What does it mean for the American Jewish Community to be pro-Israel?
Is it acceptable for American Jews to criticize Israeli politics, as Israelis do? Join us for a discussion with some of today's leading experts on the subject of what it means to be pro-Israel in America.
Can't make it to the event? Leave your questions for our guests below, and they might be used on stage during the Q&A. Keep an eye on 92Y On Demand after the event for any video clips we might share! You might see your question used on stage.
Jeremy Ben-Ami is the President and founder of J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby. He has nearly thirty years of experience in government, politics and communications, here and in Israel. His political resume includes serving as President Bill Clinton’s Deputy Domestic Policy Adviser in the mid-1990s and as Policy Director on Howard Dean’s Presidential Campaign in 2004. He was the Communications Director for the New Israel Fund and started the Israeli firm Ben-Or Communications while living in Israel in the late 1990s. He also spent nearly a decade working in New York City government on homeless housing development and helping to manage a Mayoral campaign in 2001.
Jeremy received a law degree from New York University and is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Relations at Princeton University. His father was born in Tel Aviv, and much of his family lives in Israel.
Jeremy was named one of the Forward’s 50 most influential Jews in America for 3 years in a row from 2007 to 2009, and The Jerusalem Post named him one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world in 2010 and 2012.
David Harris has been the executive director of AJC since 1990. Described by a top Israeli official as "the consummate Jewish diplomat of our time," he has been invited to speak at some of the world’s most prestigious forums, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, and has testified before the U.S. Congress, the UN Human Rights Commission and the French Parliament. He has been honored by the governments of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Spain and Ukraine for his international efforts in defense of human rights, advancement of the transatlantic partnership and dedication to the Jewish people. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has written hundreds of articles, op-eds, letters and reviews in leading media outlets. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, The Jerusalem Post, El País in Spain and L'Opinione in Italy. Since 2001, he has had a weekly spot on the CBS Radio Network.
John Podhoretz is the editor of Commentary Magazine. He also writes a column for the New York Post and is a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard, the magazine he co-founded in 1995. The author of three books, including the bestselling Bush Country, Podhoretz has held editorial positions at Time, The Washington Times, Insight, U.S. News and World Report and National Review. He was a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, a consultant to NBC's "The West Wing" and was a five-time Jeopardy champion. He lives in his native Manhattan with his wife Ayala and his three children, Shayna, Shiri and Isaac.
Jane Eisner is the editor-in-chief of the Jewish Daily Forward, America’s foremost national Jewish news organization. Online and in print, the Forward is the authoritative source of news, opinion, arts and culture in the Jewish world. Since Eisner joined the Forward in 2008, the publication has won numerous regional and national awards and her editorials have been repeatedly honored by the Society of Professional Journalists. Prior to her work with the Forward, Eisner held executive editorial and news positions at the Philadelphia Inquirer for 25 years, including stints as editorial page editor, syndicated columnist, City Hall bureau chief and foreign correspondent. She served as vice president of the National Constitution Center from 2006 to 2008, and has taught at Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Taking Back the Vote: Getting American Youth Involved in our Democracy.