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Visiting Professor to Speak at World Affairs Council This Evening

Shimon Shetreet, visiting professor for Old Dominion University's Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding, is the guest speaker for tonight's World Affairs Council Distinguished Speaker Series.

Shetreet, who will be introduced by Chandra de Silva, ODU's dean of the College of Arts and Letters, will discuss "The Challenge of Inter-Cultural Issues: An International Analysis of Problems and Solutions Around the Globe."

A former cabinet member of the Israeli government and law professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Shetreet leads several major international interfaith and intercultural projects, including the Culture of Peace project that was launched in 1998. The project was formed on the premise that a true and lasting peace must be built on four strong foundations: political, economic, cultural and religious. Since its creation, the project has held conferences and seminars to promote this philosophy in Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and Italy, to name just a few.

Between 1988 and 1996, Shetreet served as a member of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. He held several cabinet member positions in the governments of Prime Ministers Itzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, including minister of economy and planning, minister of science and technology and minister of religious affairs. He also served as the senior deputy mayor of Jerusalem under Mayor Ehud Olmert.

Shetreet, who was born in Morocco and moved to Israel at the age of 3, studied in both Israel and the United States, graduating with a doctoral degree from the University of Chicago's School of Law. In recent years he has been a visiting professor or scholar at many prominent institutions, including New York University, Case Western Reserve University and the University of London.

In addition to his distinguished academic and political career, Shetreet has held important positions in the Israeli business community, including serving as a member of the board of Bank Leumi and chairman of the board of Mishaan.

Shetreet also was the 2008 Evelyn J. Kanter Endowed Lecturer in Interfaith Studies at ODU.

This article was posted on: October 29, 2009

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