Akiva Tor, Israel's consul general for the Pacific Northwest Region of the United States, will speak on "Israeli Democracy: Elections 2009" from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3 on the Hayward campus of California State University, East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.
Tor's presentation, in room 311 of the Old University Union, will be a briefing on the upcoming Israeli elections and an update on current political developments in the Middle East region.
Admission is free and the public is invited. This will be the second program of the academic year by the university's Jewish Studies Program and College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.
Israeli voters will choose a new Knesset (parliament) Feb. 10. The election takes place in the wake of renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip and in the context of concerns about political corruption and about the Israeli economy in the context of the global economic crisis.
Tor will discuss issues important to Israeli voters, the differences among the country's competing political parties, and the impact the election will have on the prospects for peace.
Tor took over his current position in August 2008. Previously, as World Jewish Affairs adviser to the president of Israel, he founded the World Jewish Forum, a presidential initiative for creating a pan-Jewish strategy for stemming assimilation and decline in Jewish life. He has served Israel as director of the its economic and cultural Office in Taipei and as deputy director for Palestinian affairs. He was a Wexner fellow at the Kennedy School of Government and has written and lectured extensively on Jewish values in the foreign policy of Israel.
The CSUEB Jewish Studies Program is part of a broader effort to engage the university and the community in global affairs and multicultural understanding.
As part of this effort, the Committee on Jewish Studies is sponsoring speakers and cultural events on Jewish culture and its relation with other ethnic cultures in the U.S.; Jewish history; Jewish music, theater, and dance; and programs on Israel and the contemporary Middle East.
Henry Reichman, professor of history, is heading the committee. Funding is provided by the Amy and Morton Friedkin Foundation and the East Bay Jewish Community Foundation.
As new programs in the series are announced, they are listed at: http://class.csueastbay.edu/Jewish_Culture_Series.php
A campus parking fee of $5 per vehicle per day is enforced at all times. Machines in lots accept dollars and quarters. CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. The event sponsor should be notified by calling (510) 885-3161 well in advance if special accommodation is needed.