Past Events and Podcasts

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


April 12, 2016

Dr. Michael Marmur is provost of Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. 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.

The Life and Legacy of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

November 4, 2015

Brandeis University's Israel Studies faculty shared their reflections on the life and legacy of Yitzhak Rabin z"l followed by a dialogue with the audience. For details...

David Ellenson Delivers 52nd Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture

To Reshape the World: Interpretation, Renewal, and Feminist Approaches to Jewish Law in America and Israel

November 3, 2015

David Ellenson is Director of the Schusterman Center and Visiting Professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis.  Watch the video.

Ronit Matalon Visits Brandeis Classroom

October 16, 2015Ronit Matalon 2015

Brandeis students in the class on "Breaking Boundaries in Contemporary Israeli Culture" were treated to a rare visit from Israeli author Ronit Matalon, who spoke about the sources of her writing and the writer's life.

"I imagine I write for twenty people who really really love literature and that my books are continuing a conversation that we have had and will have." Chair of Hebrew Literature Ilana Szobel introduced the author, with questions asked by her students and interested faculty who joined the group.

"Breaking Boundaries in Contemporary Israeli Culture" is a NEJS/Fine Arts cross-listed course taught jointly by Ilana Szobel and Gannit Ankori.

Click on the play button below to hear the Podcast.

Eizenstat Grant Reception and Q&A
group photo Eizenstat Reception 2015

October 8, 2015

The Frances Taylor Eizenstat '65 Undergraduate Israel Travel Grants are competitive grants of $2500 each, awarded to undergraduates from any Brandeis department pursuing academic or career interests in Israel. Ambassador Eizenstat and President Lynch graced us with their presence at this reception featuring presentations from Grantees Ethan Stein, Emily Dworkin, Ilana Rosenbaum, Ohad Elhelo and Hannah Kober. Former Grantees Eliezer Buechler and Viktoria Bedo were also on hand.

For more details about the grant...

In the Aftermath of the Nuclear Deal:
The Middle East, Iran, the U.S. and Israel

Panel Discussion
Thursday, October 1, 2015

Curious about the ramifications of the Iran nuclear deal? The Rapaporte Treasure Hall in Goldfarb Library was packed with an interested Brandeis audience as well as the general public. The panelists included Brandeis faculty experts and guest speakers from Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs and Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. Cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies

For audiocast of each speaker...

Nira Pereg Featured in Rose Video Series

pereg still imageRose Video 07 | Nira Pereg
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In conjunction with social media #AskaCurator day, "Rose Video 07 | Nira Pereg" Curator Gannit Ankori led a discussion on the artist's past work, the political and religious influences at play in her art making, and how this Israeli artist has evolved over time to arrive at the current Rose exhibition.  More...

Events in Cinema, Art and Politics: Week of April 20-23, 2015

Above and Beyond
 Film Screening
Followed by Q&A with Professor Tamar Frankel

Monday, April 20

In 1948, a group of Jewish American pilots answered a call for help. In secret and at great personal risk, they smuggled planes out of the U.S., trained behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and flew for Israel in its War of Independence. The film has a special Brandeis connection: One of the pilots featured is Harold Livingston '55.

Boston University professor of law Tamar Frankel is a former member of the Haganah and an early member of the Israeli Air Force.

Cosponsored by the Department of American Studies, Brandeis University Alumni Association, Department of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, National Center for Jewish Film and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Nira Pereg: Artist Talk and Reception

Tuesday, April 21

Acclaimed Israeli artist Nira Pereg's visit to Brandeis University is presented with support from the Bronfman Brandeis-Israel Research Collaboration Fund, Artis, the Rose Art Museum, the Department of Fine Arts, the Brandeis Arts Council and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Iran and Israel: Prospects for De-escalation

Thursday, April 23

A talk with Meir Javedanfar, Iran-Israel expert and author of The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran. For details click here.

Cosponsored by the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Program and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

The Teaching of Israel in the Academy:
A Summer Institute for Israel Studies Symposium

April 19, 2015

The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies hosted a scholars symposium April 19th; about the challenges and opportunities of teaching Israel on college campuses in North America and around the world. Keynote speakers included Jeffrey Herf and Shibley Telhami from the University of Maryland. Alumni of the Summer Institute for Israel Studies presented their experience of teaching Israel Studies in multiple disciplines and diverse institutions.
This symposium was cosponsored by the Israel Institute.
For program details and videos, click here.

Ambassador Dennis Ross at Brandeis

dennis ross

"The Middle East and the Israeli Elections"

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Invited to campus at the behest of student group BIPAC (Brandeis-Israel Public Affairs Committee), Ambassador Dennis Ross spoke with different groups of students and faculty on campus as well as with alumni of the Summer Institute for Israel Studies in a webinar. At a well-attended public event in the evening he was introduced by President Frederick M. Lawrence.  For more details and video...

This program was made possible by funding from Hillel International, and cosponsored by BIPAC, bVIEW, J Street U Brandeis, Hillel at Brandeis and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Shimon Attie: Artist Residency 2015

shimon attie

Shimon Attie returned to Brandeis for a residency that engaged questions of memory, place and identity. His artwork, recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize, gives visual form to personal and collective memories, histories of marginalized and forgotten communities, and physical landscape. 

The following artist talks took place February 26 & 27 and March 26:

"Israel/Palestine: Facts on the Ground"
at the Mandel Center for the Humanities, M328 (third floor conference room)

"Gendered and Other Memory Spaces"
at Goldman Schwartz 115

"Language and Landscape" Panel Discussion with Shimon Attie and Joseph Wardwell, moderated by Professor Peter R. Kalb.
at Goldman Schwartz 115

This artist residency was generously funded by the Poses Fund, Brandeis Arts Council, presented by the Department of Fine Arts and cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

For more...

Brave Miss World

Brave Miss World

Special screening followed by talk with Linor Abargil

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Israeli beauty queen Linor Abargil was abducted and raped in Milan, Italy two months before being crowned Miss World in 1998. Ten years later, she’s ready to talk about it – and to encourage others to speak out.

Sponsored by the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund; the Film, Television and Interactive Media program at Brandeis; the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies; and the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Services

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

Special screening followed by talk with human rights lawyer,
Susan WeissGett

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Gett, the Israeli bid for an Oscar, takes place entirely in a Rabbinical courtroom where the wife is begging her husband to grant her a Jewish divorce. It is the third of a trilogy of films written by sister and brother Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz, illuminating the difficulty of divorce in a country that does not recognize civil jurisdiction over marriage.

Sponsored by the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund, the Film, Television and Interactive Media program at Brandeis, and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel
Lecture & Book-signing by Professor Anita Shapira

January 14, 2015Ben-Gurion Father of Modern Israel

The Reading Room audience overflowed into the hall to hear from Anita Shapira, professor emerita in Jewish History and founder of the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies at Tel Aviv University. Her reflections on Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel were preceded by opening remarks from Ilan Troen, Stoll Family Chair in Israel Studies and Director of the Schusterman Center. There were a number of interesting questions from the eclectic audience and a book-signing followed. More...

A Future More VividBetsy Rosenberg

Poetry Reading & Conversation with Betsy Rosenberg

December 1, 2014

American-Israeli poet and translator Betsy Rosenberg "enchants and unsettles in poems that read like oracles." [Gabriel Levin]. An avid audience discussed Betsy Rosenberg's work in the Mandel Reading Room as the sun set. Cosponsored by the Creative Writing program, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

Fill the Void

Film Screening and Q&A with Actor Yiftach KleinYiftach Klein

December 4, 2014

After a young Hasidic woman dies in childbirth, her 18-year-old sister is asked to cancel her upcoming marriage to a promising young man and marry her widowed brother-in-law. A lively discussion was engendered by Alice Kelikian and Yiftach Klein in responding to questions from the audience at Wasserman Cinematheque. Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Film, Television & Interactive Media Program.

Q&A with Richard Cohen

Author of "Israel: Is it Good for the Jews?"

November 20, 2014

Shai Feldman and Ilan Troen carried out a "Davos-style" discussion with Richard Cohen about his new book Israel: Is it Good for the Jews? Richard Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, where he has covered national politics and foreign affairs since 1976. Shai Feldman is Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center and Professor of Politics. Ilan Troen is Stoll Family Chair in Israel Studies and Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

A Teach-In on the Gaza Conflict and BDS Movement

November 16, 2014BDS Session

Are you confused and concerned about the conflict that occurred in Gaza between Palestinians and Israelis? Do you want to better understand the political landscape of Gaza and gain insight into Palestinian politics? Has the Gaza conflict impacted the climate on college campuses and the attitudes held by the Millennial generation toward Israel? What is the BDS movement and its impact on campus?  

These issues were explored in lectures and break-out sessions in a Sunday teach-in on campus.

For program details click here.

Artist Talks, October 2014

efrat natan

October 28

Israeli artist Efrat Natan presented her work to Brandeis students in Gannit Ankori's class, "Moving Images: Israeli Video Art in Context."

Ribbon Around a Bomb
October 13

Israeli artist Nelly Agassi presented the first lecture in the Fall 2014 Art and Gender Global Perspectives series. Funded by the Brandeis Arts Council, presented by the Department of Fine Arts with Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and co-sponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Nelly was a visiting artist in Fall 2010, creating an art installation in honor of the Schusterman Center dedicationAt Brandeis, she and photographer husband Assaf Evron discussed their craft with Brandeis classes in the Fine Arts.

Meet the Director
Special Screening of "Route 90" and Q&A with Anat Zeltser

October 2, 2014

Anat Zeltser and Modi Bar-on travel to the Israeli present. They road trip Route 90 – the lowest highway in the world, the longest road in Israel, the only one to connect it from side to side, border to border. Route 90 stretches through the Great Rift Valley, perhaps though the Israeli rift as well. It crawls by the landscapes that once were at the security and ideological forefront and are now in the backyard.

Director Anat Zeltser also visited Brandeis Hebrew classes and shared the artistic process of creating documentaries with Brandeis students.

Program co-sponsored by the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund; the Film, Television, and Interactive Media program, and the Hebrew language program. 

September 2014 Lectures

What Israel's Growing Ties with China Mean for the US-Israel Relationship

September 11th

The Brandeis International Business School invited Sam Chester, analyst at KCPS Clarity, to discuss the Israel-China relationship. Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center.

Orit Rozin: "The Right to Childhood: Law, Change, and Social Identity"

September 10th

Orit Rozin, senior lecturer in the department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University, will give a talk as part of the HBI Seminar on Gender, Culture, Religion, and the Law. 
Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution

Rav Kook cover

Reception and Book Signing
May 1, 2014

Yehudah Mirsky is Associate Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. His book, recently published by Yale University Press, has been called "Learned, luminous and uncannily timely..." by the Jewish Review of Books. The reception included reflections by Eugene Sheppard, Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History and Thought at Brandeis and Alexander Kaye, Tikvah Post-Doctoral Fellow in Jewish Thought at Princeton University.

Click here for the flyer
Click here for a photo album of the event.

The Shoah in Israeli Culture, Memory and Politics

April 27-28, 2014

The Schusterman Center hosted a conference for SIIS fellows and the general public on "The Shoah in Israeli Culture, Memory, and Politics." It took place over Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah). 

The conference opened with a videotaped message from Elie Wiesel, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University and University Professor. The author of Night and over 60 fiction and non-fiction books, Professor Wiesel is also the 1986 Nobel Peace Laureate. 

Keynotes were offered by Dan Michman, Modern Jewish History Professor and Chair of the Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research at Bar-Ilan University; Head of the International Institute of Holocaust Research and John Najmann Chair in Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem and by Yehudah Mirsky, Associate Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. For more, including videos...

Cosponsored by the Israel Institute and the Center for German and European Studies.

Savyon Liebrecht, Award-winning Israeli Author and PlayrightSvyon Liebricht at Grad Seminar

March 27-28, 2014

Savyon Liebricht came to Brandeis at the invitation of the Center for German and European Studies and the Schusterman Center in collaboration with Israeli Stage. Actors Will Lyman, Patrick Shea and Rebecca Schneebaum read from her new play, Dear Sigmund and Carl, which depicts the historic meeting between Freud's and Jung's sons. Following the performance, Ms. Leibricht took questions from the audience.

The next day, she spoke with the Schusterman Scholars in a private seminar - "Writing about the Holocaust."

She is the recipient of the Alterman Literary Prize for her story collection "Apples from the Desert" (1987) and the Prime Minister's Prize for Literature (1992 and 1999) and the Playwright of the Year Award (2004 and 2006). 

Unemployment: Why Americans Blame Themselves and Israelis Blame the System

March 20, 2014

Ofer Sharone, sociologist and assistant professor in MIT's Sloan Institute of Work and Employment Relations spoke about his book, Flawed System Flawed Self, and the cross-national in-depth interviews that revealed unique unemployment experiences in each country. Cosponsored by the Sociology Department.

1914 and the History of the Middle East
Reassessing the First World War and its Impact on the Region

March 20, 2014

This panel discussion examined how new findings have changed our understanding of WWI and how the war dramatically changed the Middle East. Moderated by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, the panel featured:

  • Paul Jankowski, Raymond Ginger Professor of History at Brandeis University 
  • Stephen Van Evera, Ford International Professor in the Political Science Department at MIT 
  • Cyrus Schayegh, Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University
  • Asher Kaufman, Associate Professor of History and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame

For the video... 

Mika Rottenberg Solo Show: Bowls Balls Souls Holes

Opened February 13, 2014
at the Rose Art Museum

Mika Rottenberg is an Israeli video and installation artist born in Buenos Aires in 1976. In conjunction with her solo exhibition she received the Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter award and spent several days in residency on the Brandeis campus. Public events included an artist talk and reception that were part of the "Art and Gender: Global Perspectives" Lecture Series. 

Funded by the Brandeis Arts Council, presented by the Department of Fine Arts with Women & Gender Studies and cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

"Six Million and One"
Special Screening and Q&A with Director David Fisher

January 30-31, 2014

Documentary filmmaker David Fisher engaged with the audience at the Wasserman Cinematheque following the special screening of his film, Six Million and One. The award-winning film follows David and his siblings as they retrace the journey of their late father Joseph during the Holocaust.

On Friday, January 31, he spoke to the Schusterman Scholars Seminar about the making of documentary films in Israel and what happens when the private becomes public.

Cosponsored by the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund, and the Program for Film, Television & Interactive Media at Brandeis.

Meet the Author: Ari Shavit

My Promised Land The Triumph and Tragedy of IsraelShavit Event 01-27-14

January 27, 2014

Ari Shavit, Haaretz columnist and public intellectual, spoke to a group of student leaders and to a full house at Brandeis about his bestselling book, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. As it examines the complexities and contradictions of the Israeli condition, his book asks difficult but important questions: Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? Can Israel survive? Culminating with an analysis of the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing, My Promised Land uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present.

Cosponsored by the Israel Institute.

For the video...

Israel Studies Workshop in IndiaFred Lawrence and Ilan Troen

December 9-10, 2013

OP Jindal Global University collaborated with the Schusterman Center in creating an Israel Studies workshop for members of their School of International Affairs. Brandeis faculty Ilan Troen, Gannit Ankori, Yehudah Mirsky and Rachel Fish all presented lectures at the New Delhi event, and were accompanied by President Fred Lawrence.

The organizers for OP Jindal were alumni of our Summer Institute for Israel Studies, Rohee Dasgupta and Robert Barnidge. More...

Meet the Artist: Gilad RatmanHeads wall, by Gilad Ratman

October 23, 2013
Presentations in Brandeis classes

  • "Israel: Art and Politics - A Love Story," in Prof. Gannit Ankori's Israeli Art class.
  • "The Workshop," in Prof. Peter Kalb's Contemporary Art class;  Designing the Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Two crowded classrooms were held captive by talks given by artist Gilad Ratman, himself a lecturer at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem. In explaining the methodology in developing his art pieces and exploring the meaning of "Israeliness" in art, he discussed the role of the media in marketing what is Israeli in art whereas his own interest lies in finding the primordial. He is captivated by the similarity between land and skin in creating a border or boundary, noting that video too is about the surface of things. More...

Unearthing the Dead Sea Scrolls: Religion, Politics and Science of its Excavation

October 17, 2013
Boston Museum of Science

The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies collaborated with Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies to offer a special program for high-school educators in the Boston area.  Through discussion with scholars and examination of the large-scale exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls at Boston's Museum of Science, secondary school educators of social studies and physics had an opportunity to explore the significance of these artifacts, as well as intersections with contemporary technology and politics. More...

Verses of Longing: Desire and Gender in Modern Hebrew LiteratureVerses of Longing Scholars Workshop

Brandeis-BGU International Workshop for Scholars
Organizers: Ilana Szobel and Hamutal Tsamir

October 1-2, 2013

This workshop explored the ways in which Hebrew literature represents, constructs and struggles with various forms of desire, addressing the juxtaposition of poetics and desire in the context of ideology, nationalism, Judaism, modernity, sexuality, passion, and power. The scholars workshop takes place in Hebrew with one English-language session open to the general public. More...

Sponsored by the Bronfman Philanthropies grant for the Brandeis-Israel Collaborative Research Initiative, with the support of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the NEJS department.

Omer Fast: 5000 Feet is the Best

Rose Art Museum
September 17 - November 3rd, 2013

Israeli-born artist Omer Fast kicked off a new multi-year series at the Rose Art Museum called "Rose Video." First shown at the 2011 Venice Biennale, 5000 Feet is Best opens up a discussion about one of the most pressing issues of today - drone surveillance and warfare. More...

For a look at past events, click here.

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