First Person: Matti Friedman
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First Person: Matti Friedman

March 12 , 7:00 pm

Matti Friedman’s new book, Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel tells the unknown story of four of Israel’s first spies. Recruited by a rag-tag outfit called the Arab Section before the 1948 War of Independence, they assumed Arab identities to gather intelligence and carry out sabotage and assassinations. At the height of the war the spies posed as refugees fleeing the fighting, reached Beirut, and set up what became Israel’s first foreign intelligence station. Spies not only tells a breathtaking and true espionage story, it also explores a different story about how the state was founded and raises many questions that are relevant today.

In a wide-ranging First Person conversation, Matti Friedman speaks with author Lucette Lagnado (The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit) about his journalism career, researching and writing his new book, and what Spies of No Country reveals about Israel in the 20th and 21st centuries.

A reception, book sale and signing follow the program.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Ticket Info: $15 general; $12 seniors, $10 members and students at or 800-838-3006

Click here for tickets.



March 12
7:00 pm
Event Category:


Center for Jewish History
15 W. 16th St.
(212) 294-8301