Dan Adler was born and raised in Israel. He studied at the Technion and worked at Motorola Semiconductor in Israel. After moving to NYC in 1986, he completed a Master’s degree at Rutgers university. Dan worked in the VLSI CAD industry for a number of years and then as a software developer on Wall Street. He has worked at hedge funds, was CTO of a startup, and for the last 15 years has held senior positions at global banks doing software development for big-data. Dan is an accomplished jazz guitarist who plays in New York and in Israel
Rick Allen has led media, technology and sports companies for nearly 30 years, including as CEO of National Geographic and Sporting News, and as SVP at Discovery. He is the co-founder (with Ted Leonsis) of ViewLift, a leading streaming and monetization platform for sports and entertainment companies. Allen served as a Deputy Assistant to President Clinton, focusing on the creation of AmeriCorps. Allen has also produced award-winning documentaries and written two books on Robert Kennedy, in addition to service on academic, civic and charitable board
Jonathan Bar Giora
Jonathan Bar Giora is an Israeli composer and pianist. Since 2000, Bar Giora has composed scores and soundtracks for Israeli films such as Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi, Time of Favor, Aviva, My Love, and the Go-Go Boys. Bar Giora lectures at the Sapir Academic College and was honored in 2018 with a retrospective of his work by the Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv Cinematheques
Avner Biron is the founder, music director and permanent conductor of the Israel Camerata Orchestra, Jerusalem. Creativity, inventiveness and originality are the watchwords for his versatile musical activities. By intensive and inspiring work, he has brought the orchestra to the highest standard in Israeli musical life, and won worldwide recognition for it….He creates original and interesting concert programs, and restores rarely performed repertoire to the Israeli concert halls, alongside renowned masterpieces. Furthermore, he encourages original Israeli compositions by commissioning works from Israeli composers, and performing them in Israel, abroad and on records.
George S. Clinton is an award-winning composer who has scored over 100 films, most notably Austin Powers International Man of Mystery and its blockbuster sequels; Disney’s hit Santa Clause and its sequels; Mortal Kombat 1 & 2; Wild Things, Red Shoe Diaries, John Waters’ ‘A Dirty Shame and the Emmy Award-winning Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. George lectured about scoring for films at the Rimon School of Music and IDC Herzlia as a 2016 backStorygroup participant and kept us entertained for the duration of our trip.
Writer/producer Gary Goldman came on our first trip in 2015. he has written or executive produced a number of successful Hollywood films. He was the final writer of Total Recall (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, directed by Paul Verhoeven) and Verhoeven’s script doctor on Basic Instinct (starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone), which was the highest grossing film worldwide in the year of its release. As a backStorygroup trip participant, Gary gave film students some insider knowledge on a panel at the Ma’aleh School of Film and Television.
Peter Golub is a composer of film scores, concert works, and music for the theatre, and is the head of the Sundance Film Music Lab. His film scores include Frozen River, The Great Debaters, Wordplay, and The Laramie Project. Recent Broadway credits include The Heiress, Time Stands Still, Hedda Gabler and The Country House. Peter participated in our 2015 and 2017 trips, giving master classes in composing for film for music students and participating in panels.
Yaron Gottfried is one of the most prominent musicians of his generation in Israel, a multidisciplinary artist who bridges classical,contemporary and jazz music. Gottfried held the position of Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra for 11 years between 2002-2013 with great success, presenting fresh innovative programs, packed halls, rave reviews and over 120 concerts in a season.
Frank Ilfman, who composed the score for the Israeli film Cupcakes, among many others, won the 2016 Jerry Goldsmith Award for his best music in a feature film for his score for Abulele. His most recent scores include The Estruscan Smile and Ghost Stories. Ilfman's musical career began when he was a young child studying Trombone and Piano at the Jaffa Conservatorium of Music in Israel, and a precocious talent was soon evident. By the age of thirteen he was composing and arranging original and popular music for the Tel Aviv Dixieland Band where he played Lead Trombone. Not long after Frank was asked to leave the Conservatorium for skipping classes, which he found dull, and on a chance visit to Berlin he met composer Klaus Doldinger (Das Boot) who was at the time scoring the film The Never Ending Story. Frank visited the set and impressed everyone with his imagination and enthusiasm, which prompted Doldinger to invite him to a scoring session. Frank subsequently fell in love with the world of cinema and film music.
Alan LaGarde, President & Executive Producer at Paper Route Productions, started his career in broadcast news after graduating from Northwestern University. He helped launch the hit show Forensic Files and later became a college professor and the director of the new TV/Film department at a university, which he built into the school’s largest program, then returned to television with shows like Paranormal State. Al and his team launched Paper Route Productions with one show in 2009. Since then PRP has produced more than 100 episodes of television. On our 2015 trip, Al participated in panels at film schools, and returned with us in 2016 to serve as director of on our student pilot project video at the Rimon Music School
Omri Marcus is the head of creative at video-platform company Electric-Sheep.tv. He is also the founder and creative director of JJJ: Comedy for a Change – an unprecedented international conference on the power of comedy to drive forward social change. Heralded as ‘Israeli TV’s Wunderkind’ by Tablet Magazine, Marcus was a development partner at Red Arrow International. He developed and was involvedin the development of formats in multiple genres (game shows, reality, dating and factual) for the group companies. The position also entailed establishing relationships with the Israeli content industry, identifying and generating business opportunities in the local market and cultivating relationships with various American and British networks.
Jack Minker, ז״ל
Jack Minker was a pioneer in artificial intelligence and remains a leader in this field. Jack was a Professor Emeritus, Computer Science (CS), at the University of Maryland. He was also an internationally recognized leader in the field of scientific freedom and human rights and has worked in this field since 1972.
Udi (Ehud) Miron is a 30-year veteran of the television business and is the founder and chairman of Ananey Communications since its inception in 1996. Udi set the groundwork for Israel’s multi-channel content industry as founder and CEO of ICP (Israel Cable Programming) — where he developed and directed the successful launch of the four foundational Israeli cable channels: the Kids’ Channel, the Family Channel, the Movie Channel and the Sports Channel.
2017 trip participant Doreen Ringer-Ross was Vice President Film, TV & Visual Media Relations at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) for over 30 years. There she directed all of BMI’s activities serving screen composers. She generously shared her industry expertise with music students at Rimon, and with a general audience at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. During her tenure at BMI, Doreen established key programs for composers including the Sundance Composer’s Lab and the BMI Film/TV Composers Conducting Workshop. She oversaw BMI’s film scoring scholarships at USC, UCLA and Berklee College of Music, and created artist development platforms with the Sundance Film Festival, the IFP Filmmaker Labs, the IFP Filmmakers Conference, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the SXSW Film Festival, and the Woodstock Film Festival. She currently serves as Vice Chairman of the board of The Mr Holland’s Opus Foundation and board member of the American Youth Symphony.
Hed Sella born (1959) and raised (in progress) in Tel Aviv, Hed has never left this great city for more than a few months, and has absolutely no intention to do so. A five-year military service in 8200, the IDF’s intelligence technology unit, followed by BA studies in Linguistics at the Tel Aviv University and MA studies in Media Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, naturally led to a colorful career in music and music education management–