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Jews You Should Know

Nov 8, 2021


Daniel Levin has traveled a wide ranging and fascinating path in his lifetime.  Having grown up in several different cultures in the Middle East and Africa, he has devoted his life to working in geopolitical spheres to help governments navigate their way through political reform and economic development.

Ari and Daniel discuss modern power dynamics and their use and misapplication by our own government in our efforts at nation building in the Middle East. By drawing on contacts and relationships he’s fostered worldwide, Daniel has used his experience in the realm of hostage negotiation.  He details a gripping series of events in his one man search to find a missing person, lost in the chaos of Syria, in his latest book, “Proof of Life”.  The lessons learned over those twenty tense days resonate in many events in our current times.



  2:58  Daniel’s background

  4:27  Growing up a Jew in Switzerland

11:16  Impacts felt by the 1982 war with Lebanon

14:31  Daniel’s parents’ influence on his life

17:58  Reconciling personal religious beliefs with Israeli politics and society

24:49  Working for Barak, and it’s impacts on Daniel’s worldview

27:44  Transitioning to working with countries on constitutional and economic reforms

32:49  Lessons learned by the U.S. in the Middle East

42:17  The evolution to working in hostage negotiation

43:40  Describing the events in Syria leading up to the situation written about in “Proof of Life”

49:30  The emotional toll of hostage negotiations

52:37  Lessons learned, and applying those principles to life in general

61:02  Information on how to learn more about Daniel Levin and “Proof of Life”



For more information about Daniel Levin and to learn more about “Proof of Life”, as well as Daniel’s other books, visit his website at:

“Proof of Life” is available at many fine bookstores, or from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Contact Daniel on his website



Jews You Should Know introduces the broader community to interesting and inspiring Jewish men and women making a difference in our world. Some are already famous, some not yet so. But each is a Jew You Should Know.

The host, Rabbi Ari Koretzky, is Executive Director of MEOR Maryland (, a premier Jewish outreach and educational organization. MEOR operates nationally on twenty campuses and in Manhattan; visit the national website at

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