Bethesda Jewish Congregation (BJC) continues its Great Names Community Lecture Series on January 25 with a compelling presentation by Reuven Azar, the Israeli Embassy’s Deputy Ambassador. The series, scheduled on Sundays at BJC from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, is open to all and brings timely and provocative topics to the community.
Azar assumed his post in Washington in January 2014. He previously served as Head of Middle East Research in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2010 to 2012, he was the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in Amman. During his career, Azar has covered different aspects of cooperation and negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, as well as conducted research on Palestinian issues. He has served as Head of the Iran Sanctions Team, Director of Middle East Economic Research, Head of Economic & Trade Department at the Embassy of Israel in Cairo, and Counselor for Political Affairs in Washington (2003-2006). Born in Argentina in 1967, Azar immigrated with his family to Jerusalem, Israel at the age of 13. He served in a Paratroopers battalion of the Israeli Defense Forces from 1985 to 1988 and was a reservist combat Sergeant up to 2008. He has both an MA and BA from the Department of International Relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Married to Rachel and a father to Roni ,Ofir and Oren, he speaks fluent Spanish and Arabic, in addition to English and Hebrew.
Then, on February 8, Great Names brings political analyst and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne to the dais. Dionne writes on national policy and politics and is a frequent commentator on politics for National Public Radio, ABC’s “This Week,” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Before joining The Post in 1990 as a political reporter, he spent 14 years at The New York Times covering local, state, and national politics, and also served as a foreign correspondent in Paris, Rome and Beirut. He is a University Professor at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. Dionne’s book “Why Americans Hate Politics” , won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award nominee. His most recent book is “Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith & Politics After the Religious Right”. He is also author of “Stand Up Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge”, and “They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate The Next Political Era”. Dionne received the American Political Science Association’s annual Carey McWilliams Award in 1996 for a major journalistic contribution to the understanding of politics. In 2002, he received the Empathy Award from the Volunteers of America, and in 2004 he won the National Human Services Assembly’s Award for Excellence by a Member of the Media.
Mark your calendars! BJC continues Great Names in 2015 with these exceptional speakers: Dan Spiro, author, Liberating the Holy Name and the Creation of the Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society (May 3); Jeff Malka, Jewish Genealogist (October 4); and, Cokie and Steve Roberts, syndicated columnists (November 22).
All presentations are free of charge and held at BJC: 6601 Bradley Blvd, Bethesda MD 20817. RSVP is preferred to secure a seat. Please call the BJC office at 301-469-8636 or visit our website ticket and reservations page at: http://www.bethesdajewish.org/registration/.