Rabbi Halevy holds advanced degrees in International Relations from both Rutgers University and Columbia University. She has worked in the fields of bilingual education and cultural diversity, served as director of the Taos Arts Association, Board of the National Endowment for the Arts, co-founded Metiva, a Center for Jewish Spirituality, and Sarah’s Tent, a community based on Judasim and creativity. A senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, she has served as spiritual leader of Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue since 1996.
Ted McDonald is a yoga teacher, endurance athlete, and freelance writer. Educated in both Iyengar and Ashtanga styles of yoga, he teaches a Vinyasa flow class with upbeat music creating a fun and safe environment for his students, tailoring his teaching and retreats to a diverse audience, including endurance athletes, business professionals, yoga teachers, as well as beginning students. A published author, Ted regularly contributes to the Yogitimes, LA Yoga Magazine and Los Angeles Sports & Fitness. Formerly an Elite Adventure Racer, Ted still thrives on the adventurous outdoors competing in marathons and triathlons.
President and Chairman of Koss Financial, he has served in the past as President of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, General Chair of both the Western Region of AIPAC and the Greater Los Angeles UJF Campaign, and Chairman of the Board of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation.
Lisa Kamen is documentary filmmaker and psychologist devoted to the exploration and "felicitation" of greater well-being through film, "H-Factor...Where Is Your Heart?", Harvesting Happiness workshops as well as one-on-one private coaching and a pending 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation to serve returning Veterans and their loved ones who are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other post-deployment reintegration challenges.
Dr Jessica Wu is a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Los Angeles, California. She received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency at the University of Southern California (USC) Medical Center. In addition to her thriving private practice, Dr Wu is also Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at USC, where she volunteers her time to teach medical students and doctors in training. Dr Wu shares her obsession with beauty products and passion for helping women live a more beautiful and stylish life in her daily e-newsletter, Dr Jessica Wu Hollywood Dermatologist, which has over 250,000 subscribers. Dr Wu divides her leisure time between fitness activities and supporting charitable organizations. She is co-founder of a nonprofit organization, BeautyShares Inc., that is dedicated to building confidence and self-esteem in disadvantaged young women through after-school workshops on grooming, skincare, and healthy lifestyles.
Founder and Principal Facilitator of Drumtime, John Lacques has devoted his professional life to using music as a tool for empowerment and transformation. With Drumtime, John combines his unique talents and expertise as an educator, professional drummer and theater artist, to facilitate drum circles that encourage and support others to become creators—not just of music, but creators of joy, health, success and community.
Through Drumtime, John offers drum circles customized to service the needs and goals of businesses, organizations and institutions. He has also developed and implemented a number of programs for youth, including circles for incarcerated youth and at-risk teens as well as after-school and conflict resolution programs. He also creates rhythm circles for adults and children with special needs.
John has facilitated hundreds of drum circles. John’s work as an actor in the theater ran the gamut from drama, including a Dramalogue Awards for his role in the play, Close, to experimental theater, to touring children’s plays throughout California.
Douglas Kmiec is known for engaging political opposition with courtesy and with an eye searching for common ground. He "caused a stir" when he endorsed Democrat Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
Professor of Constitutional Law, Caruso Family Chair in Constitutional Law and Ambassador of the United States (Ret.), Kmiec believes that politics and our lives in community were meant to be civil. He believes that we were intended to seek out our enemies and find common ground, and then, all would be well. It might be, yet. "In this world we have a choice," he says, "to be very very smart, or to be oh so pleasant; I've tried smart, I recommend pleasant." We look forward to his talk on November 13th.
Leigh McCloskey was classically trained as an actor at the Juilliard School in Lincoln Center, New York. As an actor, he is perhaps most widely known for his role as Mitch Cooper on the soap opera Dallas. McCloskey has also appeared in a number of films and television series, including JAG, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, General Hospital, The Young and the Restless and One Life to Live. In addition to acting, McCloskey is also a visionary artist, author and teacher. His artwork premiered on tour with the Rolling Stones.
His interest, knowledge, study and learning ranges from art, music, history, religion, mythology, philo-Sophia and esotericism to string theory, quantum physics and the multidimensional nature of consciousness. He has studied Hermeticism, Alchemy and Kabbalah and has hosted twice weekly philosophical salons at his home, Olandar, for over thirty years. He has written, illustrated and published six books.