Moderator:For more information
Ronnie Podolefsky is an attorney specializing in civil rights, employment law, and mediation. She holds a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a J.D. with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law. Ms. Podolefsky has won many awards for her writing and her work in civil rights. She has also led numerous workshops and served as invited speaker at many conferences and gatherings, and has served on a long list of local, state, and national boards. In addition to her work as an attorney, Ms. Podolefsky has been a public school teacher, a radiation safety officer, a nuclear medicine technologist, a legal consultant, and an adjunct instructor. She has, additionally, had her own art glass business, designing and building large custom stained- and beveled-glass windows for businesses and private individuals; raised dairy goats and designed and served as the general contractor on two passive solar homes, each over 3,000 square feet. Along with their first son, Noah, Ms. Podolefsky accompanied President Podolefsky on his field studies in Papua New Guinea Highlands in the 1970s. The Podolefskys also have a second son, Isaac.
Saul Elkin – Discussing Imagining Madoff and the role of theatre in public discourse.
JRT Artistic Director
Saul Elkin is the co-founder of The Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York and has appeared in or directed many JRT productions. He is the founder and artistic director of Shakespeare in Delaware Park, and a former chair of the University at Buffalo's Theatre Department. Coming from Jewish immigrant parents from Russia and Romania, Saul Elkin spoke both Yiddish and English growing up in New York City. He began his acting education in a small children's theater school for Jewish children. His first show was at the age of seven, cast as the lead in a play by the founder of the Yiddish Art Theater, Maurice Schwartz. Elkin continued to work as both an actor and director for the Stage as well as Television. His acting and directing credits include over 250 theatre performances, film, television ("The Edge of Night" a soap opera in which he played a doctor), and several regional and seasonal theater companies. He holds B.A. and M.F.A from Columbia, and a Ph.D from Carnegie-Mellon University. He came to Buffalo, NY in 1969 and began teaching Theater at the University at Buffalo, where he soon became Chairman of the Theater Department in 1971-1985. He founded Shakespeare in Delaware Park in 1976 and co-founded the JRT in 2002.
Robert Rutland – Discussing his exploration of Bernie Madoff which is the role he plays in this production.
Star of Imagining Madoff
Robert Rutland moved to Buffalo in 1997 to become Education Director and Actor-in- Residence at Studio Arena Theatre, performing in numerous productions there. He also appears regularly at Rochester's Geva Theatre Center, and frequently teaches in Geva's Summer Academy. Locally, he has performed with Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Irish Classical Theatre and the Kavinoky Theatre. Nationally, he has performed with Notre Dame Shakespeare, Virginia Stage Company, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Denver Center Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse and many others.
Rabbi Perry Netter – Discussing ethical issued raised in Imagining Madoff.
Temple Beth Tzedek
Rabbi Netter came to Temple Beth Tzedek in Amherst, NY, in August 2009 from California, where he served three congregations in Greater Los Angeles between 1982 and 2008. Rabbi Netter is known for his innovative programs for deepening religious experiences and strengthening the culture of life-long learning. He has touched many people with his passion for Torah and his pastoral skills. Rabbi Netter was Adjunct Lecturer in Bible and Rabbinics at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, Los Angeles, California. He spent many summers as Rabbi in Residence at Camp Ramah of Ojai, California. He has appeared on radio and television as an authority on Jewish life and history. Rabbi Netter is the author of Divorce is a Mitzvah, an internationally acclaimed guide to divorce, written for Jewish families to help them understand, navigate, and heal from the traumas of terminating a marriage. The book combines the wisdom of rabbinic tradition, the insights of psychology and life lessons learned from the experiences of many couples. Rabbi Netter has also published widely in national Jewish journals; among his other publications. Rabbi Netter is married to the love of his life, Safi, and together they have two children, Nadav and Sivan. They have three older siblings, Elisheva, Moshe, and Shira.
David H. Desmon, CFP – Discussing issues and dangers facing investors.
Wharton Graduate/Senior Vice-President of Merrill Lynch
Senior Vice President
Wealth Management Advisor
David H. Desmon – Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor, CFP, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
David is a 40 plus year veteran of the financial services industry. David started his career in New York City in 1969 with Merrill Lynch and moved back to his hometown Buffalo in 1977 and joined another brokerage firm before rejoining Merrill Lynch in 2007. He received his Master of Business Administration from The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School in Philadelphia, PA and his Bachelor of Business Administration from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. David is a Certified Financial Planner certificant, a designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. David has served on the steering committee of the Western New York Planned Giving Consortium and the Leave-a-Legacy of Western New York and is past president of the Financial Planning Counselors of Western New York and the Bond Club of Buffalo. He is past president of the Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo, New York and was honored with the Man of The Year Award. He has chaired their sesquicentennial events and is the chairman of development. David, along with his wife Janet, received the American Jewish Committee's Community Leadership Award to honor their dedication and commitment to philanthropy. The United Way recently honored him as an Outstanding Campaign Coordinator. He has served on numerous boards including Trocaire College, MusicalFare Theatre, American Jewish Committee, Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies and Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo.
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