Hadassah to celebrate Jerusalem Day with wine tasting, Iran nuclear update

Carolynn Scherer Katz
Carolynn Scherer Katz

Hadassah Southern Arizona will celebrate Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) with “A Taste of Gold,” a kosher wine tasting with snacks on Sunday, June 5, 4-6 p.m. at Catavinos, 3063 N. Alvernon Way.

Carolynn Scherer Katz, regional advisor for Hadassah, will speak on the recent Iran nuclear agreement and its impact on Israel. Katz is a team leader of the nuclear nonproliferation and systems analysis team at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

“It’s a very fluid” situation right now in terms of monitoring Iran’s adherence to the agreement, Katz told the AJP. “It changes daily.” She’ll be bringing the latest news available when she comes to Tucson next month.

It’s a complicated situation, she adds, explaining that while the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was presented to people in the United States as the U.S.-Iran agreement, several other countries are party to the agreement, which allows Iran to pursue a limited nuclear program for exclusively peaceful purposes.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is carrying out inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities and there’s been no recent news of anything negative regarding compliance, but Katz explains that if the IAEA finds a discrepancy, a report first must be sent to Iran, which has a chance to respond with an explanation.

“It’s a political negotiation about resolving discrepancies,” she says. “The IAEA is not going to come out of an inspection and declare that Iran’s nuclear program is not meeting the agreement.”

Along with the worry that Iran could attempt to subvert the agreement and obtain nuclear weapons, says Katz, Hadassah has been concerned about the release of Iranian money that had been frozen in foreign accounts under the former sanctions.

“Iran does fund a lot of terrorist activities, so it’s very worrisome in the Middle East,” she says, noting that it can be hard to trace the source of those funds. “It’s hard to find that trail and follow it.”

Katz received a B.S. in ceramic engineering from New York State College of Ceramics and an M.S. in ceramic science from Pennsylvania State University. She earned her Project Management Professional certification in 2005. Her early career at LANL was working on safety features in nuclear weapons systems. She was team leader of the fuel fabrication team during her tenure at the LANL plutonium facility. Her recent efforts include technical editing and updating an International Nuclear Security Education Network textbook, “Introduction to Nuclear Security.”  She also lends her skills in project management to large projects, such as the End-to-End Warhead Monitoring Program, which covers four Department of Energy laboratories and the National Nuclear Security Site in Nevada.

The cost of the June 5 event is $36; special donor opportunities are available at $72 and $180. To RSVP, mail a check payable to Hadassah by May 25 to event chair Debra Jacobs, 5940 E. Placita Alta Reposa, Tucson, 85750. For more information, call 275-5044.