The dynamic relationship of American Jews to Israel is one of our most robust areas of research. Included in the research area are our studies of Taglit-Birthright Israel. In addition, two sets of publications concern the state of Israel studies in the United States and the efforts to develop the field of Israel studies by bringing Israeli academics to the United States to teach about Israel and to support American graduate students pursuing Israel-related research topics. Additional scholarly publications build on these topics by examining Americans' attachment to Israel (and the question of generational distancing), how American Jews think about political issues pertaining to Israel, and how their views affect their feelings of connection to the Jewish state.
The 2012-13 Directory of Israel Studies builds on the work of previous directories through inclusion of course enrollment data and identification of faculty. A key change is the recognition and addition of upper-level Hebrew language courses as Israel-focused. The Directory this year documents three important findings about the field of Israel studies: growth in the number of Israel-focused courses, albeit at a slower rate than seen in the past; the importance of institutional and external support for professorships, chairs, centers, and programs to prepare scholars to teach in the field; and student demand for Israel-focused courses in enrollment numbers and the number of faculty teaching about Israel.