Israel and the Media


Joyce Antler is the Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture. Antler holds a PhD in U.S. history; her major fields of interest include women's history, Jewish women's history and culture, the history of education and history as theater. Antler is the author or editor of 10 books, including most recently You Never Call! You Never Write!: a A History of the Jewish Mother. She is a founder of the Brandeis Women's and Gender Studies program and the Graduate Consortium of Women Studies at M.I.T., and has served as the chair of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. She is a founding member and chair of the Academic Advisory Committee of Jewish Women's Archive. Antler is co-author of the historical drama "Year One of the Empire: A Play of American Politics, War and Protest," which was produced off-Broadway in 2008.

Joshua Benton is director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. Before spending a year at Harvard as a 2008 Nieman Fellow, he spent a decade in newspapers, most recently at The Dallas Morning News. His reports on cheating on standardized tests in the Texas public schools led to the permanent shutdown of a school district and won the Philip Meyer Journalism Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has reported from 10 foreign countries, been a Pew Fellow in International Journalism, and three times been a finalist for the Livingston Award for International Reporting. Before The Dallas Morning News, he was a reporter and occasional rock critic for The Toledo Blade. He wrote his first HTML in January 1994.

Ethan Bronner is a senior editor at Bloomberg News focused on features and analyses, mostly from overseas. He came to Bloomberg after 17 years at The New York Times where he was Jerusalem bureau chief, deputy foreign editor, deputy national editor, education editor and assistant editorial page editor. He spent 12 years at The Boston Globe based in Boston, Washington and Jerusalem as well as five at Reuters in London, Madrid, Brussels and Jerusalem. Bronner is the author of Battle for Justice: How the Bork Nomination Shook America (2007). A graduate of Wesleyan University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he is a former trustee of Wesleyan and a member of the Council on Foreign Affairs.

Jane Eisner is the editor-in-chief of The Jewish Daily Forward, America’s foremost national Jewish news organization. Online and in print, it is the authoritative source of news, opinion, arts and culture in the Jewish world. Since Eisner joined The Forward in 2008, the publication has won numerous regional and national awards and her editorials have been repeatedly honored by the Society of Professional Journalists. Prior to her work with The Forward, Eisner held executive editorial and news positions at The Philadelphia Inquirer for 25 years, including stints as editorial page editor, syndicated columnist, City Hall bureau chief and foreign correspondent. She served as vice president of the National Constitution Center from 2006 to 2008, and has taught at Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Taking Back the Vote: Getting American Youth Involved in Our Democracy (2004).

Shlomi Eldar is a columnist for Al-Monitor and a research fellow at the Taub Center for Israel Studies, New York University. For the past two decades, he has covered the Palestinian Authority and especially the Gaza Strip for Israeli television Channels 1 and 10. In 2007, he was awarded the Sokolov Prize, Israel’s most important media award, for this work. He has published two books: Eyeless in Gaza (2005), which anticipated the Hamas victory in the subsequent Palestinian elections, and Getting to Know Hamas (2012) which portrayed the dramatic change in the movement after Israel assassinated the founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin. Getting to Know Hamas was awarded the Yizhak Sadeh Prize for Military Literature (2012). In 2010 Eldar directed the film documentary "Precious Life," which won an Ophir Award (the Israeli Oscar) and went on to be shortlisted for an Academy Award as well as an official selection at several film festivals.

David Ellenson is director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and visiting professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. Chancellor-emeritus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, he served as president of HUC-JIR from 2001-2013. A scholar of modern Jewish thought and history, Ellenson is recognized for his writings and publications in these fields. He has written extensively on the origins and development of Orthodox Judaism in Germany during the Nineteenth Century, Orthodox legal writings on conversion in Israel, North America, and Europe during the modern era, the relationship between religion and state in Israel, the history of modern Jewish religious movements, and American Jewish life. Ellenson has authored or edited seven books and over 300 articles and reviews in a wide variety of academic and popular journals and newspapers. His book, After Emancipation: Jewish Religious Responses to Modernity, won the National Jewish Book Council’s award as outstanding book in Jewish Thought in 2005. At Brandeis as of Fall 2015, he teaches courses on "Who is a Jew? Jewish Status and Identity in Israel and America" and "Modern Questions, Jewish Answers: Modern Jewish Responsa Literature."

Rob Eshman is publisher and editor-in-chief of TRIBE Media, a niche multimedia company based in Los Angeles. Eshman started his journalism career as a staff writer at The Jewish Journal in 1993, and both he and The Jewish Journal have won numerous local and national awards. In 2009, he founded TRIBE Media, reimagining the community paper for the future. Tribe Media Corp. produces The Jewish Journal, Tribe magazine, – now one of the largest Jewish news websites in the world, and Jewish Insider, a daily Washington DC-based e-newsletter. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Eshman is a frequent commentator on Los Angeles-area radio and television, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Journalism.

Rachel Fish PhD '13 is associate director of the Schusterman Center. She completed her doctoral degree in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies department at Brandeis University in 2013. Her dissertation, "Configurations of Bi-nationalism: The Transformation of Bi-nationalism in Palestine/Israel 1920's-Present," examines the history of the idea of bi-nationalism and alternative visions for constructing the State of Israel. She 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, Fish teaches the Myra Kraft seminar on Israel at the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. In 2015 she held the Rohr Visiting Professorship at Harvard University, where she lectured on modern Israel and received the Derek Bok Certificate of Teaching Excellence.

Anne Herzberg is the legal advisor for NGO Monitor. Her research interests include international human rights and humanitarian law, NGOs and the UN system. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and Columbia University Law School. Herzberg is the author of several books and academic articles including, Best Practices for Human Rights and Humanitarian NGO Fact-Finding (Nijhoff 2012). She is one of the leading experts on NGO “lawfare” cases against Israeli officials and companies doing business with Israel. Herzberg frequently speaks before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, and her op-eds and articles have appeared in many publications, including Ha’aretz, The Wall Street Journal, and The Jerusalem Post.

Jeff Jacoby is an award-winning op-ed columnist for The Boston Globe, and a nationally recognized conservative voice. The Globe in 1994 recruited him from the Boston Herald, where he had been chief editorial writer since 1987. He graduated with honors from George Washington University in 1979 and from Boston University Law School in 1983. He (briefly) practiced law at the national firm of Baker & Hostetler, and was later an assistant to Dr. John Silber, the president of Boston University. In 1999, Jeff Jacoby became the first recipient of the Breindel Prize, a major award for excellence in opinion journalism. In 2004, he received the Thomas Paine Award from the Institute for Justice, which honors journalists “who dedicate their work to the preservation and championing of individual liberty.” In 2009, he was presented with the Ben Hecht Award for Outstanding Journalism on the Middle East.

Aliza Landes is captain (reserve) in the Israel Defense Force. She spent the majority of her professional career as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, where she served at the nexus of defense policy, communications strategy and international relations. In 2007, Landes enlisted in the IDF Spokesperson's Unit and in 2009 founded the IDF's new media department. In 2011, she was recruited to the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit, which is responsible for attending to the humanitarian needs of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Before making aliyah in 2006, Landes earned her BA in Middle Eastern studies from McGill University, where she was the editor of the Middle East Studies Students Association Journal. Today, Landes lives in Boston and is pursuing a dual MBA and MPA at MIT and Harvard.

Liel Leibovitz is a senior writer for Tablet Magazine and co-host of their podcast Unorthodox. He is a contributor to several publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and others. Leibovitz holds a PhD in communications from Columbia University, and has taught digital media at NYU, Barnard, and elsewhere. Leibovitz is the author of A Broken Hallelujah: Rock and Roll, Redemption, and the Life of Leonard Cohen (W.W. Norton & Co. 2014), Aliya: Three Generations of American-Jewish Immigration to Israel (Reed Elsevier 2007), and co-author (with Todd Gitlin) of The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel, and the Ordeal of Divine Election (Simon and Schuster 2013).

Lisa M. Lynch, the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy, became interim president of Brandeis University on July 1, 2015. She succeeded Frederick M. Lawrence, the university’s president from 2011 to 2015. Previously, Lynch served as Brandeis’ provost and chief academic officer, and as dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management from 2008 to 2014. Lynch is an internationally recognized labor economist; a leader with experience at the highest levels of academia and government; and an accomplished and compassionate teacher and scholar. Lynch has served as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor (1995-1997); director (2004-2009), chair and deputy chair (2007-2009) of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; chair of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve System (2009); and president of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (2013-2014). In addition, she has served on the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2008-2015) and the National Academies Committee on National Statistics (2009-2015). She is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow at IZA (Institute for Labor Economics, Germany). Lynch earned her BA in economics and political science at Wellesley College, and her MS and PhD in economics at the London School of Economics.

Menahem Milson is Professor (emeritus) of Arabic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he has taught since 1963. He served as dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University and as provost of the Rothberg International School for Overseas Students. He is the co-founder and academic adviser of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Areas of his research include Sufi literature, modern Egyptian literature and Arabic lexicography. Among his publications is a comprehensive study of the Egyptian Nobel laureate Najib Mahfuz, Najib Mahfuz: The Novelist Philosopher of Cairo (1998). He is also the author of the Hebrew University online Arabic-Hebrew dictionary.

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 and the nexus of religion, state and society. 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. He has written widely on politics, theology and culture for a number of publications including The New York Times, The New Republicc, 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. 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.

Yoram Peri is the Abraham S. and Jack Kay Chair in Israel Studies and director of the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies at the University of Maryland. He was a former political advisor to the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and former editor-in-chief of the Israeli daily Davar. He founded and served as head of the Chaim Herzog Institute for Media, Politics and Society at Tel Aviv University. Since 2011 he is the editor of Israel Studies Review, the flagship journal of the Association of Israel Studies. His book, Generals in the Cabinet Room: How the Military Shapes Israel Policy was given the “Best of the Best” award in 2007 by the Association of American University Presses. His book Brothers at War: The Rabin’s Assassination and the Cultural War in Israel won both the 2006 award for best book in the social sciences from the Israeli Political Science Association, as well as the 2005 Prime Minister’s Prize. Among his other books are Telepopulism: Media and Politics in Israel. Dr. Peri earned his PhD from the London School of Economics.

Gary Rosenblatt has been editor and publisher of The Jewish Week of New York, the largest Jewish newspaper in America, since the summer of 1993. Prior to that, he was editor of The Baltimore Jewish Times for 19 years. Rosenblatt has won numerous journalism awards from both the Jewish and secular press for his writing, and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 1985. His series of articles in 2000 on a rabbi accused of abusing teenagers for three decades won several national awards and led to the rabbi’s arrest and conviction. He is the author of Between The Lines: Reflections on the American Jewish Experience (2013). Rosenblatt founded The Conversation, an annual retreat for American Jewish leaders and emerging leaders; The Jewish Week Investigative Journalism Fund; and Write On For Israel, an educational program for Israel – through journalism – for high school students.

Jodi Rudoren became deputy international editor of The New York Times in January, 2016, after nearly four years as the paper's Jerusalem bureau chief. Since joining The Times in 1998, Rudoren has been education editor, deputy metro editor, Chicago bureau chief and national education correspondent. She also covered the 2004 presidential campaign and led a team that won's first Emmy Award, in "New Approaches to Documentary," for the 2009 multimedia series One in 8 Million. She previously worked for six years at The Los Angeles Times. She grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, where she was editor of the award-winning Newtonite of Newton North High School. Rudoren graduated from Yale University with a degree in history in 1992.

Jonathan Sarna '75 MA '75 is the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and chair of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University. He is the past president of the Association for Jewish Studies and chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Dubbed by the Forward newspaper in 2004 as one of America’s fifty most influential American Jews, he was chief historian for the 350th commemoration of the American Jewish community, and is recognized as a leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life. In 2009, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Sarna attended Brandeis University, the Boston Hebrew College, Merkaz HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, and Yale University, where he obtained his doctorate in 1979. He has written, edited, or co-edited more than thirty books, including Lincoln and the Jews: A History (with Benjamin Shapell) and 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.

Muna Shikaki is an on-air correspondent and video journalist for Al-Arabiya TV, a leading Arabic language news network. Based in Washington, DC since 2004, she covers a broad range of issues, from US elections and politics, to foreign policy and the Arab and Muslim American communities. Shikaki has reported from over 30 US states, Guantanamo Bay Cuba, Dubai, the Palestinian Territories and South America. She was a 2004 Fulbright scholar at Columbia University in New York, where she earned her MS in Journalism. She completed her BA at Birzeit University in Ramallah, Palestine.