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Liel Leibovitz on ideological homelessness and Judaism’s life-changing potential

The thinker, writer and podcaster shares his personal history and the problem he sees with American universities in the wake of October 7th

I love talking to brilliant people with whom I disagree just enough to make the conversation interesting.

A native Israeli, Liel Leibovitz was born into a prestigious family but grew up idolizing the Motorcycle Bandit, an infamous bank robber whose exploits would bring Liel’s comfortable circumstances crashing down around him.

Liel moved to New York to earn his master’s in journalism and his doctorate in communications from Columbia University. His dream? To become a professor — which he did. But the more he interacted with his colleagues, the more he came to realize he was somewhat homeless, ideologically, politically, even religiously.

Today the editor-at-large of Tablet Magazine, Liel is one of the Jewish world’s great thinkers, writers and podcasters. And he has a lot to say about politics, Judaism’s life-changing potential, and the problem with American universities in the wake of October 7th.

About ‘In These Times with Rabbi Ammi Hirsch’: Every other week, Rabbi Ammi Hirsch hosts intellectually honest conversations unpacking current events through the lens of Jewish wisdom. Unbound by politics and untethered by party lines, Ammi and his expert guests discuss everything from race and antisemitism to all the other issues that keep you up at night. Recorded from New York’s Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, a historic Reform congregation deeply rooted in liberalism, support for Israel and social justice.

Subscribe to ‘In These Times’ on SWFS, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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