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February 2013

Leonard Saxe
Leonard Saxe
Dear Friends,

The attitudes and feelings of the American public towards Israel is an ongoing interest for researchers at the Cohen Center and Steinhardt Institute. Reflecting this focus, I am very pleased to announce the release of two new reports about Israel on American university campuses; the first, a study of the impact of Israeli faculty teaching on North American campuses and, the second, a directory of Israel studies courses offered at universities and colleges across the United States. In an era when mention of Israel and college campuses brings forth images of conflict, I hope that our research - which documents how Israel is being taught as an academic field - will help to provide a more balanced and positive view of Israel on campus.

The research team conducting these studies was led by Annette Koren and included Matt Boxer, Nicole Samuels, Janet Krasner Aronson, Ellie Aitan, and Joshua Davidson. Their work is part of a program of research that seeks to understand the development of Israel studies on college campuses and evaluate its impact. Finally, an assessment of Israel studies as a field, has been accepted for publication in the journal
Israel Studies, and we look forward to it being available later this spring.

Along with our work on Israel studies, there have been a host of other developments at the Center/Institutes. In December, more than a half dozen Center faculty and staff were in Chicago to give papers and participate in the Association for Jewish Studies meeting. At the meeting, I was privileged to receive the Marshall Sklare Award, named in honor of the founder of the Cohen Center and prior holder of the Klutznick Chair. The lecture I gave at the award ceremony discussed the foundations of my work and the ways in which a multi-disciplinary cadre of scholars can develop a shared perspective to understand and enhance Jewish life. The best part of the ceremony was that four of my students and younger colleagues were discussants. The published version of their remarks will not be available for a few months, but they made me very proud.

Many thanks to all of you who read and make use of our work, support what we do, and are interested in furthering the understanding of Jewish culture, education, and life.


Len Saxe
Len signature  

Leonard Saxe, PhD.

Klutznick Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies and Social Policy
Director, Steinhardt Social Reseach Institute and
Teaching and Learning about Israel:
Assessing the Impact of Israeli Faculty on American Students


This report discusses the impact of visiting Israeli professors on classroom environments and the learning experiences of their students.  


Read the Report


Searching for the Study of Israel: 
A Directory of Courses about Israel on U.S. College Campuses 2011-12


This directory of 2011-12 Israel course offerings at American colleges and universities was created to document the prevalence and diversity of Israel studies on U.S. campuses.  


View the directory 


SklareReflections on the Science of the Social Scientific Study of Jewry   


The Sklare Award is given annually by the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry (ASSJ) to a senior scholar who has made a significant academic contribution to the social scientific study of Jewry. The present publication was the text for Prof. Saxe's Sklare Award lecture. The lecture was given on December 16, 2012 at the 44th Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies in Chicago.   


Read the lecture




Volume 7, Issue 1
This Issue
Teaching and Learning about Israel

 JData, a CMJS signature project, collects and provides census-like information about Jewish educational programs in North America. We continue to form new partnerships and are working intensively with local communities and national agencies to better understand data trends and use information strategically. For more information, visit our website at


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Constructs is the e-newsletter of Brandeis University's Cohen Center for Modern Jewish StudiesSteinhardt Social Research Institute, and  Fisher-Bernstein Institute