Ha’aretz is reporting as fact that historian Michael Oren is Netanyahu’s pick for ambassador to Washington (other reports are more tentative).
Oren is a West Orange native. As the NJJN reported in 2007, when his book Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present was released:
He spent his formative years in both America and the Middle East – he began going to Israel summers when he was 15 but returned to the United States for school and college. His parents, Marilyn and Lester Bornstein, still live in West Orange. His mother is herself an author (Hold Fast the Time, a romantic novel about a suburban Jewish widow who travels to Israel, was published in 2004). The family belonged to B’nai Shalom in West Orange, where Michael attended religious school and became a bar mitzva.
The newsletter of the Jewish Historical Scoiety of MetroWest (NJ) fills out some local details here:
Michael Oren acquired the professional historical qualifications that he uses to test his father, first at Mountain High School in West Orange, at Columbia College in New
York, and at Princeton, where he earned a PhD….
Lester forged an incredible family standard. He won two
Bronze Stars for valor in combat in World War II. Michael continued the tradition when he served with Israeli paratroopers in combat in Lebanon.
Oren retells his father’s war stories in his first novel, Reunion, about a “fictionalized reunion of former American servicemen in the village of St. Vith in Belgium’s Ardennes forest, 55 years after the fighting ended,” according to the Princeton alumni mag:
The novel is based “about 95 percent” on actual events that Oren gleaned from his father’s reunions with fellow World War II G.I.s. In 1944, 19-year-old Lester M. Bornstein, Oren’s father, fought with the U.S. Army’s 168th Battalion at the Battle of the Bulge, helping hold – despite great losses – a ridge for six days against a fierce Nazi offensive. Years later, Bornstein was so assiduous about telling his son stories of his unit’s combat that Oren came to know the stories almost as well as his father did. Talking about his experiences, Oren believes, helped his father come to terms with what he had experienced.