attitudes and feelings of the American public towards Israel is an ongoing interest for researchers at the Cohen Center and Steinhardt
Institute. Reflecting this focus, I am very pleased to announce the release of two new reports
about Israel on American university campuses; the first, a
study of the impact of Israeli faculty teaching on North American campuses and, the second, a directory of Israel studies courses offered at
universities and colleges across the United States. In an era when mention of Israel and college campuses brings forth images of conflict, I
hope that our research - which documents how Israel is being taught as an academic field - will help to provide a more balanced and positive
view of Israel on campus.
research team conducting these studies was led by Annette Koren and included Matt Boxer, Nicole Samuels, Janet Krasner Aronson, Ellie Aitan,
and Joshua Davidson. Their work is part of a program of research that seeks to understand the development of Israel studies on college
campuses and evaluate its impact. Finally, an assessment of Israel studies as a field, has been accepted for publication in the journal
Israel Studies, and we look forward to it being available later this spring.
Along with our work on Israel studies, there
have been a host of other developments at the Center/Institutes. In December, more than a half dozen Center faculty and staff were in
Chicago to give papers and participate in the Association for Jewish Studies meeting. At the meeting, I was privileged to receive the Marshall Sklare Award
, named in honor of the founder of the Cohen Center and prior holder of
the Klutznick Chair. The lecture
I gave at the award ceremony discussed the foundations of my work and the ways in which a multi-disciplinary cadre of scholars can
develop a shared perspective to understand and enhance Jewish life. The best part of the ceremony was that four of my students and younger
colleagues were discussants. The published version of their remarks will not be available for a few months, but they made me very proud.
Many thanks to all of you who read and
make use of our work, support what we do, and are interested in furthering the understanding of Jewish culture, education, and life.