Even as it has taken its place among the world’s most powerful nations, Israel also continues to exert a potent influence on the imagination. In this hour-long multimedia lecture, scholar Ted Merwin traces the evolution of the U.S.- Israel relationship in visual art, photography, performing arts, film and TV. From the 1940s theatrical pageant “A Flag is Born” to the 1960s Paul Newman film, “Exodus,” to American magazine covers during the Six Day War, to the current crop of binge-worthy Israeli TV shows, our perceptions of the Jewish State are conditioned just as much—if not more—through culture as they are through foreign relations, diplomacy, and technological or defense-related cooperation.
Ted Merwin, Ph.D. is a Senior Writer for the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Before coming to JFNA, he worked as AIPAC's Synagogue Initiative Director for the Mid-Atlantic Region. For many years, Ted taught Judaic studies at Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pa), where he directed the Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life. He is the author of "Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli," which won a National Jewish Book Award, and "In Their Own Image: New York Jews in Jazz Age Popular Culture." He lives in Baltimore with his wife and three daughters.