Ambassador, counselor to lecture about state of Israel, Middle East peace process

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    The realities of pursuing peace in the Middle East will be affecting today’s generation of young people in a big way, and students should stay informed of the issues, said a TCU director of special projects for marketing and communication. The Jewish Studies Program at the Brite Divinity School is facilitating a place for students to do just that at the ninth annual Gates of Chai Lectureship tonight, said Margaret Kelly, director of special projects. Ambassador Dennis Ross, who David Nelson, assistant professor of Jewish studies, described as the “architect of the Middle East peace process,” will be the event’s featured lecturer.

    Ross’ lecture, “Facilitating Peace in the Middle East,” will include discussion of the state of Israel and the Middle East peace process.

    Ross is counselor and Ziegler Distinguished Fellow for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a foreign affairs analyst for the Fox News Channel. He is also a frequent commentator for The Washington Post, the Financial Times and the U.S. News and World Report, Nelson said.

    Ross has been involved in the Middle East peace process for more than 12 years dealing directly with parties in negotiations, especially during the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations, according to the Washington Institute Web site.

    As the most compelling issue in contemporary Judaism, it is a topic everyone should stay informed about, Nelson said.

    The Gates of Chai Lectureship is a component of the Jewish Studies Program at the Brite Divinity School and aims to promote informed discussion about issues of relevance to contemporary Judaism, he said.

    Last year’s lecture brought more than 450 faculty and staff, students and community members, Kelly said.

    “Students should take an active interest in the issues involving the Middle East,” Kelly said. “It’s their future to invest in.

    “I would hope that the topic of this year’s discussion will bring even more students.”

    Nelson said the Jewish Studies Program and the Gates of Chai Lectureship serve as an outreach to the Jewish community and the program seeks to broaden students’ academic horizons.

    “It is of crucial importance to all students and people, regardless of religion, race or ethnicity,” he said. “Students should expose themselves to academic approaches that inform them about ethnic and religious diversity.”

    The Gates of Chai Lectureship is funded by donations made in memory of Larry Kornbleet and those family members of Stanley and Marcia Kornbleet, who died in the Holocaust.