The relationship between Israelis and Palestinians is one chapter of a more complex and nuanced story involving the State of Israel and the surrounding Arab countries in the Middle East. Unfortunately, many American news outlets have a history of painting an inaccurate and/or incomplete picture when it comes to reporting on developments in the Middle East.

On Thursday, June 3rd at 12 PM ET, we are holding a special webinar to help viewers make sense of the ongoing conflict. GYL’s Gerry Goldberg, JD, CIMA®, will be joined by two experts on Middle Eastern affairs: Avi Melamed, Founder & President of Inside The Middle East: Intelligence Perspectives (ITME), and Donna Robinson Divine, a Professor of Jewish Studies and Government at Smith College and author of Exiled in the Homeland: Zionism and the Return to Mandate Palestine.

Avi and Donna will discuss the recent developments in the Middle East and outline the historical context of the region that influences events today, as well as provide illumination and insight on the landscape, the key figures, and the developments to watch as the situation continues to unfold. We hope you will join us for this valuable and much-needed conversation.

Register for this webinar:



Meet the Presenters


Gerald B. Goldberg, JD, CIMA®

As CEO and Co-Founder of GYL Financial Synergies, Gerry Goldberg, JD, CIMA®, provides consulting services to corporations, municipalities, self-insurance funds, non-profit organizations and high-net-worth private clients in areas that include investment policy, asset allocation and investment management selection and oversight. He also advises clients on the structure and development of qualified retirement plans. Gerry lectures and authors articles on various investment-related topics, and has served as an adjunct professor in the MBA Program at the University of Hartford.

Before co-founding GYL Financial Synergies in 2016, Gerry worked for Wells Fargo Advisors and its predecessors for 18 years. He was formerly one of 75 members of the Senior Consulting Council, Wells Fargo Advisor’s elite senior consulting group. Prior to Wells Fargo Advisors, Gerry practiced law for six years, most recently with the Boston firm, Bingham, Dana, LLP, and is currently a member of the bar in New York and Connecticut (not currently practicing).

From 2010–2016, Gerry was recognized six times by Barron’s as one of “The Top 1,200 Advisors”1 (formerly “The Top 1,000 Advisors”) in the nation. He was also recognized by Financial Times as being among the “Top 400 U.S. Advisors of 2014.”2

Gerry obtained his JD from George Washington University and his BA in Political Science with a concentration in World Political Economics from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst® certification, administered by the Investments & Wealth Institute™ (formerly known as the Investment Management Consultants Association®) and taught in conjunction with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

For the 25 years that Gerry has resided in Connecticut, he has been involved in many local organizations in a volunteer capacity, including serving as a trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford; President of the Hebrew High School of New England; Community Trustee for the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford; and past trustee of the board for the Solomon Schechter Day School. When not working or giving back to the community, Gerry is an avid skier, and enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.


Avi Melamed

Avi Melamed is an Intelligence Analyst and an Expert on Current Affairs in the Arab and Muslim world and their impact on the Middle East and Israel’s geopolitical environment. He is a former Israeli Intelligence Official and Senior Official on Arab Affairs. In his public service, Avi has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence, and Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities and communities throughout the region on behalf of Israeli Government agencies.

He is the Founder and CEO of Inside the Middle East: Intelligence Perspectives (ITME), an empowering educational program providing an apolitical, nonpartisan education about the contemporary Middle East that uses intelligence methodology to teach critical thinking and media literacy. Through the ITME praxis, Avi transforms students and practitioners from high schools to Capitol Hill into knowledgeable, media literate, critical thinkers. To quote Avi’s alumni, “ITME doesn’t tell you what to think –ITME teaches you how to think.”

As an author, educator, expert, and strategic intelligence analyst, Avi provides intelligence analysis, briefings, and geopolitical tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East affairs. Avi is fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, with a unique understanding of Arab society and culture, and has his finger on the pulse of the Arab world. He has a proven record of foreseeing the evolution of events in the Middle East and their impact on a local and regional level. Through his efforts as an analyst, educator, entrepreneur, and writer, he is a bridge-builder. He dedicates himself to enhancing the Arabic, English, and Hebrew-speaking audience’s comprehensive understanding of the Middle East and each other. Avi has co-authored Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Rule in East Jerusalem and wrote Ubrusi: The Novel. His latest book, Inside the Middle East: Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth, is a GPS to help navigate the dramatically changing Middle East.


Donna Robinson Divine

A specialist in Middle East politics, Donna Robinson Divine is Morningstar Family Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Government at Smith College. Her previous books include Politics and Society in Ottoman Palestine, and she recently served as co-editor of Postcolonial Theory and the Arab-Israel Conflict. Donna conducts research about the Middle East, studying both historical developments and contemporary trends, and is fluent in three of the major languages of the Middle East: Arabic, Hebrew, and Turkish.

Donna is the author of many scholarly articles on a variety of topics in Middle East history and politics, and she is also the author of Women Living Change (Women in the Political Economy). Donna’s latest book is Exiled in the Homeland: Zionism and the Return to Mandate Palestine. Donna has written on Zionist immigration to Palestine during the British Mandate, analyzing how exile functioned as a contrast to the society created in Palestine during the period of British rule. According to Israili-British historian Efraim Karsh, Divine sees many common links between Zionist state building and the situation facing the Palestinians, comparing the roles of the Histadrut in Israel with that of Hamas and other voluntary bodies in the Palestinian “entity”.

Donna was named the Katharine Asher Engel lecturer at Smith College for the 2012–13 academic year in recognition of her scholarly achievements, she was also designated as Smith’s Honored Professor for the excellence of her teaching. She served as the president of the Association for Israel Studies from 2017–2019 and as an adjunct professor at Israel’s University of Haifa, and in 2019 was named to Algemeiner’s “Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life.”


1The rankings are based on data provided by over 4,000 of the nation’s most productive advisers. Factors included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice, and philanthropic work. Institutional assets are given less weight in the scoring. Investment performance isn’t an explicit component, because not all advisers have audited results and because performance figures often are influenced more by clients’ risk tolerance than by an adviser’s investment-picking abilities. Effective for the 2014 rankings Barron’s expanded the annual state-by-state listing from 1,000 advisors to 1,200 to include, for the first time, Registered Investment Advisors, or RIAs. Ranking independent advisers alongside those employed by the large brokerage firms presents some challenges, because they are regulated by different agencies – the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, respectively. This ranking represents the top 1% of advisors with substantial practices.
2The rankings are based on a minimum of $250 million in assets under management (AUM) and 10 years of experience. Qualified advisers were then scored on six attributes: AUM, AUM growth rate, compliance record, experience, industry certifications and online accessibility. Investment performance and financial advisor production are not explicit components.