Thursday, March 20, 2008

La Cañada Valley Sun: Around Town: The toothpaste is out of the tube

By Anita Susan Brenner

This column is not about toothpaste. It is about a young man named Seth Brysk who has some great ideas about how to being peace to the Middle East.

Here’s how it began. First, the phone rang. It was my friend Josef.

“Are you going to write about Seth?”


“Seth is coming to Pasadena on March 25th. Everyone’s talking about it.”

“Everyone” turned out to be about 200 of my closest friends. Josef’s call was one of many.

Good news travels fast. Within minutes, another friend called.

“Please don’t write about Seth. These are troubled times. We need to fly under the radar.”

Naturally, I called Josef back.

“Anita,” said Josef, “The toothpaste is already out of the tube.”

“Huh?” I asked.

“You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube once it’s out.”

Did I mention that Josef has a PhD in organizational psychology?

So, with apologies to the naysayers, Seth Brysk will speak about Israel on Tuesday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Jewish Temple. This free program is open to all.

Josef told me all about Seth Brysk.

Seth is the executive director of the Los Angeles office of an international think tank called the American Jewish Committee, whose mission is to promote pluralistic and democratic societies where all minorities are protected. Seth is a dynamic speaker, no doubt because he fulfilled compulsory military service in the Israel Defense Forces. He has also earned degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in political science and Tel Aviv University in international relations with a concentration in conflict resolution.

“Conflict resolution?” I said.

“Yes, conflict resolution,” said Josef.

This free program was organized by Peter Brier, PhD., an emeritus professor of English at California State University of Los Angeles. Dr. Brier’s areas of specialization include British romantic literature, literary criticism and American and Anglo-Jewish writers of the 19th and 20th centuries and he was selected as Cal State L.A.’s Outstanding Professor in 1992-93.

So, with further apologies to the naysayers, this is a free community event, open to all La Cañadans, with a fabulous dessert reception to follow.

Pasadena Jewish Temple is located at 1434 North Altadena Drive, Pasadena. For more information call (626) 798-1161.


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