Lecturers and Guides
Jerusalem and The Holy Land is an incredibly rich academic environment which allows Tantur to employ a wide range of lecturers for its programs. Below are those who regularly lecture at Tantur in addition to visiting scholars and other academics.
At Tantur we strive to bring the classroom to life with visits to all the major sites all over The Holy Land so the participant gets to visualise what they are taught about in the class room. An important part of the process of all our programs is to meet the Living Stones the people who inhabit the region from different cultures and religions. You will meet Christians, Jews, Muslims, see their places of worship and hear their stories.
Huda Abuarquob was born in Jerusalem and presently resides in Hebron in the southern West Bank. She is a frequent speaker on issues related to Middle East politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She is a co-founder of the Center for Transformative Education (CTE) and previously, worked as a teacher, trainer, and consultant for the Palestinian Ministry of Education for fifteen years. She earned her M.A. in conflict transformation and peace studies from Eastern Mennonite University and her B.A. in education for social change from Al-Quds Open University in Jerusalem. She is presently Regional Director of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, Hanan AbuDalu is a resident of Jerusalem, an education administator, and advocate for greater cross-cultural knowledge and understanding of the different peoples of the Holy Land. She holds degrees from Kuwait University and Hebrew University, and is presently the Principal of the Al Sawahrah Prep School for Girls in Jerusalem. Hanan is a board member of English Teachers Association in Israel (ETAI) and the Inter-religious Council in Israel (ICCI), and is a freqent "speaker as a woman Muslim voice." She is also involved in several regional inter-religious peacebuilding initiatives involving youth.
Dr. Mustafa AbuSway
Dr. Sway is a Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Al-Quds University. Most recently, he was a Fulbright Scholar at Southern Florida University.
Born in Bethlehem to a Jerusalemite family, Sami Awad is a Palestinian Christian living and working in Bethlehem as a practioner of nonviolence and peacebuilding. Since 1998 he has been the Executive Director of Holy Land Trust, a grassroots community development organization, and has lectured and lead training programs throughout the Holy Land and abroad.
Hana Bendcowsky, an Israeli Jew from Jerusalem with a M.A. degree in Comparative Religion from Hebrew University and 14 years of practical experience in interfaith activities in Israel and abroad, is in charge of overseeing the daily running of the Center’s diverse educational programs, contributes to the preparation of educational materials in Hebrew, and teaches in the Center’s various educational programs. In addition to being the program director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations, Hana works as a free lance tour educator in Jerusalem for groups involving over 1,500 individuals a year, mainly Israeli Jews and primarily study tours in the Christian Quarter.
Dr. Tina Blomquist
Tina is a Christian living in the community of Nataf outside Jerusalem, with over 20 years of involvement in educational work and interfaith relations in Jerusalem and in the Holy Land. She contributes to the running and development of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations,with particular attention to editing, writing proposals and reports. Tina holds a Doctorate in Theology and a M.A. in Archaeology from the University of Lund in Sweden. She is a licensed tour educator in Israel.
Ghada was born in Nazareth to a Greek Catholic family. She has a degree from Haifa University from the Departments of Biblical Archaeology and Land of Israel Studies. She completed her training as a guide at the Haifa University School of Tourism. Ghada began working as a tour guide about 10 years ago. Ghada’s guiding focuses on human beings, their beliefs, their material and spiritual culture, traditions and customs. Most of her tours are focused on the Christian religion, the history and ritual of the various rites and ethnic communities in Nazareth.
Nouha was born and raised in Nazareth and attended there Saint Joseph sister’s school. She then completed her academic studies in tourism and hotels management obtaining a BA from Ohalo college in Tiberius. She has a BA with honors in Informal Education from Oranim College in Haifa. Her guiding experience began in 1998 first as a volunteer guide for Nazareth Municipality guests, and later as a tour guide for the Howard & Johnson Hotel in Nazareth, and later as an independent tour guide.
Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen
Born in Belgium in 1938, arrived in Jerusalem in 1969, after completing his studies in Eastern theology, ecumenical relations and Islam in Rome and Athens. A member of the Society of Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), living at St-Anne’s Church in the Old City, he has been for 45 years the editor of the quarterly Proche-Orient Chrétien, specialised in history, theology, liturgy and present life of the churches in the Middle East, with a particular emphasis on ecumenism and Christian-Muslim relations. He has also been for many years a member of the Commission on Faith and Order of the WCC and a consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He is at present a member of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church and also of the International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. For many years he has been working closely with the Middle East Council of Churches and with the Pro Oriente Foundation in Vienna, Austria. In Jerusalem he is the convenor of the Ecumenical Circle of Friends, and a member of various dialogue groups. He is also a member of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church in Jerusalem.
Dr. Edward Breuer
A native of Montreal, Canada, Eddy settled in Israel in 2001 with his wife and four children. He previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Loyola University (Chicago), and he currently teaches at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His major publication is entitled The Limits of Enlightenment: Jews, Germans and the Eighteenth-Century Study of Scripture (1996).
Eldad Brin is a Jerusalem-born tour guide who specializes in alternative in-depth tours in and around Jerusalem, offering innovative historial and contemporary contexts to his groups. He has guided for several alternative tourism companies, some of which focus on dual (Israeli and Palestinian) narratives on complex issues involving identity and conflict of the land and its peoples.
Fr. Gregory Collins, OSB
Fr. Gregory Collins, OSB, is the sixth abbot of Dormition Abbey. Born in Belfast in 1960, Fr. Gregory has previously lecturered on Byzantine Theology at Saint Anselmo University in Rome, and was previously Abbot at Glenstall Abbey in Ireland. He holds a doctorate in Byzantine Studies from Queen University Belfast, and has published books on iconography and theology.
Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald
Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald is a member of the Society of Missionaries of Africa. He taught in the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Rome, and directed the Institute for 6 years. After serving on the General Council of the Missionaries of Africa, he worked in the Vatican in the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, first as Secretary (1987-2002) and then as President (2002-2006). From 2006-2012 he was Apostolic Nuncio in Egypt. He has been based at St Anne's in Jerusalem since November 2012.
Elias, a certified tour guide, is the General Manager of Grace Tours with many years of experience guiding in the West Bank. He is a Christian from Bethlehem, married and has two children. He has been working as a tour guide since 2000. He studied management and tourism at Bethlehem University, and then took a B.A in Biblical studies from the Bethlehem Bible College. He specializes in guiding Bethlehem and other West Bank cities.
Originally from the woods of New Hampshire, USA, Jared moved to Jerusalem in 1996 not long after completing his degree in Russian Theater at Brandeis University. After then studying at Machon Pardes, the Hartman Institute, and the National Tourguide Course, he served for 8 years as the Program Director of Ta Shma: Pluralistic Jewish Learning. He now works as a freelance Jewish/Israel educator for numerous institutions around the country. Besides working as a tour guide, Jared is also a theatre addict, an avid biker, and an environmental activist.
Based in Palestine, Husam Jubran serves as a representative in Palestine and Jordan for the Middle East/North Africa Social Innovators Program,. He has a Masters degree from the Eastern Mennonite University in Conflict transformation and Peacebuilding, and a diploma in tourism. Mr. Jubran also works as an interfaith Holy Land tour guide, and provides training in conflict management, crisis management, and nonviolence. He is also the Director of Facilitation for the Hands of Peace Program.
Asher Kaufman (Ph.D. Brandeis University, 2000) joined the University of Notre Dame faculty in August 2005. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Kaufman taught at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. From 2000 to 2004, he was a research fellow at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, and headed its Middle East Unit in 2004-05. Kaufman is the author of Contested Frontiers: Cartography, Sovereignty, and Conflict at the Syria, Lebanon, Israel Tri-Border Region (2014). He also is the author of Reviving Phoenicia: The Search for Identity in Lebanon (2004), a history of modern Lebanese national identity.
Rev. Dr. Yohanna Katanacho
Rev. Yohanna Katanacho is a full professor of Biblical Studies and academic dean at Nazareth Evangelical College. He is a Palestinian Israeli Evangelical who studied at Bethlehem University (B.Sc.), Wheaton College (M.A.) and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M. Div.; Ph.D.). He has authored 10 books in English and Arabic including "The Land of Christ: A Palestinian Cry". Dr. Katanacho is an Old Testament editor for Arabic Contemporary Commentary and Asia Bible Commentary. He is also one of the authors of the Palestinian Kairos Document. His full bibliography is available on www.katanacho.com
Rev. Dr. Jamal Khader
Fr. Jamal was born in the Christian Palestinian village of Zababdeh in the northern part of the West Bank. He has a Doctorate of Divinity from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he completed his thesis on the official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. He is a member of the Theological Reflection Committee of the Latin Patriarchate and of the Committee of Dialogue with Jews. Fr. Jamal Khader has held the post of Cardinal Hume and Cardinal de Furstenberg Endowed Chair in Religious Studies in Bethlehem University since 2003. He teaches at the Latin Seminary in Beit Jala, the Emmaus Center in Beit Sahour, the Family Center in Bethlehem, and Mar Elias College in Ibillin. He also teaches Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution Strategies for the master's in International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) program at Bethlehem University.
Amy Kronish has lived and worked for a wide range of Jerusalem organizations since making the city her home in 1979. She has worked as Director of Coexistence Programming at the Jerusalem International YMCA, and was the curator of Jewish and Israeli Film at the Jerusalem Cinematheque for fifteen years. Amy has published numerous books and article on Israeli and Jewish cinema. Born in the United States, she has an M.A. in Communications from New York University.
Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish
Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish is a noted lecturer, author, and educator in the fields of Jewish and interfaith concerns. Born and educated in the the United States, he has studied at Brandeis University, Hebrew Union College – New York, and Harvard University. For many years, Rabbi Kronish has been an integral part of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, and is a frequent blogger and columnist in many media sources.
Jonathan was born and raised in New York, and arrived in Israel in 2002 after graduating from Indiana University. Prior to becoming a licensed tour guide through the Israel Ministry of Tourism, he earned master's degrees in religious studies at Hebrew University and at Harvard University. He is currently completing his doctorate in religion at Harvard University specializing in early Christianity. Today, he works throughout Israel as a tour guide and freelance educator, focusing primarily on the history of the religions of the holy land. His tours are fundamentally educational in nature, using a combination of text study and site visits to convey the rich story behind the terrain.
Rev. Dr. David Neuhaus
Rev. Dr. David Mark Neuhaus SJ is Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew Speaking Catholics in Israel, a part of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. He is a member of the Society of Jesus (Near East Province) and teaches Scripture at the Seminary of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in Beit Jala and in the Religious Studies Department at Bethlehem University. He completed a BA, MA and PhD (Political Science) at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He then completed pontifical degrees in theology and Scripture in Paris (Centre Sevres) and Rome (Pontifical Biblical Institute). His publications include Justice and the Intifada: Palestinians and Israelis speak out (edited with Kathy Bergen and Ghassan Rubeiz), New York, Friendship Press, 1991 and (in collaboration with Alain Marchadour), The Land that I will show you…Land, Bible and History has been published in French (2006), English (2007) and Italian (2007).
A licensed tour and educational guide in Israel for twelve years, Allan has guided for the Hebrew University, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Archaeological Seminars, the Tantur Institute, the British Council of Christians and Jews and many other organizations; he lectures widely on Israel in the U.S. He earned a BA in history from the University of California (Berkeley), an MA in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota, and studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He has published fiction and non-fiction in various magazines and writes a regular travel column, "Close Encounters," for the Jerusalem Post.
Rev. Mitri Raheb
Rev. Mitri Raheb is pastor of the Bethlehem Christmas Lutheran Church, and is also President of the Diyar Consortium, one of the largest non-profit Christian entities operating in the Holy Land. He has written several books on Palestinian Christian responses to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and is known for being one of the most outspoken Palestinian advocates for social justice in the Holy Land. Since 2011 he has been President of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.
Jamie Salter is an educator and tour guide. He has worked with the Taglit Birthright program and has also worked at Hebrew Union College. He is also a coordinator of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism Tour Guide Course at Yad Ben Zvi Institute.
Dr. Deborah Weissman
Born in New York City, Debbie settled in Israel in 1972. Her Ph.D. is from the Hebrew University on the social history of Jewish women's education. She is one of the founding members of Kehillat Yedidya, an Orthodox synagogue in Jerusalem's Bak'a neighborhood which integrates Halacha (Jewish religious law) with feminism, tolerance and pluralism. Debbie is involved with Jewish religious feminism, interfaith dialogue and the religious peace movement.
Dr. Paul Wright
Dr. Paul Wright is president of the Jerusalem University College, received his Ph.D. from Hebrew Union College (Cincinnati) in the area of Bible and Ancient Near East. He has taught Biblical History and Geography at Jerusalem University College for much of the last twenty years.
Ophir Yarden earned his B.A. at Wesleyan University and his M.A. at the University of Chicago. He has studied at the Hebrew University and the Hartman Institute, and is now working towards his doctorate in Jewish History at the Schechter Institute (JTS) in Jerusalem. As Director of Education of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, Ophir founded the Israel-Palestine JCM Conference, an ongoing framework for intensive indigenous dialogue.