The Leon Charney Diplomacy Program received the Distinguished Delegation Award

The Leon Charney Diplomacy Program at Florida Atlantic University received the Distinguished Delegation Award at the National Model United Nations competition in New York City. Twenty-six FAU undergraduates joined more than 5,500 college students from 350 universities in the annual competition where schools represent countries and students step into the shoes of diplomats to solve global problems.

The Leon Charney Diplomacy Program, which trains students in world affairs, dispute resolution and debate, was established in 1996 and is a unit of the Peace, Justice & Human Rights Program. To date, the program has won nineteen national and international awards for academic excellence.

In 2017, the program was named to honor the diplomatic legacy of Leon Charney, who played a key role in the 1978 Camp David Accords.  Professor & Foreign Policy Association Fellow Dr. Jeffrey Morton directs the program, which will next compete in Nationals in Washington, D.C. in November. 

Information about the Leon Charney Diplomacy Program can be found at

Student delegation in New York with their award

Student delegation in New York with their award

FAU Receives $1 Million Gift to Name the Leon Charney Diplomacy Program

BOCA RATON, Fla. (March 28, 2017) – Florida Atlantic University has received a $1 million gift from the family of Leon Charney to name the Leon Charney Diplomacy Program within FAU’s Peace Justice and Human Rights Initiative.

The gift will allow for the creation of three Leon Charney Scholarships each fall and spring semester, as well as expand the existing Diplomacy Program to create an Undergraduate Honors Program (UHP) delegation, and expand to create a FAU High School delegation.  The UHP and FAU High students will be trained in their own class and will compete in nationals in Washington, D.C. each fall.

“Tzili Charney is dedicated to keeping her beloved husband’s legacy alive through education and awareness. Her work in Israel in this regard is transformative – and her commitment to supporting our work at FAU will also be transformative,” said Heather Coltman, DMA, dean of FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. “Her extraordinary generosity, passion and commitment are a gift to all of us.”

Charney was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from FAU in December 2015 in recognition of his lifelong commitment to peace through diplomacy.

A prominent lawyer, author and broadcaster, as well as a former advisor to notable statesmen including U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israeli President Ezer Weizman, Charney passed away in March 2016. 

“For Leon, communication was key. Keep all channels open and never miss an opportunity for dialogue,” said Tzili Charney. “I would like for all young people to be inspired and to find their own key.”

FAU’s Diplomacy Program was established in 1996 by Jeffery Morton, Ph.D., professor of political science in FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. The program offers students opportunities to enhance their diplomatic skills in areas such as speech writing, public speaking, negotiation, dispute resolution and research. Participants take part in diplomatic competitions that provide simulations of major international organizations in New York City and Washington, D.C. For the past 10 years, the delegation has received top honors at the National Model United Nations simulation.

 “I cannot imagine a greater honor than for the FAU Diplomacy Program to be associated with Leon Charney and his legacy of diplomatic excellence,” Morton said.


About Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit  

MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Metcalf561-297-3022,

Leon Charney Resolution Center at Emis Students Join Dr. Sapir Handelman at the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Congress in Tel Aviv

On Friday March 17th, students from the Leon Charney Resolution Center at the EMIS International School joined world-renowned peace facilitator Dr. Sapir Handelman at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Working around forty tables set up in the square, Dr. Handelman helped guide passionate negotiators to come up with solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Several students from the Leon Charney Resolution Center at the EMIS International School also participated in the 1,000 strong negotiations – just a few weeks after Dr. Handelman led the students in their first ever peace talk simulation at the Charney Resolution Center on March 1st and 2nd. Dr. Handelman and Minds of Peace have successfully led 32 Israeli-Palestinian public negotiating congresses all around the world, but Friday’s congress is one of the largest ever done. “Without the involvement of the people, making peace will not happen,” Dr. Handelman said. 

The Peace Talk Simulation that Dr. Handelman facilitated at the Leon Charney Resolution Center was the first completed on the EMIS campus. Students held negotiations for two days to come up with a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and create a dialogue on a number of issues surrounding the conflict, including checkpoints, Gaza, and Jerusalem. 

Congress of the People 1000 Israelis & 1000 Palestinians Negotiated Peace - Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, Israel

On Friday, March 17, around 2000 Israelis & Palestinians from all walks of life came to Rabin Square to discuss, debate, and negotiate the conditions for an effective peace process. The negotiations were conducted around 40 tables plus a plenary one. This unique event was another significant step towards the establishment of a major Israeli-Palestinian Public Negotiating Congress with political influence.

On Friday morning, hundreds of Palestinians from the West Bank arrived on 17 buses in order to negotiate peace with the Israeli public. The negotiations were fascinating and challenging. At over 30 tables, the negotiators succeeded in concluding agreements, which included: a general statement, trust building measures, and an agreement on the desired solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The congress demonstrated that the people on both sides are tired and wish to end the conflict by peaceful means. However, one event, as impressive as it is, cannot make a change.

The Congress of the People initiative needs to be institutionalized. It needs to create a momentum for the establishment of a major Israeli-Palestinian Public Negotiating Congress - a peacemaking and peace-building institution that operates for a period of time and attracts the attention of the media, the public, and the international community.

The dedicated team at Minds of Peace is working tirelessly to achieve this goal.

Best Regards,

Dr. Sapir Handelman

For more information: Minds of Peace: 058-5578066;; Facebook

"Sometimes the Heart Needs Steering": Reflections on Professor Ben Ze'ev's Lecture

Every day, we experience challenges that require us to make compromises with ourselves and others. This is true of our personal lives, as well as our professional lives, just as it is true in politics, religion, and economics. On Sunday, 12 March 2017, Haifa University Professor Aaron Ben Ze’ev of the Philosophy Faculty gave the students of EMIS a comprehensive lecture on the subject of compromise in the areas of love and romance.

Professor Ben Ze’ev began by quoting Alicia Florrick, a character from the television series The Good Wife: “Sometimes, the heart needs steering.” The notion that sometimes the heart must be steered rather than followed provided the basis for Professor Ben Ze’ev’s lecture.

The professor proceeded to describe the nature of compromise as follows: First, compromise does not entail abandoning ones principles and standards; rather, it requires having a set of priorities and, if one contradicts another, cancelling the lesser in the name of preserving the greater. He said that ideals can be divided into two general categories, the economical and the political. If an ideal falls into the first category, then compromise is indeed possible, as there is no ideal that cannot be negotiated. However, if an ideal is seen as essentially sacrosanct, then compromise is likely impossible.

Love, the professor argued, incorporates a combination of the sacred and the negotiable. Providing examples, Ben Ze’ev described several women to whom he’d spoken about their marriages. Some women said they had settled for their husbands because they had thought they would be good fathers; some settled because they thought their husbands would change; and some simply said they could not go back on their decisions because the wedding invitations had already been sent out.

To conclude, Ben Ze’ev articulated three main types of compromise:  1) compromise on romantic freedom through entry into a relationship; 2) compromise on the value of the person as a person (i.e., settling for a mediocre person); 3) compromise on value of the person as a romantic partner (i.e., settling for a decent person who proves to be a low-quality partner). Overall, the professor encouraged the notion that true, profound, loving relationships involve a great deal of compromise and pragmatism. He encouraged students to be open to making compromises that may improve their lives.

Interspersed with amusing and enlightening quotations by such luminaries as Montaigne, Spinoza, Gloria Steinem, and Zsa Zsa Gabor, Professor Ben Ze’ev’s lecture was a thought-provoking and systematic treatment of the nature of and need for compromise in romantic life.