Public Policy and American Jewry
From religious freedom to education policy, from economic revitalization strategies to trade policy, the domestic sphere of American policymaking has important implications for America’s future and for the American Jewish community in particular. Tikvah believes in responsibilities of citizenship, and that the Jewish people have a unique perspective to offer to American domestic policy. Many of our fellows have undertaken research projects and internships in the realm of domestic policy, charting new ways forward.
Ilan Eisenberg is a rising sophomore at Yale from the Bay Area. This past year he completed Directed Studies, an intensive program in Western literature, philosophy, and political thought. At Yale, he is a fellow at the William F. Buckley Jr. Program, a student group that promotes intellectual diversity on campus. He is also a member of the Yale Russian Chorus and TAMID, a business club that partners with Israeli startups. Ilan has been working with the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty and the Becket Fund on a legal research and lobbying project centered around a recent travel ban for military personnel. He studied the history of religious liberty with Dr. Phillip Muñoz and worked with Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin and Howie Slugh to draft a memo to members of Congress which uses legal precedent to argue against the regulation’s legality.
Hannah Wander, from Highland Park, Illinois is a Junior at Middlebury College studying Political Science with a focus on Political Philosophy. Hannah is a swimmer on the Middlebury Swim and Dive team specializing in breaststroke. She has been active with the Midd Republicans and is a fellow at the Hamilton Forum, an organization that promotes engagement with American political thought and founding principles through dialogue series. In the summer of 2018, Hannah participated in the Maimonides Scholars summer program. Her involvement with Tikvah continued in the summer of 2020 when she participated in the Tikvah Summer Course: Jews and Religious Liberty. Hannah is currently a research assistant for Yehoshua Bedrick at EdChoice. After graduation from Middlebury, Hannah will likely apply to Law School. As a Summer Fellows, Hannah created a survey to measure views within the Jewish community on religious freedom. She examined the previous polling landscape and determined that most surveys on religious freedom did not survey a sufficiently large and diverse number of Jews to capture the unique aspects of the Jewish community’s views on religious freedom or the complicated dynamics within the Jewish community. Hannah used the knowledge of religious freedom she gained through her internship at the Becket Fund to create a survey that would shed light on the different perspectives on important
religious freedom issues within the Jewish community.
After graduating from the University of Texas Austin, where he studied political philosophy, Daniel Kane worked at the Texas Legislative Council conducting research and drafting legislation for Texas lawmakers. Upon acceptance to the Tikvah Summer Fellowship in the summer of 2019, Daniel decided to use his experience in Texas politics to explore what a “red-state Judaism” might look like, and what policy goals could be achieved in Jews were to establish robust communities outside the traditional coastal hubs. A red-state Judaism could ensure that the priorities of religiously observant Jews were taken seriously in state legislative chambers which would be more amenable to religious liberty and school choice. Using his experience in the legislative chamber of the fastest growing state in the union, Daniel studied school choice initiatives, religious liberty statutes, and the state of the existing Jewish communities in ten “red-states”, including Missouri, Ohio, Texas, and Tennessee. Daniel also researched the role that a renewed federalism could play in achieving a more permanent and stable political solution to the threat posed by overzealous progressive legislation to committed Jewish communities and institutions. Since the Fall of 2019, Daniel has worked in Washington D.C. with the Public Interest Fellowship. He is now assistant editor at National Affairs.
Yuval Levin is the director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He also holds the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Public Policy. The founding and current editor of National Affairs, he is also a senior editor of The New Atlantis and a contributing editor to National Review.
Dr. Levin and scholars in the Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies research division study the foundations of self-government and the future of law, regulation, and constitutionalism. They also explore the state of American social, political, and civic life, while focusing on the preconditions necessary for family, community, and country to flourish.
Dr. Levin served as a member of the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush. He was also executive director of the President’s Council on Bioethics and a congressional staffer at the member, committee, and leadership levels.
In addition to being interviewed frequently on radio and television, Dr. Levin has published essays and articles in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Commentary. He is the author of several books on political theory and public policy, most recently “A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream” (Basic Books).
He holds an MA and PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.
Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin
Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin serves as the president of the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty and is also a resident research fellow at the Tikvah Fund. He received his PhD in history from the CUNY Graduate Center, held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton University and Yeshiva University, and taught at both CUNY and Princeton. He is also a Chaplain in the Army National Guard with the rank of Major. Rabbi Rocklin has served as a member of the Rabbinical Council of America’s Executive Committee and Military Chaplaincy Committee, and as a congregational rabbi in Connecticut. His writings have appeared in a number of publications, including The Los Angeles Times, National Review Online, The Daily Wire, The Forward, The Public Discourse, and Mosaic.
Howard Slugh is a founder and General Counsel of the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty. He is also an attorney in Washington, DC focusing on constitutional law. His writings have been published in National Review Online, The Weekly Standard, The Daily Wire, The Baltimore Sun, The Public Discourse, The American, American Thinker, and other media.
Yehoshua (Jason) Bedrick is director of policy at EdChoice. Previously, he was a policy analyst with the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. He also served as a legislator in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and was a research fellow at the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, where he focused on educational choice. Bedrick received his Master’s in Public Policy, with a focus in education policy, from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He also holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the Rabbinical College of America and a B.S. in Business Administration from Babson College.
Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik
Yeshiva University and Congregation Shearith Israel
Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik is director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. Rabbi Soloveichik has lectured throughout the United States, in Europe, and in Israel to both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on topics relating to Jewish theology, bioethics, wartime ethics, and Jewish-Christian relations. His essays on these subjects have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, First Things, Azure, Tradition, and the Torah U-Madda Journal. In August 2012, he gave the invocation at the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. He is the son of Rabbi Eliyahu Soloveichik, grandson of the late Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, and the great-nephew of the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
The Tikvah Fund
Jonathan Silver is editor of Mosaic and the host of the The Tikvah Podcast. He was educated at Tufts University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Georgetown University.