahav, in the northeastern Negev.  While at Lahav, he was engaged in agriculture, growing field crops and fruit trees, and herding sheep and cattle. During that time, Borowski studied at the Absalom Institute for Homeland Studies in Tel Aviv, an institute dedicated to the study of all aspects of the land including geology, botany, archeology, history and culture, among other things.

    Borowski continued his studies in Detroit where he received a BHL (Bachelors of Hebrew Letters) from the Midrasha/College of Jewish Studies, and a BA in Anthropology and History from Wayne State University. He received his MA/PHD in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His dissertation, which became his first book, deals with agriculture during the Iron Age in Israel. Borowski participated in archeological excavations since the early 1970s (Gezer, Dan, Ashkelon, Beth Shemesh), and in 1976 helped initiate the Lahav Research Project that has been engaged in excavations and survey in Tel Halif and its environs.  Presently, Borowski is co-director of Phase III and directs Phase IV of the project. Upon arrival at Emory, Dr. Borowski joined the Romance Languages Department, where he founded both the Hebrew and Arabic language programs. In 1988 under his direction, Emory had created a new department named Near Eastern Studies, which today is Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies. Currently, Professor Borowski teaches classes on the undergraduate and graduate level. His courses include: Archaeology and the Bible, Daily Life in Ancient Israel, Archaeology of Jerusalem, Exodus from Egypt and Settlement of Canaan, and Ancient Israel¿s Neighbors.
  • Aaron Demsky
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    Aaron Demsky is a professor of biblical history and the founder of the Project for the Study of Jewish Names at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. He has published widely on Hebrew and Semitic epigraphy. His knowledge, gentle demeanour, and scholarship make him an outstanding presenter and addition to our team. Make sure you catch his presentation of the "Beit HaTekia".
  • Norma Franklin
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    Dr. Norma Franklin is a field archaeologist who is happiest with complex stratigraphy. Other interests include ancient building techniques, water systems, and technology – old and new. Her research has focused on the three key cities of the Northern Kingdom of Israel: Samaria, Megiddo and Jezreel. On behalf of Tel Aviv University she excavated at Jezreel in 1990 and in 1992 became a founding member of the Megiddo Expedition, resigning in 2011 in order to launch the Jezreel Expedition. She is currently a Research Associate at the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, Israel and an Associate Fellow of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.
    LandMinds Interview with Dr. Norma Franklin
    - March 13, 2012 - Part I
    LandMinds Interview with Dr. Norma Franklin
    - March 13, 2012 - Part II
  • Yuval Gadot
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    Is a research archaeologist at the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University. Obtained his PhD 2004 on the “Continuity and change: the transition between the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age in Israel central coastal plain”. The work included the first full publication of the excavations at Tel Aphek (see Aphek-Antipatris II) and a regional study of trends in the material culture as they understood in relation to historical Yuval is Currently directing and co-directing a number of field excavations and publication projects and he is the archaeological director of the 'Reconstructing Ancient Israel: The Exact and Life Sciences Perspective (Funded by the European Research Council). Current Projects Exploring Ancient Jerusalem: Excavations in Areas D3  The Valley of the King Project: Jerusalem's Rural Hinterland during the Iron, Persian and Early Hellenistic Period: Excavation and Publication Project The Lautenschlager Azekah Expedition The Ramat Rahel Expedition Reconstructing Ancient (Biblical) Israel: The Exact and Life Sciences Perspective Field of Interest The Archaeology of Jerusalem Landscape Archaeology Environmental Archaeology Archaeology of the Late Bronze and Iron Ages Micro Archaeology and Macro History Archaeology and the Public
    CLICK HERE to watch a video with Yuval Gadot
  • Ari Greenspan
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    Ari Greenspan, DMD
    Dr. Greenspan is a co-founder of the Ptil Tekhelet Association. He is a US trained dentist, with a practice in Jerusalem. He is a mohel, shochet and sofer, and has worked for more than 30 years on collecting Jewish traditions and mesorot from far flung Jewish communities. He is a frequent contributor to Mishpacha magazine, has a column on Jewish tradition in Otiyot, a children’s hebrew magazine and writes extensively for other journals. Dr. Greenspan has been producing commercial Judaic art for 25 years enjoying wood metal and glass as his media.
    Scholar in Residence
    He has lectured around the world in many synagogues and Jewish schools. Some places include, San Antonio Texas, LA, NY, Chicago, St Louis, Connecticut, FLorida, Toronto, London, Germany, Bulgaria, Croatia, Sarajevo, Addis Ababa and Israel.
    Multimedia and hands-on presentations include:
    Tekhelet, Halachic Archeology, Halachic Adventuring, Mesorah of Exotic Kosher Animals, Search for the Perfect Etrog, History of Matzah, Anussim and Halacha and many others
    LandMinds Interview with Ari Greenspan - Aug. 16 2011 (Part I)
    LandMinds Interview with Ari Greenspan - Aug. 16 2011 (Part II)
    LandMinds Interview with Ari Greenspan - Aug. 16 2011 (Part III)
  • Eve Harow
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    Eve has transformed her singular passion for Israel into a vocation, through guiding visitors across the country as a licensed Israeli Tour guide, her radio broadcasts on Israel National Radio and Voice of Israel, and as a popular guest speaker and Israeli spokesperson in many global media forums.

    She has been involved in Israel advocacy since soon after her Aliya from California in 1988, where she earned a Master’s degree with honors in Psychology from Pepperdine University.  Eve is also a graduate of Bar Ilan’s Leadership Program for Religious Women and the American Jewish Committee’s Course for Building Tolerance in Israeli Society.

    Eve is the Director of Tourism for the One Israel Fund; on the Board of Governors of Ariel University; Member of the Prime Minister’s Council for the Commemoration of Rechavam (Ghandi) Zeevi; a member of the JNF Speaker's Bureau and the Board of CAMERA's Israel affiliate Presspectiva and a former councilwoman in Efrat, where she and her physician husband have raised 7 children.  
    Eve's talks on Israel are usually a "breath of fresh air" and an "insider's view". Her love is Israel is personal; it is about old and new together, about understanding our past and recognizing modern miracles. She goes beyond the typical political rhetoric to discuss the people, the land and how they are intrinsically connected. 

  • Oded Lipschits
    Oded Lipschits was born in 1963 and he is a professor for Jewish history in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. Oded also serves as the the Director of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University and the head of the program of Ancient Israel Studies, and as the director Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition. His Ph.D. dissertation dealt with the Province of Judah in the sixth century BCE (The Babylonian Period), analyzing the archaeological data and the Biblical narratives in order to reconstruct the historical reality of that era. The second project lead by Prof. Lipschits is the administrative system of Judah during the eighth to second centuries BCE, centered along the excavations at Ramat Rahel (in the area of Jerusalem), where the cooperated Tel-Aviv and Heidelberg University project unearthed a monumental administrative center. Nowadays, Prof. Lipschits is leading several research projects dealing with the Judean Lowland, surrounding the ongoing project at Tel Azekah. These projects and more were published in numerous books and papers.

    Oded lives with his wife Yael and their four (!) children in the beautiful Galilee in northern Israel. In many respects, he is the "father" of many M.A. and Ph.D. students, who worked at Ramat Rahel and who are now involved with the Azekah project.
  • Aren Maeir
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    Aren Maeir is a professor at Bar Ilan University and director of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project ([1]). Born in 1958 in Rochester, New York, USA, he moved to Israel in 1969 and has lived there since. Following his service in the Israel Defense Forces (where he reached the rank of captain), he did his undergraduate and graduate studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (PhD 1997 summa cum laude), and did a post-doctorate (2002-2003) at the (now defunct) Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT. He has been teaching at Bar-Ilan University since 1992.[1]
    He has participated in, and directed, numerous archaeological excavations in Israel, including at the following sites:
    Jerusalem, Hazor, Yoqneam, Tell Qasile, Beth-Shean, and since 1996, at Tell es-Safi/Gath. He is married to Adina (née Hartman), and they have three sons (and a female Labrador Retriever).
    His expertise lies in the Bronze and Iron Age cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean, with special emphasis on those of the Ancient Levant. Among the topics that he has studied are: ancient trade; metallurgy; pottery production and provenience; scientific applications in archaeology; archaeological survey; the archaeology of
    Jerusalem; The Middle Bronze Age of the Levant; chronology of the 2nd Millennium BCE; the Sea Peoples and the Philistines; relations between Egypt and the Levant; ancient weapons and warfare; ancient cult and religion.
    Between 2005 and 2007 he served as the Chairman of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology (
    [2]) at Bar-Ilan University. Along with Prof. Steve Weiner of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, he initiated and co-directed the now defunct joint Bar-Ilan University/Weizmann Institute of Science program in Archaeological Science.
    Since 1996 he has directed the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project, excavating the ancient site of
    Tell es-Safi, which is identified as Canaanite and Philistine Gath (one of the five cities of the Philistines mentioned in the Bible, the home of Goliath).
    Maier has said that the Biblical story of
    Samson includes the features of the two pillars to which Samson was chained, and that these pillars are "a known design element in Philistine temple architecture."[2]
    Click Here to watch a clip with Prof. Maier
  • Bob Cargill
    Assistant Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at The University of Iowa. He is a biblical studies scholar, classicist, archaeologist, author, and digital humanist. His research includes study in the Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, literarycriticism of the Bible and the Pseudepigrapha, and the Ancient Near East. He has appeared as an expert on numerous television documentaries and specials and is an advocate for social justice and public higher education. He previously worked and taught at UCLA.

    TOPIC: Sensationalism in Archaeology
  • Steven Fine
    Steven Fine (born 1958), historian of Judaism in the Greco-Roman World, is the Dr. Pinkhos Churgin Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University. He is the director of the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project and of the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies. Fine is a founding editor of Images: A Journal of Jewish Art and Visual Culture.

    Ph.D, Jewish History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1993; MA, Art History and Museum Studies, University of Southern California, 1984); BA in Religious Studies (Jewish Studies emphasis), University of California, Santa Barbara (1979).

    Thought and approaches
    A cultural historian, Fine's research focuses on relationships between the literature of ancient Judaism, art and archaeology. Fine’s blend of history, rabbinic literature, archaeology and art, together with deep engagement with historiography and contemporary culture, is expressed in a broad range of publications.[1] He is the author of academic monographs, museum catalogs, over seventy academic articles and even a book for children.
  • Haim Gittler
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    Haim Gitler was born in Mexico in 1962 and immigrated to Israel in 1974. He is married and has two sons. He did his BA and MA studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and PhD at Nicolaus Copernicus University in ToruĊ„, Poland.

    He has been working at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem from 1987 and became its Curator of Numismatics in 1994. Since then he has been in charge of preparing the permanent Coin Galleries in 1994 and 2010 as well as several numismatic temporary exhibitions in 1997, 2004 and 2012. Thanks to his worldwide contacts the numismatic collection of the Museum has grown extensively, from circa 14,000 coins too more than 37,000 items.

    In 2013, Dr. Gitler became the Tamar and Teddy Kollek Chief Curator of Archaeology of the Israel Museum.

    Haim has been a member of Archeological expeditions in Israel and Jordan and has published numerous articles on the coins found at the excavations of the Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem; Ashkelon, the Ancient Boat in the Sea of Galilee and Har Adar in Israel as well as Mount Nebo, Umm al–Rasas – Mayfa’ah and Madaba excavations in Jordan.

    He has written three books in collaboration with other scholars and edited the Sylloge of the Islamic Coins of the Israel Museum as well as the exhibition catalogue of White Gold: Revealing the World’s Earliest Coins. His 64 articles focus mainly on numismatic matters but deal with historical implications, iconographic aspects, metallurgical analysis, quantification examinations and statistical analysis of the coins under discussion. Other topics, which he has written about, include papers on hacksilber, coin dies; clay bullae from the excavations of Petra; weights; and magical amulets.

    His main field of interest are the coinages of Persian Period Palestine, however, he has published articles about Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusaders and Modern time coinages as well.

    From 2005 he acts as the President of the Israel Numismatic Society and founded its journal Israel Numismatic Research in 2006. He teaches Numismatics at the Tel Aviv University and is a Member of the Committee of the Bank of Israel for the Planning of Coins, Banknotes and Commemorative Coins.

    Haim received twice the C.M. Kraay Scholarship from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, was invited to be the visiting scholar of the Summer Graduate Seminar of the American Numismatic Society, New York, was the visiting Scholar at the Sir Asher Joel Foundation, Macquarie University Department of Ancient History and was awarded the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation Scholarship at the Berlin State Museums. In Israel he was awarded the Reuben Hecht Fellowship for Advanced Studies in Numismatics, twice The Weizmann Institute of Science Grant for the Cooperation between the Sciences and Archeology and twice the grant of The Ancient Israel program of the Department of Archeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University.

    He has presented papers in numerous congresses and has been invited to lecture in Universities and Museums worldwide.

    His hobbies include photography (he has done three one man show exhibitions and several group exhibitions), soccer (he his the manager of two amateur teams and plays in three teams) and tennis.
    LandMinds interview with Dr. Chaim Gittler (2012)
  • Yigal Levin
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    Dr Yigal Levin lectures on the history, archaeology and historical geography at the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel, at Bar-Ilan University and at several other Israeli institutions. He has published several studies on the history of the Land of Israel during the Persian Period and on the Book of Chronicles, especially its genealogies. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/author/yigal-levin#sthash.8kDPcYmc.dpuf
    LandMinds interview with Dr. Yigal Levin (2011)
  • Jim Long
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    In 1996 Jim (with his wife Carol) formed Lightcatcher Productions in Dallas, Texas, allowing them to pursue their love of filmmaking, in consonance with their interests in history and archaeology. Their resume includes commercial, industrial, documentary and feature film experience.

    Jim served as one of the producers for the Fox-Lorber series Quest: Search for the Ark of the Covenant shot on location in Israel. Under the Lightcatcher Productions banner, Jim and Carol have produced:
    • Treasures of the Copper Scroll
    • Riddle of the Exodus
    • The Ezekiel Airship

    Jim spent over 25 years in broadcasting, serving as producer for the highly rated Mark Davis Show on WBAP radio and a wide variety of other media experience. Today he is a frequent guest on radio talk-shows, and lectures around the world. Carol is a professional photographer and graphic artist and is currently the driving force behind Lightcatcher Books.
    Watch Video Here…
  • Barnea Levi Selavan
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    ...native of Chicago, Illinois, worked in public relations for many years, primarily for the Jerusalem Reclamation Project in the Old City of Jerusalem. He received rabbinic ordination from the late Rabbi Y. Ruderman of the Ner Israel College in Baltimore and from the Hebrew Institute of California. Rabbi Selavan recently completed his undergraduate degree in archaeology and received his "teudat chofer" (excavator’s credential). He is currently working on his Masters degree and is a sought-after lecturer, tour guide and educator. He specializes in Jerusalem’s Old City and the Western Wall excavations, and is the author of the successful book, “Tzaddik's Guide to Jerusalem's Old City.” Selavan also serves also serves as co-host of LandMinds - an international internet podcast (formerly broadcast live on Israel National Radio).

    Barnea Selavan working with teachers in San Diego 2014

    Barnea Selavan speaking at KINS in Chicago 2012

  • David Willner
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    ...formerly of Los Angeles, grew up on the fringe of Hollywood. He earned an MA Ed from Loyola Marymount University, specialising in Marriage Family and Child Counselling, and has worked extensively in informal Jewish education. Willner, who studied at the Hebrew Institute of California, has directed programs and projects for NCSY, JCCA, the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles, and the Jewish Agency in Israel. He has taught both in Israel and the Diaspora. The founder of Mountain High Productions, a company providing graphic design work and media consulting services, he brings a wealth of experience in media and education to Foundation Stone's ongoing activities. Willner also serves as producer and co-host of LandMinds - an internet radio show (formerly on Israel National Radio - Arutz 7), and now an independently produced international podcast. He lives in Efrat with his wife and children.
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