Israeli National Security with Dr. Freilich: A Unique Perspective with an Expert Professor

By: Chloe Baker  |  February 22, 2024

By Chloe Baker, Features Editor

In a semester marked by tumultuous events in the Middle East, Dr. Chuck Freilich (adjunct professor of political science) brought a timely and insightful perspective to Stern College. Teaching a course last semester titled Israeli National Security, Dr. Freilich addressed crucial topics such as the threat of Iran, the intricacies of the peace process, and the inner workings of Israeli politics. As events unfolded in real-time, students had the unique opportunity to explore these issues with a seasoned expert who seamlessly blended academic rigor with practical insights. Dr. Freilich’s distinctive approach undoubtedly left a lasting impression on his students, fostering a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics shaping the Middle East. 

Dr. Freilich grew up in New York and made Aliyah with his family when he was a teenager. He spent over 20 years in the defense establishment as a Deputy National Security Advisor, and has since led a successful career as an academic. He teaches in both the U.S. and Israel, and has written multiple books and influential articles on Israeli national security. In an email conversation with the YU Observer, Dr. Freilich stated that he has taught at Harvard, Columbia, and NYU, as well as Tel Aviv University, and Hebrew University, but feels that YU is special because of the “students’ involvement in the issues that I teach, and the never-ending challenging questions they ask.” 

From a young age, Dr. Freilich knew his path would lead to Israel and a focus on national security. He was heavily influenced by growing up in the post Holocaust era, the heroic early years of Israel’s history, and the aftermath of the Six-Day War. Not to mention the books his mother encouraged him to read as a kid. “Israel’s trials and tribulations, and its successes, have been an incurable lifelong passion of mine,” he told the YU Observer

Having recently released a book on Israel and the cyber security threat from its enemies, Dr. Freilich is now working on a new book about the U.S.-Israeli strategic and military relationship. He recommends that students wanting to learn more about Israel’s history read “any one of the excellent books by Anita Shapiro.” 

Dr. Freilich’s advice to students interested in pursuing a career in his field is to “follow your passion.” There are countless opportunities in this realm. He emphasizes this variety by explaining the options such as, “government (Department of Defense, the military, intelligence agencies), academia (requires a PhD or coming in from a senior government position), and the commercial area (major corporations, consultancies).” 

If Dr. Freilich could bring in any guest lecturer for his students, it would be David Ben-Gurion to talk about what it was like to reestablish a Jewish state after 2000 years in exile. 

Dr. Freilich brought an unmatchable level of knowledge to Stern this fall. Students who have an interest in Israeli national security, Israeli politics, or anything in that field would extremely benefit from his expertise and intelligence.  


Picture via Dr. Freilich