While the nation struggles to make sense out of an election season more bizarre than any live American has seen, we recognize that this campaign is fraught with dangers that impact our community in particular. The program topic, “Right, Left and the Jews: The Torah Community and the Future of American Politics” will provide participants with an opportunity to explore the background of different political positions with sophistication. More importantly, it will suggest ways for the ben Torah to get involved in the political system when he leaves the beis medrash for the working world.
Our Torah luminary will be Rav Ahron Lopiansky, shlit”a, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington, and well-known both here and in Israel as a serious thinker and baal machshavah.
We hope to have an assortment of yeshiva-grown community leaders on hand. Leading the group will be BMG’s R. Aaron Kotler, who not only manages an operation larger than some universities, but always thinks two steps ahead about the impact of anything on the Torah community.
Some of the political stars will include William Kristol, the acknowledged dean of American neo-conservatism, and right now very much in the cross-hairs of the alt.-right people upset with his integrity, and Princeton philosopher Robert George. While many of us throw up our hands in despair when we contemplate trying to explain Torah positions to outsiders far from our thinking, Dr. George as a religiously committed non-Jew never allowed himself that luxury. He became one of the most highly regarded explicators of the Judeo-Christian set of values to a nation of skeptics.
Bridging the two worlds will be Eric Cohen, Tikvah’s Executive Director. A consummate man of letters, master teacher and Modern Orthodox Jew, he will explore the different general political options and their impact on Jews as well as general society, with a special emphasis on conservative thought. He will certainly keep bright yeshiva students on their toes.
Oh, yes. Yours truly will be on hand giving a hard time to Eric, as well as enjoying late night craft beer, assuming some is available in Manhattan.
"Luke Ford reports all of the 'juicy' quotes, and has been doing it for years." (Marc B. Shapiro)
"This guy knows all the gossip, the ins and outs, the lashon hara of the Orthodox world. He’s an [expert] in... all the inner workings of the Orthodox world." (Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff)
"This generation's Hillel." (Nathan Cofnas)