Thursday February 21, 2013

Two reserve members of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), will be speaking on Monday, Feb. 25, in Pittsfield and Williamstown, in programs co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires and StandWithUs.

Veterans of both active and reserve duty, will be welcomed at noon at Berkshire Community College on West Street, Pittsfield. Then, at 7:30 p.m., the pair will speak at the Jewish Religious Center, off Route 2, at Williams College.

The reservists have also been invited to meet with language arts and social sciences students at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, as part of classroom activities the next day.

One of the reservists served in an elite Special Forces unit in the IDF. The other was a liaison with international organizations and foreign governments in implementing Israeli government policy that serve Palestinian civilian needs.

Their visit to the Berkshires is part of the Los Angeles-based organization’s nationwide tour by reservists to colleges and schools in February.

The group aims to correct common prejudices and misunderstandings about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and encourage dialogue by putting a human face of the IDF uniform.

The programs at BCC and Williams College are free. Information: Arlene D. Schiff, executive director, Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, (413) 442-4360.