2023 Jewish Leadership Conference Videos
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Lacking military or political power, and dependent on the nations of the world for their survival, the Jewish people of the Diaspora developed an ethic of martyrdom within their code of honor. This theme permeates Jewish literature. But the reestablishment of a Jewish state transformed the political and military capacity of the Jewish people. Israel became the Jewish people’s precious home and fighting fist. Defending Jewish civilians and strengthening the Jewish spirit, Israel now stands on the frontline of the free world. Let us hope that American Jews are now willing to stand alongside their brothers and sisters in Israel in this hour of trial, honoring the ethic of Jewish strength and the moral imperative of Jewish victory.
Tikvah Student Leaders and Alumni
The Hamas terrorist attacks and Israel’s just war in response to them have revealed—yet again—the moral and intellectual madness that dominates many of America’s leading universities. The crisis in higher education is not a new story: the intellectual fads, the stifling of free inquiry, the anti-Americanism, the widespread tolerance of anti-Semitism and active hostility toward Israel, and the rampant double-standards in how Jews are treated in admissions and on campus. These problems have been getting worse and worse for decades. Yet the shameful response by many university administrators and students to the Hamas slaughter of Jews has finally made it impossible to avert our eyes and hope for the best. Thankfully, many Tikvah students and alumni are demonstrating true strength of character and intellectual courage. In this panel, Tikvah student leaders provide a direct report from the campus front.
In the weeks since the October 7 attacks, we have witnessed the extraordinary unity, resolve, and resilience of Israeli society. Even after years of political chaos and months of civic discord, Israelis pulled together in an unprecedented way—on the battlefield and throughout civil society. Long before the events of the last month, bestselling author Dan Senor understood the internal strength of Israeli society, and wrote, with Saul Singer, The Genius of Israel: The Surprising Resilience of a Divided Nation in a Turbulent World. He joined us to examine why—while much of the developed world seems caught in a cycle of despair, childlessness, loneliness, and demographic decline—Israel stands out as a nation that is bucking these social trends, and is characterized by solidarity, dynamism, demographic growth, and a profound sense of mission.
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror & Hon. Elliott Abrams
The Jewish state is at war. On October 7, Hamas terrorists invaded Israel by sea, land, and air, killing 1,200 Israelis and seizing over 200 hostages. That same day, Israel’s leaders declared war, with the clear military objective of eliminating Hamas and reasserting Israeli deterrence. Major General (ret.) Yaakov Amidror previously served as Benjamin Netanyahu’s National Security Advisor. His personal experience fighting in Gaza stretches back to his combat days in this embattled region during the Six-Day War. In conversation with Tikvah Chairman and Middle East expert Elliott Abrams, Gen. Amidror assesses the long-term strategic aims of Operation Swords of Iron. He explores the threats from other regional adversaries like Hezbollah and Iran, the wartime state of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and how the current war will permanently change the map of the Middle East.
Michael Doran, Alana Newhouse, & Christine Rosen
While Israel wages war on the battlefield in Gaza, it—and its defenders—are also engaged in a battle for public opinion. That war is being waged in newsrooms, on social media, and in the hearts and minds of people across the globe. How should Jews and our allies think about legacy media institutions in this moment? What role are Twitter, TikTok, and Telegram playing in shaping the narrative right now? And what new investments do we need to make to build the institutions and tell the stories that are needed to defend Israel, America, and the West from those who stand against our most cherished values?
Eric Cohen & Larry Arnn
What is the true purpose of a great college? How do we educate the rising generation of committed Jews, proud Zionists, and patriotic Americans who will carry forward the best inheritance of the West? In a world of universities plagued by moral and intellectual confusion and corruption, Hillsdale College stands tall as a light unto the academy. In this conversation, Tikvah CEO Eric Cohen and long-time Hillsdale president Larry Arnn discuss the urgent need to create a new generation of colleges that renew our civilization and our culture—including Jewish colleges that prepare American Jews for civic leadership and that deepen their sense of covenantal destiny. In an age that needs Hebraic remedies for modern disorders, we explore what a great Jewish college should look like—and what we can learn from the Hillsdale model of liberal arts excellence married to clear principles and purpose.
Hon. William Barr, Hon. Paul Clement, & Prof. Robert P. George
For Americans of faith, it seems like both the best of times and the worst of times. The U.S. Supreme Court has reasserted the fundamental right to religious liberty in numerous landmark cases, and states like Florida and Arizona have passed expansive school choice policies that empower families seeking religious education. At the same time, prestige media, educational institutions, corporations, NGOs, prominent entertainers, and key political figures treat religion as a source of social division and traditional values as bigoted backwardness, and many states and cities actively try to restrict or prohibit religious communities from adhering to their values. In this conversation, we welcome former Attorney General William Barr, former Solicitor General Paul Clement, and Princeton professor Robert George to discuss the state of the courts and the culture today.
Rabbi Meir Soloveichik
The Jewish people, America, and the West are facing many great trials: an Israeli war with ruthless enemies that seek our annihilation, the erosion of the American social fabric, the rise of anti-Semitism and weakening levels of attachment among many American Jews. Despair is always a temptation—and perhaps a strong one in the current age. Yet the defining spirit of the Jewish people and the Jewish tradition is hope. In moments of great challenge, men and women of great achievement and great faith always seem to emerge—from Moses to Esther, Herzl to Menachem Begin. Jewish heroes are formed in the fires of crisis and a new generation of Jewish heroes is poised to emerge from this dark hour. Yet such heroes do not emerge from nowhere, or from human will alone. Rabbi Meir Soloveichik illuminates the providential grounds of Jewish hope.
Dr. Leon R. Kass
In accepting the 2023 Herzl Prize from Jerusalem, Dr. Leon Kass delivers a powerful address on why we must stand in defense not only of Jewish lives, but also of the Jewish way of life. For it is not the Jew as eternal victim that we cherish. Rather, it is our people’s commitment to creation against chaos, life against death, good against evil, and meaning against nihilism that we must fight to preserve.
Caroline Bryk, Rebecca Sugar, Jennifer & David Millstone
It was our privilege to honor Jennifer and David Millstone with the inaugural Jewish Parents Forum Award. The Millstones are the visionaries behind Tikvah’s new Millstone Scholars Program, a national effort to bring the riches of Jewish civilization, Zionist history, and great ideas to 7th- and 8th-graders of all Jewish backgrounds. As Jewish parents, philanthropists, and civic entrepreneurs, the Millstones embody the values of the Jewish Parents Forum. They recognize that now—more than ever—young Jews need to rediscover the grand story of how Jewish ideas changed the world and how modern Israel was reborn.
Thank you to all the sponsors of the 2023 Jewish Leadership Conference!
Robert M. Beren Z”L
Susan and Roger Hertog
The Paul E. Singer Foundation
Liz Lange • Carolyn Rowan • Rebecca Sugar
The Heyman Family • Ahuva and Martin Gross • Suzie and Bruce Kovner • Fabienne and Douglas Silverman • Irit and Jonathan Tratt
Anonymous • Laura and Jonathan Baron • Betsy and Philip Darivoff • Marilyn and Michael Fedak • Tikva and Oscar Gluck • Dr. Phillip and Marjorie Jacobs • Marshall and Naomi Jaffe • Shelly and Michael Kassen • Polina and Michael Liberman • The New York Solidarity Network (NYSN) • Dave Schimel
Hon. Elliott Abrams • Anonymous • Lawrence Askowitz • Larisa and Ben Baer • Barbara Israel Bortniker and David Bortniker • Mishel and Stephen Cohen • Stephanie and Eric Cohen • DonorsTrust • EdChoice • Parents Defending Education • Judi and Alan Eisenman • Janita and Brad Forney • Saradee and Stanley Fortgang • Susan Fried • Meg and Yoav Haron • Tara Helfman • Heritage Foundation • Jessica and PJ Heyer • Caroline and Daniel Katz • Alice and Jacob Klein • Steve and Debbie Kleinman • Sari Scheer and Samuel Kopel • The Lisa and Michael Leffell Foundation • Carol and Jonathan Lieber • Eileen and Jerry Lieberman • Ariel and Rabbi Hershel Lutch • Manhattan Institute • Helen ‘Hinde’ Martin Block • Naomi and George Perlman • Pamela and George Rohr • Gabrielle and Daniel Rosen • Amy Conford Roth • Susan and Kurt Schwartz • Karen and Robert Spitalnick • Susan and Larry Shiff • Madelene and Stan Towne