Jewish People Policy Institute

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The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) is a think tank established by the Jewish Agency in 2002.

It descibes itself as ‘an independent professional policy planning think tank’ whose mission is to ‘ensure the thriving of the Jewish People and the Jewish civilization’ and it regards Israel as ‘the core’ of global Jewry.

It is incorporated as a private non-profit company based in Jerusalem on the campus of the Hebrew University.

Dennis Ross, who served on Obama's National Security Council, is co-chairman of its board.


JPPI (originally Jewish People Policy Planning Institute - JPPPI) was established in March 2002 by the Jewish Agency. Among its founding board members were then chairman, Amb. Dennis Ross; founding president, Prof. Yehezkel Dror; and director-general, Mr. Avinoam Bar-Yosef. According to its website, following its first presentation of its annual assessment in 2006, the Israel government, ‘took the significant decision to reserve a special cabinet meeting each year for future Institute presentations’. In 2007 JPPI moved to its current location on the Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University.[1]

Conference on the Future of the Jewish People

The first Conference on the Future of the Jewish People was held in July 2007 in Jerusalem with more than 150 participants from around the world. Keynote addresses were delivered by Amb. Dennis Ross, Prof. Irwin Cotler, Prof Yehezkel Dror, then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (introduced by Lester Crown), Prof. Jehuda Reinharz, then leader of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu, and then President-elect Shimon Peres.[2]

Israeli Presidential Conference: 'Facing Tomorrow'

Reportedly on the back of the 2007 conference, President Peres engaged the Institute to plan and design the content for the first Israeli Presidential Conference, 'Facing Tomorrow', held over three days in Jerusalem starting on May 13 2008 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel. More than 5,000 attended from 45 countries and 35 panel discussions were held with more than 225 speakers. Among those who delivered addresses at the eight plenary sessions and two special evening programs were: George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Abby Joseph Cohen, Susan Decker, Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger, Bernard-Henri Levy, Tzipi Livni, Ehud Olmert, Amos Oz, Shimon Peres, Dennis Ross, and Elie Wiesel.[3] Others expected to attended were Sergey Brin of Google and Rupert Murdoch.[4] Benefactors included Sheldon Adelson, Ronald Cohen, Pierre Besnainou, Poju Zabludowicz and the Jewish Agency for Israel.[5]

A pre-conference summit of 120 academics, former statesmen and others from the Jewish world was held to map out strategies to confront Israel's challenges. Several recommendations were issued, including creating a Jewish youth service corps modeled on the Peace Corps, a Jewish leadership academy in Jerusalem and the establishment of a secretariat to implement key issues of Jewish communal consensus.[6]

Since the 2008 conference the event - reportedly dubbed a 'Jewish Davos'[7]- has been held in 2009, in 2011 and in 2012.

Stephen Hawking boycotts conference

In May 2013 renowned physicist Stephen Hawking cancelled his scheduled appearance at the Israeli Presidential Conference stating explicitly that he had withdrawn in order to support the Palestinian academic boycott campaign.[8]

The triangular relationship: Jerusalem, Washington, North American Jewry

In October 2009, the Institute convened in Glen Cove, New York for a two-day event to discuss what it calls ‘the triangular relationship of Jerusalem, Washington and North American Jewry’. Dan Shapiro of the National Security Council attended, and ‘spoke on behalf of the Obama administration, listened to the concerns of participants and communicated them back in Washington’.[9]


According to its website JPPI’s activities are ‘action-oriented, placing special emphasis on identifying critical options and analyzing their potential impact on the future’.

It develops ‘professional strategic and long-term policy perspectives’ on what it considers to be ‘key factors that may endanger or enhance the future of the Jewish People’. It provides professionals, decision makers and global leaders with:

  • Surveys and analyses of key situations and dynamics; “alerts” to emerging opportunities and threats; assessment of important current events and anticipated developments; strategic action options and innovative alternatives; policy option analysis; agenda setting, policy recommendations and work plan design[10]

In August 2012 it listed its areas of interest as:

  • Geopolitics
  • Israel-Diaspora Relations
  • American Jews
  • European Jewry
  • Islam & the Arab world
  • De-Legitimization[11]

2030: Alternative Futures for the Jewish People

In 2010 JPPI produced a report called 2030: Alternative Futures for the Jewish People described as 'an exploratory project' which aimed to serve as a basis for policy planning and 'provide insights into possible futures of the Jewish People and into the variables shaping them, with identification of policy instruments that can be used by Jewish People decision-makers to increase the probability of a thriving future for the Jewish People and decrease the probability of negative futures'.

It was produced through 'a series of brainstorming meetings' which started at the Wye River Conference Center (Maryland, USA) in 2005-2006 and continued in Jerusalem in 2007-2008. These involved up to 20 participants per meeting, and included academics, writers, professionals and lay leaders known, according to JPPI for 'dedicating their time to thinking and planning for a better world'. As well as several JPPI fellows and board members, participants included:

Elliott Abrams | Marcos Aguinis | Jacques Attali | Sanford Baklor | Aluf Benn | Yehudit Birk | Gabriella Blum | Charles Burson | Yuval Cherlow | Lester Crown | Ruth Deech | Alan Dershowitz | David Ellenson | Maxyne Finkelstein | Wayne Firestone | Rachel Fish | Abraham Foxman | Sami Friedrich | Misha Galperin | Ruth Gavison | Todd Gitlin | Charles Goodman | Stanley Greenberg | Nicole Guedj | David Harris | Roger Hertog | Malcolm Hoenlein | Jeremy Issacharoff | Richard Joel | Arlene Kaufman | Henry Kissinger | Bernardo Kliksberg | Howard Kohr | Charles Krauthammer | Morlie Levin | Daniel Liwerant | Edward Luttwak | David Makovsky | Dan Mariaschin | Sallai Meridor | Leonid Nevzlin | Sheizaf Rafaeli | Jehuda Reinharz | Alisa Rubin Kurshan | Shalom Saar William Safire | Steven Schwager | Dan Shapiro | Natan Sharansky | Rene Samuel Sirat | Hermona Soreq | Lawrence Summers| Harold Tanner | Shmuel Trigano | Moshe Vigdor | Tzvi Hersh Weinreb | Ariel Weiss | David Young[12]

The preface to the report stresses that long-term strategic thinking and policy planning is necessary for the 'thriving of the Jewish civilization'. It states that the project - 'one of the first to be initiated when JPPPI was founded' - was inspired by work carried out by the RAND Corporation to explore the year 2100 and also makes reference to 'projects in the US conducted by governmental and non-governmental organizations'. The involvement of leading American neoconservative such as Elliot Abrams and Charles Krauthammer suggests that the project may also be seeking to emulate the Project for the New American Century. Despite the report's heavy focus on Israel, it claims to be 'the first time that such a project focuses on a people and civilization'.

2010 Conference on the Future of the Jewish People

At the 2010 Conference on the Future of the Jewish People, held over three days (October 20-22) in Jerusalem's Mount Zion Hotel[13] and attended by 120 people[14], participants included: Elliott Abrams, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer, the senior vice president of B'nai B'rith International, Daniel Mariaschin and Pierre Besnainou, a leading figure of the Jewish community in France[15] as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres.[16], Defense Minister Ehud Barak, opposition leader Tzipi Livni[17] and Natan Sharansky of the Jewish Agency.[18]

Netanyahu: Jews depend on Israel, Israel depends on Jews

On the last day of the conference, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu addressed an audience at the Israel Museum and argued that that the survival of Israel and of Jewish people worldwide were interdependent. During his speech (available online), he said:

I don’t think there’s a future for the Jewish people without a future for the Jewish state. But I think the future of the Jewish state is important, is inextricably bound also with the commitment of the Jewish people to the nation-state of the Jews.[19]

On the previous day, President Shimon Peres had stressed Israel's dependence on American support, stating 'for our existence, we need the friendship of the United States of America.'[20]

Settlements and Jerusalem

Another attendee at the conference was Dani Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council, the umbrella leadership of the settler movement. He told other participants - some of whom reportedly disagreed - that it was 'a Jewish imperative' to keep the illegal settlements in the West Bank in place. There were also 'two camps' over the question of Jerusalem with some participants insisting it should 'remain the undivided capital of Israel' and others who suggested 'some sort of shared control or sovereignty over the eastern part of Jerusalem'.[21]


Israeli-Palestinian conflict

On demographics

A lengthy May 2011 report authored by JPPI's demographer Sergio DellaPergola, entitled Jewish demographic policies: population Trends and options in israel and in the diaspora, argued that it was imperative the Jewish world put demographic and population data at the forefront of policy making. It discussed the Jewish birthrate, migration to and from Israel and in the Diaspora, assimilation, intermarriage and conversion. Key recommendations included establishing final borders of the State of Israel; facilitating cultural absorption of non-Jewish members of Jewish households, making conversion more accessible and appealing; encouraging the return of Israelis abroad; and implementing policies that incentivize Jewish family growth in both Israel and the Diaspora.[22] DellaPergola has long stressed that in his view the 'quality of Israel as a Jewish and democratic society...cannot be preserved under the present and foreseeable demographic trends unless strategic decisions are made concerning Israel's territorial definition.'[23]

In June 2011 the report was presented to the government at a weekly cabinet meeting, including analysis of demographic trends suggesting that soon Palestinians would be a majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea - the significance of this being the growing fear in Israel that Palestinians living under Israeli control could, by advocating for equal rights while still living under Israeli control, create a one-state reality on the ground that would remove the Zionist character of Israel. According to Haaretz, these statistics, reportedly prompted Prime Minister Netanyahu to say: "The debate over how many Jews and how many Palestinians will be between the Jordan and the sea is irrelevant. It does not matter to me whether there are half a million more Palestinians or less because I have no wish to annex them into Israel. I want to separate from them so that they will not be Israeli citizens. I am interested that there be a solid Jewish majority inside the State of Israel. Inside its borders, as these will be defined.” Aides saw such a clear statement that Israel would not maintain control of all of the West Bank as “politically explosive” and reportedly asked attendees not to disseminate details of this statement.[24]

Support for the release of Marwan Barghouti

Avinoam Bar-Yosef suggested in a New York Times article in November 2011 that imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barhgouti could and should be released if his support could be won for a two state solution which limited the right of return for refugees to 'the new Palestine' and implying that along with appointed PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Barghouti could be co-opted in this way.[25]

Support for 'disproportionate response' to rockets

According to a 2007 article in Haaretz, JPPI's founding president Yehezkel Dror criticised 'Israel's moderate response to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip after the disengagement', saying that "All rocket attacks on us must be met with a punitive 'disproportionate' response".[26]

On Israel's foreign relations

The flotilla and Turkey

JPPI's Michael Herzog claimed in a Haaretz article in December 2010 that the Gaza flotilla incident, in which nine Turkish activists were killed when Israeli troops landed on the Mavi Marmara ship, was 'a result of a crisis in relations [with Turkey], not its cause'.[27]

On 'the Muslim factor' and India

Im an article for YNet Arielle Kandel of JPPI claimed that 'To a large extent, it is the so-called “Muslim factor” that hinders the development of closer diplomatic and political ties between India and Israel', citing both India's relations with other Middle Eastern countries and its 150 million Muslim inhabitants.[28]

Elsewhere JPPI's Stuart Eizenstat, a former U.S. under secretary of state, has suggested that as US power declines, Israel's ties to new powers like India and China are increasingly important.[29]

On developing Sino-Israeli relations with the blessing of the USA

Shalom Wald and Gedaliah Afterman of JPPI wrote in the Jerusalem Post in 2011 that: 'After China and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1992, bi-lateral relations and mutual high-level visits developed at a brisk pace, including ties in the defense sector. These relations came to a precipitous halt in 2000, when massive American pressure forced Israel to cancel a contract to sell China an Israeli-developed airborne early warning system, the Phalcon. In 2004 a similar incident occurred regarding Israeli-made aerial drones sold to China. This time the US accompanied its pressure with temporary sanctions. Israel had little choice. Its friendship with the US is still indispensable.'[30]

They conclude that the United States’ reaction to growing Israel-China ties 'will be crucial' and that '[a]ll efforts should be made to convince Israel’s closest ally that it is in its own interest to let China lend a helping hand in stabilizing the Middle East'. Previously, JPPI's Stuart Eizenstat, a former U.S. under secretary of state, has argued that as US power declines, Israel's ties to rising powers like China are increasingly important.[31]

On democratic decision making and attacking Iran

The institute's Yehezkel Dror wrote in Haaretz in late 2011 that most people did not have sufficient information to debate whether Israel should attack Iran or not - and could not be given all the relevant information due to national security. He condluded that because 'not more than 10 or 15 people in all of Israel' had access to all the relevant information, those leaders must make a decision alone without taking into account the views of the public:

Unlike with the peace process, Israel's leaders must - in accordance with the principles of representative democracy and based on the specific characteristics of the Iran issue - make a decision on a prospective Israeli attack on Iran to the best of their judgment, without taking into consideration the media, public discourse or party politics.[32]

On relations with the USA

In June 2011, JPPI presented its annual report to the Israeli cabinet in a dedicated session and took the opportunity to urge the country’s leaders not to allow Israel to become a contentious issue in the American 2010 election. It was in Israel’s interests, JPPI argued, to stay out of domestic American politics. They also suggested that Israelis should be encouraged to buy American products and that Jewish groups globally should focus their efforts on university campuses in the U.S. and Europe in order to counter delegitimization. [33][34]

In a 2009 Haaretz article, founding president Yehezkel Dror speculated on worst case scenarios in relation to the US-Israel bond during Obama's presidency. Comparing the US president to Abraham Lincoln, he then drew a comparison between Lincoln's belief in the immorality of slavery which led him eventually to abolish it, and Israel's 'domination' of the Palestinians. He wrote: 'President Obama may come to see ending Israeli domination of the Palestinians as a moral imperative, and to accomplish that he will be willing to reverse himself on previous intentions and deviate from earlier declarations', suggesting that the American President's loyalty to Israel could wane. He concluded that 'Israel would do well to present the U.S. president, and soon, with a realistic plan for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, based in part on the Arab Peace Initiative...establishment of a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty, Israeli withdrawal (roughly) to its pre-1967 borders, the granting of an appropriate status to a principal Islamic actor in the Holy Basin in Jerusalem, and a regional and international resolution of the Palestinian-refugee problem.'[35]


At the 2010 Conference on the Future of the Jewish People, a key working group on delegitimization included Alan Solow (former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations), Moshe Ya'alon (former IDF Chief of Staff, Likud member of the Knesset, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs), Danny Ayalon (Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel) and Abraham Foxman (Director of the Anti-Defamation League). A background paper was written by JPPI's Michael Herzog. The discussants viewed contending with delegitimization as 'a type of asymmetric warfare...conducted on the battlefield of ideas'.[36]

Disagreement over cause

There was disagreement between participants as to the 'primary source of the phenomenon of delegitimization in its current manifestations', with some arguing that the heart of the problem was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israel's image as 'a peace refusing, dispossessing, and colonialist power' while others regarding it as 'a type of modern anti-Semitism' that would not decline even if a permanent solution to the conflict was achieved.

Countering Delegitimization: Funding for those fighting on the frontline

Negative attitudes towards Israel present at US and European universities were seen as 'worrying', since campuses are the 'greenhouses of influence on the young, educated generation that will eventually work in government and will fill in elite classes' and strategies considered to counter the trend against Israel included 'pressuring chief university administrators and their donors'. It was also agreed that more should be invested in the media front and that 'targets that must be focused upon in the West are the center and moderate left, where influence is possible'. During the discussion Israel was criticized 'for not providing adequate aid to the people and organizations willing and able to act against delegitimization in the international arena'. Examples were reportedly given 'by representatives from various countries in the Diaspora' of initiatives for which they requested funding from the State of Israel but were turned down, usually due to 'lack of funds'.[37]

Countering Delegitimization: Engagement 'according to the principles of war'

Fears were voiced about the 'possible erosion of identification of the Jewish Diaspora' with Israel as a result of delegitimization activity. Other ideas for counter-efforts included producing films, computer games and even recruiting novelists to the cause. It was felt that 'the delegitimization battle must be treated and engaged as one would engage a military battle according to the principles of war.'[38]

Clinton a delegitimizer

Director Avinoam Bar-Yosef wrote in a 2010 op-ed in Haaretz that Bill Clinton was 'not only a victim of this campaign against Israel and the Jewish people, but with his words he becomes one of those stoking the flames', after the former US president criticised Israel's committment to peace.[39]

Diaspora issues

Role in final status talks

At the October 2010 Conference on the Future of the Jewish People, American Malcolm Hoenlein reportedly told the conference that 'Jerusalem’s pivotal place in Jewish history meant the Jewish people in the Disapora also had a right to express their opinion on its final status in talks with the Palestinians',[40], sentiments echoed by JPPI's Avinoam Bar-Yosef[41]. It is not clear if such a position was also extended to the Palestinian diaspora.

On ‘distancing’

In The Challenge of Peoplehood: Strengthening the Attachment of Young American Jews to Israel in the Time of the Distancing Discourse, Shmuel Rosner and Inbal Hakman conclude that there is no conclusive evidence of an erosion of US Jewry’s attachment to Israel, contrary to what others have claimed. Indeed they claim there may in fact be an increased level of attachment compared to the past.

However, they state that some factors such as the increase in mixed marriages, and indications of growing unease among young Jews toward Israeli policy are of concern. They note that almost all researchers agree that a significant majority American Jews still have an emotional attachment to Israel and regard it as a component of their Jewish identity, but that there are gaps between young and old generations. There is a general consensus that subsidized visit Israel programs (such as Birthright) which are steadily increasing in number, strengthen attachment to Israel. But the JPPI report states there is no significant evidence to suggest political disagreement with Israel’s government is causal factor in distancing. The authors also speculate that war with Iran or a similar global conflict could enhance levels of external engagement with Israel.[42]

On emigrants and the diaspora

Israeli Cabinet Secretary, Tzvi Hauser, commissioned JPPI’s Yogev Karasenty and Inbal Hakman to produce a policy paper on the possibility of allowing Israelis abroad to vote in Knesset elections. The report recommended that Israelis who had left the country a maximum of four years ago should be allowed to vote provided that had previously lived in Israel for a minimum period of time, registered in advance at an Israeli consulate and declared that he or she intended to return to Israel.[43]

Karasenty further proposed that Israel should consider establishing a network of cultural centers around the world based on the UK’s British Council or Spain’s Institutio Cervantes and that subsidizing Jewish and Israeli education programmes abroad to ensure Jewish children grow up feeling connected to Israel.[44]

On Israeli democracy

Following a string of illiberal bills sponsored in the Israeli parliament by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's nationalist right-wing party, Yisrael Beiteinu and by members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s center-right Likud party as well as some lawmakers from Tzipi Livni’s centrist Kadima party, controversy about the erosion of Israel's democracy ensued. Bills outlawing commemoration of the Nakba, support for a boycott of Israel were passed by the Knesset and others restricting fundamental rights such as freedom of expression - and the independence of the judiciary - were proposed. JPPI's Alexander Yakobson, Avinoam Bar-Yosef, Suzanne Stone and Arielle Kandel downplayed fears generated by these bills, calling it 'extremely unlikely' that 'the current assault on liberal rights and freedoms will succeed' but lamenting the fact that the debate caused 'considerable damage to Israel's reputation abroad' and speculating on possible damage to US-Israel relations, and support from the diaspora particularly the - mostly liberal - US Jewish community. While they acknowledge 'some illiberal and undemocratic trends in Israel' they conclude by praising Israeli democracy as 'a remarkable achievement.' [45]


JPPI's 2007 Conference on the Future of the Jewish people was criticised by some participants for the fact that 'no young people' attended.[46] It has been criticised even by supporters of its political goals for its dearth of female participants.[47] Some of those attending the institute's 2010 Conference on the Future of the Jewish People reportedly 'criticized the absence of women and participants under the age of 50 at the conference — something organizers said they were working to improve'.[48]

Meanwhile Todd Gitlin, who moderated the delegitimization discussions at the 2010 Conference on the Future of the Jewish People, wrote of what he saw as 'denial' among participants regarding Israel's treatment of Palestinians:

An intense brew of paranoia, smugness, cynicism, cruelty, panic and denial in Israel's approach to the Palestinians damages the JPPI's aspiration to serve the larger interests of what, indeed, deserves to be called Jewish civilization.[49]



Board of Directors

  • Ambassador Dennis Ross, co-chairman of the board - previously sat on Obama's National Security Council and played a leading role in shaping US involvement in the Middle East, involved in peace negotiations in both the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton Administrations. Part of the founding group of JPPI and served as its first chairman. Currently he serves as a counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is the author of several books on the Middle East and US foreign policy.[50]
  • Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, co-chairman of the board - served as US Ambassador to the EU, Under Secretary of State, Under Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary of Treasury. He has also written a number of books.[51]
  • Irwin Cotler, board member - Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General from 2003 till 2006. Also of MEMRI, UN Watch and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Leonid Nevzlin, Associate Chairman - former Rector of Moscow's University of the Humanities, Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament and President of the Russian-Jewish Congress. Established the NADAV Fund 'to support initiatives that strengthen Jewish Peoplehood'.[52]
  • Sami Friedrich - founder of consultancy company Shaldor, has also been on the board of the Jewish Agency and the Israel Democracy Institute[53][54]
  • Dan Halperin - according to a page on the Herzliya Conference (where Halperin has spoken), he served in the Ministry of Finance for over twenty years, as including as Deputy Director-General for International Affairs and as Economic Attach in Washington, D.C. and is also Chair of the Israel Festival Association and on the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the board of Directors of Israeli National Airline El-Al.[55]
  • David Hatchwell Altaras - formerly of Goldman Sachs and now managing director of EXCEM Technologies, he is a member of the Spanish Chapter of the “Weizmann Institute”, the Spanish Board of the Peres Center for Peace and Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Spain. Also a founding member and Vice-President of the Spain-Israel Chamber of Commerce and co-founder of ACOM (Acción para la Concordia en Oriente Medio) a Spain based pro-Israel public diplomacy platform established in 2007.[56]
  • Stephen H. Hoffman, Member and former president of the Board - President of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, the Mandel Foundation, the David and Inez Myers Foundation, and the Maltz Foundation. Served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Jewish Communities. In 2004, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the United States delegation to the Conference on Anti-Semitism, held in Berlin, Germany, by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He is Founder and Co-Chair of the Secure Communities Network[57], a national US project also involving groups like the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
  • Alan Hoffmann - Director-General and CEO of the Jewish Agency and formerly Director General of its Education Department during which time he led 'groundbreaking initiatives' such as MASA Israel Journey and MAKOM – a think-practice tank focused on re-imagining the place of Israel in Jewish life.[58]
  • Rabbi Vernon Kurtz - Former President of MERCAZ Olami, the World Zionist organization of the Conservative Movement. He is an associate member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency, has been elected to its executive, and serves as deputy chairman of its Russian Speaking Jewry committee. He is also a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem.[59]
  • Morlie Levin - CEO of Birthright Israel NEXT. Prior to this, she was also Senior Analyst at the RAND Corporation and ran a consulting firm 'focusing on strategic planning and marketing for Fortune 100 companies'.[60]
  • Glen Lewy - Senior Managing Director of Hudson Ventures, a technology-focused venture capital fund based in New York, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, former National Chairman and current National Executive Committee member of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).[61]
  • Judit Bokser Liwerant - professor of political science at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).[62]
  • Isaac Molho - managing partner in the firm E. S. Shimron, I. Molho, Persky & Co, he handled the major precedent-setting litigation concerning copyright in the Dead Sea Scrolls. During Benjamin Netanyahu's first period as Prime Minister (1996-1999), Adv. Molho, on a voluntary basis, fulfilled various special assignments on behalf of the Prime Minister at his personal request, including acting as the Prime Minister’s personal envoy and as chief negotiator on behalf of the Government of Israel to the leadership of the Palestinian Authority and its former Chairman, Yassir Arafat.[63]
  • Steven B. Nasatir - President of the Jewish United Fund/ Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, he is an Associate Member of the Board of Governors and delegate to the Assembly of the Jewish Agency for Israel, and consultant to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Also on the Board of the Michael Reese Health Trust, the Covenant Foundation, and a number of Family Foundation Boards of Directors.[64]
  • Ambassador Avi Pazner - Official Spokesman for the Government of Israel, formerly of the Foreign Ministry Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, then Israel’s Ambassador to Italy, non-resident Ambassador to Malta, non-resident Ambassador of Israel to Albania and ambassador to France. Also headed the negotiations with the Vatican, which resulted in the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Israel and the Holy See. In September 1998 he was elected World Chairman of Keren Hayesod-UIA.[65]
  • Jehuda Reinharz - Brandeis Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History, director of the Tauber Institute and former president of Brandeis University. Also president of the Mandel Foundation and the author of a biography of Chaim Weizmann and other books.[66]
  • John Ruskay - Executive Vice President & CEO at UJA-Federation of New York, and states that as an undergraduate he was 'active in both the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama in 1965'. Has also been a member of the Advisory Board and Fellowship Selection Committee for the Wexner Foundation and a Senior Consultant to Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies.[67]
  • Doron Shorrer - according to Business Week, Shorrer is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Shorrer International Ltd. Formerly Economic and Financial Advisor, Commissioner of Insurance and Director of Capital Markets, Insurance and Savings at Israel's Ministry of Finance Member and served on the Board of Directors of 'Nechasim' of the State of Israel.[68]
  • Gerrald Silverman - Gerrald (Jerry) Silverman is president and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America.[69]
  • Ted Sokolsky - President of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto since 2004. Formerly of B’nai B'rith Youth Organization (BBYO) and Canadian Friends of Haifa University. Married to Elizabeth Sokolsky, Vice President of Taglit Birthright North America.[70]
  • Alan Solow - former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
  • Michael H. Steinhardt - co-founder (with Charles Bronfman of Birthright Israel, former hedge fund manager, director of the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and chair of the Judy & Michael Steinhardt Family Foundation. He also donates to New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, and the Israel Museum.[71]
  • Aharon Yadlin - former Israeli politician and father of Amos Yadlin, ex-head of Israeli military intelligence and director of the Institute for National Security Studies


  • Avinoam Bar-Yosef, President and Founding Director - previously of Ma'ariv newspaper and Senior Advisor to the Chair of the Jewish Agency Sallai Meridor.[72].
  • Prof. Yehezkel Dror, Founding President - Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a member of the Club of Rome, he served as a senior staff member of the RAND Corporation, Senior Advisor in the Offices of Israeli Prime Ministers and Ministers of Defense; Fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study and Science Center; and senior professor at the European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht.[73]
  • General Aharon Ze'evi Farkash, Former President - previously head of Aman, Israel's military intelligence agency. He is also Chairman of Public Management of the Ben Yakir Youth Village, as well as an active member of the Ghetto Fighters’ House Friends.[74]
  • Prof. Suzanne Last Stone, Academic Counselor - also a Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center and Designated Chair, Department of Liberal Studies, at Shalem College[75]
  • Ita Alcalay, Project Manager - previously worked at the Finance Minister's Bureau and the Foreign Ministry.[76]
  • Ambassador Avi Gil, Senior Fellow - formerly Director General of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Director-General of the Peres Center for Peace; the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, Media Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and was involved in negotiations that led to the Oslo Accords and the peace treaty with Jordan. Also a 'close advisor to President Shimon Peres'[77]
  • Brig. Gen. (Res.) Michael Herzog, Senior Fellow - heads JPPI's confronting de-legitimization project. Former head of the IDF's strategic planning division, held senior positions in the office of Israel's minister of defense and was the chief of staff of Minister Ehud Barak. Son of Chaim Herzog, former president of Israel, he is also the Milton Fine International [Military] Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.[78][79]
  • Dov Maimon, Senior Fellow - working on a 'Grand Strategy of the Jewish People toward Islam' and leads the Institute's activities in Europe.[80]
  • Prof. Steven Popper, Senior Fellow - a Senior Economist at the RAND Corporation and Professor of Science and Technology Policy in the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He is also director of RAND's Israel Initiative. He has carried out research for the OECD, the World Bank, several non-US governments and the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, including 'evaluations of federal R&D portfolios relevant to the Global War on Terror'.[81]
  • Dr. Shalom Salomon Wald, Senior Fellow - worked at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) between 1964 and 2001 and was Head of the OECD/DSTI Biotechnology Unit. Joined JPPI in 2002 and worked on Jewish/Israeli relations with China, among other topics. Currently studying 'India-Israel-Jewish People links'.[82]
  • Jonathan D. Sarna, Senior Fellow - Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University.[83]
  • Dr. Shlomo Fischer, Fellow - sociologist at Hebrew University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Also a research fellow at the Van Leer Institute. He has published extensively on radical religious Zionism and the West Bank settlers as well as on the Shas movement.[84]
  • Shmuel Rosner, Fellow - author, columnist and Senior Political Editor for the Jewish Journal, writes weekly for The International Herald Tribune, New York Times and for Israel’s Maariv Daily. Previously a columnist for The Jerusalem Post, and Chief U.S. Correspondent for Haaretz. Has also written for Foreign Policy and Commentary.[85]
  • Antony Korenstein, Fellow - formerly of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).[86]
  • Inbal Hakman, Fellow - Ph.D. student at the Federmann School of Public Policy and Government, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and teaching assistant at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy.[87]
  • Arielle Kandel, Fellow - Joined JPPI in 2012, works on the research project led by Dr. Solomon Wald focused on relations between India, Israel and the Jewish people.[88]
  • Dr. Gedaliah Afterman, Fellow - former policy analyst for the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) in Melbourne, Political Correspondent for the Australian Jewish News and has worked for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.[89]
  • Rami Tal, Publications Editor - former news editor and Washington correspondent at Yediot Acharonot newspaper.[90]
  • Nadia Ellis, Associate Fellow - Works on JPPI's delegitimization of Israel project, especially on university campuses and writing a Ph.D. about the use of the word 'delegitimization' in political discourse at Tel Aviv University.[91]
  • Rabbi Dr. Yehudah Mirsky, Fellow - worked as an aide to Senators Bob Kerrey and Al Gore and served in the Clinton Administration as a Presidential appointee in the US State Department's human rights bureau. Has written on politics, culture and religion for The Economist, New Republic, Washington Post and many other publications. Also a fellow of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.[92]
  • Yogev Karasenty, Fellow - founder and board member of 'several initiatives aiming to promote Israel Diaspora discourse' lecturer on Jewish sociological and demographical trends. Co-writer of the new paradigm for Israel Diaspora relationships (commissioned by the Israeli Government).[93]

Former Fellows

  • Einat Wilf, former senior fellow, left in 2009 on her election to the Knesset as an MK for the Israeli Labor Party. However, when in February 2010 she wrote an opinion piece for the Jerusalem Post, she was described as 'a Labor MK, a fellow with the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute and a member of the President’s Conference Steering Committee'. In the article she described Palestinians as 'eternal teenagers' and wrote: 'The Palestinian national movement has been characterized from its early days by a maddening culture of irresponsibility. As far as they were concerned, their circumstances were never the outcome of their decisions, actions or conduct. It was always someone else’s fault – the UK, the United Nations, the Arab countries, and of course above all, the Zionists and their occupation.' She also suggested that 'Israel might have well assumed that the Palestinians were culturally incapable of breaking free of the crutches of blaming others to sustain a building process'- but praised Salam Fayyad .[94]


According to an article in Foreign Policy In Focus (a project of left wing American think tank the Institute for Policy Studies), JPPI receives funding from the Israeli government.[95] In a 2006 interview, JPPI's Sergio Della Pergola claimed that the institute was 'financed by both private and public funds 'yet 'completely autonomous'.[96]


The Israeli government has commissioned work from JPPI, including Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser who commisioned JPPI’s Yogev Karasenty and Inbal Hakman to produce a policy paper on the possibility of allowing Israelis abroad to vote in Knesset elections.[97]

JPPI regularly presents policy papers to the government, including its annual assessment to a cabinet session each year. Following its 2010 Conference on the Future of the Jewish People, JPPI also presented policy recommendations AIPAC board members, led by Lee Rosenberg and Howard Kohr.[98]


Selected JPPI publications include:


  • Address: Givat Ram Campus, Hebrew University, P.O.Box 39156, Jerusalem 91391
  • Tel: 972-2-5633356
  • Fax: 972-2-5635040
  • Website:
  • Email:



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  2. History, JPPI, accessed 13 August 2012
  3. History, JPPI, accessed 13 August 2012
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  14. When Our Destiny is at Stake, E Jewish Philanthropy, accessed 14 August 2012
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  18. The 2010 Conference of the Jewish People Report, JPPI, accessed 3 August 2012
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  26. Endgame in Damascus and Gaza, Haaretz, accessed 4 September 2012
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  41. When Our Destiny is at Stake, E Jewish Philanthropy, accessed 14 August 2012
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  45. New Proposed Knesset Bills and Israeli Democracy, JPPI, accessed 4 September 2012
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  47. Institute's planning unbalanced, Jewish News of Greater Phoenix Online, accessed 4 September 2012
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  68. Executive Profile: Doron Shorrer, Bloomberg Businessweek, accessed 13 August 2012
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