J Street will honor Larry Gellman at a Tucson reception on Monday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m., with guest speakers Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman and J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. Sherman led the U.S. negotiating team that reached the Iran nuclear agreement in 2015.
Gellman has chaired the boards of the Milwaukee Jewish Day School (which he helped found and endow), Tucson Hebrew Academy, Jewish Federation campaigns in both Milwaukee and Tucson, and Israel Bonds, which honored him with its Gates of Jerusalem Award. He is a board member and former chair of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. He was a founding member of the Tucson AIPAC board. At J Street, he has served as a member of the finance committee. A graduate of the first cohort of the Wexner Heritage Foundation program, he has lectured in Israel and around the United States on Judaism and business ethics. Gellman has worked for 10 years as a TV news reporter and for 40 years as a financial adviser.
Sherman is a professor of the practice of public leadership and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and a senior fellow at the school’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She also is a senior advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group and former U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs. She serves on the boards of the International Crisis Group and the Atlantic Council and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Aspen Strategy Group, and American Academy of Diplomacy. President Barack Obama awarded Sherman the National Security Medal for her work on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran nuclear deal), among other diplomatic accomplishments. She is the author of “Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power and Persistence” (PublicAffairs, 2018).
J Street founder Ben-Ami served in the mid-1990s as deputy domestic policy advisor to President Bill Clinton and worked on seven presidential and numerous state and local campaigns. He was recognized by the Forward weekly newspaper for three years as one of the “Forward 50”; by Ha’aretz, the Israeli daily, as one of 50 “People of the Decade”; and by the Jerusalem Post as one of the world’s “50 Most Influential Jews.” Ben-Ami’s family connection to Israel goes back 130 years. His great-grandparents were among the first settlers in Petah Tikva. His grandparents were one of the founding families of Tel Aviv, and his father was an activist and leader in the Irgun, working for Israel’s independence and on the rescue of European Jews before and during World War II.
The reception will be held at the home of Larry and Kristen Gellman. To register, visit www.jstreet.org/2019-arizona-reception. Proceeds will benefit the J Street Education Fund, a 501(c)3 organization.