In this course we look at five extraordinary challenges Israel overcame to become a thriving country and an inspiration for people worldwide.
We begin with how the Jewish state, vastly outnumbered by Arab enemies when founded in 1948, won the War of Independence decisively. We then examine how the country absorbed as many immigrants as it had citizens during its first few years, a feat unprecedented in human history.
In the third class we consider how Israel’s leaders laid the foundations for long-term security by developing nuclear weapons. We examine in session four how Israel, representing a people powerless during the Holocaust, captured and tried Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. Our final class looks at how Israel transcended its Socialist origins and meager natural resources to emerge as the Start-Up Nation.
Dr. Daniel Polisar
Daniel Polisar is the co-founder and executive vice president of Shalem College in Jerusalem, Israel’s first liberal arts college. He previously served as the president of the Shalem Center from 2002-2013 and also as its director of research, academic director, and editor-in-chief of its journal, Azure. From 2006 to 2009, he served as the founding chairman, within the Office of the Israeli Prime Minister, of the National Council for the Commemoration of the Legacy of Theodor Herzl. Dr. Polisar received his BA in politics from Princeton University and his PhD in government from Harvard University, where he was the recipient of Truman and Fulbright scholarships, as well as of a Mellon Fellowship. His research interests include Zionist history and thought, Israeli constitutional development, and the history and philosophy of higher education.
Director, Tikvah Scholars Program