Yang Yang, Shanghai International Studies University
Akhmad Sahal, University of Pennsylvania
Benny Neuberger, Open University of Israel
Aviva Halamish, Open University of Israel
Visiting scholars hosted by the Schusterman Center, work on academic research projects and usually present their topic at the bi-monthly Scholars Seminar.
Andre Levy, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Dr. Levy is senior lecturer in the department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He obtained his PhD in Anthropology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1996, conducting his doctoral research on the dwindling of the Jewish community in contemporary Casablanca. The bulk of his writing stemming from this anthropological fieldwork focuses on Jewish-Muslim relationships in Morocco and on homeland-diaspora relations. Jewish-Muslim relationships are examined within the ontological and epistemological framework of diaspora. Homeland-diaspora relations are critically examined through the day to day life experiences of the tiny Jewish minority in Morocco vis-à-vis Israel as a presumed symbolic center. Dr. Levy also publishes articles on roots travel to Morocco, and is interested in the theoretical issues of pilgrimages, identity politics, ethnicity, nation-states, and diasporas. With Alex Weingrod, he is editor of On Homelands and Diasporas: Holy Lands and Other Places, Stanford University Press. He is also the author of Return to Casablanca: Jews, Muslims, and an Israeli Anthropologist, University of Chicago Press.
David Rier, Bar-Ilan University
Dr. Rier is senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Bar-Ilan University. His primary fields are medical sociology, sociology of science, and public health. His current research involves: the experience of patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs); the ethics of allocation of scarce medical resources in Israeli ICUs, military medicine, and organ transplants; influences on Israeli tobacco-control policy; and illness narratives. Among his past studies are women’s health in the Israeli haredi community, and Internet support groups for HIV/AIDS. While at Brandeis, he will be collaborating with Prof. Wendy Cadge of the Brandeis Sociology Department (and Dr. Michal Pagis of Bar-Ilan) on a study of the development of lay pastoral services in Israel. Rier is adjunct faculty at the Braun Hebrew University - Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine. His honors include the Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication prize of the Medical Sociology section of the American Sociological Association. He was educated (undergraduate and graduate) at Columbia University.
Randall Geller '11, Brandeis University
Dr. Geller is a graduate of Brandeis University’s NEJS department, earning a Ph.D. in Israel Studies and Middle Eastern history in 2011. Randall has taught at the University of Texas, Monash University and the University of Toronto, has submitted a book for publication based on his doctoral work, and has published articles on state-minority relations in post-independence Israel and is currently writing others. His doctoral thesis, "Non-Jewish Minorities and the Question of Military Service in the Israel Defense Forces, 1948-1958," won the Glatzer Award for most outstanding dissertation in the NEJS Department in 2011, and he has also won several teaching awards. Randall is beginning his second full-length work this year. He has been assistant editor of The Levantine Review since 2011, and is thrilled to be returning to his alma mater and former home in the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.
Guangmeng Chen, Sichuan International Studies University
Dr. Chen is currently an associate professor at the School of International Relations in Sichuan International Studies University (SISU). He got his Ph.D. from the Department of History, Nanjing University in 2010, and then he entered SISU as a lecturer in International Relations. From Oct. 2012 through Jan. 2013, Dr. Chen was a visiting scholar in the Faculty of Humanities, Bar-Ilan University. Since 2013, he is director of the Center for Israel Studies at SISU. He has published articles on Israeli Think Tanks and Their Role in Israel’s Foreign Policy. His main teaching and research fields include International Relations History, Israeli Think Tanks, Sino-Israel Relations and related topics.
Hetian Duan, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Ms. Duan received her Masters degree from the Institute of Jewish Studies, School of History and Culture, Henan University in 2013. She attended an educational seminar at the International School of Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem in 2011. In 2011-2012 she was a visiting scholar in the Faculty of Humanities, Bar-Ilan University. Since 2013, she is a doctoral student at the Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She has published articles on Alexander II's Policies for Jews, on William C. White's life in Kaifeng China and about the transformation of the Kibbutz in the 1980s. Her research interests extend to Judaism in modern Israel and America, the history of Chinese Jews and related topics.
Yang Yang, Shanghai International Studies University
Dr. Yang is an associate professor at Shanghai International Studies University (SHISU). He serves as Director of the Hebrew Program & Israel Studies Center as well as Associate Dean of the College of Asian and African Studies. He helped create the university's Hebrew Program in 2008. He designs the curriculum of the Hebrew Program and teaches basic Hebrew, advanced Hebrew, Jewish History and Culture, Politics and Diplomacy in the Middle East, and more. Previously, Dr. Yang worked as a research fellow in the Middle East Studies Institute of Sichuan International Studies University (SISU). He participated in research programs such as “The Relations between Israel and US”, “Research on the Social Functions of the Mosques in the Middle East”, “Middle East Think Tanks”, and “Non-proliferation Mechanism in the Middle East”. Yang Yang earned his Hebrew language and literature degree at Peking University, China. He got his MA degree and PhD in International Relations in the Middle East Institute at Shanghai International Studies University. In the 2002-2003 academic year, Dr. Yang Yang was a visiting scholar in the Department of Political Sciences, Tel Aviv University. He is an alumni of the Summer Institute for Israel Studies at Brandeis University from 2011.
Akhmad Sahal, University of Pennsylvania
Sahal is working on a dissertation which examines the political thinking of Isaac Herzog (1888-1959), the first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of the newly established State of Israel, and Shaykh Rashid Rida (1865-1935), the Syrian-Egyptian Muslim reformist and founder of the journal Al Manar. Both figures grappled with the questions about how a modern state could be guided by religious law: Herzog articulated a vision for a Torah-based constitution, while Rida called for a renewal of the Islamic caliphate with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. An academic position awaits Sahal at the Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University Jakarta upon completion of his doctoral degree at UPenn. He will be designing a program for Israel/Jewish Studies within that university's Center for Middle East Studies.
Bo Zhang, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Since 2001, Dr Zhang has been a researcher at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In 2011, He got his PhD from the Institute of Jewish Studies, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Nanjing University. In the year 2003-2004, he was a visiting scholar at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University. Dr Zhang has published articles on topics such as Israel’s relations with Turkey, Egypt, and Iran; Turkey’s relations with Iraq, and the U.S; and the status of the Jews in the Ottoman Empire. He is also interested in Israel’s relations with Arab countries, Sudan’s foreign relations, and related topics.
Fany Yuval, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Dr. Yuval is a senior lecturer in the Department of Public Policy & Administration at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She is currently engaged in several research projects. Among them, the development of tools to measure the performance and efficiency of local government and public sector management. She is also researching public policy, alternative politics and the Israeli welfare state. Issue voting, voting procedures and voters’ behavior are likewise among Dr. Yuval’s current foci. She has published numerous studies, articles, and book chapters. In 2011 she received the award for best paper published in Hebrew from the Israeli Political Science Association.
Benyamin Neuberger, Professor of Political Science, The Open University of Israel
Professor Benyamin Neuberger holds BA and MA degrees in Political Science, Economics and African Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Ph.D. degree in Political Science from Columbia University. He is currently Professor of Political Science at the Open University of Israel. He has taught at Tel Aviv University, the University of Cape Town, University of Pennsylvania and Haverford College. In 2003–05 he was a Senior Associate Member of St. Antony’s College at Oxford University. He has published widely on Israeli and African politics, nationalism, ethnicity, democratic theory and religion and state. On the Stability of Israel's Democracy was the topic of Prof. Neuberger's Scholars Seminar.
Professor Aviva Halamish is the president of the Association for Israel Studies and head of Modern History Studies at the Department of History, Philosophy and Judaic Studies at the Open University of Israel. Her scholarship encompasses the history of Zionism, the State of Israel and the Kibbutz movement, Jewish immigration in the 20th century, and illegal Jewish immigration to Mandate-era Palestine. She is a member Israel’s Ministry of Education Committee on History. From August 2005 through February 2006, she was a visiting professor at New York University and has taught at the University of Haifa and Bar Ilan University. She is an editorial board member for Iyunim Bitkumat Israel, and Ben Gurion Institute for the Research of Israel and Zionism Press, among others, and co-editor of Cathedra for the History of Eretz Israel and its Yishuv.In 2008 she won the Hecht Prize of the Herzl Institute for the Research and Study of Zionism for her book Be'merutz Kaful Neged Hazman (A Dual Race Against Time: Zionist Immigration Policy in the 1930s). Prof. Halamish's topic for the Scholars Seminar was Soviet Influence on Israeli Culture in the Early Years.