Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Shai Y. Har-El  

Pen Name:  Shai Har-El

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1946 in Israel

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-- The official website of Middle East Peace Network (MEPN) --
-- Shai Har-El on Palgrave Macmillan/2 --
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Illinois Connection

Shai Har-El lives in Highland Park, Illinois, and operates Har-El Financial Group from his office in Deerfield, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Chicago. The Middle East Peace Network (MEPN), he founded in 1990, is a 501(c) (3), nonprofit organization registered in the State of Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Dr. Har-El is a businessman, educator, writer, poet, historian, rabbi, and organizer, whose multi-faceted career spans fifty years. He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Middle Eastern History at Tel Aviv University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where he engaged in extensive interdisciplinary Middle Eastern studies.Dr. Har-El is the founder/president of Middle East Peace Network (MEPN), an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit NGO that uses private diplomacy to complement the activities of the Middle Eastern governments in their pursuit of conflict resolution and lasting peace, primarily between Arabs and Israelis and between Muslims and Jews.Dr. Har-El is a successful financial advisor and the founder/owner of Har-El Financial Group, Inc., a full-service financial consulting firm that is based in Deerfield, Illinois. He has won numerous distinguished awards given by his parent company, AXA-Equitable, a global player in the financial services industry. He is an inductee into the company’s Hall of Fame and a recent recipient of its Golden Year Award.Dr. Har-El has published over the years numerous essays and given lectures on current Middle East affairs. Some of his more recent essays were published in his new book, ''In Search of Israeli-Palestinian Peace: An Urgent Call for a New Approach to Middle East Peace'' (see below).Dr. Har-El launched the Jewish-Muslim Reconciliation Initiative (JMRI), a global interreligious peacebuilding project set up in partnership with U.S. and Middle Eastern universities and institutions. It is a translation-into-action of his book, ''Where Islam and Judaism Join Together: A Perspective on Reconciliation'' (see below).Dr. Har-El is an ordained rabbi. He runs workshops and writes on a variety of religious themes, particularly on the interface between Jewish spirituality and personal growth. His forthcoming book, ''Discover the Jewel of Wisdom: Eights Paths to Powerful Living'', is a “living laboratory” report of his own journey.Dr. Har-El writes poetry to nurture his soul. His poems are written in English and Hebrew and are spiritual in nature and texture. They are now assembled in a bilingual edition entitled ''Riding the Waves of Bliss: Selected Poems from the Season of Life,'' which is soon to be published. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies, such as ''Distilled Lives: Illinois State Poetry Society 20th Anniversary Anthology'', Infinity Pub, 2011.Dr. Shai Har-El is married to Rosalie for 49 years. They have 3 children and 11 grandchildren.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Struggle for Domination in the Middle East: The Ottoman-Mamluk War, 1485-91 (The Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage : Politics, Society and Economy, Vo) (Philosophia Antiqua,)
ISBN: 9004101802

Brill. 1995

This two-part volume offers a comprehensive account of the conflict between the Ottoman and Mamluk Empires. Part One explores Ottoman-Mamluk relations from their inception in the middle of the 14th century to the laying of the foundations of the conflict in the second half of the 15th century. Part Two offers a detailed description of the actual war of 1485-91, and analyzes it from various angles including military, economic, and diplomatic.
Based largely on Ottoman, Mamluk and Italian primary sources--documentary and narrative--the volume helps to understand the second and final war between the Ottomans and Mamluks in 1516-17, which resulted in the downfall of the Mamluk Empire and the firm establishment of Ottoman power in the Middle East.

Where Islam and Judaism Join Together: A Perspective on Reconciliation
ISBN: 1137391006

Palgrave Macmillan. 2014

Introducing a framework to generate new conversations about inter-religious dialogue and create a community of religions, Shai Har-El argues that Islam and Judaism, sister religions, are closely related to one another with roots intertwined in the land, in the language, and in the memories of shared history.

In Search of Israeli-Palestinian Peace: An Urgent Call for a New Approach to Middle East Peace
ISBN: 1137565365

Palgrave Macmillan. 2016

The fruit of relentless peace activism and many years of philanthropic work in the Middle East Peace Network, In Search of Israeli-Palestinian Peace is Shai Har-El's unique, non-utopian, proactive approach to Middle East peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Recognizing the magnitude, complexity, and gravity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the evidenced limitations of traditional diplomacy, the author offers ideas how to enhance the Middle East peace process by adding a non-governmental peacebuilding component to the peace efforts. Such citizen diplomacy efforts, he argues, should be launched at a preliminary conflict transformation phase leading up to the final conflict resolution phase. The ultimate objective of this preliminary phase is to create―through alternative avenues, such as private diplomacy initiatives, transnational mechanisms, and backchannels―a win-win environment that is conducive to settling the conflict. This book details the concepts, measures, and techniques involved in the process with the understanding that the keystone for peace is the defiant power of the human spirit in both societies that are hungry for peace.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)