(As reported in the American Jewish World newspaper, Wednesday, April 30, 2008 )
Rabbi Morris Allen, of Beth Jacob Synagogue in Mendota Heights, has been invited to join Israeli president and Nobel laureate Shimon Peres in next months' "The Israeli Presidential Conference 2008: Facing Tomorrow" event in Jerusalem. The three-day conference will take place May 13-15 and coincide with Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations.
Allen was invited to the conference because of his leadership with Hekhsher Tzedek, a national initiative to ensure that kosher food not only meets the ritual requirements of Jewish law, but also the ethical demands with which people live.
Along with Allen, the list of 1,000 leading politicians, scholars and scientists scheduled to attend the Presidential Conference convened by Peres includes Mikhail Gorbachev, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
According to a press release, the Presidential Conference agenda will be set by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, a Jerusalem-based think tank that brings together Jewish scholars and leaders to discuss the future of the Jewish people.
The conference has been described as a "Jewish Davos" (referencing the legendary annual gathering of world leaders in Switzerland) and "a synergistic gathering of major world leaders, Jews and non-Jews, thinkers and doers, poets and physicists, rabbis and entrepreneurs."
Most of the meetings and addresses at the event in Jerusalem will be simulcast on the Internet. Click for information.