Oren holds Hispanic outreach event


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington, hosted prominent Hispanic Americans for a cultural evening in the latest in a series of engagements with U.S. minorities.

Oren dined Wednesday at his residence with about 65 Hispanic leaders from Congress, the Obama administration and other sectors. The evening featured a performance by David Broza, the Israeli-American singer-songwriter who infuses his music with Latin influences.

The reception "represents the latest and most ambitious stage in a program I started to reach out to communities that traditionally have not been close to Israel," Oren told JTA. "I was always of the opinion we can’t be passive about this."

Oren has hosted similar events for the LBGT community, the Chinese-American community, the Irish-American community and the Muslim-American community.

The events have been themed to the communities’ cultures. The Muslim-American event was an Iftar dinner and the Irish-American event featured Evergreen, an Israeli band that plays Irish music.

Beyond the cultural evenings, Oren reaches out to minority leaders when he travels throughout the United States, and the embassy helps organize trips to Israel for leadership from the communities.

Oren said he next plans to host an event engaging prominent African-Americans.

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