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Like Dreamers, Yossi Klein Halevi’s masterful history cum biography cum ethnography, has received praise from all quarters. It is a riveting book that presents in vivid colors the development and ideology of two of Israel’s most important movements of the twentieth century: The secular kibbutzim and the religious settlers of Judea and Samaria. It does so through portraits of seven paratroopers who were part of the force that won the battle for Jerusalem in June 1967 – portraits of their life and leadership in the Israel that this war created.

Yossi visited the Tikvah Center recently and sat down with Roger Hertog, Tikvah’s chairman and a supporter of this project for many years. The conversation captured here is worthy of their subject – ranging from behind the scenes discussion of the book’s creation to debate about the implications for the choices Israel faces today.

Listen to the full audio here

Is there a philosophical or theological justification for the traditional Jewish doctrine of matrilineal descent? Meir Soloveichik, in an article published in Azure in 2005, makes the case that there is, drawing together phenomenological observations and rabbinical sources to illuminate the distinct dignity of mothers and fathers. Rabbi Soloveichik will be teaching in a Tikvah Advanced Institute this summer called The Future of the Family, alongside Eric Cohen, Gil Meilaender, Dara Horn, and others.

Read Azure Article

Last week, Tikvah’s Advanced Institute Moments of Decision, Great Debates pivoted from 20th century turning points for Israel to the alternatives faced by leaders in mid-Century America. Their engagement with Jewish America was deepened by a lunchtime visit from one of the country’s leading scholars on contemporary American Judaism, Professor Jack Wertheimer of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Listen here to an interview with Professor Wertheimer, conducted by Tikvah’s Senior Director Mark Gottlieb.

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Israel is an incredible place, where it is not uncommon for contemporary events to evoke fundamental human questions and fundamental questions about the nature of Judaism. One such event is the opening of Shalem College, the country’s first liberal arts college, which not only puts such great questions front and center in its curriculum but also represents, itself, a statement about Jewish national identity and the vexed question of the universal and the particular.

Princeton Alumni Weekly just ran an excellent profile of Shalem, its history, and its goals.

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Last week, Brookings Institution senior fellow Michael Doran taught in our ongoing Advanced Institute entitled “Moments of Decision, Great Debates.” His subject was the 1948 Israeli war of independence and the fierce debate that surrounds it. While he was at the Tikvah Center, he sat down with Tikvah’s Executive Director Eric Cohen for an exclusive interview. The discussion ranged from parallels between the Eisenhower and Obama administrations’ approach to the Middle East, to the principles of American foreign policy under President Bush and President Obama to Dr. Doran’s analysis of contemporary crises in Syria and Iran.

“We have ceded to Iran an enormous amount of leverage. Iran has given up no leverage over us whatsoever. With respect to their nuclear program, they are at first and goal. What they have agreed to with this agreement is to stay at first and goal… the leverage that they have over us is constant.”

But, he adds,  it’s not the end of the world… Listen in to see why.

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