Scholar-in-residence offers insight on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

By Michele Salomon
Special to HAKOL

We all have opinions, about everything, including the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. But not all opinions are equally informed; the weight of fact versus feeling is rarely equal. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a minefield of emotion, with the weight of the emotion lending to the challenge of brokering a solution. 

Enter Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin, a subject matter expert with over 20 years of experience studying and working in this area. Scheindlin will be spending the weekend of April 5-7 in the Lehigh Valley as a scholar-in-residence. Brought to us by the Adult Education Committees of Temple Beth El and Congregation Keneseth Israel, and made possible by the Rabbi William Greenburg Cultural Endowment Foundation and the Dr. Ray and Bonnie Singer Family Education Fund, Scheindlin will discuss the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the role of democracy and how it can be a force for change and the way that comparisons to other conflicts can help advance the cause of peace. 

Scheindlin is a public opinion expert and international political and strategic consultant. She has advised five national campaigns in Israel and internationally in Albania, Austria, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Egypt, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Kosovo and the United States. It’s far more than just numbers, however. Measuring, analyzing and making meaning from public opinion data is equal parts art and science. Scheindlin, with her extensive experience and expertise, is a "data whisperer," the rare expert who can distill complex research findings into a foundation of common understanding and actionable strategy. 

The data is merely the basis upon which hearts and minds can be influenced. Regardless of your current level of knowledge about this topic, this weekend presents an opportunity to further your understanding of these issues.  

The weekend includes a variety of opportunities to hear Scheindlin speak. Keneseth Israel is hosting dinner and Shabbat services on Friday evening, where the topic will focus on where things stand, Israel and the eternal conflict. Saturday Shabbat services and kiddush will be at Beth El with a focus on the role of democracy and the links to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The weekend culminates with Sunday brunch, also at Beth El, and a lecture exploring the value of comparing conflicts as a way to advance peace.

All events are open to the entire community. Please RSVP with payment for dinner on April 5 ($30 per adult) or for brunch ($10 per person) on April 7 to either Beth El (610-435-3521) or Keneseth Israel (610-435-9074).