Please join us for a Pop-Up Casual Conversation sponsored by the Jewish Culture Group, chaired by classmate Bruce Alpert, on Thursday, November 16 at 3:30 pm Eastern Time (U.S.).  Our guest will be Hilik Wald from Israel, where it will be 10:30 in the evening.

Bruce describes how he has come to know Hilik:

Bruce's youngest Dartmouth son, Sean '01, met Hilik long ago when both were leading Birthright trips. They kept in touch over the years. In a recent conversation Sean told Hilik about the '69 Jewish Culture Group and suggested that Hilik would be a timely speaker. I look forward to hearing from someone at the forefront of the events we see on the news, NOT from the perspective of a soldier or politician.

Hilik provides his background as follows:

Hilik Wald was born in Israel in 1977 and had the regular "Israeli upbringing," including combat military service and serving in the reserves as a tank commander. Hilik graduated from Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Geography and has a Master's in Jewish Art from Schecter College in Jerusalem. Since 2009, he has been a certified tour guide, focusing on American Jewry while trying to connect them to Israel and their Jewish identity. Hilik has a solid secular Jewish identity. He lives in Jerusalem, near the Israeli Arlington, with his wife and redheaded two-year-old daughter Carmel.

Hilik offered some topics for discussion.  While he requested that only two or three be picked, given the fast-pace of developments and the range of possible interests of participants attending the Zoom discussion, I have decided to list all but one of them and with only light edits of the others, allowing the free flow of conversation among us to determine the contours of the conversation.

  1. Examples (good and bad) of Arab Israeli reaction to the Israel-Hamas war.
  2. Do the Ultra Orthodox believe that the Messiah’s arrival is imminent because Frum men are joining the IDF? How is the Ultra-Orthodox society in Israel contributing to the general good these days: Zaka and Sevah squad.
  3. “When the state/government is absent, civil society rises”: How the "Pre-October 7 Anarchists" are replacing the government in providing services.
  4. How is the Israeli economy doing (deficit, unemployment, and coalition money transfers)?
  5. The Israeli gun rush: pistols, community squads, and soldiers in every community entryway. 
  6. Why do only 48% of Israeli homes (houses or condos) have a "safe space" from rockets?
  7. "Why do they all hate us?” Anti-Semitism in the eyes of secular and liberal Jews in Israel.

Usual rules apply, although RSVPs will be accepted up to Noon Eastern Time (U.S.) on Thursday: .

When you get the link, hold onto it.  In fact, put the link into your calendar.  If you can’t find it at the last minute, I may well be not able to help you.  I will be busy doing other things.

Bring your curiosity, questions, and civility.  Please join us.

Arthur Fergenson


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