The Tikvah Podcast

As part of the Tikvah Fund and Hertog Foundation’s Advanced Institute, “Is Israel Alone?,”Roger Hertog sat down with syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer to revisit Dr. Krauthammer’s legendary article for the fiftieth anniversary of Israeli independence. Published in The Weekly Standard“At Last, Zion,” described the achievement of Israel’s founders within the full scope of Jewish history, arguing that the Jews had traded the vulnerabilities of Diaspora life—assimilation and discrimination—for new vulnerabilities, namely that the security threats arrayed against the new nation state risked a new kind of extermination. Though much has changed in the nearly two decades since Dr. Krauthammer’s essay, Israel still faces extraordinary security risks. Its demise would constitute the greatest tragedy yet in Jewish history.

In this conversation, Dr. Krauthammer surveys Israel’s many threats, from Iran’s nuclear program to the European embrace of BDS. With his characteristic wit, Dr. Krauthammer analyzes the strategic choices for the United States, Israel, and the American Jewish community. In particular, Dr. Krauthammer devotes much of the discussion to the unique forces in the politics of American Judaism: Jewish leftism, pro-Israel evangelicals, charges of dual loyalty, intermarriage, and the like. The discussion ends on a theological note, as Dr. Krauthammer reflects on the moral obligations of Zionism and on his own theology of trembling doubt.

The conversation was recorded before a small group of Americans and Israelis on December 18, 2015.

Direct download: Charles_Krauthammer_-_At_Last_Zion.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT

The election of 2016 has few if any precedents in American history. After the transformational presidency of Barack Obama, much is at stake. Hillary Clinton could solidify and build upon his achievements. A Republican candidate could chart a new course. But each party is witnessing a populist insurgency that threatens to reshape American politics. In Jerusalem, Weekly Standardeditor William Kristol surveyed the scene. What is beneath all this turmoil? What does it mean for American democracy? What will it mean for Israel?

The event was recorded on January 14, 2016.

Direct download: William_Kristol_-_American_Democracy_Today.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm EDT

During last month’s Advanced Institute in Jerusalem, “God, Politics, and the Future of Europe,” Tikvah hosted a conversation on “Modernity, Religion, and Morality” to discuss the decline of Western Civilization and to probe some of the reasons behind it. What happens when faith in the God of the Bible deteriorates? How does that affect faith in reason and are the values of liberalism enough to sustain a society?

The panel featured prominent intellectuals, George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Yoram Hazony, President of the Herzl Institute. The evening’s discussion was moderated by Daniel Johnson, founder and editor of Standpoint Magazine.

Direct download: George_Weigel_and_Yoram_Hazony_-_-Modernity_Religion_and_Morality-.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:12pm EDT

Joshua Mitchell is a professor of political theory in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. After the terrorist attacks of 2001, he left the U.S. capital to teach the great books of Western political thought to university students in Qatar and Iraq. The students there, he found, differed in dramatic ways from those in the U.S. They were beset with anguish over the value of individualism, and they felt their allegiance to traditional roles in family and society strained in ways that made them question the promises of modernity. Professor Mitchell realized that the social forces at play in the contemporary Middle East were much the same as those Alexis de Tocqueville observed in 19th-century America.

As part of 2015 Tikvah Advanced Institute “Tradition and Freedom,” Professor Mitchell shares how those in the Arab Gulf seek to navigate the challenges that come with more isolation within their communities and increased connectedness with the rest of the world. Paradoxically, it is the great analyst of democracy in America that sheds the most light on the social and psychological experience of the contemporary Middle East.

Joshua Mitchell speaks with Tikvah Fund Director of Academic Programs Jonathan Silver, and answers questions from the audience.  This event took place on June 16, 2015  at the Tikvah Center in New York City. More of Professor Mitchell’s reflections on these subjects can be found in his 2013 book Tocqueville in Arabia: Dilemmas in a Democratic Age.

Direct download: Joshua_Mitchell_on_Tocqueville_in_Arabia.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:28pm EDT

Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter has forged a long and dedicated career both as a pulpit rabbi and as a leading academic scholar of Jewish history. How does he negotiate situations in which love of Torah and tradition appear to be in tension with modern sensibilities or historical truth? What motivates his own spiritual practice?

In a moving conversation with students in the Tikvah Summer Fellowship for College Students and moderated by the Tikvah Fund’s Senior Director Mark Gottlieb, Rabbi Schacter works through these questions, and also shares how his own Jewish upbringing formed who he is today.

This event was recorded July 21, 2015 at the Tikvah Center in New York City.

Direct download: Rabbi_Jacob_J._Schacter_on_Family_and_Freedom_podcast.mp3
Category:Event -- posted at: 9:52am EDT