SIIS Faculty at Brandeis


GANNIT ANKORI
, Brandeis University
Ankori is chair of the School of the Creative Arts at Brandeis University. She is Professor of Art History & Theory and chair in Israeli Art at the department of Fine Arts and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. Ankori has published extensively in the field of Israeli and Palestinian art, with special emphasis on issues pertaining to gender, nationalism, religion, trauma, exile, and hybridity and their manifestations is art and film. Her book, Palestinian Art (Reaktion Books, London, 2006) was awarded a "Polonsky Prize for Originality and Creativity in the Humanistic Disciplines" in 2007. She has curated several exhibitions of Israeli and Palestinian artists, among them "Home" (1997) with Jack Persekian at Gallery Anadiel, Jerusalem and "Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean" (2012) with Dabney Hailey at the Rose Art Museum. She is currently working on a series of exhibitions of Israeli video art. Before coming to Brandeis in 2010, she served as the Henya Sharef Professor of Humanities and chair of the Department of Art History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

STEVEN BAYME, American Jewish Committee
Bayme is the director of the Contemporary Jewish Life Department of the American Jewish Committee and of the Institute on American Jewish-Israeli Relations. He holds the title of visiting associate professor of History at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and has lectured widely across the country and taught at Yeshiva University, Jewish Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College and Queens College. He has published articles on family policy, intermarriage, liberal Judaism, Jewish parenting, Jewish responses to modernity, Jewish attitudes on terrorism and violence and modern Orthodoxy in America. He has edited a volume of essays on American Jewry entitled Facing the Future: Essays on Contemporary Jewish Life, is co-editor of a volume entitled Rebuilding the Nest: A New Commitment to the American Family, and is co-editor of The Jewish Family and Jewish Continuity. His volume Understanding Jewish History: Texts and Commentary is widely used in adult education. Recently published are Continuity and Change: Festschrift in Honor of Irving (Yitz) Greenberg’s 75th Birthday, co-edited with Steven Katz (University Press of America) and American Jewry’s Comfort Level: Present and Future, with Manfred Gerstenfeld (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs).

URI BIALER, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Bialer is the Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the Hebrew University and holder of the Maurice B. Hexter Chair in International Relations – Middle Eastern Studies.  He is the former director of Yad Ben Zvi Institute for the Study of Eretz Israel, visiting fellow at St. Antony’s College Oxford, at the British Academy, at Harvard University, and visiting professor at the University of Chicago, at Monash University, New York University and at Brandeis University. Publications include: Cross on the Star of David: The Christian World in Israel’s Foreign Policy 1948-67 (2005); Oil and the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1948-67 (1999); Between East and West: Israel's Foreign Policy Orientation 1948-56, (Cambridge University Press, 1990); and The Shadow of the Bomber: The Fear of Air Attack and British Politics 1932-1939 (1980).

DONNA DIVINE, Smith College
Divine is the Morningstar Family Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Government at Smith College where she teaches a variety of courses on Middle East Politics.  Fluent in Hebrew, Arabic, and Turkish, she has held visiting appointments at Yale, Harvard, and the Hebrew University as well as fellowships from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and a several Fulbright grants.  Author of many scholarly articles on a variety of topics in Middle East history and politics, she has also written “Women Living Change: Cross-Cultural Perspectives,” in Essays from the Smith College Research Project on Women and Social Change; Politics and Society in Ottoman Palestine: The Arab Struggle for Survival and Power, and Postcolonial Theory and The Arab-Israeli Conflict. Her most recent book, Exiled in the Homeland: Zionism and the Return to Mandate Palestine, was recently published in a paperback and electronic edition.  Forthcoming in 2014 is her publication with Ilan Troen, Zionism in the Twenty-First Century.

SHAI FELDMAN, Brandeis University
Feldman is the Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. He is also an associate fellow of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London and a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Before joining the Crown Center, Feldman served from 1997 to 2005 as head of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, and from 2001 to 2003, as a member of the U.N. Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. Author of numerous publications, Feldman has written five books on the topic of Israeli security and peacemaking, including: Israeli Nuclear Deterrence: A Strategy for the 1980s (1982); The Future of U.S.-Israel Strategic Cooperation (1996); Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control in the Middle East (1997); Bridging the GapA Future Security Architecture for the Middle East (1997) with Abdullah Toukan;  and, Track-II DiplomacyLessons from the Middle East (2003) with Hussein Agha, Ahmad Khalidi, and Zeev Schiff; and Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East (2013) with Abdel Monem Said Aly and Khalil Shikaki.

RACHEL FISH, Brandeis University
Fish is associate director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. She recently completed her doctoral degree in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies department at Brandeis University. Her dissertation, "Configurations of Bi-nationalism: The Transformation of Bi-nationalism in Palestine/Israel, 1920s-Present," examines the history of the idea of bi-nationalism and alternative visions for constructing the State of Israel. Rachel has worked as an educator and consultant in various capacities in the Jewish community and higher education, teaching about Zionism and Israeli history at Brandeis University, UMASS Amherst and the Me’ah Adult Jewish Education program. At Brandeis she teaches the Myra Kraft seminar on Israel at the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program.

TUVIA FRILING, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Friling is Professor, Senior Researcher and former Head of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute, at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He was the State Archivist of Israel from 2001-2004 and has held visiting research positions at Oxford University, the University of Maryland and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, amongst others. In 2003-2004 he served as Vice Chairman of the International Commission of the Holocaust in Romania, headed by Professor Elie Wiesel. He has published dozens of articles in Israel and abroad on his fields of expertise: Zionist movement policy; Ben-Gurion’s leadership; The Yishuv and the Holocaust; The Revisionist movement – the right wing movements in the Yishuv and their connection to aid and rescue during the Holocaust. His monograph The Story of a Capo in Auschwitz: History, Memory and Politics will be published in 2014 as part of the Schusterman Series in Israel Studies. At Brandeis in 2013-2014, he is a Visiting Professor in the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

JOSHUA R. JACOBSON, Northeastern University and Hebrew College
Jacobson is one of the foremost authorities on Jewish choral music, is professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Northeastern University and visiting professor and acting dean of the School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College. He is also founder and director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston. His many musical arrangements, editions and compositions are frequently performed by choirs around the world. He is the conductor and host of the PBS film, Zamir: Jewish Voices Return to Poland. His book, Chanting the Hebrew Bible: The Art of Cantillation, was published by the Jewish Publication Society in 2002. He is co-author of Translations and Annotations of Choral Repertoire - Volume IV: Hebrew Texts, published by Earthsongs in 2009.

DAVID POLLOCK, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Pollock is a senior fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, focusing on the political dynamics of Middle Eastern countries. Previously, he served as senior advisor for the Broader Middle East at the State Department, a post he assumed in 2002. In that capacity, he provided policy advice on issues of democracy and reform in the region, with a focus on women's rights. He also helped launch the department's $15 million Iraqi Women's Democracy Initiative and the US-Afghan Women's Council, working directly with advocates across the Middle East. From 1996 to 2001, he served in several other State Department policy advisory positions covering South Asia and the Middle East, including four years as regional expert on the secretary of state's Policy Planning Staff. Previously, he was chief of Near East/South Asia/Africa research at the US Information Agency, where he supervised the government's study of public opinion, elite attitudes and media content across the three regions. In 1995-1996, he was a scholar-in-residence at The Washington Institute, where he authored the widely read Policy Paper The 'Arab Street'? Public Opinion in the Arab World. Pollock has served as a visiting lecturer at Harvard University and an assistant professor at George Washington University.

ELIE REKHESS, Tel Aviv University and Northwestern University
Rekhess specializes in the study of Israeli politics and society, the Arab minority in Israel, Jewish-Arab relations, Palestinian politics, and the Islamic resurgence in the West Bank and Gaza. He is a senior research fellow in the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University, and the head of its program on Jewish-Arab Cooperation in Israel (sponsored by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung). As of January 2009 he is the Visiting Crown Chair in Middle East Studies at Northwestern University and co-chair of its Middle East Forum. In April 2010 he organized their conference “The Middle East in the 1950s – Historical Perspectives.” He authored, edited, and co-edited: Muslim Minorities in non-Muslim Countries: The Islamic Movement in Israel as a Test Case (2011), The Arab Society in Israel: A Compendium (2009), Arab Youth in Israel: Caught between Prospects and Risk, with A. Rudnitsky eds. (2008), The Arab Minority in Israel and the 17th Knesset Elections (2007), and Together but Apart: Mixed Cities in Israel (2007).

EUGENE SHEPPARD, Brandeis University
Sheppard is associate professor of Modern Jewish History and Thought and associate director of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry at Brandeis University. His interests include modern German Jewish thought and the influence of European Jewish refugees on public life and academia in the United States. He is the author of Leo Strauss and Politics of Exile: The Making of A Political Philosopher (2006), and co-editor with D. Myers of Babylon and Jerusalem: Engaging the Thought and Legacy of Simon Rawidowicz. Sheppard is managing co-editor, with Samuel Moyn, of the Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought published by Brandeis University Press. At Brandeis, he teaches courses on Jewish nationalism and Zionist thought. During the academic year 2013-14, he was research fellow at Harvard University writing a book that explores the ways in which medieval and early modern forms of violence and Jewish persecution were constructed and read by Germans and German Jews during National Socialism.

YEDIDIA Z. STERN, Bar-Ilan University Law School and Israel Democracy Institute
Stern is the Vice President for Research on the Jewish State at the Israel Democracy Institute and a distinguished professor at Monash University in Australia. A full professor at Bar-Ilan University Law School, Stern served as its dean from 1994 to 1998. He received his LL.B. degree from Bar-Ilan Law School in 1982, and earned his master's degree (1984) and doctorate (1986) from Harvard Law School. His areas of professional interest are religion and state, Jewish law, public law, corporate law, corporate acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate governance. Stern is co-editor of the scholarly journal Democratic Culture and of the series Israeli Judaism. He is also a regular contributor to the Israeli and international press. Stern has served on numerous national committees on constitutional and commercial affairs, including the Israeli government’s Commission of Inquiry into the State's Treatment of the Residents of Gush Katif after the Disengagement (2009). Stern won the Zeltner Prize for excellence in legal research in Israel in 2009.

ASHER SUSSER, Tel Aviv University
Susser is the Stanley and Ilene Gold Senior Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel-Aviv University. He is a former visiting professor in Israel Studies at the University of Arizona and former visiting senior fellow on the Myra and Robert Kraft Chair in Arab Politics at Brandeis University. He has been teaching at Tel Aviv University's department for Middle Eastern History for over 30 years and director of their Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies from 1989-1995 and from 2001-2007. One of Israel’s leading experts on Jordan and the Palestinians, Susser was the only Israeli academic invited by Prime Minister Rabin to join him and King Hussein at their historic appearance before the U.S. Congress. His most recent publications include: Israel, Jordan and Palestine - The Two State Imperative (Crown Center publication, 2011); The Rise of Hamas in Palestine and the Crisis of Secularism in the Arab World (2010); Challenges to the Cohesion of the Arab State (ed. 2008); and Jordan: Case Study of a Pivotal State (2000).

ILANA SZOBEL, Brandeis University
Ilana Szobel is assistant professor on the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Chair in Hebrew Literature. Her recent book, A Poetics of Trauma: The Work of Dahlia Ravikovitch (2013) was published as part of the Schusterman Series in Israel Studies. It examines the work of one of the most significant cultural figures in Israeli society since the 1967 war. In her teaching, Ms. Szobel presents the challenges posed by gender, war and peace, family structure, economic and cultural dislocation as compelling entry points for the study of Israeli society and culture.

MIRI TALMON, Tel Aviv University
Talmon is a scholar of media culture, cinema, and television who specializes in Israeli cultural history and comparative approaches to Israeli and American culture. She is the author of Israeli Graffiti: Nostalgia, Groups and Collective Identity in Israeli Cinema (Haifa University Press and the Open University Press, 2001), and co-editor of the anthology Israeli Cinema: Identities in Motion (University of Texas Press, 2011). Her research focuses on popular media culture (mostly film and television), identity politics in the media, and representations of cultural history in the media and the arts. Talmon teaches in the graduate program of the Department of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University, where she specializes in television research and theory. As Head of the Communication and Film Studies Program at the Nazareth Academic Institute, she brings to her work a vision of academic studies which facilitates encounters and dialog among students from diverse religious, ethnic, and national communities in Israeli society. In 2013-2014, she is the Schusterman Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at Smith College.

ILAN TROEN, Brandeis University
Troen is the director of the Schusterman Center and is the Stoll Family Chair in Israel Studies. Before joining Brandeis, he served as director of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute and Archives in Sede Boker, Israel, and dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He has authored or edited numerous books in American, Jewish and Israeli history. He is the founding editor of Israel Studies (Indiana University Press), the leading journal in the field, publishing three issues annually on behalf of Brandeis and Ben-Gurion University. His book publications include Jewish Centers and Peripheries: European Jewry Between America and Israel 50 Years after World War II (1998); The Americanization of Israel (2001), with Glenda Abramson; Divergent Jewish Cultures: Israel and America (2001), with Deborah Dash-Moore; Imagining Zion: Dreams, Designs and Realities in a Century of Jewish Settlement (2003); with Jacob Lassner, Jews and Muslims in the Arab World; Haunted by Pasts Real and Imagined (2007); with Maoz Azaryahu (eds.), Tel Aviv, The First Century: Visions, Designs, Actualities (2012); with Donna Divine, Zionism in the Twenty-First Century (forthcoming 2014).