Homeland Security Experts To Discuss Key Efforts


Dan Blumberg, director of the Homeland Security Institute at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, spends much of his time developing ways to safeguard Israel. Emphasizing how new the field of cyber security is, he points out that the term did not even exist a decade ago.

“Part of what we deal with is how social network can be used – or misused – in society,” he told The Jewish Week during a visit to New York this week.

Blumberg will take part in a conversation on “21st Century Homeland Security: Protecting Our World in the Digital Age” on Wednesday, Oct. 29, with Matthew Levitt, director of a counterterrorism and intelligence program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The program, sponsored by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and The Jewish Week, will be held at 7:30 p.m. at The Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center, 1 East 65th Street.

Rabbi Joshua Davidson, senior rabbi at Emanu-El, will moderate the discussion.

Ben-Gurion is the first institution to offer a masters degree in the new field of homeland security, with up to 40 students currently in the program, which began two years ago. “I can tell you that we have zero unemployment,” Blumberg noted.

The institute brings together from different disciplines scientists and experts in the field of research and technology to work together, and independently, in devising ways to protecting Israel from attacks on land, at sea or in the sky; securing the country’s telecommunications system and strengthening the resilience of the society at large.

Blumberg said there is collaboration with experts in the field in the U.S. and other countries because “this is an international issue, not dependent on physical borders. He noted that in the U.S., much of the work is in “responding to threats,” while in Israel the efforts are more pro-active.

Levitt is an expert on international terrorism and has worked for or consulted with several national agencies, including the FBI, the State Department and the Treasury Department. He has lectured and written extensively on countering violent terrorism, illicit finance and sanctions, with a focus on the Mideast.

For information on tickets for the program: www.thejewishweek.com/blumberg-levitt-event