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When Daniel Shapiro was 4 years old, his parents brought their family to Israel for a sabbatical. Soon after their arrival, the Yom Kippur War began. “It was traumatic and scary,” Daniel recalls, “but also having stayed through it — with my parents volunteering to support the Israelis who were of course fighting to save their country — forged a real bond between my family and Israel.” That bond stayed with him, driving him toward his eventual role of United States Ambassador to Israel.

As Ambassador during the Obama administration, Daniel won praise from both countries. He was widely liked, even by those who sometimes disagreed with him, in large part because of his penchant for travelling across Israel to engage with all Israeli citizens. Daniel believes strongly that the old strategy of only associating with government officials no longer works. “Today’s public is engaged and empowered and has the ability to influence government,” he explains, “so if we wanted to be successful in having our interests furthered we needed to speak directly to all of the Israeli public.”

And Daniel certainly was successful. The accomplishments during his 2011-2017 tenure range from the $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding, to developing joint technologies for national security, to expanding the U.S.-Israel economic partnership, which resulted in a 40% increase in trade between the two countries. On Thursday, March 8th, he’ll discuss all of these aspects of his service as Ambassador in a conversation hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Jewish Community Relations Council.

He’ll also focus on current events, both global as well as personal, including his family’s “special opportunity to connect with Israel as a normal family” while his oldest daughter finishes high school there. Though he is no longer in the political limelight, Daniel continues to keep a close eye on the U.S.-Israel relationship. “Through travel, business, academics, technologies and science, there are more ways than ever to partake in the U.S.-Israel relationship,” he says. “It is mutually beneficial in every area.”

Click here to RSVP for The U.S.-Israel Relationship: A Conversation with Ambassador Daniel Shapiro on March 8, 2018 at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood.