"The Israel portion was unbelievably useful for so many reasons: it made concrete the lessons we learned in the classroom (Brandeis) portion; it also created a far more complex picture of the already difficult issues, by putting a human face on them and by providing a real landscape; it brought the group together in a new and profound way that facilitated a more raw and affective/effective bonding experience which in turn lead to the creation of a real learning community. I now consider these former colleagues real friends.
Loyola Marymount University
Jewish Studies, English
"The Summer Institute gave me the courage and confidence to teach my first course in Modern Israeli History, which succeeded beyond my expectations. The Brandeis seminar taught me the range of major topics and debates in the field, and the unforgettable week in Israel enabled me to meet with the widest variety of experts and cultural figures. One of the most important lessons of the SIIS was that the field of Israel Studies encompasses much more than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that contemporary Israeli society is even more vibrant, diverse, and complicated than I thought it was."
University of California, Santa Cruz
"As a historian, I am interested in every part of Israeli society and culture and appreciated that we looked at Israel from so many different angles. I loved the more theoretical part at Brandeis and the more ‘hands-on’ approach in Israel. The program was exceptionally well organized and structured."
Canterbury Christ Church College, UK
“I have been able to use the skills I learned during the program in my courses at Tulane University. A new group of civic-minded students, here to help rebuild New Orleans, has reinvigorated Jewish life at Tulane. These students are engaged with the Jewish community, and have helped to fuel the Jewish Studies program’s phenomenal growth—our student enrollments have nearly doubled from just a semester ago. These students are hungry for Israel studies courses, and the SIIS has allowed me to fill this need by incorporating Israel studies into my existing courses: Modern Jewish History; Jewish Immigrant Experience; Jewish Youth and Cultural Change.”
"SIIS was one of the most productive--if exhausting-- academic experiences in my career."
University of Oklahoma
"Since finishing the SIIS program I have completely revamped a course on the history and politics of Israel and created another, Israel: Antiquity in Modernity.
In conceptualizing Israel: Antiquity in Modernity I relied heavily upon the peer network of scholars available through the SIIS listserv. This was a tremendously valuable aid in working through ideas and approaches for the course. SIIS fellows from all years of the program's existence 'meet' virtually on the listserv to share suggestions, approaches, and ideas relating to Israel studies. I chose to focus on the creation and recreation of national history, culture, and myth as well as the shaping of "collective memory" and had very useful exchanges on these topics with other fellows on the listserv."
University of Memphis
"Stimulating faculty and travel to Israel profoundly invigorated both my teaching and scholarship. Whether one is a novice or a veteran when it comes to teaching Israel and the contemporary Middle East, this richly interdisciplinary and innovative program offers thought-provoking paradigms and crucial contexts for future exploration. I give the Institute my highest endorsement"
University of Miami
"My participation in the Summer Institute increased significantly my credibility as someone with working knowledge of Israel Studies. My ability to speak decisively with grantors and other interlocutors came from the SIIS experience."
San Francisco State University