Prof. Asli Bâli

Asli Bâli is Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and Director of the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies. She currently teaches Public International LawInternational Human Rights, a seminar on the Laws of War and a Perspectives seminar on Third World Approaches to International Law.

Bâli is a graduate of Williams College, the University of Cambridge where she was a Herschel Smith Scholar, Yale Law School and Princeton University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Politics. Bâli’s principal scholarly interests lie in two areas: public international law—including human rights law and the law of the international security order—and comparative constitutional law, with a focus on the Middle East. Her current research examines questions of constitutional design in religiously-divided societies. Bâli currently serves as co-chair of the Advisory Board for the Middle East Division of Human Rights Watch and as a national board member of the Middle East Studies Association.

Atty. Talia Sasson

Attorney Talia Sasson heads her own law firm, representing organizations in administrative and civil cases in court. She is President of the NIF Board and Co-Chair of the NIF International Council. She is also a board member of the Geneva Initiative’s steering committee, and acts as counselor for several other NGO’s in Israel. In 2009, she ran for the Knesset as representative of The New Movement & Meretz. From 2004 to 2010, Mrs. Sasson taught a course on “Defending Israel’s Democracy through Law” at Tel-Aviv University’s Law Faculty. At the request of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, from August 2004 to March 2005, Mrs. Sasson served as a special legal advisor for the government, in which capacity she authored the “Sasson Report” on illegal outposts and law enforcement on Israelis in the West Bank. From 1979 to February 2004 she worked in the State Attorney’s office. From 1989 to 1993 she headed the Civil Department in the Office of the District Attorney of Jerusalem. From 1996 to 2004, she headed the Special Tasks Division of the State Attorney’s office. In this role, she represented the government of Israel before the Supreme Court in civil, criminal, constitutional and administrative cases and was also involved in various security and military issues.

Prof. Jeff Helmreich

Jeff Helmreich teaches philosophy and law at the University of California, Irvine. He took this position after a two-year fellowship at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, where he specialized in Track 1 and Track 2 diplomacy, among other things. Prior to his academic work, Jeff worked in journalism, government speechwriting and related fields, most of it dealing with the Middle East. He is co-author and co-producer of Blood and Tears, a documentary on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that was released by ThinkFilms in 2007. He also wrote the Foreword for the Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Middle East Conflict, along with reporting and commentary that appeared in such venues as the Los Angeles Times, the Forward and many weeklies. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University, a J.D. from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. from UCLA.

Rabbi Sharon Brous

Rabbi Sharon Brous was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2001 and received a Master’s Degree in human rights from Columbia University, where she also received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1995.  In 2004 Rabbi Brous, Melissa Balaban and a handful of young entrepreneurial Jews set out to build IKAR, a laboratory for bold, imaginative Jewish practice – which quickly became one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the country and a model for inspiring Jews from the most marginalized to the most engaged.

Brous has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading rabbis by Newsweek/The Daily Beast and among the 50 most influential American Jews by the Forward.  She sits on the faculty of the Hartman Institute-North America, Wexner Heritage and REBOOT, and is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Theological Seminary. She serves on the International Council of the New Israel Fund and rabbinic advisory council to American Jewish World Service.

Prof. Dan Simon

Professor Dan Simon earned an S.J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, an MBA from INSEAD in France, and an LL.B. from Tel Aviv University. He specializes in the field of Law & Psychology, teaching Criminal Law as well as various courses in the intersection of law and psychology.

Professor Simon has been a visiting professor at Yale Law School and Harvard Law School. He worked as an attorney for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel as human rights lawyer on the West Bank. Before joining the USC Gould School of Law in 1999, Professor Simon was a member of the faculty of the University of Haifa Law School.

Professor Simon is the author of In Doubt: The Psychology of the Criminal Justice Process (Harvard University Press, 2012), and has been invited to lecture on the psychological dimensions of the criminal justice process to groups of judges, prosecutors and police personnel across the United States and in Israel.

A brief listing of Professor Simon’s publications include “Israel’s Settlement Liability”, (Los Angeles Times, May 25, 2011); “Israel on the Verge of a Bill of Rights” (Israel Studies Bulletin, 1993):  “A Third View of the Black Box: Cognitive Coherence in Legal Decision Making” (The University of Chicago Law Review, 2004), “The Demolition of Homes in the Israeli Occupied Territories.” (Yale Journal of International Law, 1994); “Effects of Individual Expertise and Task Importance on Pre-decision Reevaluation of Alternatives” (with Aaron L. Brownstein & Stephen J. Read). 30 Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 819-90, 2004), and “A Psychological Model of Judicial Decision Making” (Rutgers Law Journal, 1998.)


Avraham Burg

Avraham Burg is an Israeli author, businessman and politician; and Burg was an activist in left-wing organizations and the Peace Now movement. In 1985 he served as advisor on Diaspora affairs to Prime Minister Shimon Peres and in 1988 was elected to the Knesset as a member of the Alignment. In 1995 he was appointed Chairman of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, and resigned from the Knesset but later returned and served as its speaker from 1995 to 2003. Since resigning from the Knesset in 2004, Burg has lectured at many international events and in 2012 became a senior fellow of Molad – The Center for Renewal of Democracy.

Prof. David Myers

David Myers is a professor of history at UCLA, where he holds the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish History.  He served for ten years as the director of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies and, from 2010–15, as the Robert N. Burr Department Chair of the UCLA History Department. He has also served as co-editor of the Jewish Quarterly Review since 2003. David’s research focuses on modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history and he has written widely on Israel-related and Jewish community issues. David is a member of the Board of the New Israel Fund.