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SAPIR Conversations

Brought to you by, SAPIR: Ideas for a Thriving Jewish Future

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SAPIR Conversations

SAPIR is a journal exploring the future of the American Jewish community and its intersection with cultural, social, and political issues. These podcasts are recordings of Zoom webinars we have held with our contributors (season numbers correspond with issue numbers). To find out more and join our next events live, visit www.sapirjournal.org.

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Recent Episodes of SAPIR Conversations


S13E1: The Courage to Be Uncool with Noa Tishby

S13E1: The Courage to Be Uncool with Noa Tishby

Since October 7, American Jews have been pushed out of the places that were once their cultural and political homes. This feeling of outsiderdom is a new one for American Jews, and one that took them by surprise. New York Times bestselling author Noa Tishby joined Bret Stephens for a conversation on the new position American Jews find themselves in and the steel they need in the battle to support Israel.

Episode 10 July 2024 53m and 37s


S12E3: The Roots of Black Antisemitism with Coleman Hughes

S12E3: The Roots of Black Antisemitism with Coleman Hughes

Coleman Hughes joined Bret Stephens for a conversation on antisemitism in the black radical tradition. Hughes, the author of “Black Radicalism” in the recent Friends & Foes issue, analyzed the narratives driving rising antisemitism among black Americans — and how they can change. Plus, as a Columbia graduate, Hughes weighs in on recent developments on campus.

Episode 8 May 2024 58m and 45s


S12E2: Gen Z and Zionism: Is There a Future? with Ammiel Hirsch and Noam Weissman

S12E2: Gen Z and Zionism: Is There a Future? with Ammiel Hirsch and Noam Weissman

In stark contrast to previous generations, younger American Jews are growing up increasingly disconnected from Israel and Zionism. What accounts for this shift? How durable is it? And what are the implications for tomorrow’s leaders of American Jewish communities? Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue and Dr. Noam Weissman of OpenDor Media discuss the future of Zionism among Gen Z.

Episode 19 April 2024 59m and 53s


S12E1: An Insider’s Look: Israel and the Human-Rights Establishment

S12E1: An Insider’s Look: Israel and the Human-Rights Establishment

Former Human Rights Watch senior editor Danielle Haas sits down with SAPIR Editor-in-Chief Bret Stephens to discuss her recent essay, “The Human-Rights Establishment,” which chronicles years of behind-the-scenes experience and presents deep-seated concerns that human rights NGOs have become “increasingly hijacked by politics and dominated by groupthink.”

Episode 3 April 2024 59m and 36s


S11E3: Jewish Life in Our Technological Future with Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter and Dr. David Zvi Kalman

S11E3: Jewish Life in Our Technological Future with Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter and Dr. David Zvi Kalman

The rapid ascent of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and other technologies requires Jewish leaders to understand the dramatic effects these innovations will have on Jewish life and faith. Are we ready for this technological Jewish future? SAPIR Institute Director Chanan Weissman hosted a conversation with Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter of Yeshiva University and Dr. David Zvi Kalman of the Shalom Hartman Institute on what Jewish communal, philanthropic, and religious leaders must do to prepare for this new digital age.

Episode 14 March 2024 58m and 59s


S11E2: Synagogue Leadership in Turbulent Times with Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove and Rabbi Rachel Isaacs

S11E2: Synagogue Leadership in Turbulent Times with Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove and Rabbi Rachel Isaacs

SAPIR Institute Director Chanan Weissman hosted a conversation about the future of synagogue life in a time of disruption with Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove of Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City and Rabbi Rachel Isaacs of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life in Maine. They explored the shock of the October 7 attacks, the long-term structural changes brought on by the Covid pandemic, and their visions for the synagogue in a digital age.

Episode 2 February 2024 1h, 1m and 50s


S11E1: The Digital Fog of War with Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler and Zvika Krieger

S11E1: The Digital Fog of War with Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler and Zvika Krieger

SAPIR Institute Director Chanan Weissman is joined by Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, and Zvika Krieger, former director of responsible innovation at Meta discuss their recent essays in SAPIR’s Technology issue and explore how the virality of unsubstantiated information on social media is impacting perspectives on the Israel-Hamas war.

Episode 11 January 2024 58m and 53s


The Israel–Hamas War and the Battle over Free Speech on Campus

The Israel–Hamas War and the Battle over Free Speech on Campus

SAPIR Institute Director Chanan Weissman hosted a conversation about the conflict over free speech on college campuses with Nadine Strossen, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and Ilya Shapiro, the director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute. Strossen and Kenneth S. Stern co-authored “SJP Still Deserves Freedom of Speech” in Sapir‘s War in Israel special edition, while Shapiro recently published “Where Free Speech Ends and Lawbreaking Begins” in The Free Press.

Episode 18 December 2023 57m and 42s


The Israel–Hamas War and the Future of Zionism

The Israel–Hamas War and the Future of Zionism

SAPIR Institute Director Chanan Weissman was joined by Einat Wilf, former member of the Israeli Knesset for the Labor Party, and Michael Koplow, chief policy officer of the Israel Policy Forum (IPF). They discussed the short- and long-term impacts and implications of the October 7 attacks on Israeli and American conceptions of Zionism.


Episode 21 November 2023 1h, 1m and 56s


The Israel–Hamas War and the Ethos of Jewish Peoplehood

The Israel–Hamas War and the Ethos of Jewish Peoplehood

SAPIR Institute Director Chanan Weissman is joined by Rabbi David Wolpe, visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School and the Max Webb Emeritus Rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, and Dr. Mijal Bitton, a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute and rosh kehillah at the Downtown Minyan in New York City. They discuss their recent SAPIR essays — Wolpe’s “Wisdom in the Face of Destruction” and Bitton’s “That Pain You’re Feeling is Peoplehood“ — and delve into how Jewish tradition conceptualizes the responsibilities of the Jewish collective in a time of war.

Episode 13 November 2023 55m and 27s

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