Educating young people about world events
Luncheon Lectures
Berks Cable TV Show
Special Event
Wednesday, March 21st 2018

Jewish Federation of Reading sponsored event.
Wednesday - March 21 - 7:30 PM - Memorial Chapel - Albright College

14th Annual Richard J. Yashek Memorial Lecture

Not Your Father's Antisemitism

by Michael Berenbaum, Ph D.

Special Event
Monday, April 9th 2018

Alvernia Lecture - 7:00 PM - McGlinn Conference Center @ Alvernia U.

Dr. Darren Davis

Race, Perserverance and Catholicism

Dr. Darren Davis is a nationally recognized scholar in political behavior and racial politics.

Special Event
Monday, April 9th 2018

The Jewish Federation of Reading sponsored event. 
April 9, 2018 - 7:00 PM - Reform Congregation Oheb Shalom, 555 Warwick Dr. Wyomissing. Free and open to the public

Mohammad Darawshe

From Coexistence To Shared Society

Mohammad Darawshe is the Director of Center for Equality & Shared Society, Givat Haviva. The lecture will focus on efforts of institutions in Israel to move from social interactions between Jewish and Arab youth to a more substantial engagement between both societies, bringing examples demonstrating abilities to engage in collaborative efforts serving both interests. Mr. Darawshe will touch on what can be down on the social, economic, and political arenas to build islands of success in Jewish Arab relations, and how these efforts manage to engage mainstream leadership from both communities.

Annual Excursion
Tuesday, April 17th 2018

APRIL 17 EXCURSION TO WASHINGTON - Clarification and Correction

including visits to
Korean Economic Institute of America and Brookings Institute

This Excursion starts with morning presentations at the Korean Economic Institute of America, followed by lunch at a top DC restaurant, Farmers & Distillers, an afternoon at the Brookings Institute, a premier American think-tank, with a relaxing glass of wine on the bus trip home.

The Excursion is on April 17 with a 7 AM departure from the Berkshire Mall and returns around 7 PM. Seating is limited and is on a first come first served basis with payment constituting a reservation. To clarify, only payment secures a reservation. The costs are $125 for non-members, $115 for members, $75 for Ambassadors and $55 for students. Payments can be made via mail to World Affairs Council of Greater Reading, PO Box 6301, Wyomissing, PA 19610.  For any questions or more information, call 610-375-7880 (the phone number in the Excursion brochure is incorrect).

Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, April 18th 2018

Luncheon Meeting - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

Thomas Wright

The Contest for the 21st Century and the Future of American Power

Sponsored by:
YMCA Diversity, Inclusion & Global Committee

Thomas Wright the director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. He is also a nonresident fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Previously, he was executive director of studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a lecturer at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and senior researcher for the Princeton Project on National Security.

Wright works on U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy, Donald Trump's worldview, the future of Europe, and Asian security. His book “All Measures Short of War: The Contest For the 21st Century and Future of American Power” was published by Yale University Press in 2017.

Wright has a doctorate from Georgetown University, a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University, and a bachelor's and master's from University College Dublin. He has also held a pre-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a post doctoral fellowship at Princeton University. Wright's writings have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Orbis, Survival, The Washington Quarterly, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and The Washington Post, as well as a number of international newspapers and media outlets.

Wright’s affiliations include the Fulbright Commission, Ireland, vice chair and board member International Politics Reviews, Palgrave Macmillan, editorial board.

Breakfast Meeting
Wednesday, April 25th 2018

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

Dr. Stepanka Magstadt

Human Trafficking, A Global Problem, A Local Solution

A migration historian educated in the U.K., the United States, and the Czech Republic, she is currently teaching courses dealing with Global Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking and Domestic Violence she developed. Stepanka is the Director of the Center for the Study of Human Trafficking in South-Central Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on identifying vulnerabilities to Sex Trafficking and Domestic Violence.



Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, May 9th 2018

Luncheon Meeting - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

Dr. Tara O

North Korea

Dr. Tara O is an Adjunct Fellow at the Pacific Forum CSIS. She is the author of The Collapse of North Korea: Challenges, Planning, and Geopolitics of Unification. She serves on the board of directors of the International Council on Korean Studies and was the editor-in-chief of its journal International Journal of Korean Studies (IJKS). A retired Air Force officer, she worked on national security, intelligence, alliance, and political-military issues at the Pentagon, the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces Korea, and the U.S. European Command, as well as intelligence agencies. She also worked counterterrorism, counterproliferation, and satellite issues. She worked in a variety of capacities, including analysis, liaison, and leadership.

As a professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, she taught strategy and military operations. She was a faculty researcher at the Institute of National Security Studies. Her research areas include the Korean contingency and unification, U.S. alliance relationships in Asia, human rights in North Korea, and the social integration of North Korean defectors.

Prior to the military, she also worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including the U.S. Agency for International Development in Nairobi, Kenya, working on drought assessment and food aid; the Asia Foundation in Bangkok, Thailand and Vientiane, Laos, assisting the Laos Central Bank as it transitioned from a centrally-planned to a market-oriented economy; Bank of America, managing syndicated loans to Latin America; the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, assessing potential global flash points; and the United Nations Association of the USA in New York,analyzing international economic institutions.

She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of California at Davis, an MPA in Public Policy and International Affairs from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Texas at Austin.

Breakfast Meeting
Wednesday, May 16th 2018

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

Professor Alexis Jardine

Similarities and Differences Between PA Dutch and Latino Cultures

Alexis Jardine is a Professor, Coordinator of the Spanish Department, and Co-Chair of the Multicultural Awareness Initiative at Reading Area Community College.  Alexis attended the Andres Bello University in Venezuela earning a bachelor’s degree in Education.  Prior to coming to the US, Alexis worked for the Embassy of Japan and the Embassy of Canada.  She has earned four Masters Degrees in Education and studied and lived in Barcelona Spain.  She is the author of No Barriers! College Success Strategies for Hispanic Students, a text book published by Kendall/Hunt in 2003. Alexis specializes in the development of Spanish language curriculum and cultural training for business executives, hospitals, and embassy staff.  She enjoys traveling to South American and Europe.  

Breakfast Meeting
Wednesday, June 20th 2018

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

Peter Rye, President

International Business: Brentwood Industries

Brentwood began putting down roots in foreign countries nearly 20 years ago starting with Thailand. Today, we operate in the Czech Republic and India also with a Mexico facility soon to open. Even our US based operations enjoy sales to foreign countries amounting to approximately 30% of the whole, including over 30 years of selling to China.

Many of our product relate to infrastructure such as power generation, water and waste-water processing and storm-water management. These are things that all countries need, especially countries that are advancing in their desire to live as we do. Our opportunities abroad come from interest in these products. As demand builds in a region over time, we begin to consider the need to be local. Despite having preeminent products in our niches, we will always encounter both indigenous competition and competition from other foreign companies, whether European or Chinese, that results in price pressure. Often, we choose to be a pioneer in establishing local manufacturing and setting customer expectations on performance and value rather than wait to become a “me too”. This requires a long term view and patience.

Brentwood is more comfortable in foreign lands and cultures than many US companies. My parent, sister and I emigrated from Denmark. Since Denmark is so small, its economic development is dependent on commerce with foreign countries. Operating abroad is natural. Brentwood has become a magnet for foreign born workers because we need their language skills, cultural understanding and openness. Also, emigrating is an inherently entrepreneurial act. Entrepreneurship is something we value.