The JW Q&A

A weekly interview with notable figures and names in the news.

Yaalon: ‘I Am A Hawk’

Moshe (Bogie) Yaalon on his platform and maintaining Jewish values in the military.

09/28/2016 - 12:02
Editor and Publisher

Moshe (Bogie) Yaalon made headlines in the spring when, after being replaced as Israel’s defense minister, he stepped down from the Knesset and announced his future intention to run for national leadership, saying he lacked faith in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The former chief of staff of the IDF, highly respected for his integrity and candor, was upset when some national leaders, including Netanyahu, appeared to empathize with an Israeli soldier who was videoed shooting and killing a Palestinian terrorist who had been wounded and was seemingly incapacitated. Yaalon was in New York this past week to speak at an event sponsored by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, and Beit Morasha of Jerusalem, a center for Jewish studies and leadership where he has played an active volunteer role. The following is based on his remarks and on an interview conducted prior to the program.

Moshe Yaalon

From Manhattan To Moldova

09/21/2016 - 12:35

John Shapiro, a former president of UJA-Federation of New York and the Dalton School, is the newly elected president of the global Jewish advocacy organization AJC (formerly known as American Jewish Committee). Shapiro is managing director of Chieftain Capital Management, which he co-founded in 1984. He is also chairman of Lawyers for Children and vice chair of the American Academy in Rome. The Jewish Week caught up with him by phone recently to discuss the issues facing the AJC in a changing communal landscape.

The AJC's new president, John Shapiro. Courtesy

Fighting Bias In Europe

09/13/2016 - 15:37

Katharina von-Schnurbein, who was appointed in January 2015 as the European Union’s first coordinator on combating anti-Semitism, is a German national who believes there should be enforcement of the ban on Holocaust denial and adoption of an EU-wide definition of anti-Semitism.

Katharina von-Schnurbein: “Students need to learn that Jews have been an integral part of Europe.”

New Brandeis Prez Urges ‘Discomfort’

09/06/2016 - 12:30

After 32 years at Middlebury College, the last 11 as its president, Ron Liebowitz is calling Brandeis University his new academic home.

Ron Leibowitz: BDS is not a “major issue” at Brandeis University, says school’s new president. JTA

Secular Humanists Take N.Y.

08/23/2016 - 17:08

Paul Golin is the new executive director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism (, the congregational arm of the Humanistic Jewish movement in North America. He previously served as associate executive director of Big Tent Judaism (formerly the Jewish Outreach Institute) and is co-author of “Twenty Things for Grandparents of Interfaith Grandchildren to Do (And Not Do) to Nurture Jewish Identity in Their Grandchildren,” (Torah Aura Production, 2007). The interview was conducted via email.

Society for Humanistic Judaism’s new head Paul Golin to open first office here.

Israel’s Settlers’ New Face

08/09/2016 - 11:12

With the recently launched French peace initiative, and possibly a regional peace push, looming, the Yesha Council, the umbrella group for Israeli settlements, last month appointed a new chief foreign envoy to make the settlers’ case to the world. Lt. Col. (res.) Oded Revivi, 47, former mayor of the West Bank settlement of Efrat, sat down with JTA last week to discuss his plans for the job.

New Yesha Council leader Oded Revivi. Courtesy of Avi Hyman Communications

Are Israeli Pols Really That Corrupt?

08/02/2016 - 16:11

The Israeli prime minister is being investigated, and the media is atwitter. Reports say Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of money laundering. It’s not the first time authorities have looked into suspected wrongdoing by Netanyahu or his wife, Sara. And if a full-blown criminal investigation were opened, it certainly wouldn’t be the first probe of a sitting prime minister or prominent public official.

Bibi Netanyahu: Under investigation. Yair Sagi/Flash90

Americans Bullish On Giving

Robert Evans, founder & president of Evans Consulting Group, on the surprising trends in Americans charitable giving.

06/28/2016 - 15:47
Staff Writer

Robert Evans is founder and president of the Philadelphia-based Evans Consulting Group, which works with Jewish and other nonprofits on fundraising issues and other strategic matters. He is a member of the editorial review board for the annual Giving USA report of the School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. He previously served as campaign director for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and as a senior executive at Israel Bonds. The Jewish Week caught up with him by phone just after the report was released.

Philanthropy consultant Robert Evans: “American donors’ priorities have changed.”

Weld: Fight Terror As ‘Criminal Conspiracy’

06/21/2016 - 11:51
Staff Writer

William Weld, the Libertarian Party candidate for vice president, is a former two-term Republican governor of Massachusetts who earlier served for seven years as a federal prosecutor. He is running on a ticket headed by Gary Johnson, the former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico. The Jewish Week caught up with him by phone last week a few days after the Orlando terror attack.

William Weld: Sees scenario for his Libertarian Party ticket winning the presidential election.

Assessing The Risks Of Female Suicide Bombers

05/24/2016 - 12:58

Anat Berko is a member of the Knesset from the Likud Party who holds a doctorate in criminology and is a recognized terrorism expert. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had selected her for a Knesset seat in last year’s election, has appointed Berko to head the Knesset’s Subcommittee of Intelligence and Secret Services, which is within the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. She is the first woman to lead the subcommittee, which is the most classified in the government.

Anat Berko: First woman to lead Knesset Subcommittee of Intelligence and Secret Services.
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