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Israeli Ambassador to U.S. to speak at Campus

The Jewish Community Relations Bureau|American Jewish Committee will present an evening with the Israel Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, at the Jewish Community Campus. He is expected to speak about “Challenges Facing Israel in 2013.”

Doors will open at 7 p.m.; there is no charge for the event. For more information, contact Marvin Szneler at 913-327-8126.
The ambassador will be in Kansas to present the Landon Lecture at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

“It is a great honor for us to again host an Israel Ambassador to the United States,” said JCRB|AJC Executive Director Marvin Szneler. “We last hosted Israel Ambassador to the U.S., The Honorable Danny Ayalon, in 2004.”

Szneler said it has been particularly gratifying working together to plan this event with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s office, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts’ Chief of Staff Chad Tenpenny, as well as “folks with the Landon Lecture at KSU, and of course, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest Roey Gilad, who will accompany the ambassador.”

“These are longstanding relationships which are important to our community,” Szneler continued.

Oren was appointed as Israel’s ambassador to the United States in June 2009. In this capacity, he meets regularly with officials in the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon, as well as with Members of Congress from both parties. He regularly briefs Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders on issues vital to the U.S.-Israel alliance.

Oren has been instrumental in securing U.S. support for Israel’s defense and upholding Israel’s right to security and peace. He frequently represents Israel in the American media, appearing on numerous television programs and authoring some 40 articles in major publications. He has spoken on dozens of university campuses, visited Jewish communities across the United States, and launched outreach initiatives to the Latino, African-American, Christian and Muslim leaderships. The Forward named him one of the five more influential Jews in America and the Jerusalem Post listed Oren as one of the 10 most influential Jews worldwide.

Born in the United States and educated at Princeton and Columbia, Oren has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown, and was a Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. He has received fellowships from the British and Canadian government as well as a Moshe Dayan Fellowship form Tel Aviv University and the Lady Davis Fellowship at the Hebrew University. His last two books, “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East from 1776 to the Present” and “Six Days of War,” were both New York Times bestsellers. He has won the Los Angeles times History Book of the Year Award and the National Jewish Book Award.

In Israel, Oren served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, in the paratroopers in the Lebanon War, a liaison with the U.S. Sixth Fleet during the Gulf War, and an IDF spokesman during the Second Lebanon War and the Gaza operation in January 2009. He acted as an emissary to Jewish refuseniks in the Soviet Union, as an adviser to Israel’s delegation to the United Nations, and as the government’s director of Inter-Religious Affairs. He was a gold medal-winning athlete in the Maccabiah Games.

Oren and his wife, Sally, have three children.