Prager in 2018
|Alma mater||Brooklyn College|
|Spouse(s)||Susan Reed (m. 2008), Francine Stone (m. 1988–2005), Janice Prager (m. 1981–1986)|
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Dennis Mark Prager ( // ) (born August 2, 1948) is an American conservative radio talk show host and writer. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family, his initial political work concerned Soviet Jews who were unable to emigrate. He gradually began offering more and broader commentary on politics. His views generally align with social conservatism. He founded PragerU, an American non-profit organization that creates videos on various political, economic, and philosophical topics from a conservative perspective.
American conservatism is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, republicanism, support for Judeo-Christian values, moral universalism, pro-business and anti-labor, anti-communism, individualism, advocacy of American exceptionalism, and a defense of Western culture from the perceived threats posed by socialism, authoritarianism, and moral relativism. Liberty is a core value, as is with all major American parties. American conservatives consider individual liberty—within the bounds of American values—as the fundamental trait of democracy; this perspective contrasts with that of modern American liberals, who generally place a greater value on equality and social justice and emphasize the need for state intervention to achieve these goals. American conservatives believe in limiting government in size and scope, and in a balance between national government and states' rights. Apart from some libertarians, they tend to favor strong action in areas they believe to be within government's legitimate jurisdiction, particularly national defense and law enforcement. Social conservatives oppose abortion and favor restricting LGBT rights, while privileging traditional marriage and supporting Christian prayer in the public schools.
Modern Orthodox Judaism is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law with the secular, modern world.
Refusenik was an unofficial term for individuals, typically, but not exclusively, Soviet Jews, who were denied permission to emigrate, primarily to Israel, by the authorities of the Soviet Union and other countries of the Eastern bloc. The term refusenik is derived from the "refusal" handed down to a prospective emigrant from the Soviet authorities.
Dennis Prager was born in New York City to Hilda Prager (née Friedfeld; 1919–2009) and her husband, Max Prager (1918–2014). Prager and his siblings were raised in a Modern Orthodox Jewish home. He attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush in Brooklyn, New York, where he befriended Joseph Telushkin. He went to Brooklyn College and graduated with a major in history and Middle Eastern Studies. Over the next few years he took courses at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and at the University of Leeds; he then left academia without finishing a graduate degree. After he left graduate school, Prager left Modern Orthodoxy but maintained many traditional Jewish practices; he remained religious.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County.
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.
In 1969, while he was studying in England, he was recruited by a Jewish group to travel to the Soviet Union to interview Jews about their life there. When he returned the next year, he was in demand as a speaker on repression of Soviet Jews; he earned enough from lectures to travel, and visited around sixty countries.He became the national spokesman for the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
The Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, also known by its acronym SSSJ, was founded in 1964 by Jacob Birnbaum to be a spearhead of the U.S. movement for rights of the Soviet Jewry.
The start of Prager's career overlapped with a growing tendency among American Jews, who had been staunchly liberal, to move toward the center and some to the right, driven in part by the influx of Jews from the Soviet Union.In 1975, Prager and Telushkin published an introduction to Judaism intended for nonobservant Jews: The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, which became a best-seller. Among the questions addressed in the text were: how does Judaism differ from Christianity, and can one doubt the existence of God and still be a good Jew, and how do you account for unethical but religious Jews?
American Jews, or Jewish Americans, are Americans who are Jews, whether by religion, ethnicity, or nationality. Today the Jewish community in the United States consists primarily of Ashkenazi Jews, who descend from diaspora Jewish populations of Central and Eastern Europe and comprise about 90-95% of the American Jewish population. Most American Ashkenazim are US-born, with a dwindling number of now-elderly earlier immigrants, as well as some more recent foreign-born immigrants.
Prager supported Jimmy Carter in the 1976 US presidential election.Prager ran the Brandeis-Bardin Institute from 1976 to 1983; Telushkin worked with him there. It was Prager's first salaried job. He soon earned a reputation as a moral critic focused on attacking secularism and narcissism, each of which he said was destroying society; some people called him a Jewish Billy Graham.
James Earl Carter Jr. is an American politician and philanthropist who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A Democrat, he previously served as a Georgia state senator from 1963 to 1967 and as the 76th governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975. After his presidency, Carter has remained active in the private sector; in 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center.
The 1976 United States presidential election was the 48th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 1976. Democrat Jimmy Carter of Georgia defeated incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford from Michigan. Carter's win represented the lone Democratic victory in a presidential election held between 1968 and 1988.
The Brandeis-Bardin Campus of American Jewish University is a Jewish retreat located since 1947 in the northeastern Simi Hills, in the city of Simi Valley, California. Formerly known as the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, it is used for nondenominational summer programs for children, teens, and young adults.
In 1982, KABC (AM) in Los Angeles hired Prager to host a talk show on religion every Sunday night, which eventually expanded to a daily talk show.He and Telushkin published another book in 1983, Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism. According to a review in Commentary, the book depicts antisemitism as a "sinister form of flattery"; the authors wrote that hatred of Jews arises from resentment over Jews' acceptance of the doctrine that they are God's chosen people, charged with bringing a moral message to the world. The book describes Jews as both a nation (stateless for a long time) and followers of a religion and says that this identity is essential to Judaism; the book says that calls for Jews to culturally assimilate as well as opposition to zionism are both forms of antisemitism. The book describes secular Jews as people who have lost their way, and who generally fall into the error of applying Judaism's mission to reform the world in ways that tend to be leftist, totalitarian, and destructive. He also wrote a syndicated column for newspapers across the country. In 1985, Prager launched his own quarterly journal, Ultimate Issues, which was renamed to Prager Perspectives in 1996.
KABC is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Los Angeles, California. It is owned by Cumulus Media and airs a talk radio format, one of the earliest stations in the U.S. to program talk shows 24 hours a day.
Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.
Antisemitism is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is generally considered to be a form of racism. It has also been characterized as a political ideology which serves as an organizing principle and unites disparate groups which are opposed to liberalism.
In 1986, he was divorced and he underwent a year of therapy. His book about happiness was the product of that work.In 1990, he wrote an essay called "Judaism, Homosexuality and Civilization" that argued against normalizing homosexuality in the Jewish community and placed sexual sins on a continuum from premarital sex, celibacy, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and incest; he argued that confining sex to heterosexual marriage desexualized religion, which was a great achievement of ancient Jewish tradition that was worth fighting to retain.
By 1992, he was remarried.By that time he was, according to the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, a "fixture on local radio" and "a Jewish St. George battling the forces of secularity on behalf of simple 'goodness'", and generally socially conservative, with some exceptions; he supported a woman's right to have an abortion (although he said it was usually immoral), and supported and justified sex between non-married, consenting, men and women. In 1992, he became involved with the Stephen S. Wise Temple and gave talks there.
In 1994 the Anti-Defamation League published a report on antisemitism in the Christian right movement; Prager, along with fellow Jewish conservatives who were generally aligned with the social and political conservativism of the Christian right, attacked the ADL and its report.In 1995 he urged conservative Jews to be open to working with conservative Christians, like the Christian Coalition. In 1995 he named Jacob Petuchowski, Eliezer Berkovits, Harold Kushner, C.S. Lewis, Richard John Neuhaus, Michael Novak, and George Gilder, as the people who had influenced his theology the most.
In 1996 Prager testified in Congress in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, alongside Jay Sekulow, who was formerly with Jews for Jesus and was then counsel for American Center for Law & Justice; Prager testified that "the acceptance of homosexuality as the equal of heterosexual marital love signifies the decline of Western civilization."Prager worked with Bob Dole's campaign in the 1996 presidential election to rally the Jewish vote for Dole, who had a strongly pro-Israel platform; when polls prior to the election showed that the effort had failed, he said this was because "Jews are ignorant."
Since 1999, he has hosted a nationally syndicated talk show on the socially and politically conservative Christian radio station KRLA in Los Angeles.KRLA is part of the Salem Media Group that carries other conservative hosts, including James Dobson, Randall Terry, Janet Parshall, Sebastian Gorka and Larry Elder; it is a key voice of the Christian right that seeks to change American politics as well as the way that individual people live.
In 2003, he considered running for the US Senate against Barbara Boxer in the 2004 federal elections.
In 2006, Prager criticized Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, for announcing that he would use the Quran for the reenactment of his swearing in ceremony.Prager wrote "Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress." In response, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch called for Prager to end his service on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council.
In 2009 Prager joined other Salem Radio Network hosts to oppose the Affordable Care Act.In 2014, while same-sex marriage in the United States was in process of being legalized, he wrote that if that were to happen, then "there is no plausible argument for denying polygamous relationships, or brothers and sisters, or parents and adult children, the right to marry." In 2014, he also said that the "heterosexual AIDS" crisis was something "entirely manufactured by the Left".
Prager endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, but said that Trump was his "17th choice out of 17 candidates". He clarified that he "was not a Trump supporter, when there was a choice", but added, "There is no choice now."Prager had previously said that Trump was "unfit to be a presidential candidate, let alone president". Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic described how Trump's adultery, character assassination of others, embrace of torture, bad behavior, whining, and use of profanity, violate values and principles that Prager has upheld as essential to civil life, noted that Prager had said that endorsing Trump was in line with his principles because "We hold that defeating Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, and the Left is also a principle. And that it is the greater principle.", and concluded that "Attitudes like that are not uncommon in U.S. politics, but if that’s all principle means now, we haven’t much need for public moralists to write weekly columns with appeals to Judeo-Christian ethics and the importance of good character. Just pick the political party you like best and let the ends justify the means on its behalf."
In 2017, Prager was invited to be a guest conductor for the volunteer orchestra of Santa Monica, California, for a fundraising concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Some of the orchestra members protested the invitation, which they considered promoting bigotry. The orchestra leader had invited Prager because he admired Prager, because Prager often discussed and promoted classical music on his shows and had guest conducted a few times in the past, and because he thought Prager's presence might help raise more money.
In 2018, he published a commentary on the Book of Exodus; this was followed by another commentary on the Book of Genesis in 2019. Both were published by the Salem Media Group.
In 2009, Prager started a website called PragerU, which creates five-minute videos on various topics from a conservative perspective. As of 2018 [update] it spent around 40% of its annual $10 million budget on marketing; each video is produced according a consistent style. Videos cover topics such as "racism, sexism, income inequality, gun ownership, Islam, immigration, Israel, police brutality" and speech on college campuses. BuzzFeed wrote that "the biggest reason PragerU has escaped national attention is that it mostly doesn't do Trump," or engage with the political news cycle. Some of its videos were restricted[ clarification needed ] by YouTube in 2017.According to Prager, he created the site to challenge the "unhealthy effect intellectually and morally" of the American higher education system. BuzzFeed described PragerU as "one of the biggest, most influential and yet least understood forces in online media."
Prager's columns are handled by Creators Syndicate. He has been published in The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and Commentary. His weekly syndicated column appears on such online websites as Townhall ,National Review Online , Jewish World Review and elsewhere. He also writes a bi-weekly column for The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles .
Antisemitism in Christianity is the hostility of Christian Churches, Christian groups, and by Christians in general to Judaism and the Jewish people.
The subject of homosexuality and Judaism dates back to the Torah. The book of Vayikra (Leviticus) is traditionally regarded as classifying sexual intercourse between males as a to'eivah that can be subject to capital punishment by the currently non-existent Sanhedrin under halakha.
Judeo-Christian is a term that groups Judaism and Christianity, either in reference to Christianity's derivation from Judaism, both religions' common use of the Torah, or due to perceived parallels or commonalities shared values between those two religions, which has contained as part of Western culture.
Michael Saul Medved is an American radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic. His talk show, The Michael Medved Show is syndicated from his home station KTTH in Seattle. Salem Radio Network had syndicated this show but on November 8, 2018, announced that his show was being replaced. Medved responded that he was continuing his show in January on a new network.
Laurence Allen "Larry" Elder is an American attorney, author, and radio program host.
Religious antisemitism is aversion to or discrimination against Jews as a whole based on religious beliefs, false claims against Judaism and religious antisemitic canards. It is sometimes called theological antisemitism.
New antisemitism is the concept that a new form of antisemitism has developed in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, tending to manifest itself as opposition to Zionism and criticism of the Israeli government. The concept is included in some definitions of antisemitism, such as the Working Definition of Antisemitism and the 3D test of antisemitism.
Benjamin Aaron Shapiro is an American conservative political commentator, public speaker, author, and lawyer. At age 17, he became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the United States. He writes columns for Creators Syndicate and Newsweek, serves as editor-in-chief for The Daily Wire, which he founded, and hosts The Ben Shapiro Show, a daily political podcast and radio show. An editor-at-large of Breitbart News between 2012 and 2016, he has written ten books, the first being Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth (2004) and the latest being The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great (2019).
Joseph Telushkin is an American rabbi, lecturer, and bestselling author of more than 15 books, including volumes about Jewish ethics, Jewish literacy, and "Rebbe", a New York Times bestseller released in June 2014.
"On the Jewish Question" is a work by Karl Marx, written in 1843, and first published in Paris in 1844 under the German title "Zur Judenfrage" in the Deutsch–Französische Jahrbücher. It was one of Marx's first attempts to develop what would later be called the materialist conception of history.
Racial antisemitism is prejudice against Jews based on a belief or assertion that Jews constitute a distinct racial or ethnic group that has inherent traits or characteristics that are in some way abhorrent or inherently inferior or otherwise different to that of the rest of society. The abhorrence may be expressed in the form of stereotypes or caricatures. Racial antisemitism may present Jews, as a group, as being a threat in some way to the values or safety of society. Racial antisemitism could be seen as worse than religious antisemitism because for religious antisemites conversion was an option and once converted the 'Jew' was gone. With racial antisemitism a Jew could not get rid of their Jewishness.
Antisemitic canards are unfounded rumors or false allegations that are defamatory towards Judaism as a religion, or defamatory towards Jews as an ethnic or religious group. Since at least the Middle Ages they often form part of broader Jewish conspiracies theories.
Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionism. The term is broadly defined in the modern era to denote opposition to the political movement of Jews to self-determination within the territory of the historic Land of Israel. Anti-Zionism is also defined as opposition to the State of Israel or, prior to 1948, its establishment.
Townhall is an American politically conservative website, print magazine and radio news service. Previously published by the Heritage Foundation, it is now owned and operated by Salem Communications. The website features more than 80 columns by a variety of writers and commentators, who often appear as guest commentators on the Fox News Channel. The website also publishes news articles from the Associated Press.
The relationship between Judaism and politics is a historically complex subject, and has evolved over time concurrently with both changes within Jewish society and religious practice, and changes in the secular societies in which Jews live. In particular, Jewish political thought can be split into four major eras: biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern.
Economic antisemitism is a form of antisemitism that consists of stereotypes and canards that are based on the economic status, occupations or economic behavior of Jews. It also includes economic behavior and laws as well as governmental policies that target the economic status, occupations or behavior of Jews.
For Goodness Sake is a short comedy film made in 1992 by David Zucker with radio talk show host Dennis Prager. Released in 1993, the film contains comical vignettes that address everyday ethical issues. It was developed and produced by Rich Markey. Mentor Media Inc. marketed the film for ethics training to government departments, including the FBI, Department of Defense, and IRS, as well as hospitals, schools, and hundreds of major corporations. Directed by Zucker, it starred Prager and actors Jason Alexander, Scott Bakula, Bonnie Hunt, and Bob Saget.
The Right Stuff is a white supremacist, neo-fascist blog and podcast network founded by Mike Enoch that hosts several podcasts, including TDS, formerly The Daily Shoah. The blog is best known for popularizing the use of "echoes", an antisemitic marker which uses triple parentheses around names used to identify Jewish people on social media. It is part of the broader alt-right movement in the United States.
“Our nationally syndicated hosts — Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt — reach millions of Americans every week. I come to work every day thinking about how we can move those folks online to Townhall.com so they can voice their opinion through blogging, pod-casting and interacting with other conservatives.” DeFeo is excited about the opportunities he has using Townhall.com and Salem’s radio to reach members of the conservative movement and involve them in policy battles and political campaigns.
The videos are mini-lectures on topics from feminism to religion to foreign policy, presented from a conservative point of view.
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