Yossi Klein Halevi and Dennis Ross

Yossi Klein Halevi and Dennis Ross

Recognizing that society is at a critical point in the relationship with Israel, a relationship strained by increasingly divergent political views and priorities, the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati has been holding a series of community conversations through its initiative We Need to Talk. As Americans are moving toward the extremes and surrounding themselves with like-minded individuals, often the conversation has stopped. 

We Need to Talk is an attempt at restarting dialogue – not with the goal to reach consensus but to create understanding among people with diverse opinions. As a culmination of the initiative, the Federation and its Jewish Community Relations Council are hosting a series of events this fall, in partnership with the Mayerson JCC. 

Yossi Klein Halevi, on Oct. 29

Yossi Klein Halevi is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor.” This book simply and personally explores a complex topic that often feels far away and impersonal. This is one Israeli author’s attempt to bridge what many see as an unbridgeable divide by doing something original and

bafflingly simple at the same time – by speaking directly to his Palestinian neighbors in a series of 10 letters.

Halevi is an award-winning author, thinker, and commentator on Jewish and Israeli affairs. He will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the JCC.

Dennis Ross, on Nov. 5

Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Prior to that, he served two years as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Ross played a leading role in shaping United States involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. A highly skilled diplomat, Ross was the U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians to reach the 1995 Interim Agreement; he also successfully brokered the 1997 Hebron Accord, facilitated the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty, and intensively worked to bring Israel and Syria together.

Ross will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the JCC.

Global Day of Jewish Learning, on Nov. 17

Words matter. From ancient arguments to modern meanings, from raising our voices to remaining silent, words have power. Words can

create. Words can harm or heal. Words can explain, or they can obscure. Even silence speaks volumes. 

The Global Day of Jewish Learning is from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at the JCC.

The event will feature leading thinkers, scholars, and rabbis and will explore Jewish wisdom and the way words influence people’s thoughts and the world. As part of the event, the world’s leading Jewish podcast, Tablet Magazine’s Unorthodox, will record an episode live from the Cincinnati on Nov. 17.

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