From Jerusalem to Tel Aviv | September 28, 2012 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - September 28, 2012

From Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

Lecture series begins Wednesday at Beth Emek

The fall 2012 lecture series at Congregation Beth Emek begins Oct. 3 with an exploration of the ancient city of Jerusalem and concludes Dec. 5 with a discussion of contemporary Tel Aviv. The presentations in-between will focus on Jewish resistance during World War II; and the Middle East's non-proliferation challenges that will confront the next presidential administration.

"Our series covers a journey of over 3,000 years and will focus on both historic as well as contemporary issues," said Jim Holtz, series chairman.

The series will open with popular lecturer Nitzhia Shaked, who will present an overview of Jerusalem's history. On Oct. 24, award-winning historian Fred Rosenbaum, author of "Taking Risks" and "Here There Are No Sarahs," will explore the different kinds of resistance, both mental and physical, that Jews used in their fight against the Nazis.

"Rosenbaum's talks are not to be missed," Holtz said. "He speaks with such clarity and depth that you are brought into the world he is describing."

Speaking Nov. 15 on non-proliferation challenges in the Middle East will be Michael Nacht, a professor with UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy. Nacht was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs from 2009-10, for which he received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest civilian honor. He also served as Assistant Director for Strategic and Eurasian Affairs in the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1994-97. His current research is on modifications to strategic deterrence; assessing latent strategic capabilities; aspects of US cyber and space policy; and strategies in East Asia and the Middle East.

Noted scholar Ken Cohen will complete the series Dec. 5, tracing will the creation of Tel-Aviv in the early 20th century and how it evolved into Israel's cultural and financial center.

Lectures, which are sponsored by Congregation Beth Emek and the Jewish Federation of the East Bay, begin at 7:30 pm. Admission to all four is $36; individual admission is $10. Congregation Beth Emek is located at 3400 Nevada Court in Pleasanton. For more information, call 510-318-6453.

--Dolores Fox Ciardelli