Hernan Brizuela is a Tango dancer and Tango teacher from Mendoza, Argentina, known in NYC for his tanguero style. At the age of seven he began an intensive study of Argentinean folklore dance with Monica Maturano and at 10 he received his first tango lesson from his mother. Hernán has taught and performed at various festivals, milongas and studios in New York and Massachusetts and most recently in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and Argentina. He was a principal dancer in the off-Broadway dance play Let's Speak Tango and choreographed and starred in the short film Gardenias. He performed in the past four productions led by Maestro Romulo Larrea, Tango First Century, Spotlight on Tango, TANGOS: from Gardel to Piazzolla and TANGO for lovers across the United-States, Canada and Europe. Hernán travels between New York, Boston, Buenos Aires, and Europe to teach and perform Tango.
Thomas Doherty, professor of American studies at Brandeis University since 1990, is a cultural historian with a special interest in Hollywood cinema who has also taught and lectured overseas as a Fulbright scholar. In 2005, he received recognition as an Academy Film Scholar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Doherty is the author of several highly regarded books, including Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950s;Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture and World War II; Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934; Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism and American Culture; and Hollywood's Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration. In October 2013, NCJF mounted a special event in honor of the publication of Doherty's most recent book, Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939 (2013).
Anita Flejter was born in Poland and competed in International Standard and Latin competitions In Europe. In 2004, after moving to New York City, she discovered her true love–Argentine Tango. She has since trained with world-renowned dancers Cesar Coelho, Roberto Herrera, Chicho Fromboli y Juana Sepuldeva, Gustavo Naveira y Giselle Anne, Joanna Copez, Mariana Flores y Edwardo Capussi, Fabian Salaz, Guillermina Quiroga, and many others. Together with Hernan Brizuela, she is a co-owner an co-founder of Ultimate Tango Dance School, Adelante Studios, and Co-Owner of Stepping Out Studios in New York, NY.
Valéry Freland, 46, is Consul General of France in Boston. He is a graduate of the French Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, the French Ecole Nationale d’administration, and has a Master’s Degree in Law. He entered the the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1997, and has served as Editor in the Department of European Affairs, as Advisor for Audiovisual Media and Cultural Affairs at the Permanent Representation of France to the European Union in Brussels, and as Deputy Director of Audiovisual Media and Communication Technologies, in Paris. He was a Diplomatic Advisor to the Office of the French Minister of Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand. In 2010, he was appointed as Advisor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs and Director of the French Institute in Tunis. He took office in the US in September 2015.
Amos Gitai, one of the most respected filmmakers on the international scene, continually explores new narrative and stylistic methods while maintaining a close, if questioning, relationship with contemporary realities. His work spans over 40 years and includes over 80 films, plus books, exhibitions, and theater pieces. His early training and work as an architect informs his filmmaking, as does his immersion in the intellectual world of his father (a Bauhaus-trained architect) and mother (a poet and secular teacher of Biblical texts). Born in Haifa in 1950, Mr. Gitai is based in Israel and France. His films include he documentaries Brand New Day, The Arena of Murder, and Carmel, and the narrative features Berlin Jerusalem, Kadosh, Kippur, Kedma, Alila, Promised Land, Free Zone, Disengagement, One Day You'll Understand, Roses à credit, and Ana Arabia. Mr. Gitai has lectured and offered master classes around the world and has been an honored guest and the recipient of retrospectives of his work at film festivals worldwide. He has won many prestigious awards throughout his career, including the Rosselini Prize (2005) and the Robert Bresson Prize (2013). Read more www.amosgitai.com
Dr. Ralf Horlemann has served Germany’s Foreign Service for more than two decades and has a rich experience in international security policy, transatlantic relations and Asian affairs. He took up his position as Consul General of Germany to New England in July 2015. Between 1998 and 2002 he was instrumental in founding the Berlin Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF). Dr. Horlemann has also worked on Asian affairs as Consul in Hong Kong and Head of the German Interest Section to Pyongyang, North Korea, as well as during various postings to the Federal Foreign Office. From 2002 to 2005 he was responsible for Transatlantic Relations and Asian Affairs as Counsellor to the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Lisa Fishbayn directs the Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute of Brandeis University. She is an expert on women’s rights under Jewish family law and African customary law and on the intersection between secular and religious law. She is co-editor of the anthologies Gender, Religion and Family Law: Theorizing Conflicts Between Women’s Rights and Cultural Traditions, The Polygamy Question, Women’s Rights and Religious Law, and a special issue of Nashim on New Historical and Legal Perspectives on Jewish Divorce. She is editor of the Brandeis University Press Series on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law and is co-founder of the Boston Agunah Taskforce.
Julio Núñez Montesinos has served as Consul General of Spain in Boston since 2013. A diplomat since 1977, Mr. Montesinos has studied law, international studies and national defense. Mr. Montesinos previously served as advisor to the Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs and as Advisor at the Under-Directorate General of Security to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union. He also served as Counsellor to the Spanish delegation to NATO and had several positions within the Technical General Secretariat.
Professor Ofengenden is Director of the Hebrew Language and Literature Program of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. He is the author of the books The Passion for Absence in Abraham Shlonsky and Shlonsky an Introduction to his Poetry and articles on Hebrew poetry, contemporary Israeli culture, literary theory, and Jewish literature. Before joining the Brandeis faculty, Professor Ofengenden taught at University of Tübingen Germany, Oberlin College, and George Washington University.
Richard Peña is a Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University, where he specializes in international cinema and film theory. From 1988-2012, he was the Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Director of the New York Film Festival, where he organized many dozens of retrospectives and film series including those devoted to African, Chinese, Taiwanese, Cuban, Polish, Hungarian, Arab, Korean, Soviet, Turkish and Argentine cinema. He created with the Spanish Ministry of Culture the annual "Spanish Cinema Now", and "Rendez-vous with French Cinema." A frequent lecturer internationally, he is also currently the host of WNET/Channel 13's weekly Reel 13.
Antony Polonsky is emeritus Professor of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University and Chief Historian of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. He is chair of the editorial board of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry. His most recent work is The Jews in Poland and Russia (3 volumes, Oxford, 2010. 2012), published in 2013 in an abridged version as The Jews in Poland and Russia: A Short History. The three volume history was awarded the Pro Historia Polonorum prize in 2012 for the best book in a foreign language on the history of Poland. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate at Warsaw University and in 2014 by the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In 2011 he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Polonia Restituta and the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Independent Lithuania.
Mimi Rabson has distinguished herself as one of Boston's most creative and versatile musicians. Her published works include arrangements of music by Duke Ellington, James Brown and Cole Porter as well as her originals. Ms. Rabson is an Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music and has received several Berklee grants to support her creative endeavors. Ms. Rabson was also a founding member of the Klezmer Conservatory Band and has presented at The Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp, ASTA, and numerous schools and colleges.
Benjamin C.I. Ravid, Professor Emeritus of Jewish History at Brandeis University, specializes in the Jews of early modern Europe. His research focuses on the Jewish community of Venice, which serves as a case study for numerous basic issues in Jewish history, including the attitude of the church and state toward the Jews, the legal, economic and social history of the Jews, charters, the Jewish community, the institution of the ghetto, and the phenomenon of New Christians, crypto-Jews and the Iberian diaspora. Professor Ravid has authored many books, including Economics and Toleration in Seventeenth Century Venice, Studies on the Jews of Venice 1382-1797 and The Jews of Early Modern Venice (co-editor).
Shulamit Reinharz, Ph.D., is the Jacob Potofsky Professor of Sociology as well as the Founder and Director of three units at Brandeis: The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (est. 1997), the Women's Studies Research Center (est. 2001), and the Kniznick Gallery for Feminist Art (est. 2001). She supervises all internal programs including the WSRC Student Scholar Partnership Program; the HBI Summer Internship Program; the HBI Artist-in-Residence Program; the HBI Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law; and HBI Project on Children, Families and the Holocaust; as well as several book series and the journal Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender Issues. In 2001, she opened the physical facility in which all of these activities take place. Professor Reinharz is the author or co-author of twelve books including most recently, The JGirls' Guide, American Jewish Women and the Zionist Enterprise, Jewish Intermarriage around the World, Observing the Observer, and One Hundred Years of Kibbutz Life.
Samantha Riemer is Field Director at NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. Samantha has worked in the reproductive health and justice field for the past three years, in Texas at Whole Woman’s Health and recently for Ibis Reproductive Health. Prior to that, she held positions in fundraising and organizing for progressive causes. Samantha holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of New Hampshire.
Lisa Rivo is Co-Director of The National Center for Jewish Film. Founded in 1976, NCJF owns the world’s largest archive of Jewish-content film, outside of Israel. The Center, which rescues, restores and makes available rare archival films, also distributes the work of 100 contemporary filmmakers, and responds to 7000 program inquiries each year. Ms. Rivo oversees the Center’s programmatic, distribution, curatorial and exhibition activities. Ms. Rivo has co-directed and co-curated 10 annual Boston-area film festivals and has curated many other series worldwide. Ms. Rivo consults regularly with filmmakers and has sat on several film festival juries. She has a degree in Art History from Vassar College and focused on American visual culture and film at Emory University’s Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts PhD program. Ms. Rivo worked in the film program of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and as Director of Public Information at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. Prior to joining NCJF in 2006, she was at Harvard University as Associate Director & Senior Writer of the African American National Biography, an encyclopedia edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Sharon Pucker Rivo, Executive Director and Co-Founder of The National Center for Jewish Film, has been a leading force in the field of Jewish film and culture for more than three decades through her work as a curator, programmer, archivist, film distributor, film and television producer, and academic. In the mid-1970s she and co-founder Miriam Krant rescued a languishing collection of Yiddish-language feature films. Today, NCJF is the largest archive of Jewish film outside of Israel, and the largest film distributor of restored classic and new independent Jewish-content films. Ms. Rivo was an early advocate for the inclusion of film in the study of history and culture and for the historically accurate use of visual materials.
She has worked with hundreds of filmmakers around the world as a consultant and has appeared as an expert in many documentaries and television programs. She has curated film programs for venues from Boston to Beijing, including co-curating the first ever retrospective of Yiddish cinema, held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Ms. Rivo has been a member of Brandeis University faculty for more than twenty years and she lectures widely on the history of Jews in cinema, a field she helped pioneer. Internationally recognized as an authority on Jewish and Yiddish film, film archiving and restoration, and Jewish programming and distribution, she lectures and has served on numerous film festival juries.
Filmmaker Steve Rivo has produced, directed or written projects for PBS, CNN, MTV, MSNBC, Discovery, Investigation Discovery, The Weather Channel, Court TV/TruTV and VH1, and for filmmakers Alex Gibney, Robert Redford and Ric Burns. Rivo was a producer of the films New York: A Documentary Film, Eugene O'Neil and Ansel Adams for PBS, senior producer of The Vice Guide To Everything, and a writer/director for the CNN series Death Row Stories. His documentaries have garnered Emmys, Du-Pont-Columbia, Peabody, IDA, Telly and Cine Golden Eagle awards. Rivo also teaches in the MFA program at Hofstra University.
Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna is the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and Chair of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University, as well as Chief Historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Dubbed by the Forward newspaper in 2004 as one of America’s fifty most influential American Jews, he was Chief Historian for the 350th commemoration of the American Jewish community, and is recognized as a leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life. Professor Sarna is the author of more than thirty books and 100 scholarly articles on various aspects of American Jewish life and history. His most recent books are Lincoln and the Jews: A History and When General Grant Expelled the Jews.
Donald Sosin has performed live at major film festivals, including New York, Telluride, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, TriBeCa, Denver, Virginia, and Newport, and at MoMA, BAM, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Berlin Filmmuseum, and Moscow's Lumière Gallery. He is a favorite guest artists at the National Gallery in Washington D.C. and at Italy's annual silent film retrospectives in Bologna and Pordenone. He has created scores for over three dozen silent film DVDs, received commissions from the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the Colorado Children's Chorus, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's.
The Tango Society of Boston
May 7 Tango Glories
The Tango Society of Boston was incorporated in June 1997 as a Massachusetts non-profit organization dedicated to the support and growth of the Argentine Tango. Within 5 months, it already had 250 members, and the numbers are growing weekly! While there are many facets to the Argentine Tango—the music and the culture being among the most prominent—it is the dance that brings most of us together.
The Tango is a social and participant’s dance and is for everyone to learn and enjoy, regardless of dance background!
Yehuda Yaakov, Consul General of Israel to New England since February 2014, has focused largely on strengthening business, academic and social justice partnerships between Israel and New England. Consul General Yaakov has spent most of his diplomatic career on issues pertinent to Israel’s security. This experience has included heading the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s department for non-conventional weapons prevention (2004-2007), as well as establishing and running the homeland security and counter-terrorism unit (2001-2004). In 2012, he received the Ministry's award for excellence for his work on the Iranian crisis. He has also served outside Israel in New York and New Zealand. Yaakov grew up in Queens, NY, and moved to Israeli in 1983, after earning a BA from Syracuse University.
Matan Zamir, Israel’s Deputy Consul General to New England, has been a member of Israel’s Foreign Service since 2011, previously serving as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli Consulate in Mumbai. He served in the IDF from 1999-2003 and was released as a lieutenant. During his service he trained over 1,000 cadets, and in 2003, he received the President’s medal of excellence. Before joining the Foreign Service, Zamir was an International Business Manager at Bezeq International and the Director of the Training Department of the Israeli Supreme Court. He received his law degree from Hebrew University. Zamir grew up in Jerusalem where his family has lived for nine generations.