Shavuot Study

Out of the Desert: The Origins and Future of the Islamic State (and What it Means for Israel)

What’s the Event?

Join us for a topical Shavuot study event. The group that calls itself the Islamic State seemed to come from nowhere in 2014, when it took over Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. However, it has actually presented a challenge to the United States and the Middle East region since at least 2004. Howard Shatz will provide an overview of the group, including its origins, finances, management, and strategy. It has disrupted much of the Middle East, and although it is not yet a threat to Israel, it has two units near Israel’s border.

Etz Hayim member Howard J. Shatz is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and director of RAND-Initiated Research. He specializes in international economics, and economics and national security.  His RAND research has included the finances and management of the Islamic State and its predecessors; labor-market reform in Mongolia; improving socio-economic strategy in Israel; and the Chinese economy and technology-based development in China.

Why is it awesome?

You’ll have an opportunity to cut through the noise and hype and learn from a policy expert about an important security threat impacting both the United States and Israel. And there will be ice cream!

Who’s it ideal for?

The talk will be of interest to anyone interested in Middle East developments or current terrorist threats – as well as people who like ice cream.

Is it kid friendly?

This is an adult conversation held late in the evening, so probably best to leave the little ones at home.

When is it?

Tuesday, May 30th at 8:30pm.

Where is it?

The home of Rabbi Bass.

Who should I contact to learn more?

Contact the office at or call us at 703-979-4466.

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