Newsletter: Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies Fall 2015 News

FALL 2015

Institute News
The Berkeley Institute is thrilled to introduce its new faculty executive board. Six exceptional Berkeley professors will guide the Berkeley Institute in the coming year, alongside Institute staff, including executive director Rebecca Golbert and faculty director Ken Bamberger. Co-faculty director Ron Hassner and five executive board members will serve as advisors and liaisons — crafting content, attracting stellar visitors, partnering with campus counterparts, working closely with Institute staff and student fellows, and engaging with the community.

Our Team

Ken Bamberger Faculty Director (Professor of Law, 2015-2016 Sabbatical). Specialization: Administrative Law, the First Amendment–Speech and Religion, Technology and Governance, and Jewish Law

Ron Hassner Co-faculty Director (Associate Professor, Political Science).Specialization: Religion and Conflict; Religion in the Military; Territorial Disputes
Rebecca Golbert Executive Director (Lecturer, Jewish Studies)   

Specialization: Jewish and Holocaust studies, Anthropology and Ethnography, and Conflict Resolution and Mediation

Jason Wittenberg (Associate Professor, Political Science)

Specialization: Eastern Europe & the Post-Soviet Region; Religion and Politics; Ethnic Conflict; Quantitative Analysis; Electoral Analysis

Joan Bieder (Associate Dean, Journalism). Specialization: Singapore Jewry Under the Japanese Occupation 1941-1945; Reporting in Israel and Palestine

Steven Davidoff Solomon (Professor of Law). Specialization: Financial Regulation; Hedge Funds and Private Equity; Mergers and Acquisitions; Deals and Deal Theory, and Jurisdictional Competition
Steve Tadelis (Professor of Economics, Business and Public Policy)
Specialization : E-commerce; Economics of the Internet

Claude Fische

(Professor of Sociology). Specialization: Personal Networks, Social History, Social Psychology, Urban Technology

Teaching Talent
The Berkeley Institute welcomes a strong cohort of visiting faculty in 2015-16, including Hila Shamir of Tel Aviv University, Ori Aronson of Bar-Ilan University, and Yuval Ben-Bassat of the University of Haifa. Their courses span several departments – including History, Jewish Studies, Legal Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies. Check out the sidebar for more info on these “Current Courses”.

In addition, the Institute houses six visiting scholars: Shira Offer, Guy Davidov, Tamara Lotner-Lev, Shlomit Azgad-Tromer, Shay Hazkani, and Patricia Munro. Their expertise includes comparative legal issues such as labor law, corporate law, and environmental law; social and legal approaches to work, family, gender, and poverty; a socio-cultural history of the Arab-Israeli conflict; and the synagogue and American Jewish practice. Read more about these incredible scholars here.

Students Lead the Way

The Berkeley Institute‘s Undergraduate Fellows Program

fosters a rising cohort of student leaders through more intimate engagement with the study of Israel, Jewish Law and Thought, and Jewish Identity. The fellows work closely with outreach coordinator Maya Shemtov and other Institute staff in planning student events on topical issues relating to the Jewish experience and to Israel and its neighbors. The students are proactively launching and teaching student-initiated courses this fall, while developing key professional skills in areas such as outreach and social media, fundraising, academic research and teaching, and public speaking.

Institute fellows Nir Maoz (’15) and Jackson Block (’18) designed the popular student course in the Haas School of Business on “Innovation and Entrepreneurship: The Case of Israel” — enlisting entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and scholars to speak to a packed class of undergraduate students. The course was so successful last spring that it is being offered again this fall with an exciting lineup of new speakers.

Student programming for Fall 2015 includes:
  • Lectures: Israeli-Palestinian collaboration around water and environment — the Yarqon/Aluja Basin — by Liora Meron
  • Discussions: The Golem of Hollywood by best-selling mystery writer Jesse Kellerman
  • Current Event Programming: The refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe
  • Business Networking: Israeli startups in Silicon Valley
  • Media: Screenings of Israel’s best cinema

Partner With Us
We count on your support.

Private philanthropy is critical for sustaining the vital and important work of the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies. Your ongoing investment insures that the Institute can continue to make measurable contributions to scholarly inquiry and discourse across the UC Berkeley campus.
You may also contact Leah Wagner-Edelstein, Director of Institutional Advancement at (510) 642-6126, or email her to learn more about how you can insure the Berkeley Institute‘s longstanding presence at Cal.
The Berkeley Institute will host  an array of public lectures and performances from distinguished visitors during the school year.

Here’s a sampling:

(Please note: more programs will be added in the coming weeks)

FALL 2015  

October 28

“Israel Facing a Changing Middle East”
(RSVP here)

November 5

“Performing Jewish Identity through Contemporary Dance”

November 9

“Diaspora and Group Rights: The Jewish Constitutional Moment”


SPRING 2016 

February 4

Calvin Goldscheider
“Israeli Society in the 21st Century”

March 17

Jonathan Gribetz
“Defining Neighbors”

“The Failures of Ethics: Confronting the Holocaust, Genocide, and Other Mass Atrocities” 
(Date TBA)

Avi Weiss
“Social and Economic Policy in Israel”
(Date TBA) 

Susannah Heschel

“7th Annual Robbins Collection Lecture on Jewish Law and Thought”
(Date TBA)

The Institute is offering a dynamic  array of courses for students this year. They include:

FALL 2015  

Special Topics in Jewish Studies: A Jewish and Democratic State
(Jewish Studies)
Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies: Governance Feminism
(Graduate course, Gender Studies)
The Emergence of Modern Jerusalem, 1850-1950
DeCal: Innovation and Entrepreneurship: The Case of Israel
(Undergraduate Business)

Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel
(Legal Studies)
Israeli Feminism
(Jewish Studies)
History of Modern Israel (History)
Holocaust History, Memory, and Representation
(Jewish Studies)

Financial Innovation in Israel
(Graduate Course, Development Practice)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s