Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name:  Shai Har-El

Genre: C:ADULT Non-Fiction

Born: 1946 in Israel



Illinois Connection

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

Biographical and Professional Information

Dr. Har-El is a businessman, scholar, writer, poet, historian, rabbi, and organizer, whose multi-faceted career spans over 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 serves as a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern studies (CMES). 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 financial services firm that is based in Deerfield, Illinois. He has won numerous distinguished awards given by his parent company, Equitable, a major 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 has been active in a Jewish-Muslim reconciliation initiative. 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. The poems in English are now published in his poetry book, ''Riding the Waves of Bliss: Selected Poems from the Season of Life.'' Dr. Shai Har-El was married to Rosalie of blessed memory for 50 years. He has 3 children and 11 grandchildren living in Illinois, New Jersey and Israel.

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