PAST EVENTS
The programs of Embracing Democracy are sponsored by an anonymous donor who has provided a challenge grant to generate support for this community undertaking.  


ARTISTIC EXPRESSION & ISRAEL

Tuesday, February 18 at 7:00 pm


What is the appropriate balance between presenting for an American audience, Israeli art that is critical of the society and art which celebrates it?

Listen online or download the podcast of this event.

Panelists:

Dror Moreh, Academy Award-nominated director of The Gatekeepers
Linda Gradstein, Freelance Journalist and former NPR Jerusalem Correspondent 
Leon Wieseltier, Literary Editor of The New Republic

ARI SHAVIT IN CONVERSATION WITH LEON WIESELTIER 

Wednesday, January 22 at 8:00 pm

Ari Shavit’s newest book, The New York Times bestseller My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel is a thoughtful meditation on Israel's history, politics and crucial national questions. Drawing on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family’s story, Shavit illuminates the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is both personal and national. Shavit will be in conversation with Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of the New Republic.

Listen online or download the podcast of this event.

EXAMINING THE HISTORY OF 1948 

Wednesday, January 22 at 6:30 pm 

The creation of the State of Israel and its subsequent victory over the assembled Arab armies arrayed against it was widely regarded as a modern miracle in 1948. Coming after the trauma of the Shoah and fulfilling an ancient longing for a return to Zion made for a heroic moment in Israeli and Jewish consciousness. In the years since, different historians have helped to uncover the more complex history of the war and its aftermath, even as that history has become an object of political debate. Our panel will discuss the developments in the historical research of 1948, the uses  of that history and its impact on contemporary political discussions.

Listen online or download the podcast of this event.

Moderator:

Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at SlateHer work has appeared in the New York TimesHarper’sThe New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Commentary, among other places.

Panelists Included:

Professor Donna Robinson Divine, Morningstar Family Foundation Professor of Government and Director of Middle East Studies at Smith College
Shay Hazkani, 
Visiting Scholar at Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law, Economy and Society
Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America


THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY'S EVOLVING RELATIONSHIP WITH ISRAEL

Sunday, December 8 at 5:00 pm


At a time when it is ever more important to expand and share the conversation about Israel, we are inspired to offer this panel discussion as a part of a new continuing series called Embracing Democracy: Who Has the Right to Speak for Israel? In these conversations we will bring into the light the strong emotions, conflicting opinions and different modes of expression of support for Israel.  As America itself seems ever more polarized, we aim to use these discussions as a way to bridge the polarization that has beset the American Jewish community around Israel.

Moderator: 

Jane Eisner, Editor-in-Chief of The Forward

Panelists: 
 
Jonathan Tobin, Senior Online Editor of Commentary magazine
Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, Director, JCPA Civility Initiative and Founding Director of Encounter
Congressman Robert Wexler, president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington, DC 
Michael Makovsky, CEO, JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) 

Video of the event courtesy of forward.com