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    Tribalism and the Shifting Politics of Israel and America

Scholars-in-Residence Weekend

with Josh Kraushaar and Amir Tibon

November 15 - 17, 2019

Kabbalat Shabbat Services

Friday, November 15 | 6 p.m.
   Josh Kraushaar will speak about the challenge of holding your own “tribe” to basic standards. It’s very easy for each and every one of us to point to the flaws of the “other side.” It's easy for Democrats to criticize Republicans for not standing up to Trump over his racist comments, and just as easy for Republicans to attack the Democrats over the anti-Semitic remarks of Ilhan Omar. But what are we doing to improve the conduct of our side? Josh will present this question as the most difficult challenge we are currently dealing with – and explain why it is so hard, and at the same time, so important.

Shabbat Morning Services

Saturday, November 16 | 9:30 a.m.
   Amir Tibon will examine “the Tribes of Israel,” based on the famous 2015 speech of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. In his speech, Rivlin described how Israeli society is actually carved up into several societies, each one having its own priorities, sensitivities, and ideology. In 2015, Rivlin warned that if the different tribes won’t learn how to live with each other, respect each other, and cooperate on shared priorities, their fate will be similar to the fate of the biblical Tribes of Israel. Amir will present the president’s theory, and offer an updated analysis on how Israel is currently dealing with the challenge presented by President Rivlin.

Shabbat Afternoon, Kiddush Lunch

Saturday, November 16 | 12:30 p.m.
   Together, the journalists will address the impacts of social media on political tribalism. When Facebook and Twitter gained popularity last decade, they were hailed as media platforms that will “connect people.” Today, it is becoming increasingly clear that they are doing the opposite: They are dividing us. Their algorithms provide us with opinions similar to ours, and block out those that would make us “uncomfortable.” These media platforms are also the leading “spreaders” of fake news, helping outrageous lies become “viral” all over the world. What can we do as personal users to decrease the harm of these platforms? And is the traditional media fighting back against these trends, or surrendering to them? These questions and others will be considered in the context of America and Israel.

Sunday Morning Brunch

Sunday, November 17 | 9:30 a.m.
   Josh and Amir will discuss the following question: “The American-Jewish community: One Tribe or Many?” In the past, it was common to see news reports describing the “Jewish community” in the United States as one monolithic political entity with a common set of priorities. There was a sense of broad consensus regarding support for Israel and the promotion of moderate liberal policies within the United States. Does that consensus still exist in 2019? Did it truly exist in the past, or was it simply the creation of a different media environment? Is the Jewish community becoming more fractured? And what are the issues that a vast majority of Jews, across denominational and political lines, can still unite around?
   RSVP requested for this free brunch. Click here to register.
These events are sponsored by Agudas Achim Endowment Committee and Men's Club.   
Tue, February 25 2020 30 Shevat 5780