Federation to hold virtual “Conversation with Michael Oren” on Nov. 30

By Reporter staff

The Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton will hold a virtual “Conversation with Michael Oren” about his new book of short stories, “The Night Archer and Other Stories,” on Monday, November 30, at noon. Dora Polachek, associate professor of romance languages and literatures at Binghamton University, will moderate. There is no cost for the event, but pre-registration is required and can be made at the Federation website, www.jfgb.org. Additional sponsors of the event are the College of Jewish Studies, the Temple Israel/Temple Concord Adult Education Group and Beth David Synagogue.

“It’s an honor to have someone as accomplished as Michael Oren speak to us,” said Shelley Hubal, executive director of the Federation. “I look forward to learning how he came to write the many stories that appear in his book. I would also like to thank Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell for alerting us to this opportunity.”

Best-selling author Daniel Silva called “The Night Archer and Other Stories” “an extraordinary collection of stories that sparkle with wit, intelligence, tenderness and penetrating honesty.” According to TheJewishPress.com, “[Oren’s] characters are terrifying, tragic, passionate and yes, funny as hell.” A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author, called the book “delightful.” Liel Leibovitz, an Israeli-American journalist and author, wrote that “Oren delivers a heartfelt and heartbreaking account of who we are as a species – flawed, fearful, and lonely but always open-hearted, always trusting that transcendence is possible, if not imminent.” (See The Reporter’s review of the book in the November 6 issue or online at www.thereportergroup.org/past-articles/feature-book-review/feature-book-review-stream/book-review-stream/off-the-shelf-stories-by-oren-and-schwartz-by-rabbi-rachel-esserman.)

In addition to his collection of short stories, Oren is the author of several nonfiction works, including “Six Days of War,” “Power, Faith, and Fantasy” and “Ally: My Journal Across the American-Israel Divide,” all of which made The New York Times bestsellers list. He has also received the Los Angeles Times History Book of the Year Award, a National Humanities prize and the Jewish Book Award. 

Oren served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States for almost five years before becoming a member of Knesset and deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office. Oren is a graduate of Princeton and Columbia universities. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown universities. In addition to holding four honorary doctorates, he was awarded the Statesman of the Year Medal by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Prize for International Service. 

Oren was named by NPR as “one of the best college commencement speakers ever.” Politico called him “one of the 50 most influential thinkers in America.” The Forward placed him on its list of “the five most influential Jews in America,” while The Jerusalem Post said he was “one of the 10 most influential Jews worldwide.”