Congregation B’nai Israel is pleased to host its 4th annual Speaker Series for 2016-17.  We encourage you to join us for each of our offerings and to buy your tickets early before they sell out.


Past Speakers


From Anti-Israel to Anti-Semitic: Challenges to Jewish Communities & To IsraelDan Feferman

With Guest Speaker Dan Feferman
Thursday, February 16
7:00 pm
Cohen/Friedkin Sanctuary
Members, SLJ & NCECE Families: Free
Students: Free with current ID
Non-Members: $10

Register Here

In recent years, Israel has become a hot and divisive issue – especially on many campuses. Some of this has even turned into anti-Semitism, causing Jewish students to feel threatened and isolated.

Together, lets explore the anti-Israel movement with a focus on US college campuses – what is it? who hates Israel? why? and how wide-spread is it? What campuses are the most “anti-Israel” and most anti-Semitic?

Is criticism of Israel the same as anti-Israel? Is that the same as anti-Semitism?

After understanding the nature of this threat – we will discuss what you can do to support Israel and protect Jewish communities right here in the US.

Dan Feferman is a Major (res.) in the Israel Defense Forces. For almost a decade, he served as a foreign policy and national security analyst, strategist and adviser in the IDF General Staff; as a special assistant to the Deputy Chief of the General Staff; and a commander in an elite intelligence unit of AMAN’s Research and Analysis Division, where he continues to serve in the reserves.

Through these positions, he has briefed on Israel and various strategic security issues to numerous high-level military and diplomatic delegations, in Israel and abroad.

He is a fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, a leading think-tank focusing on issues of importance to Israel and the Jewish people, where he researches the global de-legitimization of Israel, US-Israel relations and Israeli society. He also consults to private intelligence companies, and publishes and speaks widely on the Middle East and Israeli security and diplomatic matters.

Dan holds a BA in International Politics and Middle East Studies from the American University in Washington DC and an MA in National Security Studies from Tel Aviv University.

He is married with three children and lives in Rehovot, Israel. When taking a break from research, writing and speaking, Dan enjoys cooking, training cross-fit and martial arts.


The Bible Doesn’t Say That

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Acclaimed Author, Translator & Biblical Scholar

Dr. Joel Hoffman

Thursday, September 15

What does the Bible really say about violence? About marriage? About men and women? The Bible has been reinterpreted and misinterpreted almost from the day it was written. Join Dr. Joel M. Hoffman as he brings the Bible to life, peeling back 2,000 years of revisionism and takes a look at the Bible as it originally was.

Known for his “fresh insights and interpretations about religious life in the 21st century,” Dr. Hoffman is a popular speaker and presents to churches, synagogues, community groups, and university audiences across the world. He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics and has served on the faculties of Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College.

His latest book, “The Bible Doesn’t Say That: 40 Biblical Mistranslations, Misconceptions, and Other Misunderstandings” hit shelves on February 16, 2016.


Praying Without a Divide at the Western Wall

With Rabbi Gilad Kariv, Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism
Rabbi Gilad Kariv

Friday, November 18

Rabbi Gilad Kariv is the Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). For the last 17 years, Rabbi Kariv has been an active and committed member in the IMPJ. Rabbi Kariv previously served as the Associate Director of the Israel Religious Action Center.

Rabbi Kariv served in the Israeli Defense Forces’ special Talpiot project of the Intelligence Corps. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University, earning a combined degree with a BA in Law and Jewish Philosophy. Following this, Rabbi Kariv spent a year clerking in the State Attorney’s office. Rabbi Kariv obtained his LLM in Public and International Law from the Northwestern University School of Law.

Rabbi Kariv was one of the key leaders involved in 3 years of negotiations with the government of Israel which lead to the historic “Western Wall” compromise decision of the government of Israel giving progressive Judaism a respectable prayer space at the Kotel.
Rabbi Kariv lives in Ramat Gan with his wife Noa and their three children.

Watch Rabbi Gilad Kariv speak with Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism about the plan to create an egalitarian prayer


David Horovitz, Founding Editor of the Times of Israel

Presented by CBI Inspires & AIPAC
David HorovitzAIPAC

Friday, December 2

David Horovitz has conducted landmark interviews with a succession of Israeli and international figures, including all of Israel’s recent prime ministers, Presidents Barack Obama (when he visited Israel as a candidate in 2008) and George W. Bush, as well as Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin and, to the particular delight of his children, Paul McCartney. Horovitz is the author of 2004’s Still Life with Bombers: Israel in the Age of Terrorism; and 2000’s A Little Too Close to God: The Thrills and Panic of a Life in Israel. He edited and co-wrote The Jerusalem Report’s 1996 biography of Yitzhak Rabin, Shalom, Friend, which won the U.S. National Jewish Book Award for Non-Fiction.