Israel Studies meeting examines state's character

Three-day, multi-disciplinary meeting from June 13 to 15 has attracted nearly 350 scholars from around the globe

Image/Courtesy Gordon Gallery, Tel Aviv

'Ecbalium Elaterium II', 2007, by Larry Abramson, a participant in the Association for Israel Studies conference.

Academics and public intellectuals from around the globe will analyze "Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State" June 13 through 15 when Brandeis University hosts the 27th Annual International Conference of the Association for Israel Studies (AIS).  

The three-day, multi-disciplinary meeting comes on the heels of major recent developments concerning Israel, the United States and the Middle East.

Nearly 350 scholars and experts from India, China, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and the U.S. will discuss Israel in the context of politics, gender studies, art, sociology, culture, literature, history and international relations.

"The conference theme is significant and controversial," said conference chair Ilan Troen, director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, which organized this year's conference. Troen, who occupies the Stoll Family Chair in Israel Studies, expects "scholars from a wide variety of perspectives to share and debate insights in what promises to be a lively and illuminating conference." Along with the Schusterman Center, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute and the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies are cosponsoring the conference.

Two plenary sessions featuring leading experts will anchor the conference; see the Schusterman Center's website for details. Professor Moshe Halbertal of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and New York University Law School will deliver the keynote address "What is a Jewish Democratic State" at the conference banquet. Halbertal, who directs the Tikvah Center for Law and Jewish Civilization at NYU, spent this year as a visiting professor at New York University and Harvard.

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