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.



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


Fellowships: Faculty, Post-Doctoral and Doctoral (Brandeis University)

Summer Institute for Israel Studies

Three-week fellowship preparing faculty in any discipline to teach about Israel.

The 2015 program opens with an intensive seminar at Brandeis from Monday, June 15 – Monday, June 29, followed by a study tour of Israel from Tuesday, June 30 – Thursday, July 9, 2015. Stipend of up to $2500, travel, accommodations and meals are included.

Doctoral Fellowships in Israel Studies at Brandeis University

Supporting doctoral students whose research focuses on Israel. Candidates must be accepted in Brandeis University graduate school programs of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, History, Politics, Literature, Sociology or Middle East Studies. Full and partial fellowships of up to $24,000 are renewable, after review, for up to five years.

Post-doctoral Fellowship in Israel Studies

Supporting post-doctoral research in Israel Studies. Fellows teach one course per semester, give one or more public lectures and actively participate in the intellectual life of the Schusterman Center. Stipend of $52,500 plus research fund.

Summer Institute for Israel Studies: June 16 – 30, 2014 at Brandeis University & July 1 – 10, 2014 in Israel

A program of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University, the Summer Institute (SIIS) helps college & university professors design new courses on Israel. Over 200 faculty members from 180 universities worldwide have participated in SIIS since its inception in 2004. Faculty from the social sciences and humanities are invited to apply. Applications due by January 21, 2014.

Watch the video and learn more at:

SIIS Fellowships include:

•           Multidisciplinary seminars taught by world-class faculty from Israel and the U.S. exploring Israeli society, politics, culture, economics, diplomacy & more (Two weeks)

•           Israel study tour with leading personalities in public life, the academy and the arts (Nine days)

•           Travel, accommodations, and most meals at Brandeis and in Israel

•           Stipend of up to $2,500 for full course or $1,500 for Brandeis seminar only

•           Access to vast Israel Studies resources online and in Brandeis University library

•           Annual workshops and year-round webinars

•           Membership in an active, international community of Israel scholars with opportunities for networking and professional collaboration