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 Crimes, Security 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.
Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He studies and writes about, among other things, constitutional government, conservatism and progressivism in America, liberal education, national security and law, and Middle East politics. Awarded the Bradley Prize in 2017, he has written hundreds of essays, articles, and reviews on many subjects for a variety of publications, including American Political Science Review, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Commentary, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, The London Review of Books, National Review, The New Republic, The New York Post,The New York Sun, Policy Review, The Public Interest, Real Clear Politics, The Times Literary Supplement, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, The Wilson Quarterly, and The Yale Law Journal. His most recent book is Constitutional Conservatism, published in 2013 by the Hoover Institution Press.
He holds a JD and a PhD in political science from Yale University, an MA in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College.
Arthur C. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He has served as president since January 1, 2009. He is also the Beth and Ravenel Curry Scholar in Free Enterprise. Before joining AEI, Dr. Brooks was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, where he taught economics and social entrepreneurship. Prior to his work in academia and public policy, he spent 12 years as a classical musician in the United States and Spain.
Dr. Brooks is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and the bestselling author of 11 books on topics including the role of government, fairness, economic opportunity, happiness, and the morality of free enterprise. His latest book is the New York Times bestseller The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America (Broadside Books, 2015). He has also published dozens of academic journal articles and the textbook Social Entrepreneurship (Prentice Hall, 2008).
Dr. Brooks has a Ph.D. and an M.Phil. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He also holds an M.A. in economics from Florida Atlantic University and a B.A. in economics from Thomas Edison State College.
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 Post, Weekly Standard, Commentary, the New Republic, First 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
Matthew Continetti is editor and co-founder of The Washington Free Beacon and a columnist for Commentary magazine. The author of books on the Republican Revolution and on Sarah Palin, his articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He teaches a course on the conservative intellectual movement for the Hertog Political Studies Program and is a regular panelist on Meet the Press, Meet the Press Daily, and Special Report with Bret Baier.
Alan Cooperman is director of religion research at Pew Research Center. He is an expert on religion’s role in U.S. politics and has reported on religion in Russia, the Middle East and Europe. He plays a central role in planning the project’s research agenda and writing its reports. Before joining Pew Research Center, he was a national reporter and editor at The Washington Post, foreign editor of U.S. News & World Report, and a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1982 and started in journalism at the Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass. He is an author of Mormons in America, Muslim Americans, the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, “Nones” on the Rise and A Portrait of Jewish Americans, and also was the primary editor of Global Christianity and Global Restrictions on Religion. Mr. Cooperman has appeared on numerous media outlets, including NPR, PBS, BBC, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the major broadcast and cable television news networks.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior contributing and chief columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and a senior columnist at Breitbart. She is also a senior columnist for Maariv. She is the author of The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, (Crown 2014) and of Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad (Gefen 2008). The Israeli Solution was endorsed by leading US policymakers including Vice President Mike Pence, Senator Ted Cruz and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Shackled Warrior was endorsed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former CIA director James Woolsey.
Glick has received numerous awards for her commentary. Among others, she received the Ben Hecht award for Middle East reporting from the Zionist Organization of America, the Abramowitz Prize for Media Criticism by Israel Media Watch, the Guardian of Zion award by Bar Ilan University and the Courage of Zion Prize for Zionist pioneering by the Moskowitz Foundation. Glick blogs at her website www.carolineglick.com and on her Facebook author page.
Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist at the NYU-Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, and spent most of his career (1995-2011) at the University of Virginia. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures––including the cultures of American progressive, conservatives, and libertarians. Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis, and of The New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. His third book will be published in July 2018: The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (co-authored with Greg Lukianoff)
At NYU-Stern, he is applying his research on moral psychology to business ethics, asking how companies can structure and run themselves in ways that will be resistant to ethical failures.
Yoram Hazony is an Israeli philosopher, Bible scholar and political theorist. He is president of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem, and the chairman of the Edmund Burke Foundation. 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. His most recent book, The Virtue of Nationalism, won the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s Conservative Book of the Year Award in 2019. Previous books include The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture, God and Politics in Esther, and The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel’s Soul. 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.
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 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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Daniel Johnson is an author, journalist, and founding editor of Standpoint, a monthly British cultural and political magazine. He has been an editorial writer for both The Times (UK) and the Telegraph, as well as literary editor and associate editor for The Times. He was also a contributing editor to The New York Sun and a contributor to The Times Literary Supplement, The Literary Review, Prospect, Commentary, The New Criterion, The American Spectator and The Weekly Standard.
Elliot Kaufman is the inaugural Joseph Rago Memorial Fellow at The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. In addition to the Journal, his writing has appeared online for National Review, and in print for Commentary, for which he wrote a cover story on campus intersectionality and the Jews. Elliot has previously worked for National Review, the Stanford alumni magazine and the Stanford Men’s Basketball Team, and is a graduate of several Tikvah Fund fellowships, the Hertog Foundation’s political studies program, and Stanford University. Elliot hails from Toronto, Canada.
Following a twenty-five year career teaching at Tel-Aviv University, where he directed the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Martin Kramer was the founding president of Shalem College in Jerusalem, Israel’s first liberal arts college, where he continues to teach the modern history of the Middle East. Professor Kramer is also the Koret visiting fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The author of many essays and articles in Commentary, Mosaic, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and elsewhere, Professor Kramer is the author of ten books, most recently The War on Error: Israel, Islam, and the Middle East.
William Kristol is editor at large of the Weekly Standard, which, together with Fred Barnes and John Podhoretz, he founded in 1995. He is the chairman and co-founder of the Project for the New American Century and the co-author, with Lawrence Kaplan, of the best-selling book The War Over Iraq (2003) and the co-editor of The Neoconservative Imagination (with Christopher DeMuth, 1995), Present Dangers (with Robert Kagan, 2000), and The Future is Now: America Confronts the New Genetics (with Eric Cohen, 2002). He has published numerous articles and essays on constitutional law, political philosophy, and public policy, and is a regular contributor on ABC News. Mr. Kristol has served as chief of staff to the Vice President of the United States and to the Secretary of Education. Before coming to Washington in 1985, Kristol taught politics at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Rich Lowry was named editor of National Review in 1997. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and a variety of other publications.
His twice-weekly syndicated column appears in newspapers around the country. He’s a Fox News political analyst, and also is a frequent guest commentator on other programs, including “The McLaughlin Group,” and the “NewsHour” on PBS.
His book on Bill Clinton, Legacy, was a New York Times best-seller, and he is co-author of the spy thriller Banquo’s Ghosts. He lives in New York City.
Robert Nicholson is the Executive Director of The Philos Project, an American nonprofit that seeks to promote positive Christian engagement in the Middle East. Robert is also the co-publisher of Providence: A Journal of Christianity and American Foreign Policy. He holds a BA in Hebrew Studies from Binghamton University, and both a JD and MA in Middle Eastern history from Syracuse University. A former U.S. Marine and a 2012-2013 Tikvah Fellow, Robert has published articles in, among other places, Mosaic, The American Interest, Jerusalem Post, and Times of Israel. His work focuses on spreading the vision of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Middle East based on freedom and rule of law.
Yehoshua Pfeffer is a rabbi and former dayan (religious judge), specializing in monetary law. He currently heads the chareidi division at the Tikvah Fund in Israel, teaches at Yeshivas Chedvas HaTorah, and is editor-in-chief of the new Tzarich Iyun (“Needs Further Study”) online journal. Pfeffer has written numerous books and articles on different subjects of Jewish law and thought; lectures extensively for various forums in Israel and abroad; and has served as chief halachic assistant to the former Chief Rabbi of Israel and as a researcher for the Israel Law Ministry. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in law from Hebrew University, and clerked at the Supreme Court of Israel. He lectures at Hebrew University and at Ono Academic College.
Melanie Phillips, journalist, broadcaster and author, is Britain’s best known and most controversial champion of traditional values in the culture war. Her weekly column, which currently appears in The Times of London, has been published over the years in the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times and Daily Mail. She also writes for the Jerusalem Post and Jewish Chronicle, is a regular panellist on BBC Radio’s The Moral Maze and speaks on public platforms throughout the English-speaking world.Her best-selling book Londonistan, about the British establishment’s capitulation to Islamist aggression, was published in 2006. She followed this in 2010 with The World Turned Upside Down: the Global Battle over God, Truth and Power. Her first novel, The Legacy, which deals with conflicted Jewish identity, antisemitism and the power of history, was published in April by Post Hill Press. Her personal and political memoir, Guardian Angel, was published by Post Hill Press in January. You can follow Melanie’s work at her website, www.melaniephillips.com.
Daniel S. Senor is a bestselling author and a co-founder and member of the board of directors of the Foreign Policy Initiative. His most recent government position was in the administration of George W. Bush, where Mr. Senor served as chief spokesman and senior adviser to the Coalition in Iraq. One of the longest-serving civilian officials in Iraq, Mr. Senor also served as a Pentagon adviser to U.S. Central Command in Qatar and as a foreign policy and communications aide in the U.S. Senate. He has also advised a number of candidates for U.S. Senate. During the 2012 presidential election, Mr. Senor was a senior foreign policy adviser to Governor Mitt Romney. His analytical pieces have been published by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard, Time, and Newsweek. He is co-author of Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle (2011), a New York Times Business Bestseller. From 2001 to 2003, Mr. Senor worked as an investment banker at the Carlyle Group. He earned a B.A. in History from the University of Western Ontario and an M.B.A from Harvard.
Ayelet Shaked has served as Israel’s Minister of Justice since May 2015. Minister Shaked is a member of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party in the Israeli Knesset. She was elected 2nd on the party’s list in the 2015 primaries.
From 2006 to 2008, Minister Shaked worked as a personal assistant to then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu. In 2010, Shaked founded the “My Israel” movement together with Bayit Yehudi founder Naftali Bennett. The movement is a Zionist Hasbara organization that combats demonization and dis-information about Israel via the internet. As a result of her successful Hasbara efforts at “My Israel”, Shaked won the 2012 Abramowitz Israeli Prize for Media Criticism.
In November 2012 she was elected 2nd in the Bayit Yehudi’s primaries, making her both the first woman and secular person elected to the party’s list. As an MK in the 19th Knesset, Minister Shaked served as the Chair of the Knesset Lobby which focused on returning illegal migrants to their countries of origin, Chair of the Special Knesset Committee that drafted legislation aimed at integrating the Ultra-Orthodox into the Army and Israeli Society and Chair of the Knesset Lobby for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Additionally, she served as a member of the Committee on Foreign Workers and the Finance Committee.
During her army service, Minister Shaked served as an officer in the elite “Golani” Brigade. MK Shaked holds a BSc in electrical engineering and computer science from Tel Aviv University. She is the mother of two children and lives with her husband in Tel Aviv, where she was born and raised.
Natan Sharansky was born in 1948 in Donetzk, Ukraine. He graduated from the Physical Technical Institute in Moscow with a degree in computer science. After graduating, he applied for an exit visa to Israel, which he was denied for “security reasons”. Very quickly he became involved in the struggle of Soviet Jewry to earn their freedom and emigrate to Israel. At the same time, he joined the human rights movement in the Soviet Union led by Andrei Sahkharov. He became one of the founding members of the Moscow Helsinki Group which united Soviet dissidents of all types. Natan Sharansky soon became an unofficial spokesperson for both movements.
In 1977, a Soviet newspaper alleged that Mr. Sharansky was collaborating with the CIA. Despite denials from every level of the U.S. Government, Mr. Sharansky was found guilty and sentenced to thirteen years in prison including solitary confinement and hard labor. In the courtroom prior to the announcement of his verdict, Mr. Sharansky in a public statement said: “To the court I have nothing to say – to my wife and the Jewish people I say “Next Year in Jerusalem”. After nine years of imprisonment, due to intense international pressure and a campaign led by his wife, Avital Sharansky, Mr. Sharansky was released on February 11, 1986, emigrated to Israel, and arrived in Jerusalem on that very day.
Upon his arrival to Israel he continued the struggle for opening the gates of the Soviet Union. The final chapter of this historic struggle for the release of Soviet Jews was the momentous rally of over 250,000 people on December 7th, 1987, of which Natan Sharansky was the initiator and driving force. The rally coincided with Soviet President Gorbachev’s first visit in Washington and was influential in pressuring the Soviet Union to ease its restrictions on emigration.
In 1988, in expectation of the opening of the gates of the Soviet Union, Natan Sharansky formed together with other former Refuseniks and Aliya (immigration to Israel) advocates the Soviet Jewry Zionist Forum, an umbrella organization of former Soviet activist groups dedicated to helping new Israelis and educating the public about absorption issues. From 1990 to 1996 Mr. Sharansky served as Associate Editor of “The Jerusalem Report” and in 1994 co-founded Peace Watch – an independent non-partisan group committed to monitoring the compliance to agreements signed by Israel and the PLO.
The party was established to accelerate the absorption of the massive numbers of Russian immigrants into Israeli society and to maximize their contribution. From 1996-2005 Natan Sharansky served as Minister as well as Deputy Prime Minister in four successive Israeli governments. In November 2006 Natan Sharansky resigned from the Israeli Knesset and assumed the position of Chairman of the newly established Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. He is also the Chairman of One Jerusalem and Beth Hatefutsoth, the Jewish Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv.
In June 2009, Natan Sharansky was elected Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Natan Sharansky was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1986 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. He has continued to lead human rights efforts both through his writings as well as public activities. His memoir, Fear No Evil, was published in the United States in 1988 and has been translated into nine languages. His New York Times bestseller, The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror attracted wide-spread attention. After reading the book, President George Bush was quoted saying: “If you want to understand my political DNA, read this book.” His latest book, Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy published by Public Affairs, was released in June 2008. Natan Sharansky is married to Avital. They reside in Jerusalem and have two daughters, Rachel and Hanna, and two grandchildren.
Seth M. Siegel is the author of the New York Times bestseller Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World. His essays on water and other issues have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and in leading publications in Europe and Asia. Seth is a Senior Advisor to Start-Up Nation Central, an Israeli non-profit that connects government, NGO, and business leaders to the relevant people, companies, and technologies in Israel.
Seth is the co-founder of several companies, including Beanstalk, the world’s leading trademark brand extension company, which he sold to Ford Motor Company. He was also a Producer of the Tony Award-nominated Broadway revival of Man of La Mancha. Seth sits on the board of several not-for-profit organizations and he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
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 Kikar: Conversations in the Jewish Public Square, 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.
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 Journal, Commentary, First 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
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.