Jewish Journal

A Great Day

by  David A. Lehrer

April 12, 2013 | 3:16 pm

General Michael Hayden

As residents of Los Angeles many of us are inundated with invitations for events with all sorts of intriguing topics, alluring speakers, and entertaining extravaganzas. On any given evening we can hear a United States Senator or see a Cirque du Soleil performance in a private home or be awed by a 3-D spectacular about our favorite non-profit organization.

It’s fairly unusual though, for an event to offer substance and interesting speakers across a wide array of provocative and timely topics. That’s why an upcoming conference warrants your attention and attendance, the Annual Leadership Education Forum ("ALEF") sponsored by the American Friends of the Hebrew University (“AFHU”). Full disclosure, I happen to be chairing the day-long conference.

At 9:00 on Sunday, April 28th at the Skirball Cultural Center ALEF will have an array of panelists and keynote speakers that are dazzling.

The aim is to pair local experts with those coming from the Hebrew University to discuss and explore important current topics. The speakers include the former head of the CIA, General Michael Hayden, in dialogue with the former head of the Israeli Shin Bet, Ambassador Carmi Gillon, and their moderator will be Nicholas Goldberg the Editor of the Editorial pages of the Los Angeles Times. Another panel will have Jewish Journal editor, Rob Eshman, in a colloquy with Professor Reuven Hazan, chair of the political science department at the Hebrew University and Professor Steven Spiegel, Professor of Political Science at UCLA and director of its Center for Middle East Development. A third panel will explore advances in neuroscience (“Cracking the Brain’s Code”) with a panel moderated by USC’s Executive Vice-Provost, Professor Michael Quick, in dialogue with two Hebrew University professors, Eilon Vaadia and Ehud Zohary, both prominent neuroscientists.

To top off the afternoon, the luncheon speaker will be Patrick Soon-Shiong, one of the pre-eminent scientific and medical minds in the world today. His cutting edge discoveries and patents have altered the approach to both diabetes and cancer. He also happens to be among Los Angeles' most generous philanthropists.

For a program of this heft, the price tag is a relatively modest $125 (including lunch). Space is available and reservations can be made by clicking here.

I hope you will join us.

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