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Director’s Talk

James S. Snyder in Conversation with Tarek Masoud


Wednesday, May 8, 2024
6:30 – 8 pm EDT
Scheuer Auditorium

Join us for a conversation between James S. Snyder, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director, and the Harvard Kennedy School's Tarek Masoud on the topic of "Isaac and Ishmael: Pathways to Common Ground in Times of Conflict," an open and searching conversation about the ways in which the communities of the Middle East can come together to transcend the pain of war and conflict.

This conversation will explore today's complexities through a social and cultural lens, as part of our continuing series of talks on the intersecting roles of art, culture, and politics—and of cultural and political diplomacy and activism—from Biblical times to the present.

About the Speakers:

James S. Snyder began his tenure as the Jewish Museum’s Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director in November 2023, after serving since 2019 as Executive Chair of The Jerusalem Foundation, Inc. He is also Director Emeritus of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, where he served as the Anne and Jerome Fisher Director from 1997 through 2016 and then as International President through 2018. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Middle East Initiative at Harvard’s Kennedy School. During his tenure as Director of the Israel Museum, Snyder led the Museum through the most dramatic period of growth since its founding and secured its stature as one of the world’s foremost museums. Prior to his appointment at the Israel Museum, Snyder held a number of positions at The Museum of Modern Art culminating as Deputy Director from 1986 to 1996.

Tarek Masoud is the Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Governance at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is the co-Editor of the Journal of Democracy of the National Endowment for Democracy and serves as the Faculty Chair of the Kennedy School's Middle East Initiative and the Initiative on Democracy in Hard Places. His research focuses on political development in Arabic-speaking and Muslim-majority countries. He is the author of Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2014), co-author of The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform with Jason Brownlee and Andrew Reynolds (Oxford University Press, 2015), and co-editor of Democracy in Hard Places with Scott Mainwaring (Oxford University Press, 2022). He has also written several articles and book chapters. He is a 2009 Carnegie Scholar, a trustee of the American University in Cairo, and the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation and the Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation, among others. He holds an AB from Brown and a Ph.D. from Yale, both in political science.

The Morris W. Offit Lecture Series at the Jewish Museum is made possible in part by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.

Tickets: $22 General; $15 Students and Seniors; $12 Jewish Museum members

Tickets include Museum Admission; doors open at 6 pm.

Image: From left to right: James S. Snyder; Tarek Masoud