ICSB Presents:

The Eighth Annual Community-Wide

Sunday, April 6, 2014
9:00 am – 4:30 pm
At Santa Barbara Hillel | 781 Embarcadero Del Mar | Isla Vista (Goleta), CA

Join the community for a day of learning, schmoozing and fabulous food.

Fantastic speakers plus a terrific selection of breakout sessions on Israeli culture, history, politics and more.

Free of Charge – Contributions Greatly Appreciated

Schedule of Events


9:00AMMorning Nosh provided by the Israel Committee of Santa Barbara

David Siegel19:30 AM  – Special Guest Speaker Israeli Consul General David Siegel

We are honored to have as our special guest speaker the senior representative of the State of Israel to the Southwestern United States, Israeli Consul General David Siegel. Mr. Siegel previously served as Chief of Staff to Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, where he was involved in policy formulation and decision-making at the senior levels of Israel’s foreign policy establishment. Earlier, Mr. Siegel served two terms at the Embassy of Israel in Washington D.C., in successive roles as Chief of Staff to three of Israel’s Ambassadors to the United States, Counselor for Congressional Affairs, and Spokesperson.

Alon Ben-David10:15 AM – Alon Ben-David – Morning keynote speech:

“The New Political Geography of the Middle East”

Alon Ben-David is Senior Defense Correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10 News, and co-anchor of the network’s Friday news magazine. A television and print journalist for more than 25 years, Mr. Ben-David has covered all major events in the region in the last two decades, including the first and second intifadas, the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the disengagement from Gaza, and Israel’s long war in Lebanon.

11:45 PM

Noontime breakout sessions

  • Hezbollah’s Existential Crisis
  • David Lewis
  • Arab World 101 – From Copts to Kurds, an introduction to the various sectarian communities of the Arab World
  • Josef Olmert
  • A Coat of Many Colors – Israel’s vibrant news media span the spectrum, a comparative look through their prisms at current events
  • Ehud Hager


12:45 PM – Lunch provided by the Israel Committee of Santa Barbara

Josef Olmert1:45 PMDr. Josef Olmert – Afternoon keynote speech:

“On History, Patience and Reality: The Israeli-Palestinian Talks”

Dr. Olmert is a long time scholar, diplomat, political insider, and journalist. Under Israel’s Prime Minister Shamir, he was Director of the Government Press Office and a member of the Israeli delegation at the Madrid peace talks with Syria. He belongs to one of Israel’s most prominent political families, which includes his brother Ehud Olmert, a former Prime Minister. Dr. Olmert also headed the Syrian and Lebanon desks at Tel Aviv University’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. He has authored three books on the Middle East and numerous scholarly and popular articles. Dr. Olmert is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, and a frequent guest on Fox News Channel.

3:00PMAfternoon breakout session

  • Israel: Boundaries to the Conversation? How do we talk about the difficult issues? Are there limits to what we can talk about, and who is an appropriate participant in the conversation?

  • David Suissa
  • David Lewis
  • Linda Scherzer
  •  Playing for Peace in the Middle East: Israeli-Palestinian Youth Soccer and other Coexistence Projects
  • Michael Leitner

4:30PMWine and cheese reception

Breakout Session Speakers & Panelists

 David Suissa

David Suissa is a branding and advertising consultant, as well as a popular columnist and eloquent Israel advocate. He is the founder of OLAM magazine and Meals4Israel.com and founder and CEO of Suissa Miller Advertising, USA Today’s Agency of the Year. Suissa’s writings on advertising have been published in several publications, including The Los Angeles Times and Advertising Age. He is also president of TRIBE Media Corp/The Jewish Journal and writes frequently on Israel and American Jewish affairs.

David suissa 
 Linda Scherzer

Linda Scherzer is a former Middle East correspondent for CNN and Israel Television with extensive experience covering the Arab-Israeli conflict. Today, Linda is a PR and media consultant. Among her clients is the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, where she advises the Jewish community on how to combat negative media images from Israel.

 David Lewis

Award-winning documentarian with Frontline, CNN, 60 Minutes and other national news programs, whose work frequently examines terrorism in Israel. Mr. Lewis produced an undercover profile of Hezbollah, “Party of God,” and will share his latest insights into the Islamist terrorist organization. Mr. Lewis is also co-founder of Comedy for Peace, an organization whose motto is “If we can laugh together, we can live together.”

 Michael Leitner

Prof. Leitner and his wife Sara are publishing a book tentatively titled Israeli Life and Leisure in the 21st Century, scheduled to be released by Sagamore Publishing in 2014.    Prof. Leitner speaks at conferences and at college campuses about his research on the effects of joint sports programs on the attitudes of Israeli and Palestinian youth toward each other.

 Ehud Hager

Ehud Hager is a shaliach for the Jewish Agency for Israel in Las Vegas. An IDF combat officer and veteran of the Bnei Akiva youth movement, he holds a B.A. from the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, The Interdisciplinary Center, in Herzliya.

 Ehud Hager1


Brought to you by The Israel Committee of Santa Barbara

In conjunction with Santa Barbara Hillel; ADL; Community Shul of Montecito and Santa Barbara; Congregation B’nai B’rith; and Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara.