The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is hosting Dr. Daniel Gordis at Temple Bat Yahm on Thursday, February 3. Club members and table captains for AIPAC’s annual event will get to meet Dr. Gordis at a reception at 6 p.m. before a public event at 7 p.m.
Dr. Gordis is senior vice president of the Shalem Center in Israel, where he is also a senior fellow. He joined Shalem in 2007 to help found Israel’s first liberal arts college.
A regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Dr. Gordis is the author of numerous books on Jewish thought and currents in Israel. He was the founding dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism, the first rabbinical college on the West Coast of the United States. Since moving to Israel in 1998, Dr. Gordis has written and lectured throughout the world on Israeli society and the challenges facing the Jewish state. His latest book, Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End was published by Wiley in March 2009 and was subsequently awarded the 2009 National Jewish Book Award.
Dr. Gordis is widely cited on matters pertaining to Israel. Professor Alan Dershowitz has called him “one of Israel’s most thoughtful observers,” while Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic has written, “If you asked me, ‘of all the people you know, who cares the most about the physical, moral and spiritual health of Israel?’ I would put the commentator and scholar Daniel Gordis at the top of the list.”
Dr. Gordis’ next book, co-authored with Dr. David Ellenson of the Hebrew Union College, is entitled The Politics of Jewish Identity: Conversion, Law, and Policy-Making in 19th and 20th Century Orthodox Responsa, and will be published by Stanford University Press in 2011. In 2012, Wiley will publish his next book on Israel, tentatively entitled Israel’s Survival, Freedom’s Future: How the Fate of One Small Nation Could Determine the Fate of the Whole World.
The annual AIPAC event is going to be a dinner this year, Sunday, March 13, at the Irvine Hyatt. Reverend Dr. DeeDee M. Coleman, Pastor, Russell Street Missionary Baptist Church, is the speaker, with remarks by Elliot Brandt, AIPAC’s Western States Director. The registration/reception is at 5:30 p.m., and the kosher dinner/program is at 6:30 p.m.
Reverend Dr. Coleman, who spoke at the AIPAC Policy Conference in March 2010, and who serves on the national council of AIPAC, said that AIPAC “has deepened my faith, renewed my strength in humanity and allowed me to show that this pro-Israel movement that I serve in goes way beyond the Jewish community. I am an African-American Baptist female preacher whose origin comes from a deep rooted spiritual truth and faith that Israel is the Holy Land of this world and its people are the chosen of God. I was overwhelmed in 2008 when I experienced my first trip to Israel with AIPAC’s foundation. It was there that I realized that the quest for peace and the need for security is nonnegotiable.
Amy DeLoach and Bernice Watkin are the AIPAC co-chairs. Adrienne and Rick Matros are the annual event chairs.