9th Annual Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture Joel B. Pollak: “The Mainstream Media’s Betrayal of Israel.” 3 June 2012
Joel grew up in Chicago where he attended Solomon Schechter Day School and graduated Niles North High School as class valedictorian. He attended Harvard College and then earned his law degree from Harvard Law School. Additionally, Joel has a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa where he was born.
Joel is a brilliant and articulate commentator on talk radio, Fox News and CNN. Currently, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and in-house counsel to the influential Breitbart.com websites. The lecture will address the following questions: At what point did the mainstream media turn against Israel and why do they consistently demonize the Jewish State? How should supporters of Israel combat this insidious betrayal?
8th Annual Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture Yossi Klein Halevi: “What is Expected of a Survivor People: Lessons My Father Taught Me” 5 June 2011
World-renowned journalist and author Yossi Klein Halevi will address the following questions: What would today’s Jewish world look like from the perspective of a Holocaust survivor? Where have we as a people succeeded and where have we failed? For the first time in his life, Yossi Klein Halevi will confront this challenge from a very personal viewpoint — the worldview of his father, a Holocaust survivor.
Yossi Klein Halevi is an author and journalist based in Jerusalem and a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is a contributing editor to The New Republic and a frequent commentator on Middle East affairs, contributing to the opinion pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other publications.
Our speaker has personal connections to the Avrech family that enhance the meaning of this event. Two years ago, Avrech offspring #3 married Yossi’s maternal nephew.
In addition, Yossi and Robert attended the same high school, Brooklyn Talmudic Academy.
7th Annual Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture Dennis Prager: “Happiness is a Mitzvah, Not an Emotion” 13 June 2010
Dennis is widely sought after by television shows for his opinions. He’s appeared on Larry King Live, Hardball, Hannity’s America, CBS Evening News, The Today Show and many others.
Dennis is the author of several best sellers including the seminal work on anti-Semitism, Why the Jews, co-written with Joseph Telushkin. Happiness Is A Serious Problem, Think A Second Time, and The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, also co-written with Joseph Telushkin.
More important to us is a personal connection. Ariel was an enthusiastic fan of Dennis’ radio show. During our son’s long illness, when he was confined at home and in the hospital, Ariel listened to Dennis on a regular basis and commented: “There’s a lot of Torah in what Dennis says.”
6th Annual Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture Rabbi Steven Pruzansky: “Conformity in Jewish Life: Vice, Virtue or Affectation?” June 21, 2009
Rabbi Pruzansky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, a synagogue consisting of nearly 600 families located in Teaneck, New Jersey, and one of the most vibrant centers of Orthodox Jewish life today. He has served since August 1994.
Rabbi Pruzansky graduated from Columbia University in 1978 with a B.A. in history, and received a Juris Doctor degree from the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in 1981. He practiced law for 13 years as a general practitioner and litigator in New York City until assuming his current pulpit. Rabbi Pruzansky studied in yeshivot in Israel and the United States, and was ordained at Yeshiva Bnei Torah of Far Rockaway, New York under the guidance of Rabbi Yisrael Chait, shlit”a.
He recently served as President of the Rabbinical Board of Bergen County, and currently serves as the Treasurer of the Rabbinical Council of America. He is a trustee of the RCA on the Board of the Beth Din of America, as well as a dayyan on the Beth Din itself. He also served as the American co-spokesman for the International Rabbinic Coalition for Israel. Rabbi Pruzansky served on the Board of Directors of the Jerusalem Reclamation Project, and received their Rabbinic Leadership Award at their 1995 Jerusalem Day banquet.
5th Annual Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture Rabbi Dr. Gil S. Perl: “What Was the Rosh Yeshiva Reading: Intellectual Openness in 19th Century Lithuania” June 15, 2008
Gil Perl is the Dean of the Margolin Hebrew Academy / Feinstone Yeshiva of the South, a Prek-12 day school serving the Jewish community of Memphis. Before arriving in Memphis, Dr. Perl served as an instructor of Modern Jewish History in Yeshiva University and as the Associate Head of School in Yeshiva University’s High School for Boys. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, his Masters and Doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University, and rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University. As a Teaching Fellow at Harvard, Rabbi Perl was twice awarded Harvard’s prestigious Certificate of Distinction in Teaching and in the Spring of 2006 he was named Yeshiva University’s Lillian F. and William L. Silber Professor of the Year.