I might be calling you in the next few days. Well, you'll be hearing my voice, inviting you to participate in our second Telephone Town Hall, happening on Monday, October 28, from 7:30-8:30 p.m. You will have the opportunity to hear from Andrew Tabler of The Washington Institute, who is an expert on Syria and the Middle East, having lived and worked in the region for many years. He also was the keynote speaker at this past Sunday's excellent Israel Advocacy Summit.
Mr. Tabler will be discussing recent developments in Syria, Iran, and the wider Arab world, and the consequences, challenges, and perhaps even opportunities for Israel and the United States.
I will be moderating the Town Hall — it is a call-in format, so there will be a lively discussion with Mr. Tabler. I am always impressed with how knowledgeable and thoughtful our community is on so many topics related to the Middle East. I'm looking forward to being better educated on this complicated topic. I read the newspapers, listen to the commentary, and there always seems to be another facet to the fractured story of the modern Middle East.
However fraught things are in the countries surrounding Israel, I am always struck by how life in Israel carries on. I am so looking forward to participating in the upcoming mission to Israel, sponsored by Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, from November 5-13. We will visit with our partnership communities across the Negev and then go up to Jerusalem for the General Assembly of Jewish Federations of North America. I'll fill you in on what we see and learn when I get back.
I am asked by friends who haven't yet been to Israel if I am nervous about going to so unstable a region. And my answer is always the same: "Never!" To be sure, I know very well the dangers Israelis face every day from possible rocket fire. But of all the places to be in today's Middle East, there is no place safer or more welcoming than Israel.
Please join me for the Telephone Town Hall - and sometime soon, please join me on a Federation mission to Israel!