Sinai Successes

2019 Abner & Roslyn Goldstine Scholar-In-Residence

The weekend of November 15-17, Sinai Temple’s 2019 Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Scholar-In-Residence, Dr. Matthew Levitt, lectured and discussed a variety of timely and important topics. Dr. Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler Fellow at The Washington Institute and Director of its Jeanette and Eli Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. High school student Vida Keyvanfar, Co-President of Sinai Temple’s Teen Center, discussed and interviewed Dr. Levitt prior to his visit. To read her interview with him, please click HERE.

The weekend kicked off on Friday with a well attended Lunch & Learn on the Go in Century City, followed by an afternoon during which Dr. Levitt spent time with Sinai Akiba Academy’s middle school students. The night included a Community Shabbat Dinner, at which Dr. Levitt thoughtfully delved into his experiences as a Modern Orthodox Jew navigating unexpected work challenges, particularly directly following the 9/11 attacks. After dinner, Dr. Levitt spoke on “Making Sense of a Broken Middle East.”

During Saturday’s lunch, Dr. Levitt spoke to a crowd of over 100 on “Understanding Iran’s Malign Activities in the Middle East.” The weekend culminated with a breakfast discussion with Rabbi Wolpe on “Dealing With The Threat of Domestic Terrorism.” This enraptured a crowd of all ages including Lily Small, a sixth grader at Sinai Akiba. That morning, Barbi Weinberg, co-founder of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, provided the introduction of Dr. Levitt. Levitt made a point to mention that interrogations are “nothing like the movies and TV,” noting that the best way to combat the ideology of terrorism is to engage with non-government official organizations and refuse to accept daily violence as the new normal.

This was a fascinating and engaging weekend that attracted members of the Sinai Temple community and greater Los Angeles Jewish community. We are extremely grateful to Abner and Roz Goldstine for sponsoring this fantastic weekend and bringing renowned speakers to Sinai Temple. For more information about Scholar-In-Residence, please contact Rachel Polansky at

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