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Sep 28

The Handshake That Shook the World: A 30 Year Reflection on the Oslo Accords

The 1993 Oslo Accords were a pivotal moment in the history of Israel's existence. This monumental meeting between the Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat was, at its core, a potential first step toward a lasting peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, and the decisions made there still continue to impact both societies in profound ways today.

Join us for a look deep into the many ways this single moment in time can be a lens through which we view the State of Israel, and its people, culture, and leadership today.

Dessert reception to follow.

Washington University in St. Louis
1 Brookings Dr, St. Louis, MO 63130
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Sep 28, 2023 07:00pm - Sep 28, 2023 08:30pm


About Our Speakers

Daniel Kurtzer

Joining Princeton’s faculty in 2006 following a 29-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Daniel Kurtzer retired from the Foreign Service with the rank of career minister. From 2001 to 2005, he served as the United States Ambassador to Israel and from 1997 to 2001 as the United States Ambassador to Egypt. He served as a political officer at the American embassies in Cairo and Tel Aviv, deputy director of the Office of Egyptian Affairs, speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Middle East advisor on the Policy Planning staff, deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, and principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Intelligence and Research.

Throughout his career, Kurtzer was instrumental in formulating and executing U.S. policy toward the Middle East peace process. He served on Secretary of State James A. Baker’s Middle East peace team that brought about the 1991 Madrid peace conference. He chaired the multilateral peace talks that followed, and headed the U.S. delegation to the Refugee Working Group.

Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Kurtzer to serve on the Secretary’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Governor Phil Murphy has reappointed Kurtzer to serve on the New Jersey-Israel State Commission. Previously, Kurtzer served as an advisor to the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, and as a member of the Advisory Council of the American Bar Association’s Middle East Rule of Law Initiative. In 2007, he was named the first commissioner of the professional Israel Baseball League.

He is the co-author of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: American Leadership in the Middle East, co-author of The Peace Puzzle: America’s Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989-2011; editor of Pathways to Peace: America and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and numerous scholarly articles and op-eds on foreign policy issues. He is currently working on a co-authored study of the peace process between 2011 and 2022. Kurtzer received his doctoral degree from Columbia University

Barry Rosenberg

Barry Rosenberg is Professor of Practice at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, where he has taught since 1998. At Brown he chairs the leadership and management curriculum at the Masters level, and teaches a variety of courses in Leadership, Management, Organizational Behavior, Strategic Planning, Board Governance, Fundraising, Finance and the innovative integrative capstone course, “Brown Consulting.”

He is also Director of the Center for Human Service Leadership, which provides organizational capacity building services to the nonprofits housed at Delmar DivINe. In that role, he designs and conducts executive education programs for new and aspiring nonprofit CEOs, middle managers and other. He also provides consulting services and training in nonprofit leadership development, management, strategic planning, and board governance. 


In 2012, he retired as President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, after 20 years in that position. As CEO, he played leadership roles in national and international Jewish affairs including the historic rescue of Ethiopian Jews, and winning the freedom and subsequent mass migration of Jews from the former Soviet Union to Israel and the United States. He developed an innovative community development partnership with an urban & surrounding rural region in northern Israel. Under his leadership, he developed one of the first Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities in the United States and the first community-wide professional development program for employees of Jewish organizations. He was responsible for personally soliciting hundreds of millions of dollars.

Throughout his career, Rosenberg has focused on leadership and professional development. He led the creation of the Millstone Institute for Jewish Leadership, an innovative community-wide development program for professional and volunteer leaders. He has served on the Special Commission for Social Work Macro Practice, The NASW Macro Social Work Curricular Guide Task Force and as Advisor to the International Institute for Jewish People Leadership. His academic publications and presentations have focused on leadership development, board governance, professional development, innovation and fundraising.

Lynn and Dr. Carl Lyss

Lynn Lyss and her husband, Dr. Carl Lyss, have been active in leadership and volunteer roles in both the Jewish and general communities for over 50 years. Among the many positions Lynn has held are: Chair of the JCRC of St. Louis; member of Jewish Federation Board of Directors; former board member and executive committee of the national Hillel; former chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.   

As Chair of JCPA she was part of a select group of American Jewish and Arab leaders who were invited to the Kingdom of Jordan in 1994, where the Arab nation signed a formal peace treaty with the State of Israel, the second Arab state after Egypt to do so.

Carl served as the second Chairman of the St Louis Center for Holocaust Studies, now the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum. Carl Lyss was inspired as a child by his late father, Paul Lyss, a fervent Zionist, and feels privileged to be part of the first generation of world and American Jewry to be blessed by a strong independent Jewish State, which both he and Lynn have visited countless times. They were fortunate to lead a national African-American mission to Israel.

In all of Lynn’s myriad activities, Carl is proud to serve a supporting role, as a partner in all of Lynn’s Jewish and general causes. Lynn and Carl enjoy free-wheeling debates and discussions, but insist that we should agree when we can and “disagree without being disagreeable.”

In addition to all they have achieved and been a part of over the years, Lynn and Carl were present on the White House lawn the day of the historic handshake between Rabin and Arafat.

Directions and Parking Information

The Handshake That Shook the World will take place in Hillman Hall, Room 70, on campus at Washington University in St. Louis. The building and lecture hall are fully accessible.

Free parking is available on campus after 5:00pm. The closest parking garage is the East End Garage, located on the Danforth Campus in Zone 1. Enter the garage from the Wrighton Way and Forsyth intersection or the Forest Park Parkway and Hoyt intersection. 

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