Greenwich Time: Jewish groups bring in former ambassador to discuss US-Israel relations

Published Wednesday, September 30, 2015
by Silvia Foster-Frau | Greenwich Time

Last week, local Greenwich Jewish organizations teamed up to bring Ambassador Dennis Ross to Carmel Academy to speak on the Iran nuclear deal and Israel-U.S. relations.

As a follow-up to his talk, the United Jewish Appeal of Greenwich and the Jewish Community Center of Greenwich are bringing in Ambassador Michael Oren, who will speak at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at Carmel Academy, 270 Lake Ave. Tickets cost $10 and people can register online at www.jccgreenwich.org.

“Much has been said about what Michael Oren has said, so I think this will be good to hear directly from him, in person,” said Pam Ehrenkranz, chief executive officer for the UJA of Greenwich.

Oren is an American-born former Israeli ambassador to the United States who recently published the book “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide.” He is considered an expert on Israel-U.S. relations and has published several books and essays.

“Michael Oren is a bright, articulate teacher and speaker with access to information that perhaps we don’t have. He may help us make sense out of what’s going on,” said Ehrenkranz.

While Ross said he believed the nuclear deal had its flaws, Ehrenkranz said Oren seemed to be more opposed to it than Ross.

“I think Michael Oren feels more strongly about this deal—that it’s a bad deal for America, for the free world, for Israel,” said Ehrenkranz. “But this matters for all of us, not just the Jewish community.

“The question for Americans, not just the Jewish ones, is does the deal actually prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and what will happen with all the money that flows into Iran, which is known (as) being the terrorist capital of the world?” said Ehrenkranz.

Ehrenkranz, who has seen Oren lecture twice in person and many times on television, said she thought it was important to bring him in because he offers a different perspective than Ross.

“I think when you have speakers with more than one point of view it helps people make decisions. We’re not trying to decide for them but help them decide,” said Ehrenkranz. “By bringing in the best and the brightest, we’re hoping we’ll be able to help people inform themselves.”