Scholar-in-Residence 2018: David Siegel

Beth El’s theme of “Israel” for 5778 will carry into the annual Scholar-in-Residence Weekend, March 2-4. Our featured guest will be David Siegel, Chief Executive Officer of ELNET Israel, the only pro-Israel organization focused solely on building strong relations between Israel and Europe, similar to the role that AIPAC has in the United States. Prior to assuming the leadership of ELNET, Siegel had 30 years’ experience as an Israeli diplomat involved in policy formulation and decision-making at the highest levels of Israel’s foreign policy establishment, including as Israel’s consul general to the southwestern United States from 2011 to 2016. As consul general, Siegel fostered multiple bilateral agreements between Israel and the southwest states. Siegel also served as the chief of staff to Israel’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, director of the foreign ministry’s International Organizations department, and chief of staff to three of Israel’s ambassadors to the United States. During these years, he participated in the 1998 Wye River Peace Summit, the 1999 Israel-Syria negotiations, the 2000 Camp David Middle East Peace Summit, and the 2007 Annapolis Peace Conference. Siegel holds a BA in political science from the University of Vermont and MA in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Friday, March 2

  • 6:30 pm: Friday evening service
  • 7:15 pm: Congregational Shabbat Dinner (online registration form below)
  • 8:30 pm: David Siegel will speak on “Loving Israel in the Midst of Complexities”

Saturday, March 3

  • 9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Service. David Siegel will deliver the D’var Torah.
  • 12:40 pm: Following kiddush, David Siegel will speak on “Power, People, and Faiths: Religions and Demographics in Israel”

Sunday, March 4

  • 10:00 am: Following the Men’s Club breakfast, David Siegel will speak on “Multi-Dimensional Diplomacy: Israel and Europe”

All talks are free and open to the public.

Shabbat Dinner Registration

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Scholar-in-Residence 2017: Shaul Magid

Scholar-in-Residence Professor Shaul Magid led four masterful sessions over the weekend of February 3-5. He reflected the life and work of a prophet, as embodied by Moses; and on Abraham Lincoln as a man of faith who viewed prophecy as expressed through the will of the people. Magid’s d’var Torah and later shabbat discussion further explored themes of Moses and Pharaoh, transitioning to how they can inform the concerns of modern Israel. On Sunday morning, using as his platform the complicated life of Rabbi Menachem Froman of Tekoa, Magid explored the idea of Rav Kook that faith, when it exceeds its limits, becomes destructive. These discussions ranged deeply and widely, enriching our discourse in ways that were both timeless and of the moment.