Audio and Video Highlights

Still from video of Rabinyan lecture

Dorit Rabinyan, Nov. 6, 2017 [Video]

Program book cover from 2017 AIS conference at Brandeis

2017 AIS conference, "A Century After Balfour: Vision and Reality" [Videos]

media conference

Media conference 2016 [video/audio]

Past Events and Podcasts

Cover of The Zionist Ideas, by Gil TroyFrom the Zionist Idea to the Zionist Ideas:

How to Jump Start an Old-New Conversation

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Book launch and author talk with
Gil Troy

Gil Troy is an American political historian and a distinguished scholar in North American History at McGill University. He has also taught at the Ruderman Program on relations between Israel and American Jewry at Haifa University, at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya, and at the Rothberg Program for Overseas Students at Hebrew University.

Troy's most recent manuscript is: The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland—Then, Now, Tomorrow (JPS, 2018).

Photo of historian Gil TroyBuilding upon Hertzberg’s classic text, Troy's The Zionist Ideas is the most comprehensive Zionist collection ever published. Over 170 passionate visionaries (4x more than Hertzberg, now including women, mizrahim, and other overlooked thinkers) are organized by three time periods, then subdivided into six schools of Zionist thought—Political, Revisionist, Labor, Religious, Cultural, and Diaspora—shedding light on the surprisingly diverse and shared commitments to realizing Israel as a democratic Jewish state. This mosaic of voices will engage equally diverse readers in reinvigorating the Zionist conversation—weighing and developing the moral, social, and political character of the Jewish state of today and tomorrow.

Banner advertising 10th Anniversary event


The 10th Anniversary of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies

A Conference and Celebration

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

The Ilan Troen Lectures on Contemporary Israel Affairs
3:00-6:15 PM (followed by a reception):

Daniel Shapiro, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel
"The United States and Israel Face a Changing Middle East”

Rivka Carmi, President, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
“Personal and National Stories Intertwine: Israel at 70"

Monday, March 26th, 2018
10th Anniversary Conference

9:00-11:30 AM  Roundtable: "Home, Land, and Homeland"


Safa Abu Rabia, Harvard University
Shay Rabineau, Binghamton University
Yehudah Mirsky, Brandeis University

Followed by facilitated small-group discussions

1:00-2:45 PM  "The Distance between Beirut and Jerusalem: 162 Kilometers or 101 Miles"

A workshop on reimagining the past

with "Theatre of Operations" artists
Hagar Ophir and Hakim Bishara

Book launch for Haifa: City of Steps

Photo of Nili Gold

by Nili Scharf Gold
(Brandeis University Press, 2017)

Thursday, March 15, 2018 

Author Nili Scharf Gold, Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature, in Conversation with Prof. Ilana Szobel

Haifa: City of Steps is a rich look, from a native daughter, at the evolving relations of people, architecture, and landscape in Haifa over several decades.


Picture of event flyer, Rosenberg-Friedman book launch

Book launch and author talk for Birthrate Politics in Zion: Judaism, Nationalism and Modernity under the British Mandate

(Indiana University Press, 2017)

with author, Lilach Rosenberg-Friedman

January 30, 2018

Event Flyer

Back from Israel:

Eizenstat Grantees Tell All

November 15, 2017

Photo of Mya Goodman with Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat

Returning Eizenstat Israel Travel Grant recipients shared stories of their projects and adventures in Israel, followed by a discussion with Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, former US Ambassador to the European Union and former Deputy Secretary of the United States Treasury.

Photo of Ambassador Stuart EizenstatPhoto of Eizenstat grantees with Ambassador Eizenstat and Professor David Ellenson

The Supreme Court of Israel within a Jewish and Democratic State

Photo of Justice Elyakim RubinsteinA talk by Israeli Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein (ret.)

November 6, 2017
Sherman Function Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center
Brandeis University

Discussant: Yehudah Mirsky, Associate Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

Moderator: David Ellenson, Director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University

Free and open to the public.

Justice Rubinstein’s visit courtesy of the Consulate General of Israel to New England.

Cosponsored by Brandeis University and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University

"The Book of Blessings" and "The Days Between"

Photo of Marcia FalkFeminist Prayer Books for Our Times

Talk and Book Signing with Author, Marcia Falk

November 6, 2017
International Lounge, Usdan Student Center
Brandeis University

We celebrated the release of the 20th-anniversary edition of Marcia Falk's The Book of Blessings: New Jewish Prayers for Daily Life, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival (Central Conference of American Rabbis), with Marcia Falk herself! Dr. Falk also read from her recent book, The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season (Brandeis University Press, The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Series on Jewish Women).

The Central Conference of American Rabbis was delighted to bring Marcia Falk's groundbreaking book of creative liturgy back into print. With new essays by scholars Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Rabbi Dalia Marx, and Rabbi David Ellenson, this volume will inspire a new generation and re-ignite those who encountered this innovative collection when it was first published in 1996.

Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, and the Brandeis University Program in Religious Studies

A Doomed Israeli-Palestinian Love Story

Book launch and signing with Iranian-Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan

Watch video

Dorit Rabinyan November 6, 2017, Doomed Israeli-Palestinian Love Story event posterClick for poster

November 1, 2017
Brandeis University
Rapaporte Treasure Hall

Free and open to the public

Books available for purchase.

A riveting evening with Dorit Rabinyan, one of Israel’s most acclaimed young novelists. The author discussed and signed copies of her international
Dorit Rabinyan, photo © Ziv Koren
bestselling, award-winning All the Rivers, the controversial love story between an Israeli writer and a Palestinian painter.  

Cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies and by the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation Program (CAST); the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; and the Hebrew Language Program

Photo © Ziv Koren

Jerusalem: 50 Years of Complex Unification

Ezrahi Event FlyerA talk by Dr. Elan Ezrachi

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Mandel Center for the Humanities, 3rd Floor Conference Room

In June 1967, Jerusalem was transformed from a small, divided and threatened town with an international border running through it, to a large metropolis, under Israel's control. The unification of Jerusalem radically changed the city's character. The residents, regardless of religion and ethnicity, were sharing in the new city, now managed by Israel during one of its most euphoric and triumphalist moments. Dr. Elan Ezrachi is a native of Jerusalem and the author of a new book (in Hebrew) telling the story of what happened in Jerusalem since 1967.

Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Brandeis Hillel

“The Mute's House” - Film Screening and Discussion with Director Tamar Kay

Monday, October 16, 2017
Free and open to the Brandeis community. 

Award-winning filmmaker Tamar Kay shared her Oscar nominated documentary short (32 minutes), “The Mute's House,” in Professor Gannit Ankori's “Art and Trauma: Israeli, Palestinian, Latin American and United States Art" class. This was followed by Q&A with the director, moderated by Prof. Ankori. For details...

Association for Israel Studies Conference

2017 AIS conference program book coverJune 12-14, 2017 

The Schusterman Center and Brandeis University hosted the 33rd annual meeting of the Association for Israel Studies, with generous support from the Israel Institute.

Keynote conversation with Leon Wieseltier, "Reflections on the Balfour Declaration"
June 12, 2017
Moderator: Ilan Troen

Plenary session I, “50 Years Since ’67” (June 13, 2017)
Moderator: David Ellenson, Brandeis University
Speakers: Anita Shapira, Tel Aviv University
     Hussein Ibish, Arab Gulf States Institute
     Dan Kurtzer, Princeton University
     Husam Zomlot, Chief Representative of the Palestinian
       General Delegation to the United States

Plenary session II, “The Role of NGO’s Inside/Outside of Israel” (June 13, 2017)
Moderator: Rachel Fish, Brandeis University
Speakers: Peter Beinart, City University of New York
     Alisa Doctoroff, Past President, UJA-Federation of New York
     Gerald Steinberg, Bar-Ilan University

Essential Israel Book Launch

May 2, 2017

essential israel

The Schusterman Center's newest publication has just been published: Essential Israel: Essays for the 21st Century. The May 2nd book launch featured an introduction by David Ellenson, remarks by co-editors Rachel Fish and Ilan Troen, as well as commentary by Len Saxe, director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies.

Can Israel be Both Jewish and Democratic?

regev hiddushMarch 30, 2017

An internationally renowned leader and advocate of religious liberty, Rabbi Uri Regev – President and CEO of Hiddush – spoke about the tension between the religious establishment in Israel and democratic values.

Hebrew Language and Arts Week

March 21-23, 2017yehoshua sobol

The Hebrew Language program hosted an interactive week of Hebrew language and arts, emphasizing the Experiential Learning method. Cosponsored by the Near Eastern & Judaic Studies Department, the Department of Theater Arts, the Schusterman Center, Hillel at Brandeis, Hillel International, and the Israeli Consulate, the week featured lectures by renowned playwright Yehoshua (Joshua) Sobol.

The Last Words: The Fate of the Ladino Language in Turkeyender

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Filmmaker Rita Ender screened and discussed her documentary film, with commentary provided by Schusterman Center and Anthropology Department visiting professor André Levy.

Among the Righteous:
Jews in Arab Lands During the Holocaust

A Talk by Dr. Robert Satloffsatloff poster

January 25, 2017

As International Holocaust day approached, we joined Dr. Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy. His talk focused on research for his book Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust's Long Reach into Arab Lands.

An expert on Arab and Islamic politics as well as U.S. Middle East policy, Dr. Satloff has written and spoken widely on the Arab-Israeli peace process, the challenge of Political Islam, and the need to revamp U.S. public diplomacy in the Middle East.

The event was cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies.

Jewishness in Israel – Online Course in January-February ben gurion and hazon ish

This online course was offered to Brandeis alumni and members of the Brandeis National Committee on three Tuesdays in January-February, 2017. Professor David Ellenson presented the topic in three live online seminars, provided readings and answered questions. For details...

Meet the Author: Abigail Jacobson

Oriental Neighbors: Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestineabigail jacobson
November 22, 2016

A sizeable audience heard from David Ellenson, Ilan Troen, Eugene Sheppard and the author herself, followed by a book signing. Abigail Jacobson is the academic director of the Mediterranean Neighbors Program at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and co-author of the Oriental Neighbors with Moshe Naorassistant professor in the department of Israel Studies at the University of Haifa.  

Cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies.

From Anti-Zionism to Anti-Semitism: Preparing High School Students for the New Reality

November 14-15, 2016

200 educators took part in this conference in Ft. Lee, New Jersey which was developed by the Schusterman Center in order to help educators in Jewish high schools understand and deal with what their graduates are likely to experience in college. For program details, see here.

The program was cosponsored by the Avi Chai Foundation.

Reception for Eizenstat Undergraduate Travel Grantees

November 9, 2016

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat attended our 3rd annual reception for grantees of the Frances Taylor Eizenstat '65 Undergraduate Israel Travel Grant Program. President Ron Liebowitz, provost Lisa Lynch, center director David Ellenson and audience members heard from last year's grantees who: Studied at Hebrew University; interned at the Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma; volunteered on a farm for school-leavers; researched Jewish law; and excavated antiquities.”

Where Does Responsibility Lie? Reframing the Israel-Palestine Conflict

david myers

September 20, 2016

A talk by David N. Myers drew a standing-room only crowd at the Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room. Dr. Myers is the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA and has written widely in the fields of Jewish intellectual and cultural history. Amongst them is his book Between Jew and Arab: The Lost Voice of Simon Rawidowicz, published by Brandeis University Press in 2008.


Abraham Joshua Heschel and his Role in the Civil Rights Struggles of the 1960s


April 12, 2016

Michael Marmur is provost of Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and spoke to a group of Brandeis and community members. His book Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder was just published by University of Toronto Press.  More here...

Summoned: Identification and Religious Life in a Jewish Neighborhood

April 14, 2016

Israeli sociologist Iddo Tavory, Assistant Professor of Sociology at New York University, was invited by Brandeis' Department of Sociology to give this talk on the orthodox Jewish community in Los Angeles. 

Organized American Jewish Political Support for Israel, 1943-1963
An Historical Analysis

April 19, 2016
Moshe Fox

Dr. Moshe Fox graduated the Hebrew University with a BA from the Department of Jewish Studies, an MA from the Institute of Contemporary Jewry and a PhD in Contemporary Jewish Studies. During his tenure at the Foreign Ministry he was posted twice to the Embassy of Israel in Washington DC and to the Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-West (Chicago). More here...

Israel and the Media

media conference

April 3-4, 2016

This public conference featured Ethan Bronner as inaugural keynote speaker for the Ilan Troen Lecture on Contemporary Israel Affairs.
For program details and recording (coming soon)...

The program was cosponsored by the Israel Institute with support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

From Dual Loyalty to Offended Liberalism
Continuities and Discontinuities in the American Jewish - Israel Relationship


Tuesday, March 29

Dr. Daniel Gordis was introduced by Center director David Ellenson and compared the American Jewish attitude towards Israel at its independence, and now. The author of more than ten books, Gordis is a regular columnist for both the Jerusalem Post and for Bloomberg ViewMore here...

The Israeli Mosaic: Identity, Society and Religion
Pew Research Center Poll of Israeli Citizens

Tuesday, March 22, 2016pew survey

The Pew Research Center in Washington, DC and the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University have just concluded a unique and in-depth public opinion survey in Israel, polling a sample of 5600 Israeli Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, and others. Brig. Gen. (ret.) Meir Elran, senior researcher at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) presented the findings. More...

The event was cosponsored with the Crown Center for Middle East Studies.

The Place of Justice and Human Rights in Israeli-Palestinian Peace Making:

An Insider's Perspective

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tal Becker spoke to an outsize crowd of students and Brandeis community members. Dr. Becker is author of Terrorism and the State, which won the Guggenheim Prize for best international law book. Becker is principal deputy legal adviser at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a senior member of the Israeli peace negotiation team. More...

Justice Louis Brandeis and the Transformation of American Zionism
Vision, Identity, and Legacy

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Part of the centennial series of events celebrating Justice Brandeis, this roundtable discussion examined how Louis Brandeis transformed, popularized, and idealized American Zionism in line with his progressive social ideals. More...
For Video...

Return to Casablanca: Jews, Muslims and an Israeli Anthropologist
by André Levy

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dr. André Levy, visiting scholar at the Schusterman Center and senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, signed his book for a full audience of Brandeis community members and outside guests. The book was introduced by Dr. Roy Mittelman, director of the Jewish Studies program at City College of New York, who provided reflections on doing fieldwork in Morocco.