2024 Season Speakers, Topics, and Biographies

Week 1
Ilana Kaufman

 
Illana Kaufman

Ilana is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Jews of Color Initiative. She helped establish the U.S.-based conversation and communal field for Jews of Color.  Ilana’s work sits at the center of racial justice/Jewish community/philanthropy. Having developed scores of Jews of Color-led and focused organizations and leaders, and facilitating some of the most important research in the U.S. about Jews of Color, Ilana’s work strengthens the U.S. Jewish Community and by extension, multiracial and civic relations in the U.S. Ilana has shared her insights on NPR’s All Things Considered and Code Switch, has an Eli Talk titled “Who Counts? Race and the Jewish Future” with over 47,000 views, and has authored pieces and been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, the Forward, and The Foundation Review.

Ilana is a Senior Schusterman Fellow, and received her B.A. in Sociology from California State University-Humboldt and her M.A. in Educational Pedagogy from Mills College.

Topic:

June 25, 2024: U.S. Jews of Color, the Responsibility of the Counters, and Why it Matters

Week 2
Dr. Xavier Amador

Dr. Xavier Amador

Dr. Xavier Amador is an internationally renowned clinical psychologist and leader in his field. His books, published clinical research, worldwide speaking tours and extensive work in schizophrenia, bipolar and other disorders have been translated into 30 languages. He is the CEO of the Henry Amador Center on Anosognosia and a family caregiver of two close relatives with serious mental illness.

Author of many popular books including I am Right, You’re Wrong, Now What?; I am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help!; and, When Someone You Love is Depressed: How to help without losing yourself; Dr. Amador draws on thirty years of experience as a therapist, his personal story, and published scientific research when giving advice.

His work as a leading individual, family, child and couples’ therapist has been featured on PBS NOVA, ABC Prime Time Live, and NBC Bravo where he has been filmed doing psychotherapy with couples and individuals.

From 1989 to 2002, Dr. Amador was on the medical school faculty at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 2002 Dr. Amador resigned a tenured faculty position at Columbia University and as Director of Psychology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute to honor his commitment to families that asked him to help educate mental health practitioners, family caregivers, and others about anosognosia and science-based practices proven to help persons with serious mental illness.

He is a Visiting Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York, and over the course of two decades he was Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University and Director of Psychology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He served as co-chair of the Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders section of the DSM-IV-TR.

His expertise has been called upon by government, industry and the broadcast and print media where he has appeared as a frequent expert for CNN, ABC News, NBC News, NBC Today Show Fox News Channel, CBS 60 Minutes, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Cosmo, Wall Street Journal and many other national and international news outlets.

Topics:

July 1, 2024: I am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! Understanding the Cause of the Problem and How we can Help

July 2, 2024: Learn L.E.A.P. to Help Persons with Mental Illness Accept Treatment

 

Week 3
Dr. Norman Ornstein

Dr. Norman Ornstein

Norman J. Ornstein is a senior fellow emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he has been studying politics, elections, and the U.S. Congress for more than four decades. He is a contributing editor for The Atlantic and does a weekly podcast called Words Matter with Dr. Kavita Patel. He is also a longtime participant of AEI’s Election Watch series and an adviser to the Continuity of Government Commission.

Ornstein has been involved in political reform for decades, particularly campaign finance, election reform, and House and Senate reform. He has also played a part in creating the Congressional Office of Compliance and the House Office of Congressional Ethics. He was elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004, and was a member of its Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship. In June 2020, that commission issued 31 recommendations for strengthening democracy in the report Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century, including reform to political institutions, investment in civil society, and transforming our political culture. His many books include The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track and the New York Times bestseller It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism, both with Thomas Mann. His most recent book, an instant New York Times and Washington Post best seller, is One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet-Deported, with Mann and EJ Dionne.

Topics:

July 8, 2024: How We Got Here: The Roadmap to America’s Division

July 9, 2024: Where We Are Going: The Roadmap Ahead


Week 4
Dr. Steven Windmueller

Dr. Steven Windmueller

Dr. Steven Windmueller is an Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Studies at the Jack H. Skirball Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. Prior to coming to HUC, Dr. Windmueller had served on the staff of the American Jewish Committee (1969-1972), directed the Albany (NY) Jewish Federation (1973-1985), and the JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Committee) of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation (1985-1995).

During his tenure at the College, Dr. Windmueller served for ten years as the Director of its School of Jewish Nonprofit Management and in 2005 was named to the deanship of the LA campus (2006-2010).  In 2009 he was named to an endowed chair and in 2014 was awarded an honorary doctorate by Hebrew Union College.

The author of four books and numerous articles, Professor Windmueller holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.  His research has been primarily focused on Jewish communal trends, anti-Semitism, and Jewish political behavior. His articles have appeared in a number of secular and Jewish publications.

Currently, Dr. Windmueller is consulting with national agencies, federations, synagogues, and foundations in connection with his current studies on virtual and privatized Judaism, the impact of COVID, and the broader social, economic and political trends reshaping American Jewish life.

In 2014, he had occasion to teach in China offering lectures on American Jewry, Israel and Zionism at various universities in the Peoples Republic.

He recently served as guest editor for USC’s Casden Institute, producing The Impact of Donald Trump’s Presidency on American Jews and Israel, (2021) and is now focused on producing a volume analyzing 21st Century American Judaism and continues to write on Jewish political behavior for the Times of Israel and other publications in advance of the November 2024 elections.

Dr. Windmueller serves as a Fellow of the Jerusalem Institute of Public Affairs and as a Board Member of the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State, Los Angeles.  For the past eight years, he has been on the faculty of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, teaching across the globe.

Topics:

July 15, 2024: The 2024 Election: Reflections on the Jewish Vote

July 16, 2024: What October 7th Means for Israel and Jews

 

Week 5
Dr. Daniel Greene

Dr. Daniel Greene

Dr. Daniel Greene is Subject Matter Expert at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Adjunct Professor of History at Northwestern University. In 2018, he curated Americans and the Holocaust, an exhibition that opened at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, to commemorate its twenty-fifth anniversary. The exhibition also inspired The U.S. and the Holocaust, an Emmy-nominated documentary film directed by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein that aired on PBS in September 2022. Greene’s co-edited (with Edward Phillips) book, Americans and the Holocaust: A Reader, was published by Rutgers University Press in 2022. His first book The Jewish Origins of Cultural Pluralism: The Menorah Association and American Diversity (Indiana University Press, 2011) won the American Jewish Historical Society's Saul Viener Prize in 2012. From 2019 to 2023, Greene was President and Librarian at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Topics:

July 22, 2024: Jewish Students and America’s Melting Pot

July 23, 2024: Americans and the Holocaust

 

Rabbi Sharon Brous

Special Event Co-Sponsored With the Hebrew Congregation of Chautauqua

Rabbi Sharon Brous

Rabbi Brous cofounded IKAR in 2004 to reinvigorate Jewish practice and inspire people of faith to reclaim a moral and prophetic voice. IKAR quickly became one of the fastest growing and most influential Jewish congregations in the country and is credited with sparking a rethinking of religious life in a time of unprecedented disaffection and declining affiliation. Brous is in the inaugural cohort of Auburn Seminary‘s Senior Fellows program, which unites top faith leaders working on the frontlines for justice. She also sits on the faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute-North America and REBOOT and serves on the International Council of the New Israel Fund, the national steering committee for the Poor People’s Campaign, and the advisory board of Dayenu, a Jewish Call to Climate Justice.

Topics:

July 25, 2024: Remaining Openhearted In Anguished Times: A Community Conversation

 

Week 6
Dr. Mona Charen

Dr. Mona Charen

Mona Charen, syndicated columnist and author, is Policy Editor of The Bulwark, host of the weekly podcast Beg to Differ and co-host of the Just Between Us podcast. She is a contributor to TIME magazine and a regular commentator on BBC.A graduate of Columbia University and the George Washington University law school, Ms. Charen began her career at National Review magazine. Ms. Charen served as Nancy Reagan’s speechwriter and later as Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison. Later in her White House career, she worked in the Public Affairs office helping to craft President Reagan’s communications strategy. In 1986, Ms. Charen joined the presidential campaign of then-Congressman Jack Kemp. Ms. Charen launched her syndicated column in 1987. It is featured in more than 60 newspapers and websites. She spent 6 years as a regular commentator on CNN’s Capital Gang and Capital Gang Sunday has served as a judge of the Pulitzer Prizes. She is the author of four books: Useful Idiots (2003); Do-Gooders (2005), Sex Matters (2018) and Hard Right (2023). In 2010, she received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism.

Topics:

July 29, 2024: The Marriage Deficit

July 30, 2024: Did Trump Kill Conservatism?

Week 7
Dr. Eliot A. Cohen

Dr. Elliot A Cohen

Eliot A. Cohen is the Arleigh Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC.

He has been a professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) since 1990 and served as the school’s 9th Dean. He received his BA and PhD degrees from Harvard and taught there and at the U.S. Naval War College before coming to SAIS. His books include, most recently, The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare on How Leaders Rise, Rule and Fall, as well as The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force, Conquered into Liberty: Two Centuries of Battle Along the Great Warpath that Made the American Way of War and Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime and other works on national security policy and military history.

He served in the US Army Reserve, was a director in the Defense Department’s policy planning staff, led the US Air Force’s multivolume study of the first Gulf War, and has served in various official advisory positions. In 2007-2009 he was Counselor of the Department of State, serving as Secretary Condoleezza Rice’s senior adviser, focusing chiefly on issues of war and peace, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic, and his commentary has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and on major television networks in the United States and abroad.

Topics:

August 5, 2024: The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare on How Leaders Rise, Rule, and Fall

August 6, 2024: Surprise in war: from Ukraine to Gaza


Week 8
Dr. Susan Kahn

Dr. Susan Kahn

Susan M. Kahn is the Associate Director at The Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law at Harvard Law School. An anthropologist by training, she has published in science studies, animal studies and Jewish studies, and her book Reproducing Jews: A Cultural Account of Assisted Conception in Israel (Duke 2000) won a National Jewish Book Award, as well as the Eileen Basker Prize for Outstanding Research in Gender and Health from the American Anthropological Association.  Her book Canine Pioneer: The Extraordinary Life of Rudolphina Menzel was published by Brandeis University Press in 2022.

Topics:

August 12, 2024: Canine Pioneer: The Extraordinary Life of Rudolphina Menzel

August 13, 2024:  Zionist Dogs: Building the Canine Infrastructure in pre-state Israel


Week 9
Dr. Shulamit Reinharz

Dr. Shulamit Reinharz

Shulamit (Shula) was born in Amsterdam, Holland in 1946, the year following the end of WW2. Her parents - both German Jews - fled to Holland after Krystallnacht but then were trapped in the country after Germany invaded in 1940. They spent 1942-1945 being cared for by Dutch Righteous Gentiles. These facts make Shulamit a member of the Second Generation.. After immigrating to the US in 1947, she lived in Malden, MA and then moved to New Jersey where she received her public school education. She went on to earn a B.A. at Barnard College with distinction in sociology. She and her boyfriend, Jehuda Reinharz, married and earned graduate degrees at Brandeis University. Her first book was On Becoming a Social Scientist: From Survey Research and Participant Observation to Experiential Analysis (1979), Their first jobs were at the University of Michigan (1972-1982) with regular one year leaves to work in Israel. Her position at the U of M was in the Community Psychology program, that led to the publication of Psychology Change (1984), with several colleagues.

In 1982, she was offered the position of her Brandeis mentor, Morrie Schwartz (of Tuesdays with Morrie) in social psychology. For ten years, she co-edited the journal, Qualitative Sociology with a colleague and co-edited Qualitative Gerontology (1987) with another colleague. In 1992, she published the award-winning Feminist Methods in Social Research and was asked to direct the Brandeis University Women's Studies Program. Reinharz led the program for 10 years during which she established a graduate degree program, a student research program and much more, including hiring Anita Hill who remains a professor at Brandeis to this day. As head of the Women's Studies Program she discovered her love of academic program development and fund-raising. She created the Women's Studies Research Center (WSRC, 2001) for which she raised several million dollars and designed the building. At the same time, she created the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute to study the intersection of Jews and gender (HBI,1997) and the Kniznik Gallery for Feminist Art (2001). 

From 2005 on, the books she published concerned this intersection: (co-edited, 2005), American Jewish Women and the Zionist Enterprise (co-edited, 2005), the JGirl's Guide (co-edited 2005), Jewish Intermarriage around the World (2009), One Hundred Years of Kibbutz Life (co-edited, 2011), Today I Am A Woman: Stories of Bat Mitzvah around the World(co-edited, 2011), and 100 Jewish Brides: Stories from Around the World (co-edited, 2024) and Hiding in Holland: A Resistance Memoir in Four Hands (2024) and others. She also co-founded and co-edited the academic journal Nashim: The Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender Issues, a joint publication of the HBI and the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem  (1997 -).  She regularly moderates talks produced by the Sousa-Mendes Foundation about Righteous Gentiles, and she is an active participant in a Zoom group of people who currently live in the German town in which her father was born, Gunzenhausen, that is still "Judenrein," in conversation with descendants of Jewish families who lived there before 1939. Shulamit Reinharz retired as the Jacob Potofsky Professor of Sociology at Brandeis in 2017.

Topics:

August 19, 2024:  Hiding in Holland: A Resistance Memoir in Four Hands

August 20, 2024:  100 Jewish Brides: Stories from Around the World