About Roi Ben-Yehuda

Roi Ben-Yehuda is a trainer at LifeLabs New York where he helps people at innovative companies (like Sqaurespace, Tumblr, Venmo, WeWork, and Warby Parker) master life’s most useful skills. Roi specializes in communication, conflict resolution, and negotiation. He is also the co-founder of Trans Models, NYC’s first Transgender modeling agency. Roi teaches graduate and undergraduate courses at Columbia University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice and writes for several international publications.

44 responses to “About Roi Ben-Yehuda

  1. hey Roi. Remember me from AIS? Fascinating website, we need more of this. Hope all’s well. All the best, Benjamin Bloom.

  2. Hi Ben,

    I do remember you. Thanks for the kind words. Hope to read your comments here in the future.

  3. Marius van Handel

    I have read your article about the Neo-Nazi bookstore in Barcelona. This was a difficult article for me. My mother’s entire family, along with 70,000 other Jews, was saved during the war by Franco and the Spanish. Needless to say, I was brought up as a Hispano-phile. Spanish is my second language (OK, after English and Hebrew), taught to me by my parents. Recently, I was in Spain for the first time in my life (age 59). I worked for the European Union for two years, and had to be in both Valencia and Madrid several times.

    Spain is so relaxed, laid-back, and non-threatening that I felt perfectly safe walking around with kipa and tsitsit showing–something I would not dare do in my native Netherlands, or in Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, England, or any other place I have ever been in in Europe (maybe excepting Luxembourg or Iceland, but I haven’t been there for so long that I cannot say for sure).

    I don’t deny your story at all. I just mean to say that it should not be taken is the only side of Spain. I never noticed the slightest reaction to my obvious Jewishness in my work in Spain. I cannot say the same for any other country in Europe.

    Also, Facism has a different meaning in Spain than it does in any other country in the world. The history of Spain is unique in this regard. Spain saw six civil wars in the 19th century. It culminated in the bloodiest civil war up to that time in 1936-1939. By the way, there was enormous Jewish presence (on the wrong side) all outsiders interfering in Spanish internal affairs. I think we have to consider all of these things when looking at naziism and anti-semitism in Spain. Besides, you will agree with me perhaps, that there is less anti-semitism in Spain than any other country in Europe (maybe excepting the Czech republic, Iceland, Luxembourg, or some other postage stamp-sized country)?

  4. Avrum Rosensweig

    Nicely written article and I fine desplay of guts. Well done.

  5. Dear Roi,

    I read your essay, “Essential things Israelis and Iranians should know about each other” By Trita Parsi and Roi Ben-Yehuda

    I would like to add that genetically speaking, Iranians & Jews are one in the same. Please take the time to check out the latest on ethnic genetics. Its an upsetting subject for some: The Japanese did not like to learn they were basically all Koreans.

    In Peace & Liberty,

  6. I read your piece on the Haaretz website about the Israeli flag and enjoyed it very much. I’m the publisher of a new US-based online Jewish journal called the New Vilna Review. We’re always looking for new writers, so if you would like to submit something I’d be happy to take a look.

  7. Vivian Margulies

    I have been living in Nerja, Spain six months of the year for the past ten years.Except for Barcelona and Madrid Spain has not seen Jews since 1492.So there are many different reactions by people when they become aware that I am a Jew. Mostly they do not know what to make of it. They are unaware of Jewish customs and items of clothing such as a kippah and tzitzit.

    However, a very good friend and Chairman of the English Dept. at a local high school has warned me and my husband of Spanish antisemitism and has documented some incidenrts. I, personally, have not witnessed antisemitic incidents but anti Israel sentiments are the norm. An art gallery in Málaga openly refused to exhibit Israeli art. ” Freedom for the Palestinians” banners are hung from the rooftops in town.

    Punto y coma, a magazine for upper level Spanish students published a photo journal of very sad looking Palestinians – completely w/o context. When I suggested some topics for articles on positive relations between Spaniards and Israelis the editor merely offered that there would be articles in the future about synagogues in Latin America and an article about the film director Daniel Burman. The subjects I suggested both came to my attention through articles by Roi Bet Levi – one on the Spanish architect Calatrava who designed the new bridge around Jerusalem and the other on the Spanish reality tv show filmed at Rambam hospital.

  8. Thanks for sharing Vivian.

  9. I am living in Nerja and would like to celebrate the Jewish Holidays with any Jews living here. I mentioned this to my Spanish language teacher, and he nodded briefly, then went on talking about Christmas. He never asked me how I celebrated Rosh Hoshana. I thought it was weird. Would appreciate any responses. Thanks.

  10. Hi Roi,

    I read your article in Haaretz, and found your blog this way. Very interesting stuff. I have an inquiry for you about the name of the operation in Gaza. I never would have realized that “Cast Lead” in Hebrew takes on a whole different association unless I saw it written as a subtitle to an Israeli news clip, “Ben-oferet Yitzukah.” I know this phrase because a few weeks ago, I taught a Bialik Hannukah nursery rhyme to my Hebrew class. I picked the poem because Bialik uses the word “Kirker” for dreidel instead of sivivon which I thought my class would find interesting.

    In the poem the teacher brings his student a dreidel that is made of cast lead. (Mori Hevi Kirkar li ben oferet yitzukah) After reading this poem, knowing what the message of Hanukkah means for Jews, the use of this title for a military operation for me was one of those “AHA” moments where something in Israel is comic, tragic, ironic and clever all at the same time.

    My question is, “Who picks the name to the military operations? And is it a less clever than I think it is?” It seems like the person that named this one must by a Literature buff, unless the poem is more popular in the public sphere than I realized. (I’m not Israeli)

    Anyway…..happy new Year

    Matt Check
    Brooklyn, New York

  11. Hi Roi,
    I wonder if we’re related. My mother and father were both Pearlmans, cousins. I know that my mother on occasion spoke of her cousin Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, from Luzhki, in Vitebsk (then Lithuania, now Belarus). I know that he was a Pearlman.
    Bob Pliskin
    White Plains, NY

  12. Hi Roi, I found your blog via wordpress.com main page and I am happy I clicked the link. I am sure I will return to read some more. Congratulations on a nice blog. Have a beautiful day. Ciao, Aviva

  13. Thank you Aviva. Looking forward to hear more from you.

  14. I thought the golem was not such a bad thing… (protecting the community). In Haaretz you turn him into something to avoid…
    You wrote: “… an overemphasis on either the self or the other, will leave us – as individuals and nations – a golem of sorts. ”

  15. Why do you live in NY?

    I am absolutely dying to go home but my American wife balks hard at the idea.

    What to do?

  16. Pingback: Aziz Abu Sarah

  17. Roi,
    I am currently writing a paper on you for my critical reasoning class. We are to type at least one paragraph stating your frame of reference. I have had some difficulties finding out your background. Do you have any suggested websites that I would be able to read. It is due this Friday July 17th, 2009.
    Thank you for your assistance.

  18. Hi Roi

    I m’ president of Alliance the first magazine of the jewish community online (in french 🙂 since 1997…

    I don’t know if you speak french ? but I speak hebrew but I wish to know if you want to be the contributor of our magazine ?

    Our magazine also first on the google with words “magazine juif” and we need someone like you can speak on Israel, about the subject , if you want to be the first contributor le plus agité ….-)
    I don’t know the good translate for this term

    Thank you and best regards for all your attention
    Claudine Douillet

  19. Roi,
    This is Ori Nir with Americans for Peace Now.
    Could you please contact me?

  20. Hi Roi, your article on Messianic Jews was a great encouragement for me, thank you.

  21. Pingback: Rosh Pina Project finds support from Israeli writer « The Rosh Pina Project

  22. Pingback: Rosh Pina Project finds support from Israeli writer | eChurchWebsites Christian Blog covering the news, politics, media, law, religion, science, medical, education, internet, technology and more for the Church

  23. Several Suggestions: 1. Dr. Kenneth Ring, noted authority on NDE, has written an excellent book,’LESSONS FROM THE LIGHT’ about the consequences of every thought, word and action that has caused pain, emotional or physical, on the people who perpetrate such. Those who cause pain to another, will eventually suffer the identical pangs themselves. Translating this book into Hebrew and Arabic would give the inhabitants on both sides an understanding of what they should or should not do to the other.
    2. With the cooperation of both sides, identical homes and villages from which the Palestinians fled would be erected, but on ARAB LAND. This would ameliorate the nostalgia of the Palestinans, while safeguarding the demographics of Israel. Extra rooms added for new family members. 3. A Nefesh B’Nefesh like plan to help those Palestinians financially and socially in locatiing countries that will accept them, helping them acclimate to their new surroundings.

  24. Pingback: Should the Palestinians Accept Israel as a Jewish State? A Constructive Debate. « Aziz Abu Sarah

  25. Pingback: Opening The Door Onto a Future « PM

  26. One State Solution To Israel.
    Dr. Ben-Yehuda, I am a non jewish american who enjoys studying everything about Israel.
    Your discussion with a palestenian on solutions to the Israeli peace process was very good. Let me say this I think the only way to have peace is for a one state solution, ISRAEL no more no lless. Why cant minorities ( ex: druze, christians etc) just live under Israeli rule with full protections and rights. The Koran & Torah recognize Israel’s right to exist. There have been mistakes made on both sides, but I think palestenians and other minorities can live in ISRAEL be Israeli citizens and Israel be a diverse multiethnic country. The Arab states and others need to quit meddling and let Israel after 62 years be one country…

  27. Pingback: Hamas advocating dialogue through children’s cartoon? Not exactly. « Aziz Abu Sarah

  28. BTW: I think you are good looking, too bad I haven’t a younger sister 😀

    Maybe you have heard of the ‘terrible’ org. that I fully support? JTF.ORG – We fully support Israel and those of us left behind here in the Galut, are patriot Americans.
    My Husband is David Ben Moshe.
    Lila Tov, Shalom.
    AisheDina, JTF

  29. Roi,
    I’d like to get in touch with you.
    I am considering to start a PhD in GMU and ICAR.
    Thanks in advanced,

  30. Dear Roi,

    My name is Sophie Taylor, and I work for Moment Magazine in Washington DC. I thought you might be interested in one of our latest feature stories, “The Man Who Stopped the Freeze.” Ilene Prusher, staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor, speaks with Dani Dayan, head of Israel’s settler lobby, Yesha, examining Yesha’s role in the settler movement and Dayan’s plans for the future.

    You can find the article here:

    Moment is a national magazine of Jewish politics, culture and religion co-founded in 1975 by Elie Wiesel. The story appears in our January/February issue. Thanks!


  31. Hi Roi,

    Trying to get in touch with you via e-mail as opposed to leaving a comment. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

    Kind regards,

    Ivan Karakashian
    Director of Communications
    PeaceWorks Foundation – OneVoice

  32. In my experience the assumption of ignorance does work. It can be excruciatingly difficult to carry off, especially if the intervener’s face during the confrontation is unavoidably framed by signs detailing the rules of which one assumes the trangressor is unaware.
    Example: bark like a dog , if you don’t know that it is illegal to park in front of a fire hydrant, let alone common sense. Crickets, no dogs, right? So when walking several hundred yards to my destination along a solidly parked-up curb, I find two older ladies (not much older than me, though) trying to see-saw into the single carlength left in front of the fire hydrant. Their window was down. I said in a friendly/neutral tone, “They’ll definitely ticket you. ” To which the passenger said “No they won’t” and the driver asking “Is that still a law?” I responded, still friendly/neutral “Oh, yeah, I’ve seen them ticket this space many times. ” See, just doing them a favor. They responded in a grumbly “Oh, ok” and drove slowly off, cruising up and down the street for another 10 minutes to finally find parking right out front.
    Notice no one mentioning the obvious, that it is stupid, dangerous and wrong to block a fire hydrant– even if it’s just you, and not some other jerk.

  33. Interesting…Israeli with Phd. You’re talking about quiet cars on trains in the U.S. Yes, there are many many rude people in the U.S. but, I am an American who immigrated to Israel and the rudeness in this country is 100% worse here! No one cares at all about the next person. The only time I find a caring person is only occasionally when a door is opened for me. Ocassionally on the buses a person stands up for someone older/pregnant etc. That’s it! Pushing and shoving, honking, screaming everywhere by all ages. I’d love to see you try to say the very same thing to an “ignorant” Israeli in Israel, or abroad…Have some feedback?

  34. Okay, now I’m hooked on some of your writing. It’s erudite and edifying without being too pushy. This belies your personal constitution’s New York and Jewish qualities. George Mason? How do you survive with the food in that part of Virginia? It’s hard enough finding a Sunday Times let alone a nice kugel! And the parking on campus! Oh, don’t get me started alright already. I mean come on already, how many tickets have you gotten? You don’t know from conflict analysis and resolution until you’ve tried to schmooze a Somali cabbie in front of an Ethiopian Sports Bar at closing time with some drunk Armenian vermin trying to share a ride with some Turks of dubious pedigree, if you know what I mean!

    (It’s okay, we’re all friends now. Sometimes a hefty cash gratuity makes up for a lack of professional diplomatic training.)

  35. This is in response to your article about a theoretical conflict resolution team attached to the IDF.

    You definitely have the background to propose such an idea. But I would suggest that you differentiate and carefully distinguish what you mean by conflict resolution. That term — conflict resolution — has fallen out of vogue, precisely because it is only in the rarest of interventions that a conflict is actually fully resolved.

    In practice, there is conflict transformation (peacemaking) and there is nonviolent accompaniment (peacekeeping). If the IDF had a peacekeeping contingent, these would have escorted the flotilla to Gaza nonviolently, protecting them from harm and bearing benign witness to their words and deeds. If the IDF had a peacemaking contingent … well, peacemakers have to be neutrals to the conflict into which they are called or inserted. So maybe the IDF can’t be peacemakers.

    There is also peacebuilding … if the IDF, or Israel, were to assist the Gazans with sustainable community development, that would qualify.

    Active Peace is composted of peacemaking, peacebuilding, and peacekeeping.

  36. John,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.


  37. Hi Roi,

    You might be interested in this play that we’re putting on, here in New York. It’s by the Israeli playwright and peace activist, Motti Lerner, and it’s set in the settlements, giving a window into the psychology of the residents. It is paced in the year 2014, and a peace accord is about to be signed that will require Israel to abandon the settlement. The settlers, of course, are not happy about this development and fighting against it. It’s a very political play, but also manages to be very human. It avoids polemics; it is instead an examination of everyone involved meant to broaden our understanding of the settlement issue.

    Motti Lerner was part of the recent boycott of the new theater in the settlement of Ariel, which partly inspired the recent harsh Israeli law against boycotts.

    You can also visit our website (below) if you are interested in knowing more about the show

    Edward Einhorn

    Artistic Director, Untitled Theater Co. #61

  38. Hello Dr Ben-Yehuda,

    I believe you may find my book of interest. It is titled:
    THE SPEECH, AND ITS CONTEXT: Jacob Blaustein’s Speech “The Meaning of
    Palestine Partition to American Jews” Given to the Baltimore Chapter,
    American Jewish Committee, February 15, 1948

    The first section of the book can be read on-line at the Amazon page below.

    Best wishes,

    Abba A. Solomon


  40. well i found you by way of the smurfs & you are very handsome

  41. Pingback: Uma “banda sonora de guerra” para Nobel da Paz | My East-West

  42. Pingback: “Israel parece viver em estado de amnésia total” | My East-West

  43. Pingback: “Step into the shoes of whomever we cast as villains” | My East-West

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s