Bernadotte Memorial Lecture with Ambassador Dennis Ross
Contact: Leah Kaplan 212-824-2293; email@example.com
Dennis Ross, Former U.S. Envoy to the Middle East and principal U.S. peace negotiator, to deliver lecture at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, honoring Count Folke Bernadotte, Swedish WWII diplomat who transmitted news of Germany's surrender to the allies, saved Jewish victims during the Holocaust, and negotiated a truce in the Israeli War of Independence. Bernadotte family to attend the special event.
The International Count Folke Bernadotte Memorial Lecture
"Is Peace Still Possible in the Middle East?"
Ambassador Dennis Ross
Former U.S. Envoy to the Middle East
A Lecture honoring Count Folke Bernadotte
Tuesday, May 2, 2006 at 7:30 pm
Yom HaZikaron/Yom HaAtzmaut 5766
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Brookdale Center, One West 4th Street (Broadway & Mercer), New York
Admission is free. Photo ID required for entrance
In memorializing Count Bernadotte, HUC-JIR chose Ambassador Dennis Ross, Special Middle East Coordinator from 1988-2000, and now, Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, whose dedication to diplomacy in areas of concern to the Jewish community echoes the ideals that Bernadotte stood for. He will share his insights on the recent crisis of democracy in the Middle East, the election of Hamas to Palestinian leadership.
Count Folke Bernadotte, a descendent of Swedish royalty, was Vice President of the Swedish Red Cross during World War II and diplomat to the United Nations. As leader of the Red Cross he supervised the exchange of disabled British and German war prisoners, and was responsible for transporting Jewish victims to a safe haven in Sweden. In addition to his humanitarian role during the Holocaust, Count Bernadotte is remembered as the diplomat who conveyed Heinrich Himmler's message of Germany's surrender to Winston Churchill and President Truman, ending the war in the West. Bernadotte was also in the front lines of the Arab-Israeli War of Independence. The United Nations Security Council chose him as mediator to seek peace, and it was he who successfully negotiated a truce. His lifetime achievements embody his statement, "What is possible is already done; It is what is impossible that must be achieved."
This event presents an extraordinary opportunity for this prominent Swedish family to engage in discourse with the Jewish community on the topic of their shared heritage: belief in tikkun olam, repairing the world, demonstrated by Count Bernadotte's humanitarian actions on behalf of the Jewish people in WWII and during the Israeli War for Independence.
Count Bernadotte was honored by the Jewish community in 1998 when he was awarded, posthumously, The Dr. Bernard Heller Prize of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Ambassador Dennis Ross is The Washington Institute's counselor and Ziegler distinguished fellow. A highly skilled diplomat, Ross was U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrationsm, and for more than twelve years, played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. 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.
A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Ross worked closely with Secretaries of State James Baker, Warren Christopher, and Madeleine Albright. Prior to his service as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, he served as director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff in the first Bush administration. In that capacity, he played a prominent role in U.S. policy toward the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the 1991 Gulf War coalition.
During the Reagan administration, he served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff and deputy director of the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment. Ambassador Ross was awarded the Presidential Medal for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President Clinton, and Secretaries Baker and Albright presented him with the State Department's highest award.
A 1970 graduate of UCLA, Ross has also received honorary doctorates from Amherst, Jewish Theological Seminary, and Syracuse University. He has published extensively on the former Soviet Union, arms control, and the greater Middle East, contributing numerous chapters to anthologies. In the 1970s and 1980s, his articles appeared in World Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Orbis, International Security, Survival, and Journal of Strategic Studies. Since leaving government in 2001, he has published in Foreign Policy, National Interest, Washington Quarterly, and Foreign Affairs. Mr. Ross is also a frequent contributor to the Financial Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and U.S. News and World Report, as well as a foreign affairs analyst for the Fox News Channel. His book The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, August 2004) offers comprehensive analytical and personal insight into the Middle East peace process.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation’s oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR’s scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement’s congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR’s campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish history, identity, art, and archaeology, and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.