Academic Courses


Faculty at Brandeis teach a range of courses on Israel studies across several Brandeis departments. The following courses focus on Israel, backed up by multiple Brandeis courses that include an Israel studies element.

* All Israel Studies courses are offered via Brandeis departments and programs; the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies is not a degree-granting program.

Fall 2014

Israel Studies

NEJS 145A — History of the State of Israel
  Eric Fleisch: NEJS

Examines the development of the State of Israel from its foundation to the present time. Israel's politics, society, and culture will be thematically analyzed. 

NEJS 154B — Israel: Dilemmas of Identity
  Yehudah Mirsky: NEJS

Explores the relations between pluralism, religious resurgence, secularism and democracy in our time through readings in history, literature, philosophy, sociology, theology and law. Focuses on one fascinating, contentious and deeply consequential place: The State of Israel. 

NEJS 174B — Israeli Women Writers on War and Peace
  Ilana Szobel: NEJS

An exploration of nationalism and gender in Modern Hebrew literature. By discussing various Hebrew texts and Israeli works of art and film, this course explores women's relationship to Zionism, war, peace, the state, politics, and processes of cultural production. Taught in Hebrew.

NEJS 177A — The Holocaust in Israeli and Jewish Literature
  Ilana Szobel: NEJS

A broad survey of Holocaust writings in Modern Jewish literature. Examines the psychological, social, moral, and aesthetic challenges involved in representing the Holocaust in Israeli, American, and European context through literary texts, theoretical research, works of art, and film. 

HRNS 350A — Myra Kraft Seminar in Israel
  Rachel Fish: Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program, NEJS

An intensive examination of contemporary issues in Israeli society and its relationship with Diaspora communities. Course begins with on-campus sessions and culminates in Israel.

POL 138B — Israeli Politics in a Comparative Perspective
  Liora Norwich: Politics

Introduces students to the Israeli political system through a comparative lens. We will discuss various issues, such as political and socioeconomic development, cultural diversity, and ethnic conflict, as well as how they are manifested in Israeli democracy. 

POL 164A — Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East
  Shai Feldman: Politics

Provides students with historical and analytic mastery of the Arab-Israeli conflict in a novel way. Through immersion in three competing narratives -- Israeli, Palestinian, and pan-Arab -- students will gain proficiency in the history of the conflict as well as analytic leverage on the possibility of its resolution. 

FA 175A — Moving Images: Israeli Video Art in Context
  Gannit Ankori: Fine Arts

Studies Israeli video artists who have become world renowned for their innovative contributions to the genre. In this course, we will view, analyze, and interpret Israeli video art, tracing its historical and 'genealogical' trajectory, thematic foci, formal concerns, iconographical sources and the diverse regional, political, and art historical contexts within which it is being produced and exhibited. 

NEJS 135A — The Modern Jewish Experience
  Eugene Sheppard: NEJS

Themes include Enlightenment, Hasidism, emancipation, Jewish identity in the modern world (acculturation and assimilation), development of dominant nationalism in Judaism, Zionism, European Jewry between the world wars, Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel, and contemporary Jewish life in America, Israel, and Europe.

Middle East Studies

POL 164A — Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East
  Shai Feldman: Politics

Provides students with historical and analytic mastery of the Arab-Israeli conflict in a novel way. Through immersion in three competing narratives -- Israeli, Palestinian, and pan-Arab -- students will gain proficiency in the history of the conflict as well as analytic leverage on the possibility of its resolution. 

NEJS 197B — Political Cultures of the Middle East
Kanan Makiya

Explores the way in which people make assumptions about power, authority, and justice. Focuses on Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq.  

Language-based Studies

Advanced Hebrew language courses at Brandeis include an active Israel Studies component, Click here for a listing. Yiddish and Arabic are also a regular part of the language curriculum in the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

Past and Recurring Courses

For a listing of past and recurring courses with an Israel Studies focus, click here.

Language-based StudiesPast and Recurring Courses