Elliott Abrams

Elliott Abrams

Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser in the administration of George W. Bush. He also served as an Assistant Secretary of State in the Reagan administration. A member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, Mr. Abrams teaches U.S. foreign policy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He is the author of Undue Process: A Story of How Political Differences are Turned into CrimesSecurity and Sacrifice: Isolation, Intervention, and American Foreign Policy, and Faith or Fear: How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America, and writes widely on U.S. foreign policy with special focus on the Middle East and the issues of democracy and human rights. His most recent book is Realism and Democracy: American Foreign Policy After the Arab Spring.

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Left, Right, and Israeli National Security

Gary L. Bauer

Gary L. Bauer

Gary Bauer is one of America’s most effective spokesmen for pro-life, pro-family, and pro-growth values. He served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for eight years. While serving at the Education Department, Bauer was named Chairman of President Reagan’s Special Working Group on the Family.

Completing his service in the Reagan White House in late 1988, Gary Bauer became President of the Family Research Council and a Senior Vice President of Focus on the Family. He took his pro-family, pro-life message across the country in 1999 and into the 2000 Republican presidential debates and primaries. He has continued to champion these and other causes at American Values, a non-profit educational organization Bauer founded after the 2000 presidential campaign.

Bauer is also a leading Christian advocate for a strong and secure Israel and has devoted considerable time and energy to strengthening the shared values of the Israeli/American alliance.

He is the author of Our Journey Home, published in October 1992; co-author of Children at Risk: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Our Kids written with Focus on the Family Chairman and Founder, Dr. James Dobson; author of Our Hopes, Our Dreams: A Vision for America, published in 1996, and Doing Things Right, published in 2001.

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Jews, Christians, and the Conservative Alliance

Jason Bedrick

Jason Bedrick

Yehoshua (Jason) Bedrick is Director of Policy at EdChoice. Previously, he was a Policy Analyst with the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. He also served as a legislator in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and was a Research Fellow at the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, where he focused on educational choice. Mr. Bedrick received his Master’s in Public Policy, with a focus in education policy, from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He also holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the Rabbinical College of America and a B.S. in Business Administration from Babson College.

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School Choice and the Jewish Education Agenda

Eric Cohen

Eric Cohen

Eric Cohen is the Co-Chairman of the Jewish Leadership Conference and has been the Executive Director of the Tikvah Fund since 2007. He was the founder and remains Editor-at-Large of the New Atlantis, serves as the publisher of the Jewish Review of Books and Mosaic, and currently serves on the board of directors of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Witherspoon Institute, and National Affairs and on the Editorial Advisory Board of First Things. Mr. Cohen has published in numerous academic and popular journals, magazines, and newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington PostWeekly StandardCommentary, the New RepublicFirst Things, and numerous others. He is the author of In the Shadow of Progress: Being Human in the Age of Technology (2008) and co-editor of The Future is Now: America Confronts the New Genetics (2002). He was previously Managing Editor of the Public Interest and served as a senior consultant to the President’s Council on Bioethics.

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The Spirit of Jewish Conservatism

Ambassador Ron Dermer

Ambassador Ron Dermer

Ron Dermer was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida. He earned a degree in Finance and Management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from Oxford University. For three years, he was a columnist for the Jerusalem Post.

In 2004, Mr. Dermer co-authored with Natan Sharansky the best-selling book, The Case For Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, which has been translated into ten languages. From 2005-2008, Ron served as Israel’s Minister of Economic Affairs in the United States. From 2009-2013, he served as Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He is married to Rhoda and has five children​.

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America and Israel: Two Chosen Nations

Dr. Michael Doran

Dr. Michael Doran

Michael Doran is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Middle East security issues.

In the administration of President George W. Bush, Doran served in the White House as a Senior Director in the National Security Council, where he was responsible for helping to devise and coordinate United States strategies on a variety of Middle East issues, including Arab-Israeli relations and U.S. efforts to contain Iran and Syria. He also served in the Bush Administration as a senior adviser in the State Department and a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon.

Born in Kokomo, Indiana, Doran received a B.A. from Stanford and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton.

Before coming to Hudson, Doran was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has also held teaching positions at NYU, Princeton, and the University of Central Florida. He appears frequently on television and has published extensively in MosaicForeign Affairs, the American Interest, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. His most recent book is Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East.

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Left, Right, and Israeli National Security

Dr. David Gelernter

Dr. David Gelernter

David Gelernter is professor of computer science at Yale, chief scientist at Mirror Worlds Technologies, Contributing Editor at the Weekly Standard, and member of the National Council of the Arts. He is the author of several books and many technical articles, as well as essays, art criticism, and fiction. The “tuple spaces” introduced in Carriero and Gelernter’s Linda system (1983) are the basis of many computer-communication and distributed programming systems worldwide. According to Reuters, his book Mirror Worlds (Oxford University Press, 1991) “foresaw” the World Wide Web and was “one of the inspirations for Java”; the “lifestreams” system (first implemented by Eric Freeman at Yale) is the basis for Mirror Worlds Technologies’ software. Gelernter is also the author of The Muse in the Machine (Free Press, 1994), the novel 1939 (Harper Perennial, 1995), Machine Beauty (Basic Books, 1998), and most recently, Judaism: A Way of Being (Yale University Press, 2010).

He is a former National Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and Senior Fellow in Jewish thought at the Shalem Center, and sat on the National Endowment for the Arts. He publishes widely; his work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, New York Times, The Weekly Standard, and elsewhere. His paintings have been exhibited in New Haven and Manhattan.

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The Jewish Invention of Western Civilization

Yoram Hazony

Yoram Hazony

Yoram Hazony is an Israeli philosopher, Bible scholar and political theorist. He is President of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem, and the founder and former head of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, a research institute that conducted nearly two decades of pioneering work in the fields of philosophy, political theory, Bible, Talmud, Jewish and Zionist history, Middle East Studies and archaeology. He is also the Director of the John Templeton Foundation‘s project in Jewish Philosophical Theology.

Dr. Hazony researches and writes in the fields of philosophy and theology, political theory and intellectual history. Previous books include The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture (Cambridge University Press, 2012); God and Politics in Esther (Cambridge University Press, 2016); and The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel’s Soul (Basic Books, 2000). His articles and essays have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Commentary and the New Republic, among others. His next book, book The Virtue of Nationalism, will be out with Basic Books in September 2018.

He obtained his doctorate in Political Theory at Rutgers University, and was the first editor of Princeton’s conservative undergraduate student journal. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife Yael Hazony. They have nine children.

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God, Nationalism, and Conservatism: A Jewish View

Roger Hertog

Roger Hertog

Roger Hertog is the Co-Chairman of the Jewish Leadership Conference, President of the Hertog Foundation, and Chairman of the Tikvah Fund. One of the founding partners of the investment research and management firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., which he joined in 1968, Mr. Hertog served as the firm’s President before its merger with Alliance Capital Management in 2000. In 2006, he retired from the successor company, AllianceBernstein, and is currently Vice-Chairman Emeritus. An alumnus of the City College of New York, Mr. Hertog was previously Chairman of The New-York Historical Society and The Manhattan Institute; he has also served on the boards of the American Enterprise Institute, the New York Philharmonic, the New York Public Library, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, and the Washington Institute for Near-East Policy. In 2007 Mr. Hertog was awarded the Medal of the National Endowment for the Humanities in recognition of his philanthropic efforts. In 2010 he received the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership.

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Opening Remarks

Leonard Leo

Leonard Leo

Leonard is Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society, an organization of around 65,000 individuals advancing limited, constitutional government. Most recently, he has advised President Trump on judicial selection, helped to manage the Gorsuch selection and confirmation process, and served as a member of the transition team. He organized the outside coalition efforts in support of the Roberts and Alito U.S. Supreme Court confirmations, and, in 2004, was the Bush-Cheney Presidential Campaign’s Catholic Strategist. Leonard was appointed by President George W. Bush to three terms to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom as Chairman. He was also a U.S. Delegate to the U.N. Council and U.N. Commission on Human Rights during the Bush Administration. Leonard was the recipient of the 2009 Bradley Prize, along with the other founders and directors of the Federalist Society, for his work in advancing freedom and the rule of law. He is the co-editor of Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House, as well as the author of opinion editorials in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. Leonard holds degrees from Cornell University and Cornell Law School. He presently resides in Northern Virginia, where he and his wife Sally have raised their seven children.

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Religious Liberty on Trial: Challenges for the Jewish Community

Dr. Yuval Levin

Dr. Yuval Levin

Yuval Levin is the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the Editor of National Affairs. His essays and articles have appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street JournalCommentary, and others. He is a contributing editor of National Review and the Weekly Standard, a Senior Editor of EPPC’s journal the New Atlantis and, most recently, author of The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism. He is a recipient of a 2013 Bradley Prize for intellectual achievement. Before joining EPPC, Mr. Levin served on the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush. He has also been Executive Director of the President’s Council on Bioethics and a congressional staffer. He holds a B.A. from American University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

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Religious Liberty on Trial: Challenges for the Jewish Community

Dr. Eva S. Moskowitz

Dr. Eva S. Moskowitz

Eva Moskowitz is the Founder and CEO of Success Charter Network, which runs four charter schools in Harlem. In 2006, Eva founded Harlem Success Academy, hailed by New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein as “one of the best charter schools in the country” and cited by Mayor Michael Bloomberg for its “amazing performance.” She opened three more charter schools in 2008 and plans to open 40 over the next decade.

A former New York City Council Member and Chair of the Council’s education committee, Dr. Moskowitz remains a forceful advocate for education but has returned to her roots in teaching to implement all she learned while visiting hundreds of New York City’s 1,300 public and charter schools.

She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in American history at Johns Hopkins University.

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School Choice and the Jewish Education Agenda

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is one of America’s most respected radio talk show hosts and the founder of Prager University, an institution spreading conservative ideas and values through short online courses delivered by some of America’s preeminent thinkers, scholars, and leaders. Mr. Prager has been broadcasting on radio in Los Angeles since 1982. His popular show became nationally syndicated in 1999 and airs live, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to Noon (Pacific Time) from his home station, KRLA. Widely sought after by television shows for his opinions, he’s appeared on Fox and Friends, Red Eye, Hardball, Hannity, CBS Evening News, The Today Show and many others.

Mr. Prager has written numerous books including The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism (1986), the most widely used introduction to Judaism in the world. He has previously lectured on the Hebrew Bible at the American Jewish University. He writes a column appearing in newspapers nationally, as well as contributing to publications including Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and the Wall Street Journal. He has lectured on all seven continents, produced several films, and, among other honors, was appointed by President Ronald Regain to the U.S. Delegation to the Vienna Review Conference on the Helsinki Accords.

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Why Conservatism Is Good for the Jews

Jonathan Silver

Jonathan Silver

Jonathan Silver is the Executive Director of the Jewish Leadership Conference, and is a Senior Director at the Tikvah Fund, where he has conducted scores of interviews with Jewish intellectuals, political figures, rabbis, and writers as the host of the Tikvah Podcast on Great Jewish Essays and Ideas, and Tikvah’s online courses. He was educated at Tufts University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Georgetown University.

Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik

Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik

Meir Y. Soloveichik is Director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and the Rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. Prior to this, Rabbi Soloveichik served as associate rabbi at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan. Rabbi Soloveichik has lectured throughout the United States, in Europe, and in Israel to both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on topics relating to Jewish theology, bioethics, wartime ethics, and Jewish-Christian relations. His essays on these subjects have appeared in the Wall Street JournalCommentaryFirst Things, Azure, Tradition, and the Torah U-Madda Journal. In August 2012, he gave the invocation at the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. He is the son of Rabbi Eliyahu Soloveichik, grandson of the late Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, and the great nephew of the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

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Jews, Christians, and the Conservative Alliance

Ruth Wisse

Ruth Wisse

Recently retired from her position as Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard, Ruth Wisse is currently Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Tikvah Fund. Dr. Wisse’s books on literary subjects include an edition of Jacob Glatstein’s two-volume fictional memoir, The Glatstein Chronicles (2010), The Modern Jewish Canon: A Journey through Literature and Culture (2003), and A Little Love in Big Manhattan (1988). She is also the author of two political studies, If I Am Not for Myself: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews (1992) and Jews and Power (2007). Her latest book, No Joke: Making Jewish Humor, a volume in the Tikvah-sponsored Library of Jewish Ideas, was published by Princeton University Press.

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Jewish Books and Jewish Politics