Is It 1938 Again? -
A Major Conference
on the State of World Jewry
Sunday, April 22 – Monday, April 23, 2007
- Lefrak Concert Hall
Registration Form | Program | Schedule | Donors | Center for Jewish Studies

Sunday, April 22, 2007
Lefrak Concert Hall


8:30-9:30 a.m.




Dr. James Muyskens

President, Queens College


Back to the Future: Is it 1938 Again?

Malcolm Hoenlein

Executive Vice Chair
Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations

Professor Leonard Fein

Syndicated Columnist, The Forward


Coffee Break


Choosing Between Right & Left:
Is a Unified and Coherent Jewish Political Front Possible?

Professor Irving Louis Horowitz

Hannah Arendt University Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Political Science, Rutgers University

Professor Michael Walzer
Center for Advanced Study, Princeton
Editor, Dissent

Professor Alan Dershowitz
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law
Harvard Law School

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Lunch Break

1:45 - 3:00

From Tel Aviv to New York:
Dealing with the Iranian Nuclear Threat

Norman Podhoretz
Editor-at-Large, Commentary Magazine

3:00 - 4:30

The Ethical Limits of Diaspora Jewry’s Criticism
of Israel in Matters of National Security

Professor Moshe Halbertal

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Blu Greenberg
Co-Founder, One Voice: Jewish Women for Israel

Jeff Helmreich
Georgetown University, School of Law

Micha Goodman
The Shalom Hartman Institute

5:00 - 6:30 p.m

VIP Reception (by invitation)

Monday, April 23, 2007
LeFrak Concert Hall


9:00-10:00 a.m.
9:30 – 9:45


Saving American Jewry:
Demography, Politics & Destiny

Jack Wertheimer
Provost, Jewish Theological Seminary

Lawrence Grossman
Executive Editor, American Jewish Yearbook

Professor Samuel Heilman
Harold Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies at the Graduate Center and Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Queens College, CUNY


11:15 - 11:30

Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:45

Facing Armageddon:
Evangelicals and the Jews

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President,
International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Rabbi David Saperstein                          
Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Lunch Break

2:15 – 3:30

Europe, Islam and the Future of European Jewry

David Pryce-Jones
Senior Editor, The National Review

3:30 – 5:00

Siamese Twins: American Jews & Israel
Can One Survive Without the Other?

Hillel Halkin 
Contributing Editor, The New York Sun

David A. Harris
Executive Director, American Jewish Committee

Professor Susannah Heschel   
Eli Black Chair in Jewish Studies and Associate Professor, Department of Religion, Dartmouth College                  

5:00 – 5:15 p.m.

Closing Remarks: Is It 1938 Again?

David Schimel, Conference Chair
Editor, The Jewish Political Chronicle

Conference Speakers Bios

Alan Dershowitz,
is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard University. Arguably one of the world’s best known lawyers, his clients have included Anatoly Sharansky, Claus Von Bulow, Michael Milken and Mike Tyson. Half of his cases are pro bono. Dershowitz is the author of more than 20 books of fiction and non-fiction. Among those relating to the Jewish community are The Case for Peace: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict can be Resolved, The Case for Israel, Why Terrorism Works, The Vanishing American Jew, andthe #1 bestseller, Chutzpah.

Yechiel Eckstein,
received his MA and rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University and holds an MA from Columbia University, where he also studied for his doctorate. Founder and President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Rabbi Eckstein has devoted the past thirty years to building bridges between evangelical Christians and Jews, strengthening support for Israel, and other shared concerns. His organization has raised more than $200 million from Christians in support of various Jewish programs. Author of five books, Rabbi Eckstein serves on many boards, including the Jewish Agency in Israel and the Joint Distribution Committee. In 2004, he was named Goodwill Ambassador to Israel.

Leonard Fein,
is the founder of Moment magazine and served as its editor and publisher for ten years. He has also been a professor at MIT and Brandeis Universities. In 1985, Dr. Fein founded Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger and in 1996 he established the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy. The author of four books and nearly 1,000 articles, essays, and monographs, he writes a weekly, syndicated column for the Forward and is the recipient of four honorary doctorates.

Micah Goodman,
holds an MA and PhD in Jewish Thought from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His dissertation focuses on the philosophy of history in the thought of Maimonides and Nahmanides. Dr. Goodman has published a number of articles in academic journals on the topic of Middle- Age thought and teaches a course on Maimonides’ Guide to the Perplexed at both The Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University. Dr. Goodman also serves as Director of the Beit Medrash Program at Kfar Adumim.

Blu Greenberg,
founding President of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, is author of a number of books, including, On Women and Judaism: A View From Tradition; How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household; Black Bread: Poems After the Holocaust, and King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Active in interfaith work, she serves on numerous boards, including the National Jewish Family Center, The Covenant Foundation, The Jewish Book Council, and Federation Task Force on Jewish Women. Ms. Greenberg is Founding Chairperson of One Voice: Jewish Women for Israel, established in 2000.

Lawrence Grossman,
is editor of the American Jewish Year Book and Associate Director of Research at the American Jewish Committee. The recipient of rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University and holder of a Ph.D. in history from City University Graduate Center, he has published over 100 essays and reviews on Jewish life. Among his recent publications are “The Organized Jewish Community and Evangelical America,” “Jews: Middle Atlantic and Beyond,” “Mainstream Orthodoxy and the American Public Square,” and “Jewish Religious Denominations.” Since 1988, Dr. Grossman has authored the annual article, “Jewish Communal Affairs,” in the American Jewish Year Book.

Moshe Halbertal,
is Professor of Jewish thought and philosophy at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He received his Ph.D. from Hebrew University and was a fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. A visiting professor at Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law and University of Pennsylvania Law School, he is the author of Idolatry (co-authored with Avishai Margalit); People of the Book: Canon, Meaning, and Authority, Interpretative Revolutions in the Making; Between Torah and Wisdom: R Menachem ha-Meiri and The Maimonidean Halakhists in Provence and Concealment and Revelation: The Secret and its Boundaries in Medieval Jewish Thought.  He is recipient of the Bruno Award of the Rothschild Foundation and the Goren Goldstein award for the best book in Jewish thought in the years 1997-2000.

Hillel Halkin,
author, essayist, and translator, has rendered over sixty works of fiction, poetry, and drama from Hebrew and Yiddish into English, including classic works by S.Y. Agnon, Sholem Aleichem, Y.L. Peretz, and others. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize while serving as Israel correspondent for the Forward between 1993 and 1996. He is a regular contributor to Commentary, The Jerusalem Post, The New Republic, and the New York Sun. Among his many books are, Letters to an American Jewish Friend: A Zionist Polemic, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; Beyond the Sabbath River, winner of the Lucy Dawidowicz History Prize;and  A  Strange Death: A Story Originating in Espionage, Betrayal, and Vengeance in a Village in Old Palestine.

David Harris,
has been the executive director of the American Jewish Committee since 1990. A world traveler to hundreds of Jewish communities worldwide, monitoring their conditions, he has been a driving force in many historic achievements, including the repeal of the infamous “Zionism is racism” U.N. resolution, the successful campaign to end Japan’s adherence to the Arab economic boycott of Israel, and the rescue of Soviet and Ethiopian Jews. Mr. Harris has testified frequently on Jewish matters before the U.S. Congress, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, and the French Parliament. A prolific author and commentator, his insightful biweekly AJC broadcasts are heard by an estimated 35 million listeners nationwide on the CBS Radio Network.

Samuel Heilman,
holds the Harold Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies at City University Graduate Center and is Distinguished Professor at Queens College. He is the author of ten books, among them Synagogue Life: The People of the Book; A Walker in Jerusalem; Defenders of the Faith: Inside Ultra-Orthodox Jewry; Portrait of American Jewry: The Last Half of the Twentieth Century; The Gate Behind the Wall, and the recently published Sliding to the Right: The Contest for the Future of American Orthodoxy. Professor Heilman has published many articles and reviews and is the editor of Contemporary Jewry: The Journal of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry.

 Jeff Helmreich,
holds degrees in international affairs and law from Columbia and Georgetown Universities. His studies on the Middle East have been published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and his articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Forward, Jerusalem Post, Psychoanalytic Review and dozens of American Jewish periodicals. A former associate editor of the Long Island Jewish World, Mr. Helmreich served as spokesman and speechwriter for the Mission of Israel to the U.N., in both the Netanyahu and Barak governments. Most recently, he co-produced and co-wrote “Blood and Tears,” an acclaimed documentary about the Middle East conflict, which is about to be released by ThinkFilm to theaters nationwide. Currently, Mr. Helmreich works in international law and jurisprudence.

 William Helmreich,
is Director of the Queens College Center for Jewish Studies, Professor of Sociology at CUNY Graduate Center and at City College of New York, and Director of City College’s Conflict Resolution Center. He is the author of eleven books, including Against All Odds: Holocaust Survivors and Successful Lives they Made in America, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; The Things they Say Behind your Back: Stereotypes and the Myths Behind Them, and The World of the Yeshiva: An Intimate Portrait of Orthodox Jewry, as well as editor of Transaction Publisher’s Classics in Judaica Series. Professor Helmreich has also been a visiting professor at Yale and Hebrew Universities. He has written for the New York Times, Newsday, and the Los Angeles Times, and has appeared on Oprah, Larry King Live, Sally Jessy Raphael, CNN News, and NBC-TV News.

Susannah Heschel,
holds the Eli Black Chair in Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and a forthcoming book, The Aryan Jesus: Christians, Nazis and the Bible, as well as a co-editor of Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism, and publisher of a volume of her father, Rabbi Abraham Joshuas Heschel’s writings, Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays of Abraham Joshua Heschel.  Professor Heschel has served as a visiting professor at Princeton University, the University of Frankfurt and the University of Cape Town, and has been a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Research Center of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. She has been a commentator on the Jim Lehrer News Hour and a contributor to The Nation, Dissent, Commentary, Newsweek, and Tikkun.

Malcolm Hoenlein,
has served as Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations since 1986, the umbrella group that represents 52 major Jewish groups. He completed his doctoral course work at the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of International Relations and has taught in its Political Science Department. Mr. Hoenlein meets frequently with world leaders, government officials, and Jewish communities and serves on the boards of many leading organizations, including the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2002, he received a Doctorate of Humane Letters Honoria Causa from Yeshiva University.

Irving Louis Horowitz,
the author of dozens of books and hundreds of articles, is the Hannah Arendt Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology & Political Science at Rutgers University, where he also serves as Chairman of the Board of Transaction Publishers. He has published widely on Jewish affairs in publications ranging from Congress Monthly and Midstream to Modern Judaism and Judaism. His larger works: Israeli Ecstasies/Jewish Agonies and Taking Lives: Genocide and State Power, 5th edition, represent the range of his writings on the subject from 1958 to the present.

Norman Podhoretz,
a holder of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, was Editor-in Chief of Commentary from 1960-1995 and is now its Editor-at-Large, as well as an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute. He is the author of hundreds of articles and eleven books. His most recent volume, World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism, will be released in September 2007.

David Pryce-Jones,
read modern history at Oxford University. He is the author of thirteen books of non-fiction, among them, Betrayal: France, The Arabs, and the Jews; The Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs; The Strange Death of the Soviet Union, and Paris in the Third Reich. He has also published ten novels, most recently, Safe Houses. He contributes regularly to newspapers and magazines and is a Senior Editor of The National Review.

Mark Rosenblum,
is Director of the Jewish Studies Program, Director of the Michael Harrington Center and Associate Professor of History, all of them at Queens College. He has written many scholarly and popular articles on the Middle East and has appeared as an analyst on the subject for CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and National Public Radio. Through the years, Professor Rosenblum met with and advised most of the major players in the Middle East, including Ariel Sharon, Condoleeza Rice, Mahmoud Abbas, and King Abdullah II. He recently won a major Ford Foundation Grant for a Middle East reconciliation project as well as an award from the Clinton Global Initiative. In 1999, the Forward named him as one of the “fifty most influential American Jews” and in 2003 he received the Queens College President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

David Saperstein,
has been Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism for the past 30 years. Also an attorney, Rabbi Saperstein teaches seminars in both First Amendment State-Church Law and in Jewish Law at Georgetown University Law School. He represents the Union for Reform Judaism to the U.S. Congress and the Administration. Among the national boards on which he serves are the NAACP, People for the American Way, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life. In 1999, Rabbi Saperstein was elected as the first chair of the U.N. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

David Schimel,
Conference Chair, is the holder of a J.D. from New York Law School, an MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, and an MIA from Columbia University’s School of International Affairs. He is the co-author of Trade for Freedom: Détente, Trade and Soviet Jews and Editor of The Jewish Political Chronicle. Mr. Schimel is President of National Health Resources Inc. and a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. He is also a former Nassau County Human Rights Commissioner, past Associate President of the Long Island Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League, and Co-Founder of the Committee for the Relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Michael Walzer,
has been a member of the faculty at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study since 1980. He is the author of many books, including, Arguing About War, Just and Unjust Wars, and On Toleration. He is also an editor of Dissent. Currently, Professor Walzer is working on two projects. One is an analysis of the toleration and accommodation of “difference” in all its forms. A second is a four-volume collaborative project focused on the history of Jewish political thought.

Jack Wertheimer,
is Provost and Professor of American Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He is the author and editor of a dozen volumes, including, most recently, Family Matters: Jewish Education in an Age of Choice, and the forthcoming, Imagining the American Jewish Community. His recent research and publications have examined trends in Jewish philanthropy and synagogue life, communal approaches to Jewish education, and the national organizational structure of the American Jewish community.

Evan Zimroth,
is Professor of English and Associate Director of the Jewish Studies Program at Queens College.  A renowned author and poet, her books include the memoir, Collusion (excerpted by the Book-of-the-Month Club in Cosmopolitan;the novel, Gangsters (winner of the National Jewish Book Award for fiction); and two books of fiction, Giselle Considers the Future, and Dead, Dinner, or Naked.  Professor Zimroth is also completing a commissioned work, "Marilyn Monroe at the Mikveh," and another novel, Archives, about a hidden child during the Holocaust, as well as writing a screenplay about the transports during the Holocaust.

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Limited free parking is available on campus for registered Conference participants.