Michael B. Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, will ‘come home’ to MetroWest in support of the community where he grew up, addressing the crowd of volunteers and visitors at UJA MetroWest’s Super Sunday fund-raiser on Dec. 6.
The phonathon will take place 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany. The event’s hundreds of volunteers will raise funds to sustain United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ’s social service and educational programs that aid people locally and overseas.
Oren, who was raised in West Orange, where his parents, Lester and Marilyn Bornstein, still reside — he changed his name when he made aliya in 1979 — will speak at noon.
“We are delighted that Ambassador Oren will be joining us on Super Sunday,” said Max L. Kleinman, executive vice president of UJC MetroWest. “He learned about the importance of Israel in our lives from his wonderful parents, who have been stalwart supporters of UJA for many decades. It is therefore fitting that the ambassador will be addressing hundreds of volunteers, raising dollars to support Israel and our local community on Super Sunday.”
Oren, a graduate of Princeton and Columbia universities, held fellowships from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, from the British and Canadian governments, and at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, and the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. He has served as a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown universities.
A frequent contributor to major newspapers and magazines, Oren is the author of, among other books, the award-winning Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East and Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present.
In New Jersey, he was active in Zionist youth movements and was a gold medal-winning athlete in the Maccabiah Games. After making aliya, he served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces. He has held the roles of Israeli emissary to Jewish refuseniks in the Soviet Union, adviser to Israel’s delegation to the United Nations, and the government’s director of Inter-Religious Affairs.
In addition to serving as a base for the vast outreach to community members, Super Sunday will offer a host of activities for adults and children. A Hanukka celebration from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will feature YouTube Yourself, Music and Movement, an olive oil press, story time with the PJ Library, and Dreidel Trivia. Youngsters can also take part in a New Jersey Jewish News art contest, making bracelets for Israeli soldiers, and other crafts projects.
At a 2:30-5:30 Football Party sponsored by the Young Leadership Division of UJC MetroWest, spectators can watch the game on a big screen while making calls.
A canned food drive to aid the hungry will be ongoing, while a blood drive will be held 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Israeli vendors will offer Judaica, books, music, jewelry, and other gift items from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Baby-sitting will be available 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for youngsters from six months.
There is no admission charge for Oren’s talk.