The PAS Lecture Series 5772

Israel in the American Jewish Imagination

With Leon Wieseltier, Steven M. Cohen, Daniel Gordis, Dan Senor, Natan Sharansky and Donniel Hartman

The series examined the substance and significance of the relationship between American Jewry and the modern State of Israel. How can we create two vibrant and mutually interdependent centers of world Jewry while recognizing the particular challenges and opportunities each faces?

The following video features a compilation of the six lectures that comprised the series.


Leon Wieseltier

Literary editor of The New Republic since 1983, Wieseltier is the author of Kaddish; Against Identity and Nuclear War, Nuclear Peace: The Sensible Argument about the Greatest Peril of Our Age, as well as essays on political, cultural and Jewish themes published in many places.

Dr. Steven M. Cohen
Cohen, a sociologist of American Jewry, is Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at HUC-JIR and Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner. The author of several books about Judaism and Israel, Cohen’s current research interests focus on the emerging patterns of Jewish identity and community among Jews in their 20s and 30s.

Dr. Daniel Gordis
Senior Vice President of the Shalem Center, Gordis is a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post and a frequent contributor to the New York Times. He is the author of numerous books on Jewish thought and currents in Israel, including Saving Israel: How the Jewish State Can Win a War That May Never End. The founding dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism, Gordis regularly presents about Israel to American audiences.

Dan Senor
An author, investor and television commentator on global affairs, Senor is currently a senior advisor to Elliott Management, a New York-based investment fund and an adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Senor is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle

Natan Sharansky
Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Sharansky is a former prisoner of Zion, human rights activist and continues to be active in the promotion of democratic values and freedom. He served in four successive Israeli governments as Minister of four different ministries as well as Deputy Prime Minister, is the author of three bestselling books and a recipient of both the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman
Hartman, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute and director of the Engaging Israel Project, is the founder of some of the most extensive education, training and enrichment programs for scholars, educators and rabbis. He is the author is The Boundaries of Judaism, the co-editor of Judaism and the Challenges of Modern Life and the co-author of Spheres of Jewish Identity.