May 6, 2008 Author Avi Beker Discusses the Jews as "The Chosen People"

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Peggy Pearlstein (202) 707-3779; Gail Shirazi (202) 707-9897

Many have heard the expression “The Chosen” to describe the Jewish people, but few—Jews and non-Jews alike—truly understand the concept. What does it mean for Jews to be “chosen?” How is this label perceived by non-Jews? Avi Beker addresses these questions in his new book, “The Chosen: The History of an Idea and The Anatomy of an Obsession,” which he will discuss at the Library of Congress at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, in the Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored jointly by the Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Hebrew Language Table, in cooperation with the Embassy of Israel. Tickets are not required. Avi Beker holds a doctorate degree from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he specialized in international security, arms control and the United Nations (U.N.). He served as Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) from 1983-2003. From 1977-82, he was a member of the Israel mission to the U.N. Under the auspices of the WJC, he founded the Israel Council for Foreign Relations and the Institute for Research, which he subsequently headed. Beker lectures on international diplomacy at Tel Aviv University, where he is also head of the U.N. project and the Jewish Policy Project. He is currently the Goldman Visiting Israeli Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.


PR 08-092
ISSN 0731-3527