Micah Halpern, a syndicated columnist and political analyst, says traveling the country as a guest speaker gives him the opportunity to help local communities and really get a sense of what’s going on in the Jewish world. “And that’s really the best part about this whole thing; it charges my battery.
“You get to really touch people, influence them and inspire them to move on and do bigger things, and become major players in the world,” he says.
Halpern has been a guest commentator and political analyst for radio and television news for more than two decades. His areas of expertise are Israel, the Middle East and global terrorism, and his commentaries have been featured on USA Radio Network, MSNBC, FOX News Network and CBS Corp.
Halpern will present “Understanding and Defeating the Terrorist Threat” at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Northwest Division 2017 Campaign kickoff next month.
The discussion will focus on several areas including the recent spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes, and how Israeli security measures serve as a perfect model for protecting the Jewish community in the United States.
“We are in the midst of an unbelievably powerful and problematic period,” Halpern says. “On the other hand we have created great defenses.
“Israel is on the frontlines of these issues, and we’re learning so much from them regarding [defense],” he says. “That’s one of the most critical components of what Israel has shown us, and taught us in terms of succeeding in this battle. And recognizing it’s not just going to go away — it’s here.”
During the last three weeks, Jews were targeted in more than half of the hate crimes in New York City, Halpern says. “That being the case, it means it’s really important that we defend ourselves, and we’re doing a very good job.”
Currently, Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator for the Observer, the New York-based publication owned by Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump, and he’s a columnist for The Jerusalem Post. He hosts “Thinking Out Loud,” a weekly show on the Jewish Broadcasting Service, formerly known as Shalom TV, and founded “The Micah Report,” a daily commentary on pressing world issues.
Throughout his career he has been featured in documentaries produced by PBS, TLC, Discovery, The History Channel and The Food Network, as one of the few kosher wine reviewers in the world.
He’s the author of two books: “Thugs: How History’s Most Notorious Despots Transformed the World through Terror, Tyranny, and Mass Murder,” which spent a few weeks as a bestseller on Amazon.com, and “What You Need To Know About: Terror.”
The event will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at the Oro Valley Country Club, 300 W. Greenock Drive, from 6-8 p.m., and includes a three-course dinner. The event costs $39 per person. RSVP at jfsa.org/events or call 505-4161.