June 2023 Session

Classes start June 7 weekly through the end of June.
 Registration deadline: May 31

J1. Israel: How Did We Get Here?

Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30

  • 4 sessions in person or online.
    Please specify preference when registering.
  • Cost: $60
  • Instructor: Ari Rosenblum,
    CEO, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland County

Israel is at a critical juncture in its history. How did we get here? Federation CEO Ari Rosenblum will survey the key points and themes in Jewish and Israeli history that shaped the approach of decision makers and the electorate since Israel's founding.


Topics will include Israel's independence and the period following, Israel's post-1967 legacy, the Oslo legacy and more. Join us for a passionate discussion about Israel's past, present and future!

J2. Begin to Understand Menachem Begin

Thursdays, 9:30-10:45

  • 4 sessions in person or online.
    Please specify preference when registering.
  • Cost: $75
  • Instructor: Rabbi Brian Leiken

Menachem Begin changed the political landscape in Israel when he was made Prime Minister in 1977. Before this ascent to power, Begin was a member of the Jewish underground and then an opposition figure to David ben Gurion. Eventually, he made peace with Egypt in 1979. 

Understanding Begin and the world that created him is a key component to understanding modern-day Israel. Join us as we explore his life and philosophy.

Instructor Bios

Arieh Rosenblum is the Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County. A native of Toronto, Canada, Ari has served in executive and leadership positions at major not for profit organizations in Toronto, Ottawa and New York.

At the University of Toronto, he began a lifelong passion for activism, eventually rising to the nationalexecutive of the North American Jewish Students Network. After more than seven years in investment management, research and corporate finance, Ari moved into the Jewish non-profit world, working since 2001 in senior advocacy, communications, operations, marketing and development roles for local and national Federations and organizations.

Ari has led hundreds of program participants on missions to Israel, with a focus on advocacy training, history, and strategic engagement. He successfully guided growing annual and legacy giving campaigns as Director of Development at the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. Since his move to the US , he has worked in development for CHB, one of the country’s largest campus Chabad operations, and as CEO of renowned campus advocacy organization Hasbara Fellowships.

Ari is a contributor at the Times Of Israel, and has written for several publications and web journals. He has been a regional Board member of Canadian Jewish Congress, a consultant for Canada’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, and a lecturer, campaign volunteer, and lay program coordinator for CJPAC. He's familiar with the halls and offices of Parliament Hill, Capitol Hill, and the White House.

Ari is an active education committee member, lecturer, Torah reader and Baal Tefila at The Riverdale Minyan, and for 12 years, he served as spiritual leader for a small synagogue and community in Northern Ontario. Ari is a proud father of five. He lives in Riverdale NY with his wife Michelle and their young daughter.

Rabbi Brian Leiken has been the Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom since June of 2012.  He is passionate about social justice, Jewish history, and the study of modern American Judaism.  As the religious leader of Temple Beth Sholom, Rabbi Leiken has transitioned the temple into a relational synagogue, one that is built upon the inter and intra-relationships between the clergy and its members. He attended the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion where he was ordained in May of 2007.

Financial need scholarships and spouse discounts are available.

For more information, contact Barry Kanarek at bkanarek@jewishrockland.org or (845)362-4200 ext 170.