The Tikvah Podcast

In 2021, 49 different guests appeared on the podcast over the course of 44 new episodes. Our conversations touched on some of the most important and interesting subjects in Jewish life, including discussions with leaders of Israel's ḥaredi community, a course developer who is deploying technology to teach people Yiddish, diplomats and strategists shaping foreign-policy debates in Israel, Europe, and America, elected officials and diplomats, historians and social scientists, theologians and rabbis, academics and authors, reporters and entrepreneurs. Each guest, in conversation with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver, trained his or her unique perspective on some timely or enduring question that stands before the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

In this episode, we present some of our favorite conversations this year. Guests featured in this year-end episode include the Israeli rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer, the foreign-policy analysts Benjamin Haddad and Michael Doran, Wall Street Journal editor Elliot Kaufman, social scientist Nicholas Eberstadt, Jewish educational leader David Rozenson, Yiddish expert Meena Viswanath, tech CEO Sean Clifford, novelist Dara Horn, and the eminent writer Cynthia Ozick.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

Direct download: Best_2021_FINAL.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 8:08pm EST

In a previous podcast, the professors Benjamin and Jenna Storey explored a habit of mind that frustrated their very best students, a sentiment they called restlessness. As the Storeys saw it, their exceptional students had countless life and career options open to them, and yet they had so little cultural and vocational formation that they couldn’t discern what path to take, or the purposes to which they should dedicate their talents.

This week’s podcast features three young people who are beginning to rise in their professions with confidence. Smart, personable, they could have launched themselves into any number of fields. Instead they chose to dedicate themselves to serving America, the Jews, and Israel. Just a couple of years ago, Tamara Berens, Talia Katz, and Dovid Schwartz were all fellows at the Beren Summer Fellowship, an experience that helped guide each of them. On this week’s podcast, in conversation with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver, they give us an inside look at the fellowship, and at how it helped them clarify―to themselves and to one another―the Jewish purposes they're meant to serve.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

Direct download: Tikvah_Podcast_Fellowship_Final.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 10:28pm EST

According to a new report, in 2020 2,400 U.S.-based healthcare facilities, local governments, schools, and other institutions were victims of ransomware—a form of cyber-attack in which a hacker holds a person’s data hostage and demands a ransom to permit them to access it again. Ransomware has become such a problem that in October the U.S. State Department formed a new office to confront it, and in November the Treasury Department announced that it will partner with its Israeli counterpart on a joint task force to address this and other cybersecurity issues.

Israel, like America, is also confronted with problems in cyberspace. On this week’s podcast, Annie Fixler, the deputy director of the Center on Cyber Technology and Innovation at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, joins Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver to explain the threats that cyber warfare poses to American life, and the role that Israel could play in helping secure both countries from malicious attacks, whether they come from lone-wolf hackers or enemy nation-states.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

Direct download: Tikvah_Podcast_Fixler_Final.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 6:26pm EST

On Saturday, December 4, 2021, an explosion occurred near Iran's nuclear facility outside the city of Natanz. Afterwards, two nearby villages were evacuated. Was the explosion the result of a weapons test? An accident? Sabotage? No one yet knows what took place in the mountains of northern Iran that day. And whereas civilians and observers can afford to wait for more information, national-security professionals are forced to act and react to events like this in real time without a lot of information. If there's an explosion near the nuclear compound of an adversarial nation, what do you do?

Natanz and its uncertainty is the point of departure for this week’s podcast. Victoria Coates, the former deputy national security adviser for Middle Eastern and North African affairs, shares her experience making decisions under pressure and with imperfect information.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

Direct download: VCoates_with_INTRO.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 9:54pm EST

Last week, the Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz visited Morocco, where for the first time he was accompanied by uniformed Israeli military personnel. Gantz’s visit comes on the heels of visits in the last year by Israeli national-security advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid, both of whom prepared the way for full diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Building on Israel and Morocco’s burgeoning diplomatic relations, the purpose of Gantz’s recent visit was to negotiate a memorandum of understanding focused on their security cooperation. Judah Ari Gross, the military correspondent for the Times of Israel and this week’s podcast guest, accompanied Gantz on his trip. In conversation with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver, he explains here how this historic agreement happened, what it means, and how it serves each nation’s interests.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

Direct download: Judah_Gross_FINAL.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 9:43pm EST

1