Past Events

Colorful Persian-style ancient looking carpet with flora and fauna bordered by repeating camels

"Song of Songs" rug, part of upcoming Nevet Yitzhak: Permanent Exhibition, December 6, 2018

Documentary Film Screening: The Sign for Love

February 12, 2019

2:00 - 3:20 PM
Shapiro Campus Center Theater
Brandeis University

Filmmakers Iris Ben Moshe and Elad Cohen presented and discussed their documentary film about being deaf and gay in Israel, "The Sign for Love" (2017). The film was screened in conjunction with Prof. Ilana Szobel's course, Love, Sex, and Power in Israeli Culture. It has won accolades at various film festivals and is particularly praised for its portrayal of disability. The multilingual Q&A after the screening took place in ASL, ISL, and English. Learn more about the film

Cosponsors: Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation Program (CAST); Gateways; Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI); Lurie Institute for Disability Policy; Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (NEJS); Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (WGS)
Artist Talk: Nevet Yitzhak - Permanent Exhibition

December 6, 2018

An intimate talk with Israeli video artist Nevet Yitzhak, whose work is on exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Yitzhak creates large-scale video installations with appropriated images that re-contextualize current social and political conditions. Cosponsored by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

West Bank Military Courts and International Law in the Scope of the Conflict

November 15, 2018

Jerusalem Post correspondent Yonah Jeremy Bob spoke about military courts in the West Bank and international law surrounding the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Yonah Jeremy Bob is the Intelligence, Terrorism and Legal Analyst for The Jerusalem Post and has spoken in universities, federations and synagogues throughout the US, Canada and Israel, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto and others dating back to 2000. Prior to working at the Post, he worked on Hasbara (public relations) and international security law issues in the IDF Legal Division, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice International Law Division. Mr. Bob has been interviewed by and provided commentary for CNN, BBC, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Turkish TV, Sky News, Los Angeles KABC Radio, Voice of America, and others. 

Cosponsored with Brandeis Hillel.

Refugees in the Land of Refugees: The Israeli Asylum Regime in a Comparative Context

November 7, 2018

A talk by Tally Kritzman-Amir. Over the last years, the Israeli asylum system has become both institutionalized and increasingly exclusionary, to the point of preventing the entry of any asylum seekers and promoting their deportation. Kritzman-Amir’s talk described the gradual processes of institutionalization and exclusion in a comparative context, and discussed the broader implications for refugee protection and responsibility sharing.

Dr. Tally Kritzman-Amir is a Senior Lecturer of immigration and international law at the College of Law and Business, Israel. In 2017- 18, she was a visiting fellow at the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program and a scholar-in-residence at the Hadassah Brandeis Institute of Brandeis University. She is currently an Israel Institute Associate Professor in the Harvard University Department of Sociology. 

Sponsored by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, with cosponsorship by the Hadassah Brandeis Institute, Department of International and Global Studies, Legal Studies Program, and Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Back from Israel with Tales to Tell: Eizenstat Grantees Present Their Projects

November 6, 2018

Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities
3rd Floor Conference Room (Room 328)
Refreshments served.

What do Brandeis students do with their Frances Taylor Eizenstat ’65 Undergraduate Israel Travel Grant? Join the returning 2017-2018 grantees, hear about their projects and let them inspire you to design your own! This is your chance to ask  questions, both of the grantees, and of the Schusterman Center staff. Learn how you can advance your academic & career interests with the help of an Eizenstat grant. Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat will be in attendance. All majors welcome and eligible to apply! Learn about the Eizenstat Undergraduate Israel Grant and how to apply.

Israel's Photoshop Law: The Idea, The Execution, and the Effect

October 25, 2018

12:30 p.m.

Brandeis Skyline Commons

Free and open to the public. Kosher lunch provided, RSVP here.

Panel discussion with Dr. Rachel Adatto, a former Member of Knesset and an expert in women’s health. Adatto spearheaded the Photoshop law in the Knesset, which banned the use of Photoshop to “remake” the images of models in advertising without disclaimers. She served as Chair of the National Council for Women’s Health; the senior advisor to the Minister of Health on women’s issues; and on four U.N. committees dealing with women’s health. Adatto has an undergraduate degree in law, an MBA and MD from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, director, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Brandeis University

Shayna Weiss, associate director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University

Cosponsored by Brandeis Hillel, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, the Brandeis Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the Seminar on Contemporary Jewish Life, and the Israeli Consulate.

American Jewish Feminism and Israeli Feminism: Launching a Trans-National Archive

October 18, 2018

Noon-2 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (Room 303)

RSVP: Sarah Shoemaker,

Lunch and panel discussion to celebrate the launch of the Brandeis/Haifa Feminist Collaborative, a joint project of Brandeis Library’s Archives & Special Collections Department and the Haifa Feminist Center (Isha L'Isha).

Joyce Antler, Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Emerita, Brandeis University

Marcia Freedman, American-Israeli activist and feminist; member of Israel's Knesset (1973–1977)

Hannah Safran, co-founder, Haifa Feminist Institute, Isha L'Isha

Surella Seelig, Outreach and Special Projects Archivist, Brandeis University

Dr. Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Shulamit Reinharz Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute; Director, Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and Law

This project is supported by a grant from the Bronfman Brandeis-Israel Collaborative Research
Program and by the following divisions of Brandeis University:
Brandeis Library
Hadassah-Brandeis Institute
American Studies Program
Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
Schusterman Center for Israel Studies
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program
Women’s Studies Research Center

October 15, 2018

Offered the week of October 15, 2018.

Join us for a week of amazing performances by international Israeli artists starting October 15, 2018.  Note events are in Hebrew and/or English.  All are welcome.

Sponsored by: Schusterman Center for Israel Studies; Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; Consulate General of Israel to New England; Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Center for German and European Studies; International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life; Hillel at Brandeis; Department of Theater Arts.

Conversation with Francine Klagsbrun

April 26, 2018

Francine Klagsbrun was at Brandeis to launch her National Jewish Book Award-winning "Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel" (Schocken Books, 2017). In conversation with Dr. Judith Rosenbaum, executive director of the Jewish Women's Archive.

Lioness is the definitive biography of the iron-willed leader, chain-smoking political operative, and tea-and-cake-serving grandmother who became the fourth prime minister of Israel. Klagsbrun’s superbly researched and masterfully recounted story of Israel’s founding mother gives us a Golda for the ages.

Klagsbrun is the author of more than a dozen books, including "The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day and Married People: Staying Together in the Age of Divorce." Klagsbrun was also the editor of the best-selling "Free to Be... You and Me" and is a regular columnist for The Jewish Week, a contributing editor to Lilith, and on the editorial board of Hadassah Magazine. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, and Ms. Magazine.
Book cover of The Zionist Ideas: Vision for the Jewish Homeland -- Then, Now. Tomorrow
From the Zionist Idea to the Zionist Ideas: How to Jump Start an Old-New Conversation

April 12, 2018

Book launch and author talk with
Gil Troy

Gil Troy is an American political historian and a distinguished scholar in North American History at McGill University. He has also taught at the Ruderman Program on relations between Israel and American Jewry at Haifa University, at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya, and at the Rothberg Program for Overseas Students at Hebrew University.

Troy's most recent manuscript is: The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland—Then, Now, Tomorrow (JPS, 2018).

Building upon Hertzberg’s classic text, Troy's The Zionist Ideas is the most comprehensive Zionist collection ever published. Over 170 passionate visionaries (4x more than Hertzberg, now including women, mizrahim, and other overlooked thinkers) are organized by three time periods, then subdivided into six schools of Zionist thought—Political, Revisionist, Labor, Religious, Cultural, and Diaspora—shedding light on the surprisingly diverse and shared commitments to realizing Israel as a democratic Jewish state. This mosaic of voices will engage equally diverse readers in reinvigorating the Zionist conversation—weighing and developing the moral, social, and political character of the Jewish state of today and tomorrow.

Ben-Gurion University President Rivka Carmi speaking to an auditorium full of people
The 10th Anniversary of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies: A Conference and Celebration

March 25, 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Ilan Troen Lectures on Contemporary Israel Affairs
Daniel Shapiro, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel
"The United States and Israel Face a Changing Middle East”

Rivka Carmi, President, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
“Personal and National Stories Intertwine: Israel at 70"

Monday, March 26, 2018
10th Anniversary Conference

Roundtable: "Home, Land, and Homeland"


Safa Abu Rabia, Harvard University
Shay Rabineau, Binghamton University
Yehudah Mirsky, Brandeis University

Followed by facilitated small-group discussions

"The Distance between Beirut and Jerusalem: 162 Kilometers or 101 Miles"

A workshop on reimagining the past

with "Theatre of Operations" artists Hagar Ophir and Hakim Bishara

Nili Gold
Book Launch and Author Talk

March 15, 2018

Haifa: City of Steps," by Nili Scharf Gold
Brandeis University Press, 2017

Author Nili Scharf Gold, Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature, in Conversation with Prof. Ilana Szobel

Haifa: City of Steps is a rich look, from a native daughter, at the evolving relations of people, architecture, and landscape in Haifa over several decades.

Birthrate Politics Event poster
Book launch and author talk for “Birthrate Politics in Zion: Judaism, Nationalism and Modernity under the British Mandate”

January 30, 2018

Book launch and author talk for “Birthrate Politics in Zion: Judaism, Nationalism and Modernity under the British Mandate”

 (Indiana University Press, 2017)

 with author, Lilach Rosenberg-Friedman

 January 30, 2018

Eizenstat grantees with Ambassador Eizenstat and Professor David Ellenson
Back from Israel: Eizenstat Grantees Tell All

November 15, 2017

Returning Eizenstat Israel Travel Grant recipients shared stories of their projects and adventures in Israel, followed by a discussion with Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union and former Deputy Secretary of the United States Treasury.

Justice Rubinstein

November 6, 2017

Discussant: Yehudah Mirsky, Associate Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

Moderator: David Ellenson, Director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University

Justice Rubinstein’s visit courtesy of the Consulate General of Israel to New England.

Cosponsored by Brandeis University and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University

Marcia Falk
"The Book of Blessings" and "The Days Between" - Feminist Prayer Books for Our Times. Talk and Book Signing with Author Marcia Falk

November 6, 2017

We celebrated the release of the 20th-anniversary edition of Marcia Falk's The Book of Blessings: New Jewish Prayers for Daily Life, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival (Central Conference of American Rabbis), with Marcia Falk herself! Dr. Falk also read from her recent book, The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season (Brandeis University Press, The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Series on Jewish Women).

The Central Conference of American Rabbis was delighted to bring Marcia Falk's groundbreaking book of creative liturgy back into print. With new essays by scholars Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Rabbi Dalia Marx, and Rabbi David Ellenson, this volume will inspire a new generation and re-ignite those who encountered this innovative collection when it was first published in 1996.

Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, and the Brandeis University Program in Religious Studies

Dorit Rabinyan addresses audience

Photo Credit: Credit: Ziv Koren

A Doomed Israeli-Palestinian Love Story

November 1, 2017

A riveting evening with Dorit Rabinyan, one of Israel's most acclaimed young novelists. The author discussed and signed copies of her international bestselling, award-winning "All the Rivers," the controversial love story between an Israeli writer and a Palestinian painter.

Cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies and by the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation Program (CAST); the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; and the Hebrew Language Program.

Event Poster
Jerusalem: 50 Years of Complex Unification. A talk by Dr. Elan Ezrachi

October 26, 2017

In June 1967, Jerusalem was transformed from a small, divided and threatened town with an international border running through it, to a large metropolis, under Israel's control. The unification of Jerusalem radically changed the city's character. The residents, regardless of religion and ethnicity, were sharing in the new city, now managed by Israel during one of its most euphoric and triumphalist moments. Dr. Elan Ezrachi is a native of Jerusalem and the author of a new book (in Hebrew) telling the story of what happened in Jerusalem since 1967.

Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Brandeis Hillel

"The Mute's House" - Film Screening and Discussion with Director Tamar Kay

October 16, 2017

Award-winning filmmaker Tamar Kay shared her Oscar nominated documentary short (32 minutes), “The Mute's House,” in Professor Gannit Ankori's “Art and Trauma: Israeli, Palestinian, Latin American and United States Art" class. This was followed by Q&A with the director, moderated by Prof. Ankori.

Association for Israel Studies Conference

June 12, 2017

The Schusterman Center and Brandeis University hosted the 33rd annual meeting of the Association for Israel Studies, with generous support from the Israel Institute.

Keynote conversation with Leon Wieseltier:

"Reflections on the Balfour Declaration"
June 12, 2017
Moderator: Ilan Troen

Plenary session I, “50 Years Since ’67”
June 13, 2017
Moderator: David Ellenson, Brandeis University
Speakers: Anita Shapira, Tel Aviv University
     Hussein Ibish, Arab Gulf States Institute
     Dan Kurtzer, Princeton University
     Husam Zomlot, Chief Representative of the Palestinian General Delegation to the United States

Plenary session II, “The Role of NGO’s Inside/Outside of Israel”
June 13, 2017
Moderator: Rachel Fish, Brandeis University
Speakers: Peter Beinart, City University of New York
     Alisa Doctoroff, Past President, UJA-Federation of New York
     Gerald Steinberg, Bar-Ilan University
Essential Israel book cover
"Essential Israel" Book Launch

May 2, 2017

The Schusterman Center's newest publication has just been published: Essential Israel: Essays for the 21st Century. The book launch featured an introduction by David Ellenson, remarks by co-editors Rachel Fish and Ilan Troen, as well as commentary by Len Saxe, director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies.

Can Israel be Both Jewish and Democratic?

March 30, 2017

An internationally renowned leader and advocate of religious liberty, Rabbi Uri Regev – President and CEO of Hiddush – spoke about the tension between the religious establishment in Israel and democratic values.

Hebrew Language and Arts Week

March 21, 2017

The Hebrew Language program hosted an interactive week of Hebrew language and arts, emphasizing the Experiential Learning method. Cosponsored by the Near Eastern & Judaic Studies Department, the Department of Theater Arts, the Schusterman Center, Hillel at Brandeis, Hillel International, and the Israeli Consulate, the week featured lectures by renowned playwright Yehoshua (Joshua) Sobol.
The Last Words: The Fate of the Ladino Language in Turkey

Filmmaker Rita Ender screened and discussed her documentary film, with commentary provided by Schusterman Center and Anthropology Department visiting professor André Levy.

Among the Righteous: Jews in Arab Lands During the Holocaust. A Talk by Dr. Robert Satloff

January 25, 2017

As International Holocaust day approached, we joined Dr. Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy. His talk focused on research for his book Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust's Long Reach into Arab Lands.

An expert on Arab and Islamic politics as well as U.S. Middle East policy, Dr. Satloff has written and spoken widely on the Arab-Israeli peace process, the challenge of Political Islam, and the need to revamp U.S. public diplomacy in the Middle East.

The event was cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies.

Jewishness in Israel - Online Course in January-February 2017

This online course was offered to Brandeis alumni and members of the Brandeis National Committee on three Tuesdays in January-February, 2017. Professor David Ellenson presented the topic in three live online seminars, provided readings and answered questions.

"Oriental Neighbors: Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine" - Meet the Author: Abigail Jacobson

November 22, 2016


A sizeable audience heard from David Ellenson, Ilan Troen, Eugene Sheppard and the author herself, followed by a book signing. Abigail Jacobson is the academic director of the Mediterranean Neighbors Program at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and co-author of the Oriental Neighbors with Moshe Naorassistant professor in the department of Israel Studies at the University of Haifa.  

Cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies.

From Anti-Zionism to Anti-Semitism: Preparing High School Students for the New Reality

November 14, 2016

Twoo hundred educators took part in this conference in Ft. Lee, New Jersey which was developed by the Schusterman Center in order to help educators in Jewish high schools understand and deal with what their graduates are likely to experience in college. Program details.

The program was cosponsored by the Avi Chai Foundation.

Reception for Eizenstat Undergraduate Travel Grantees

November 9, 2017

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat attended our third annual reception for grantees of the Frances Taylor Eizenstat '65 Undergraduate Israel Travel Grant Program. President Ron Liebowitz, Provost Lisa Lynch, Center Director David Ellenson and audience members heard from last year's grantees who studied at Hebrew University; interned at the Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma; volunteered on a farm for school-leavers; researched Jewish law; and excavated antiquities.

Where Does Responsibility Lie? Reframing the Israel-Palestine Conflict

September 20, 2016

A talk by David N. Myers drew a standing-room only crowd at the Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room. Myers is the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA and has written widely in the fields of Jewish intellectual and cultural history. Among them is his book Between Jew and Arab: The Lost Voice of Simon Rawidowicz, published by Brandeis University Press in 2008.