Beyond the Media Headlines

Written by Shlomit Ovadia of JCC Denver

Don’t miss the chance to hear from Author, Intelligence Analyst, Educator, and Speaker, Avi Melamed at JCC Denver on March 21 at 6:30 pm, facilitated by Brand Strategist and Denver-based IDF veteran, Jules Kramer. Avi is an expert in Israeli Counter-Terrorist Intelligence and high-risk government Arab Affairs, who offers a comprehensive insight on the Middle East and Israel’s placement. His purpose: to empower people to think critically about the region and form their own conclusions.

Avi is the founder of Inside the Middle East (ITME), an apolitical, nonpartisan, and educational nonprofit that offers digestible content about the region through Zoom session interviews, tours and speaking circuits, YouTube videos, and documentaries.

“Anyone who wants to understand the conflict needs to put it into a wider context,” he shares of ITME’s core philosophy to disseminate apolitical information for people to use when contextualizing Israel.

“The first component of my lecture is background and nuance. Once people get that, then we can look at the wider lens of the Middle East and begin to explore what the next phase is for Israelis and Palestinians.”


What differentiates Avi’s presentation from other Israel-related panels is his focus on knowledge expansion. “We’re not telling people what to think, rather we’re providing them with a wider perspective and a better ability to look at the complex reality.”

The opportunity enables people to engage more profoundly in discussion while being appreciative of nuance. Avi says that there is “a significant emotional and intellectual need for people to feel educated that this lecture is intended to fulfill.”

While the current United States tour is focused on October 7’s ripple effects, like the aftershock and Middle East ramifications, Avi’s lecture incorporates up-to-date perspectives beyond media headlines, helping patrons navigate news through a more critical thinking lens.

“People are simply flooded by information and need some kind of educational experience that sifts through this information and creates a user-friendly, three-dimensional picture.”

As someone who considers himself a bit of both a realist and an optimist, Avi hopes that this U.S. West-Coast focused tour to several JCCs will help everyone navigate the story more independently, and create a new, more fruitful, and constructive discussion.

Make sure to bring your most pressing questions for Avi during the event’s Q&A segment. Tickets are offered on a sliding scale to accommodate different financial circumstances. Secure yours today to unlock a world of knowledge.