Report: National Library of Israel, 2015 activities

Click here for Hebrew version:


  • David Grossman entrusts personal archive to National Library
  • Prof. Jonathan Sarna, Scholar-in-Residence
  • Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks: The Battle of the Book
  • Piyut and Prayer Series (watch on YouTube)
  • Documentary Film Festival
  • Professional Training Courses for European Librarians and Archivists
  • Summer Program for Children from East Jerusalem
  • Launch of Young Curators Program Pilot
  • Digitization of 670 pages from 56 Israeli journals (see database here)
  • Archives of Jewish journalism online (click here for the archives)
  • Collection of Israeli archives (see AZ website)
  • Historic maps of Jerusalem on Wikipedia (see here)

Newsletter: Azrieli Institute, Concordia University December Newsletter

Newsletter for friends of the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies

Concordia Newsletter


  • SIX QUESTIONS FOR NORMA JOSEPH, Azrieli Institute associate director
  • YOUNG MINDS, NEW IDEAS, Current students and recent graduates on the insitute’s impact
  • Overview of The Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies’ 2014-15 events
  • EIGHT QUESTIONS FOR LOREN LERNER, Concordia art history professor
  • Message from Csaba Nikolenyi, director of the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies


Click here for a PDF of the Newsletter:







Newsletter: From the Azrieli Institute (+CFP on Balfour Declaration Centennial)

The Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies is a hub of opportunities on Israel Studies at Concordia University.

Below is information regarding:


  1. 1. Course offered this coming January
  2. 2. The Institute Library
  3. 3. Call for articles: 100 Years since the 1917 Balfour Declaration: A Retrospective
  4. 4. Other related event



1. Course offered this coming January

beattyDr. Aidan Beatty, Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies Post-Doctoral Fellow, will be teaching Irish and Jewish Identities: National and International Dimensions at the School of Canadian Irish Studies.



2. The Institute Library

Did you know that the Institute has a mini-library of Israel related books and articles?

Should you wish to do some research in our offices, all you have to do is reply to this email and make an appointment.

We will be happy to help you with your research.


3. Call for articles: 100 Years since the 1917 Balfour Declaration: A Retrospective

The Israel Studies journal invites original articles specifically related to the Balfour Declaration’s architects, protagonists, antagonists, historical, and legal interpretations. Articles are peer-reviewed and should be no longer than 10,000 words including abstract, notes and illustrations. Proposals should be sent to no later than April 1, 2016. Information on Israel Studies & Guidelines for Contributors:

Israel Studies is published three times a year by Indiana University Press for the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Sede-Boker) and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)


4. Other related event

Israeli Movie Night in Montreal: Mussa

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 7:00 PM

Segal Centre Cinema Space, 5170 Chemin de la Côte-Ste-Catherine

Refugees from Darfur, Mussa and his parents have been living in Tel Aviv’s worst neighborhood for six years. At twelve years old, Mussa doesn’t speak. In a strange stroke of policy, he is bussed to an elite private school every day. Leaving behind addicts and prostitutes each morning, he silently navigates an upscale world, and forges a bond with a teacher who is also a refugee. When a series of unexpected crises hit, Mussa’s precarious place between two disparate worlds is heartbreakingly revealed.

Event is free. Register at


Csaba Nikolenyi

Professor, Department of Political Science

Director, Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies

Concordia University

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8

Phone: 514 848 2424 extension 8722 or 2120

Visit us at:


Research in Progress: Scoping Study of U.S.-Israel Dialogue (Chen Kane, Middlebury Institute of Int’l Studies)

Scoping Study of U.S.-Israel Dialogue
Performer: Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Project Lead: Chen Kane
Project Cost: $70,000


Over the last twenty years, there has been an increase in security-related Track 2 dialogues in the Middle East. Yet, with Israel, one of the region’s most important states and a nuclear power, few Track 2 dialogues addressing mutual security concerns have been held. They are needed to foster a more open exchange and discussion of emerging mutual security issues. This study will evaluate the feasibility and scope of a future Track 2 dialogue between the United States and Israel within the 2016 timeframe.

This project involves background research and analysis, including of past attempts to establish Track 1.5 strategic dialogues and the reasons they have failed. Additionally, researchers will conduct in-depth consultations with current and former U.S. government and non-government personnel. They will also travel to Israel to discuss the project’s objectives with a select group of Israeli government and non-government interlocutors. Subjects for discussion will include Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s civil war, a Middle East WMD-free zone, extended deterrence, missile defense, and other emerging security issues.

Click here for PDF.

Newsletter: Center for Jewish Studies, U of Manchester, Seminars 2015-2016


JEWISH STUDIES research seminars

For an up-to-date programme of Jewish Studies related events under a variety of auspices at the University of Manchester, see the research seminars listed for 2015-16.

Thu 1 Oct 2015. George Brooke (Manchester), Aspects of Prophecy in the Dead Sea Scrolls. 2pm in Samuel Alexander Building A101 (Ehrhardt Seminar, CBS)

Tue 6 Oct 2015. Lauren Banko (Manchester), Fixed borders and flexible nationality: movement, transgression, and subversion of Palestinians in the Interwar Levant (MES research seminar)

Tue 13 Oct 2015. Katharina Keim (Manchester), TBA. 4pm in Christie Room, John Rylands Library on Deansgate. (JRRI research seminar)

Thu 29 Oct 2015. Katharina Keim (Manchester), Joshua in the Samaritan Traditions in the Gaster Collection. 2pm in Samuel Alexander Building A101 (Ehrhardt Seminar, CBS)

Tue 3 Nov 2015. Maria Cioată  (Manchester), Moses Gaster’s Romanian Bird and Beast Stories (1915) and Benjamin Williams  (King’s College London), Interpreting the Bible in the Ottoman Empire. 12pm in Christie Room, John Rylands Library on Deansgate. (JRRI research forum)

Thu 19 Nov 2015. Esther Gomez Sierra (Manchester), A Unique Time: Converso Intellectuals in XV Century Spain. 4pm in Samuel Alexander Building A113. (R&T research seminar)

Thu 19 Nov 2015. Stefania Silvestri (Manchester), The Medieval Hebrew Bible from Sepharad: Production and Patronage. 2pm in Samuel Alexander Building A101 (Ehrhardt Seminar, CBS)

Tue 8 Dec 2015. Stefania Silvestri (Manchester), TBA. 4pm in Christie Room, John Rylands Library on Deansgate. (JRRI research seminar)

Thu 10 Dec 2015. Mat Collins (Chester), Abandoning the Quest for the Historical Teacher: History and Ideology in the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls. 2pm in Samuel Alexander Building A101 (Ehrhardt Seminar, CBS)

the ISRAEL STUDIES research seminar

As was the case in 2012, 2013 and 2014 the Centre’s seminar programme has an Israel Studies theme. Please note that the seminars will take place in the second semester on Thursdays at 4pm in room A113 in Samuel Alexander Building (Building 67 on the Campus Map, see directions). Our seminar programme is open to all (for free) and there is no need to book, but please see the University’s statement on events open to the public.

Thu 18 Feb 2016. Roman Vater (Oxford), National alternatives to Zionism: the case of the Young Hebrews, 1939-1976 Thu 3 March 2016. Alan Craig (Leeds), EU-Israel relations: Sanctions by any other name? Thu 17 March 2016. Nir Arielli (Leeds), Israel’s international ‘Machal’ volunteers in the war of 1948: a comparative assessment of their contribution Thu 14 April 2016. Dominique Bourel (CNRS, Paris), From Kassa to Manchester and forward: Alexander Altmann and the Mendelssohn Forschung Thu 21 April 2016. Yohai Hakak (Brunel), Forbidden Love and Moral Panic: Jewish-Arab Couples in Contemporary Israel Thu 5 May 2016. David Novak (Toronto), Can Israel Be a Democratic Theocracy or a Theocratic Democracy?

other NEWS and EVENTS

New funding

European regional hub for Jewish Studies. Following an open competition involving many of the leading centres of Jewish Studies in Europe, Manchester’s Centre for Jewish Studies has been awarded a very substantial grant for Jewish Studies activities by an anonymous European Jewish foundation for the period 2015-2018. In addition to enhancing the CJS’s activities, the funds are intended for the development of a Jewish Studies network in the north of the UK, working with both academics in the region and with the local Jewish community. More information to follow.

Post-doctoral Fellow in Israel/Palestine Studies

Postdoctoral Fellow in Israel/Palestine Studies. The Centre welcomes Dr Lauren Banko, who has been appointed to a research associate position in the Dept of Middle Eastern Studies for 2015-2018, funded by the Pears Foundation. Lauren will be researching the construction of Palestinian identity and citizenship during the Mandate Period. Further information.

Conference, JRRI

‘The Other Within’: The Hebrew and Jewish Collections of the John Rylands Library. This is advance notice for the John Rylands Research Institute Conference 2016, which will take place 27–29 June 2016 at The John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester. Further information.

Middle Eastern Studies update

Modern Hebrew. The Centre is delighted to announce that, in part because of external funding, the School has agreed to support the continuation of modern Hebrew language modules for years 1-3. While there are no plans to reinstate the withdrawn modern Hebrew degree programmes, the good news is that modern Hebrew should continue to be taught at Manchester, where it was first introduced in the 1930s. More information to follow.

Research Associate for Hebrew Collection

Dr Stefania Silvestri, John Rylands Research Institute. As a new member of the project led by Dr Renate Smithuis entitled ‘Catalogue of Codices, Scrolls, and Other Texts in Hebrew Script in the University of Manchester (John Rylands) Library’ Dr. Silvestri will be cataloguing the documents in Hebrew script within the Library’s wider collection, whilst developing access to and actively promoting research and learning activities based on these materials. Further information.

New CJS fellow

Ladino and klezmer. Richard Fay is a Lecturer in Education with research interests in the narratives of elderly Sephardim living in Bulgaria regarding the linguistic aspects of their life stories with special focus on Ladino. He also researches, teaches and performs klezmer and was the co-founder and co-director (with Ros Hawley) of the Michael Kahan Kapelye, the university’s own klezmer ensemble. Further information.

Report: Koren & Fishman, Israel Studies at Brandeis, 2013-2014

Koren, Annette, and Shira Fishman. Israel Studies Directory: 2013-14 Report Update, Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University, September 2015.




Executive Summary

As discourse on campus about Israel intensified in 2013-14 and 2014-15, opportunities for students to engage in serious learning about Israel and its political situation became increasingly important (Koren, Saxe, & Fleisch, forthcoming). Current studies of Jewish students, however, find that they know little about Israel or its place in the Middle East (Fishman, Koren, Saxe, & Aaronson, forthcoming; Saxe, Wright, & Hecht, 2015 forthcoming). Previous research (Koren, Boxer, & Samuel, 2012; Koren & Einhorn, 2010a; Koren, Samuel, Boxer, & Aitan, 2013) documented the importance of reasoned discourse and academically rigorous education on campus. College serves as an important site for the development of civic literacy and awareness of the many challenges facing the globe in the 21st century. Education about Israel and the Middle East must occur in a way that furthers both of these efforts and promotes meaningful discussion inside and outside of the classroom. To help inform educational opportunities about Israel, the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS) continues to track the development of Israel studies at 316 colleges and universities in the United States. This report updates previous reports from 2008-09, 2011-12, and 2012-13. The directory explores changes from previous years in Israel-focused courses—those dealing specifically with Israel for the bulk of class time—and Israel-related courses, which offer more limited discussion of Israel. It compares 2008-09 and 2013-14, describes the number and distribution of Israel-focused courses by subject area, and discusses the number of Hebrew and Arabic language course offerings and the trends. Finally, the directory and report reiterate the importance of external funding and internal support for programs to build the field.

This report documents the following:

  • A 13% increase in Israel-focused courses and a 22% increase in Israel-related courses between the years 2008-09 and 2013-14.
  • Almost 80% of colleges and universities offering at least one Israel-focused course in at least one of the four years that directories have been compiled.
  • An estimated total enrollment of 15,000 students in Israel-focused courses in 2013-14— approximately the same as 2012-13.
  • The benefit of tracking Hebrew language programs as well as Israel-focused course listings in the future.
  • The importance of continued institutional and external support to ensure continued growth of Israel studies.



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)

Newsletter: Happy New Year from the AU Center for Israel Studies!

AUHappy New Year from the AU Center for Israel Studies!  We have started the year with more students than ever engaged about Israel. Our Israel classes are at or near capacity and our students filled our first new “Global Israel” series event – at the Embassy of Uruguay – before we were able to publicize it to the public (see photos of the event)!

We have an exciting fall line-up and we hope you’ll join us soon. Please note that due to phenomenal student interest and venue limitations, we have restricted seats for some events to our students, faculty/staff and  “Friends of the Center for Israel Studies” ($180+ donors).

Please join us soon for:

  • Our “Global Israel” series of events at area Embassies. From Latin America we will turn our attention to Ethiopia (October), Germany (November) and India (2016). Seats are restricted to AU students, faculty and Friends of the Center for Israel Studies. Invitations to the Embassy of Ethiopia event are forthcoming. The Global Israel series is sponsored by Barbara Bender in loving memory of Sondra D. Bender, longtime AU trustee.
  • September 30, 3:30-5:30 PM The U.S. Israel Relationship with Michael Oren, member of Knesset and former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and Tamara Wittes, Director of Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution. Tickets prior to September 23 are restricted to AU students, faculty, and Friends of the Center for Israel Studies.  Friends of the Center may rsvp here. To become a Friend of the Center for Israel Studies, you may donate here
  • October 19, 6:00 PM, Screening of “Anywhere Else” by Ester Amrami, followed by reception and panel discussion moderated by Michael Brenner, Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies.  Open to public.  Learn more and rsvp.
  • October 28-29 Academic conference, “Reinventing Israel: Transformations of Israeli Society in the 21st Century” featuring international scholars and a keynote address by David Ellenson, “From BG to Bibi: The End of an Era in Israel-Diaspora Relations?” Open to the public.  Click here for the full program schedule and to rsvp.


Thank you so much for caring about Israel education.  Please join us soon for an upcoming program, and consider supporting the Center for Israel Studies so we may continue to bring to campus insightful programs on Israel’s achievements in business, science, art, music and literature as well as Israel’s strategic and political challenges.  To make a tax-deductible online donation now, click here.  To make a donation by check, please make check payable to American University, noted for Center for Israel Studies, and send to the address below.

Warmest wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful year filled with the seeds of learning and new insights.

Michael Brenner, Director and Laura Cutler, Managing Director


News: David Ellenson to lead the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis

Passing the torch: Ilan Troen and David Ellenson
We hope you’ll join us in welcoming David Ellenson to the role of Acting Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University. He will also serve as Visiting Professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

As we welcome our new leader, we fondly salute our founding director, Ilan Troen ’63, who has led the Center since 2007. With tireless dedication, Professor Troen has made his vision a reality, advancing academic study of Israel worldwide and making Brandeis University a major hub for the still young field of Israel Studies. Professor Troen will continue teaching at Brandeis, and will always have a home both at the Schusterman Center, and at Brandeis University.

Click here to read more:

David Ellenson, Provost and Senior Vice President
for Academic Affairs, Lisa Lynch and Ilan Troen


News: Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, now published by Routledge

Founded in 2006 by the late Dr. David Kimche, The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs is the flagship publication of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR), which is an independent and non-partisan body that operates under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress. Through the publication of its interdisciplinary journal, the ICFR aspires to stimulate high-level analysis and debate of international affairs, particularly, though not exclusively, regarding Israel, the Middle East and Jewish affairs.



Read the first issue published by Routledge for free now.

News: Busy month of November at the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies (Concordia)



  • The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs presents One Story at a Time on Monday, November 10th at 7:30 pm (Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec, 475 blvd. de Maisonneuve St Est)
    • o   The Azrieli Foundation is pleased to host a film and readings featuring their newly published authors.
    • o   RSVP by November 3rd to








We look forward to seeing you at one or all of these upcoming events.  For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the office or checkout our website.  Also, LIKE us on Facebook:


Calendar of Events: SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies Evening Lectures Series, Term 1, 2014 (London)

SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies Evening Lectures Series, Term 1, 2014

Please find below the programme for the SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies Evening Lectures Series which will run on the following Wednesdays at 17:30-19:00, in the Brunei Gallery room B104 (unless otherwise stated)
October 8 Dr. Hila Zaban (SOAS)

“Gentrification and High-Status Immigration in a Jerusalem Neighbourhood”
October 22 Leonie Fleischmann (City University London)

“Beyond Paralysis: The Transformation of Israeli Peace Activism”
November 12 Dr. Lior Libman (UCL)

“Utopia, Trauma, Icon: Representation of the Kibbutz in 1950s’ Israel”


November 20 

“Shadow of Baghdad”: Film Screening and Panel Discussion, will be held at KLT
November 26 Dr. Yonatan Sagiv (SOAS)

“The Gift of Debt: Agnon’s Economics of Money, God and the Real Other”


December 10 Yael Levy-Ariel (UCL)

“Judicial Diversity in Israel: An Empirical Analysis of Judges, Lawyers and Law Students”
Programme is attached also as pdf (click here).

Please see our website for further details about these and other events.


All are warmly welcomed and entrance is free of charge.

Calendar of Events: Taub Center for Israel Studies, NYU, Fall 2014

Please join the Taub Center for Israel Studies for these exciting events in Fall 2014.

Event details can be found at

October 21 – 5pm

“Is Arab/Jewish Coexistence in Israel Possible?”

Professor Yuli Tamir, former Israeli Education Minister


October 28 – 5:30pm

“Shattered Rhymes: The Life and Poetry of Erez Bitton”

Film Screening, Poetry Reading and Panel Discussion


November 9 – 4pm

Invisibles” and “Write Down, I’m Arab

Film Screenings and Discussion

Part of the Other Israel Film Festival


November 17 – 5pm

“The World Jewish Congress during the Holocaust: Between Restraint and Activism”

Professor Zohar Sagev, University of Haifa


November 24 – 5pm

“Israel as Western and Non-Western”

Professor Sammy Smooha, University of Haifa / NYU Visiting Professor


December 1 – 5pm

Title TBD

Professor Alon Confino, University of Virginia


December 4 – 5pm

“Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel’s Liberal Settler State”

Professor Shira Robinson, George Washington University

Newsletter: Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, Fall 2014

Click here to see original.



The Future of the
Peace Process 
Abraham Sofaer

Hoover Institution; Former Legal Advisor, State Dept.

Janine Zacharia,
Stanford University; Former Jerusalem Bureau Chief,
Washington Post

5 pm | Bancroft Hotel

Maimonides on Mourning:
Jewish Law and Emotion

Moshe Halbertal,
Hebrew University/NYU

5 pm | Bancroft Hotel

Canada and the Holocaust:
The Untold Story
Irving Abella
University of Ottawa

12 noon | Goldberg Room, Berkeley Law

Click here to RSVP

Gourmet Ghettos:
Modern Food Rituals 

Exhibit Opening Event
5 pm | The Magnes


Piyyut: Hebrew Poetry
and World Music
Prof. Robert Alter & Yair Harel, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist
Co-hosted by The Magnes
7 pm | The Magnes,








FALL 2014
Berkeley Institute Newsletter

KB Photo
Prof. Ken Bamberger

A Word from the Faculty Director:
The Berkeley Institute is experiencing a growth spurt. Its role as a hub for student and faculty engagement has expanded exponentially, as has the national presence of its Program on Israel Studies and its Program on Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity. Our talented staff has doubled, with the addition of Andrei Dubinsky, Program Administrator, and Leah Wagner-Edelstein, Director of Institutional Advancement. As the fall term begins, I’d like to share a taste of the past year’s accomplishments, as well as some of what’s planned for this year – ten visiting faculty and scholars, seven new courses, programs on the future of the peace process and Israeli music and culture, the Annual Robbins Lecture in Jewish Law, and two speaker series for students. And that’s just the beginning. I look forward to seeing you throughout the year.

Four Professors – Yudof, Davidoff Solomon, Lawton, and Zilberman – Join the Institute’s Faculty
The Institute welcomes four new members to its Faculty Advisory Committee: Mark Yudof, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Leora Lawton, and David Zilberman. Two hail from law: Mark Yudof, former UC President, is a leading scholar of education law, while Davidoff Solomon studies international issues of law and finance.  Lawton, a demographer, heads the Berkeley Population Center and has extensive experience in Israel. Zilberman is a leading environmental economist working on water resources in the Middle East. Their addition to our faculty contributes greatly to the Institute’s programmatic scope, its resources for student advising, and its academic breadth.

Welcoming Ten Visiting Faculty and Scholars

In addition to new faculty affiliates, the Institute has brought ten visiting faculty and scholars to spend the 2014-2015 year at Berkeley. Four Israeli visiting faculty will teach courses in History, Sociology, Environmental Policy, and Legal Studies. Six additional scholars –

American and Israeli – will conduct research and contribute to the Institute’s ongoing programs.

Bidding Farewell to our 2013-2014 Visiting Professors:
As we welcome our new visiting faculty, we also say goodbye and thank you to our 2013-2014 visitors, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Visiting Israeli Professor Sharon Aronson-Lehavi and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Visiting Professor Amnon Lehavi. Their courses greatly enriched Jewish and Israel Studies offerings on campus – engaging with topics in contemporary Israeli art and culture and Israeli law and society – and touched the lives of the many students they taught and advised and faculty with whom they collaborated. We are grateful for their many contributions in and outside the classroom during their year at Cal.

Expanding the Student Focus: Student Fellows, Programs, and Support
Ambassador Dennis Ross meeting with
Berkeley students

The Berkeley Institute has over the past year magnified its resources and programming for students. Highlights include student programs with Ambassador Dennis Ross and Israeli writer Ari Shavit, and the facilitation of a successful student-initiated course, “Paradigms of Jewish Identity.” The Institute is expanding these programs this year and offering two lecture series for students. “Different Angles on the Middle East Conflict” will host discussions with campus and community experts. “Religion, Law, and State in Israel” will bring distinguished scholars and public intellectuals to Berkeley for student-focused talks. These programs will supplement the seven Israel and Jewish Studies courses supported this year by the Institute.

Undergraduate Fellows
Tiana (left) and Mallory (right)

Spring 2014 semester also saw the launch of the Institute’s Undergraduate Fellows program. Our Fellows serve as ambassadors of the Institute to the rest of the student body, promoting student engagement with the Institute’s existing courses, programs, and activities, and working with others in the student body to develop student-focused programming.
Examples of Fellows’ involvement include:

Students conduct staged theater reading
  • Staffing and promoting the Institute’s programs
  • Coordinating student events including a panel discussion on Israeli Start-Ups, the multicultural celebration “From India to Israel,” and a staged theater reading for Yom Hashoah
  • Planning an Israeli film series for Fall 2014

2013-2014 in Review: A Year of Landmark Programming:

The Institute achieved new programming heights in 2013-2014, attracting collaborations from across the Cal campus.

Professor Michael Walzer at Berkeley

Fall 2013: In the fall, the Institute hosted Fania Oz-Salzberger, Professor of History at the University of Haifa, who spoke about her new book, Jews and Words, written with her father, novelist Amoz Oz. Later in the semester, leading American political thinker Michael Walzer gave the Fifth Annual Robbins Collection Lecture: “What We Can Learn from the Jewish Political Tradition?” Fall public programming concluded with Ambassador Dennis Ross speaking before a packed audience about the prospects for peace in the Middle East, before meeting a group of Berkeley students for an in-depth dinner discussion.

Dean Joan Bieder and Ari Shavit in conversation

Spring 2014: Spring semester highlights included a series, co-hosted by the Graduate School of Journalism, on “Covering Israel.” Associate Journalism Dean Joan Bieder moderated discussions with three contemporary journalists: award-winning author and Ha’aretz columnist Ari Shavit; Ha’aretz Editor-in-Chief Aluf Benn; and Janine Zacharia, former Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the Washington Post.

In March, the Institute hosted an international conference titled “Israeli and Palestinian Waterways: History, Politics, and Technology of Water and Environment in the Middle East,” drawing seven institutional partners from across campus and beyond. Spring programs concluded during the week of Yom HaShoah with a staged reading of the play by Robert Skloot If the Whole Body Dies: Raphael Lemkin and the Treaty against Genocide.

Many of the Institute’s public programs, including the lectures by Ambassador Ross and Michael Walzer, the Journalism series, and the international conference, were recorded and are available for viewing online.

Thank you to our supporters!

Contact Information

Faculty Director

Kenneth A. Bamberger
Professor of Law
Executive Director
Rebecca Golbert
Director of Institutional Advancement
Leah Wagner-Edelstein, MA
Program Administrator
Andrei Dubinsky

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UC Berkeley School of Law | 2850 Telegraph Ave., Suite 500 | Berkeley | CA | 94705