Divided we stand

Local CNN host and author Michael Smerconish will speak at Ohev Shalom of Bucks County May 6

By Samantha Bambino

The Times

Words of wisdom: On Sunday, May 6, Ohev Shalom of Bucks County will welcome Michael Smerconish, a local radio host and newspaper columnist who will address the community about our nation’s ever-growing division. Source: Michael Smerconish

In today’s political climate, finding a public figure with an unbiased opinion is like hunting for a needle in a haystack. It’s difficult, but not impossible.

On Sunday, May 6, Ohev Shalom of Bucks County will welcome Michael Smerconish, a local radio host and newspaper columnist who the congregation believes is the perfect person to fairly address the community about our nation’s ever-growing division.

Smerconish, who hails from Doylestown, is a man who wears many hats. He broadcasts The Michael Smerconish Program weekdays at 9 a.m. on SiriusXM’s POTUS Channel (124) and hosts the CNN and CNN International program Smerconish. He’s also a Sunday newspaper columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, is the author of six books including five non-fiction works and one novel, and is of counsel to the Philadelphia law firm Kline & Spector.

According to Ohev Shalom’s Rabbi Eliot Perlstein, Smerconish is as close to a centrist as we can hope to find these days, which is one of the main reasons he was chosen to speak at the event.

“He’s not easily categorized as left or right,” Perlstein explained. “He has a thoughtful, reasoned position on the issues.”

The topic of the evening will be “Divided We Stand,” during which Smerconish will comment on how divided our nation has become through resentment politics, why we must get involved and the importance of simply listening to each other. Perlstein’s hope is that attendees leave the event with a willingness to open their minds to new ideas, and maybe rethink their own positions.

“Our nation is becoming more and more tribal. We stay within our own camps and make decisions based on what our camp thinks,” Perlstein said. “If we can adopt his (Smerconish’s) approach, our community and country will be better off.”

Perlstein stressed that the upcoming event is open to the public, not just the Jewish population of Ohev Shalom, which currently boasts approximately 500 families.

“We want to be a positive source for the entire community,” he said.

Ohev Shalom, which was founded in 1976, has a long history of welcoming high-profile figures to speak to and entertain locals. Past guests include Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Henry Winkler who is best known as “The Fonz” on Happy Days, and Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek.

Tickets for Smerconish’s “Divided We Stand” are available for purchase now until April 22. All seats will include a signed copy (non-personalized except as noted) of his book Talk: A Novel. According to amazon.com, “with a story that could have been ripped from the headlines, deeply developed characters and interconnected plotlines, and one of the most shocking and rewarding denouements you’ll ever experience, this is the perfect political thriller for today’s America.”

Tickets can be purchased in one of several options: student seating is $21, general seating is $40 and reserved seating is $76. Premium seating is available for $118, which includes a dessert reception with Smerconish, a personalized signed copy of his book and reserved parking.

Those interested can mail a form indicating number of tickets ordered per option with a check for the total amount made payable to Ohev Shalom of Bucks County, 944 Second Street Pike, Richboro, PA, 18954 . Alternatively, tickets can be purchased online by PayPal via the Constant Contacts link at https://goo.gl/QXufQL. ••

If you go…

Michael Smerconish’s “Divided We Stand” will take place at Ohev Shalom of Bucks County, 944 Second Street Pike in Richboro, on Sunday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, email smerconish@ohev.org or visit ohev.org.

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com