Speaker Bios 2014 JOFA UK Conference

Blu Greenberg has long been active in Jewish feminism and is the founder of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She has also been deeply involved in interfaith dialogue during the past five decades. Her books include On Women and Judaism, How to Run A Traditional Jewish Household, and Black Bread; Poems After the Holocaust. She and Rabbi Greenberg are the parents of five children and 23 grandchildren, four of whom currently serve in combat roles in the IDF.


Rabbi Yitz (Irving) Greenberg is an influential theologian and an activist who has been a seminal thinker on the Holocaust as a turning point in Jewish and Western culture and on the State of Israel as the Jewish assumption of power and the beginning of a new era in Jewish history. A pioneer in Holocaust education and commemoration and in the Jewish Christian dialogue which sought to revise theology after the Shoah, he has written extensively on the ethics of Jewish power and on religious and cultural pluralism. He served as Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council from 2000–2002.  He is currently writing a comprehensive theology of Judaism as the religion of tikkun olam seeking to perfect the world.


Tania Arden grew up in London, an active member of the Liberal and Progressive Synagogue movement. She leined her Bat Mitzvah portion in front of the community on a Shabbat morning, and took parts of Shabbat morning services in later years. She is an enthusiastic singer and sang in school/university choirs, and then small semi-professional groups and large London choirs until she joined an orthodox shul and became observant, at which point these became too difficult to reconcile with keeping Shabbat and the chagim. Tania has been involved in the BES Ladies’ Megillah Reading for the last 3 years and loves attending the Borehamwood Partnership Minyan!


Dina Brawer currently serves as JOFA’s first UK Ambassador. In this voluntary role she has initiated a feminist movement within Orthodox Judaism. Her interest and passion in Orthodox feminism was seeded at the 2003 Kolech conference in Jerusalem and nurtured through JOFA conferences. She holds a BA in Hebrew and Jewish Studies and an MA in Education and Psychology from the University of London. Dina has experience running informal education programmes and leading strategic community development. She is also the first (and only!) woman to address a British Orthodox congregation at Kol Nidre. She has recently been selected to take part in GAMECHANGERS , Lead’s innovative Senior Lay Leaders’ Programme for the Jewish community.


Naomi Dickson is the Executive Director of Jewish Women’s Aid (JWA), and she has been associated with them for 13 years.  She managed JWA’s refuge service and then worked in communications and training, raising JWA’s profile through talks, articles, publications, campaigns and social media.  Naomi established JWA’s popular training programme which offers courses to professionals who are supporting women and their children affected by domestic abuse.  Naomi’s professional background is in housing and she has experience in managing sheltered housing schemes as well as large housing estates.  Naomi holds a BSocSc in Social Policy from the University of Birmingham.


Rebecca Filer is eighteen and has just completed A levels at JFS where she has been a student since Year 7. She hopes to attend Bristol University to study history in September. She is exceptionally passionate about feminism and has been head of JFS's Feminist Society. She has been involved in the women's megillah readings twice at South Hampstead Shul.


Maureen Kendler is an experienced educator and has been involved with Limmud since its inception and more recently served as Head of Education at the London School of Jewish Studies.  She has a degree in English Literature, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and an MA in Jewish Education. She is a UJIA Ashdown Fellow and broadcasts regularly for BBC Radio.  Maureen loves teaching texts, ancient and modern, preferably at the same time.


Miriam Kliers grew up and lived in the chassidic community of Stamford Hill until 2012 when she left the community.  A graduate of the Susi Bradfield Educational Leadership Program, Miriam also has a degree in psychology from the Open University.  Due to her personal experience, she is very interested in women’s issues in Orthodox Judaism, as well as the psychology of religion and the process of change. She currently runs workshops as well as coaching in relationships and women’s empowerment.  She also offers fitness classes which reflect her approach for achieving balance of mind, body and spirit.


Karin Shmueli and David Kaufman got married in December 2013. Karin, a Londoner, is a Medical Physicist and lecturer in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). She was a Limmud volunteer through the early noughties, studied at Pardes in Jerusalem (summer 2005) and co-ordinated the DC Beit Midrash when she lived in Washington DC.  David, from Chicago, studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion (Gush) and is an intellectual property strategy consultant. He was a founder of the Lakeview Chicago Minyan Shivyoni Hilchati (partnership minyan).


Lindsay Simmonds is an associate faculty member at LSJS and lectures widely on Gender and Judaism. She has a degree in Speech and Language Pathology and an MSc in Gender Studies from the LSE, where she is now working towards her PhD. She studied at Nishmat, was a Bruria Scholar at Midreshet Lindenbaum and is a graduate of the LSJS Susi Bradfield Women Educators’ Fellowships. Lindsay is a current participant of the Cambridge Co-Exist Leadership Programme, and is involved in several interfaith initiatives.


Yolande Pieters is the Primary Kodesh Lead at PaJeS (Partnerships for Jewish Schools) where she works with Jewish Primary Schools to develop curricula in Limmudei Kodesh. An Ashdown scholar with a Masters degree in Education, she has taught in various schools in the UK and South Africa and has also developed curriculum for Tzedek. She is a teacher trainer with the Jewish Teacher Training Partnership and a founding member of Kehillat Nashira in Borehamwood.  


Lucy Weiniger attended the Independent Jewish Day School and is currently in year 7 at Immanuel College. She loves music and sport and lives in Finchley with two older and two younger brothers. She has just turned 12.


Suzanne Weiniger spent a year at Midreshet Lindenbaum before reading history at Cambridge and then doing an MsC in International relations at LSE. After six years working in Intelligence analysis at the Defence Intelligence Staff, MOD, she completed the Susi Bradfield Fellowhip for Jewish Educators. She teaches Florence Melton Adult Mini School at LJCC, has also taught on the US Living and Learning course, the LSJS Tanach course and at JW3.
She has five children and has recently trained as a running coach.