Hillary Clinton’s visit to St. Louis Park is just a month away, and Beth El Synagogue is expecting a “packed house,” with more than 1,000 people expected to pay $180 to $500 to hear the the former First Lady and Secretary of State speak, said John Orenstein, Beth El’s president.
Clinton is coming as part of Beth El's National Speaker Series, which has recently brought former Israeli president Ehud Barak and—controversially, in 2009—former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
Orenstein said the event is designed to raise money for the temple. While Beth El didn’t request a specific topic for Clinton’s speech, he said the temple wants Clinton to “talk about world affairs.”
“They typically spend at least some time focusing on the Middle East just because they know where they’re speaking,” Orenstein said. “There’s no title for her talk that would give us a clue as to what she’s going to talk about, it’s just, ‘You’re a world leader, we’d like you to speak about world events.’”
Orenstein said Clinton would be around for a “brief period before she speaks” though he didn’t know the details of who would have “access to her” at that time. Her speech will be followed by a question-and-answer period; Orenstein said he didn’t know who would moderate.
Beth El booked Clinton through The Harry Walker Agency, an organization the temple has worked with in the past.
Orenstein said security concerns would be handled by the speakers’ agency in conjunction with Clinton’s staff.
“When Ehud Barak came, he had a security entourage, and they were very good,” Orenstein said. “I had to get on stage for some reason during that event, and I noticed an Israeli security person kind of eyeing me, and he said, ‘Can I help you?’ in a tone of voice that made me step down.”
Orenstein said he couldn’t disclose Clinton’s speaking fee or the details of her rider. She reportedly commands speaking fees of around $200,000.Her speech will start at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27. Tickets are still available on the Beth El website.