Prof. Gannit Ankori 

Prof. Gannit Ankori speaks about Israeli art to students.

Visiting Faculty

Zvi Zohar, 2018
André Levy, 2016-2017
Uri Bialer, 2011, 2014 and 2015
Tuvia Friling, 2013-2014
Michael Feige Z"L, 2011-2012
Sammy Smooha, 2010
Maoz Azaryahu, 2010
Yoram Bilu, 2009
Benny Gidron, 2008-2009


Walker Robins, 2017-2018
Liron Shani, 2016-2017
Liora Norwich
, 2014-2016
Shay Rabineau, 2013-2014
Sara Hirschhorn, 2012-2013
Emily McKee, 2012-2013
Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch, 2009-2012
Yuval Jobani, 2010-2011
Motti Inbari, 2008-2009

Israel studies courses


The following faculty serve as the backbone of the Israel Studies curriculum on campus, bolstered by the Hebrew language faculty, visiting professors, and post-doctoral fellows in the Schusterman Center.

Gannit Ankori is head of the Division of 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, hybridity and their manifestations in 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. In addition to her many publications, she has also curated several exhibitions on Israeli and Palestinian art, e.g. "Home" (1997) with Jack Persekian at Gallery Anadiel, Jerusalem, "Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean" (2012) at the Rose Art Museum; "Rose Video 07: Nira Pereg" (2105) and "Ben Hagari: Potter's Will" (2016), also at the Rose Art Museum, where she currently serves as Faculty Curator and Director of Integrated Arts. Ankori is internationally renowned for her books and articles on the artist Frida Kahlo, among them her 2013 book Frida Kahlo that is part of Reaktion Book's acclaimed 'critical lives' series; her 2002 Imaging Her Selves: Frida Kahlo’s Poetics of Identity and Fragmentation; and a major catalogue essay for the Kahlo retrospective at Tate Modern, London (2005). At Brandeis she teaches courses on Israeli and Palestinian Art, Art and Trauma, and on the Legacy of Frida Kahlo. More...

David Ellenson is a former director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.

Yehudah Mirsky is associate professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis and a member of the faculty of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. He teaches courses on Jewish Thought, Jewish Law, Human Rights, Zionist and Israeli History and the nexus of religion, state and society in Israel. Mirsky worked in Washington as an aide to then-senators Bob Kerrey and Al Gore, at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and served in the Clinton Administration as special advisor in the US State Department's human rights bureau. After the attacks of September 11 he served as a volunteer chaplain for the Red Cross. From 2002-2012 Mirsky lived in Israel where he was a fellow at the Van Leer Institute and Jewish People Policy Institute. He was a grass-roots activist in Jerusalem and is on the board of Yerushalmim, the movement for a pluralist and livable Jerusalem. He has written widely on politics, theology and culture for a number of publications including The New York Times, The New Republic, The Daily Beast, The American Interest and The Economist. He is the author of the widely acclaimed biography, Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution, published in 2014 by Yale University Press and the winner in 2016 of the Sami Rohr Choice Award for Jewish Literature. Mirsky studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshiva College and received rabbinic ordination in Jerusalem. He graduated from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the law review, and completed his PhD in Religion at Harvard University. He tweets @YehudahMirsky.

Jonathan D. Sarna is director of the Schusterman Center and holds the titles of University Professor and Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Department of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies. Full profile

Ilana Szobel is assistant professor on the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Chair in Hebrew Literature. Her recent book, The Poetics of Trauma: The Work of Dahlia Ravikovich (2013), was published as part of the Schusterman Series for Israel Studies.  It examines the work of Dahlia Ravikovich (1936-2005), one of the most significant cultural figures in Israeli society. In her teaching, 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. On sabbatical in 2016-2017, Szobel will be teaching courses on Hebrew Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. See her highlighted in the Schusterman Center newsletter.

Ilan Troen '63 is the founding director of the Schusterman Center and chair of its Publications Committee. He is emeritus of both the Stoll Family Chair in Israel Studies (Brandeis, 2017), and the Lopin Chair of Modern History (Ben-Gurion University, 2007).  He is the immediate past president of the Association for Israel Studies. He has served as dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and as as director of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute and Archives in Sede Boker, Israel. He has authored or edited numerous books in American, Jewish and Israeli history. He is also the founding editor of Israel Studies (Indiana University Press), the leading journal in this new field, and has co-edited the Schusterman Series in Israel Studies, which has been superseded by the Indiana University Press series on Perspectives on Israel Studies.  He is currently chair of the Center's publication committee that has launched this new series in conjunction with Ben-Gurion University. His 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 Robinson Divine (eds.), Zionism in the Twenty-First Century (2014) and, with Rachel Fish, Essential Israel: Essays for the Twenty-First Century (Indiana University Press, 2017). More...


Shai 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 Director's 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 UN 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 Gap – A Future Security Architecture for the Middle East (1997) with Abdullah Toukan;  and, Track-II Diplomacy – Lessons from the Middle East (2003) with Hussein Agha, Ahmad Khalidi, and Zeev Chiffon. His book, Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East, co-authored with Abdel Monem Said Aly and Khalil Shikaki, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.

Jonathan Sarna '75, MA '75 is  the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and chair of its Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. Dubbed by the Forward newspaper in 2004 as one of America’s fifty most influential American Jews, he is chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History, and is recognized as a leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life. Sarna has written, edited, or co-edited more than twenty books, including the new When General Grant Expelled the Jews.  He is best known for the acclaimed American Judaism: A History.  Winner of the Jewish Book Council’s “Jewish Book of the Year Award” in 2004, it has been praised as being “the single best description of American Judaism during its 350 years on American soil.” More from his faculty page...

Eugene R. Sheppard is associate professor of Modern Jewish History and Thought, and associate director of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry. He is most interested in modern German Jewish thought and the influence of European Jewish refugees on public life and academia in the United States.  His publications include Leo Strauss and Politics of Exile: The Making of a Political Philosopher (2006) and Babylon and Jerusalem: Engaging the Thought and Legacy of Simon Rawidowicz (co-edited with D. Myers, forthcoming). Sheppard is co-editor, with Samuel Moyn, of the Brandeis University Press/UPNE series The Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought and associate editor of the Tauber Institute series. At Brandeis he teaches courses on Jewish nationalism and Zionist thought.

Naghmeh Sohrabi is the Charles (Corky) Goodman Professor of Middle East History at Brandeis and associate director for Research at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies. Sohrabi was a postdoctoral fellow at the Crown Center from 2005-2007. She received her PhD in history and Middle East studies from Harvard University in 2005. Her dissertation received an honorable mention from the Foundation for Iranian Studies. Her book Taken for Wonder: Nineteenth Century Travel Accounts from Iran to Europe was published by Oxford University Press in 2012.


Guy Antebi is Senior Lecturer in Hebrew. He has been a lecturer in the Hebrew Language program at Brandeis since 2004. He regularly teaches Beginning and Intermediate Hebrew language courses, and also teaches at the Middlebury Language School in Middlebury, Vermont. His special area of interest is educational technology.

Aliza Brosch is a lecturer in Hebrew.

Sara Hascal has been a lecturer in Hebrew at Brandeis since 1985. Her specialties are in Judaic studies, Hebrew literature, and in reading consultation. She has developed Advanced Hebrew Literature I and II, which focus on the theme and unique style of young Israeli writers, stressing new trends and aspects of Israeli daily life during the last five decades.  She also developed two Hebrew courses, Voices of Jerusalem and Portrait of an Israeli Woman, both of which treat the subject matter through the traditions, history, politics, arts and cultural aspects of Israel. 

Esther Schorr is Senior Lecturer in the Hebrew program at Brandeis University, where she has taught a variety of Hebrew courses specializing in beginning and intermediate levels. She also teaches at the Brandeis Hebrew Language Summer Institute and at the Middlebury School of Languages in Middlebury, Vermont.