Studio Israel

Tamar Nissim, The Trail for Good Health, 2019, Video still

Tamar Nissim, The Trail for Good Health, 2019

Studio Israel is an online conversation series that looks at Israeli culture and diversity through the lens of contemporary Israeli artists and creatives. Chaired by Caron Tabb. Studio Israel is a partnership among Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Jewish Arts Collaborative, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, and the Vilna Shul and is made possible by generous support from Combined Jewish Philanthropies

Past Programs

Neta Weiner and Stav Marin

Neta Weiner and Stav Marin

Studio Israel: The Multilingual Music of Jaffa with Neta Weiner and Stav Marin

May 2, 2024

Exploring the diversity of Israel – the beauty and the challenges – through a funky and beautiful blend of music, dance, and conversation.

Stav Marin and Neta Weiner, co-founders of System Ali, a one-of-a-kind Jaffa, Israel-based hip hop band that uses music to connect across languages, cultures, and beliefs joined Yuval Gur, JArts x CJP Community Creative Fellow to share their music and stories in conversation with Yuval Evri, Brandeis University Assistant Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

Neta and Stav are in residence at Tufts University for the 2024 spring semester through the BAMAH Visiting Israeli Artists Program.

painted image of people walking by a bus station with red flowers in the foreground
Studio Israel With Zoya Cherkassky

March 30, 2023

Painter Zoya Cherkassky in conversation with Gannit Ankori, Henry and Lois Foster Director and Chief Curator of the Rose Art Museum.

Painter Zoya Cherkassky was born in Ukraine in 1976 and immigrated to Israel in 1991. Her works have been shown in premier Israeli art museums and galleries for over a decade, as well as throughout Europe and North America. Her works bring together languages stemming from "high" and "low" cultures, pop and computer aesthetics. As an immigrant from the former USSR to Israel, Cherkassky deals with issues of identity and alienation as well as the different conflicts that rise in the clash between the cultures.

Discover more of Zoya Cherkassky's work.

Watch the recording

Image of stitched artwork: a large eye with many smaller eyes inside it
Studio Israel With Gil Yefman

February 9, 2023

Visual Artist Gil Yefman in conversation with Shayna Weiss, associate director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University.

A trans-disciplinary conceptual artist, Gil transforms canonized familiar myths from varied beliefs and traditions in order to undermine the structured definitions and portrayal of the other. Collaborative projects fuse memory, trauma and the body, with transgenerational multilayered relations where soft materials dissolve hard subject matters.

Discover more of Gil Yefman's work.

Studio Israel With Aveve Dese

December 1, 2022

black and white photo of Aveve DeseSinger Aveva Dese in conversation with Shula Mola, Scholar in Residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. Aveva Dese is an Ethiopian-Israeli singer-songwriter who fuses traditional Ethiopian sounds & grooves with her soul-pop melodies, producing a unique style with universal appeal.

Dr. Shula Mola, 2022-23 HBI Scholar in Residence, was named one of Israel's 50 most influential women in 2022 and is the past leader of the Association for Ethiopian Jews (AEJ), a position she held for over 20 years. Dr. Mola uses the power of academics to advance social justice, addressing social stratification, oppression and structural racism.

Discover more of Aveva Dese's work.

WATCH the recording

painted image of animals in water
Studio Israel With Orit Bergman

October 20, 2022

Children's book author/illustrator Orit Bergman in conversation with Orna Granot, associate curator of Illustrated Children's Books at the Israel Museum, and moderated by Jonathan Krasner, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Associate Professor of Jewish Education Research at Brandeis.

WATCH the recording

A color video still of a Yemenite mother confronting three nurses at a Baby House.
Studio Israel With Tamar Nissim

April 7, 2022

Tamar Nissim in Conversation with Lisa Fishbayn Joffe and Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber

Through video and still photography, Tamar Nissim's exhibition, Contagious Truths, explores the experience of women in the Mizrahi immigrant community in Israel, with a particular focus on the troubling stories of babies taken from their mothers in what has come to be known as the Yemenite Babies Affair.

Lisa Fishbayn Joffe is the director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber is an associate professor of Communication and Journalism at Suffolk University and the author of "Israeli Media and the Framing of Internal Conflict: The Yemenite Babies Affair."


A color photograph of Dege Feder.
Studio Israel With Dege Feder

February 10, 2022

Dege Feder in Conversation with Shula Mola

Dege Feder, an award-winning Ethiopian-Israeli choreographer, dancer, artistic director and musician, has performed, choreographed and taught around the world. In addition to her global presence, she has also worked as a dance teacher to empower women and young girls in Israel's Ethiopian community.

Shula Mola is the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies postdoctoral fellow at Brandeis. Dr. Mola uses the power of academics to advance social justice, addressing social stratification, oppression and structural racism. Her current focus is on the preservation of the Ethiopian-Israeli community's history and heritage.


A color photograph of Neta Elkayam taken from a low vantage.
Studio Israel With Neta Elkayam

December 9, 2021

Neta Elkayam in Conversation with Yuval Evri

Neta Elkayam, an Israeli singer and visual artist whose work plumbs the culture of the Moroccan Jews from which she descended. Elkayam and her musical partner and husband Amit Hai Cohen, were recently the subjects of the documentary film, "In Your Eyes, I See My Country," which follows them back to Morocco. Elkayam has gained worldwide recognition as a performer of North African music. Learn more about her in the New York Times profile, "Bridging Time, Distance and Distrust, With Music."

Yuval Evri, assistant professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Marash and Ocuin Chair in Ottoman, Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. 


A color photograph of Raida Adon, wearing red and reclining on her side.
Studio Israel With Raida Adon

October 14, 2021

Raida Adon in Conversation with Gannit Ankori

Born into a multi-faith Palestinian family in the bi-national city of Acre, Israel, Raida Adon is an acclaimed multi-media artist, television, theater and film actress, and director, recipient of The New Israel Fund Essential Arts Grant

Dr. Gannit Ankori is the  Henry and Lois Foster director and chief curator of the Rose Art Museum and professor of Fine Arts and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University. 


A color photograph of a woman lying on the ground on her back with a large glass, fishbowl (complete with goldfish) on her stomach.
Studio Israel: From Within and Without, Tamar Borer in Conversation with Shayna Weiss

April 8, 2021

This session will feature Israeli performance artist and dancer Tamar Borer, who has been choreographing for over 30 years. In 1990, Borer was left paralyzed in both legs after a car accident. She continues to dance, create and teach all over the world. Borer has also collaborated with artists across multiple platforms.

Dr. Shayna Weiss, associate director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.


A photograph of two women standing, holding hands, and leaning against a bright, color-blocked wall.
Studio Israel With Galit Reismann

February 11, 2021

Israeli tastemaker, entrepreneur and curator Galit Reismann of TLVstyle combines her passion for fashion with her deep connection to Tel Aviv. Using PechaKucha, a storytelling format that shows 20 images with 20 seconds of commentary each, Reismann and selected designers told the multicultural story that is contemporary Israel through fashion and design. The work of Elisha Abargel, Akal, Orna Barkan Liftz, Tamar Branitzk and Hana Menkes ranges from clothing to accessories to tallitot. 

Introductory remarks given by Dr. Shayna Weiss, associate director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.


A color photograph of a nude woman sitting on a kitchen counter covered in lemons.
Studio Israel: The Empire Shoots Back: Mizrahi Feminist Video Art

December 10, 2020

A conversation with Vered Nissim and Sivan Shtang

Vered Nissim is an Israeli-based visual artist, mostly focused on photography and video installations. The home and family sphere is her primary source material, showing an insider point of view on immigration, social mobility and capitalist myths, in particular ones that relate to the perception of femininity.

Dr. Sivan Rajuan Shtang is a visual culture scholar interested in the various modes of intersection between the axis of race, class, gender, and sexuality in Israeli and Zionist art and visual culture. She is a research associate at HBI. 


A color painting of four people in gas masks playing cards in a living room.
Studio Israel With Dr. Smadar Sheffi

October 15, 2020

Israeli art curator, critic and writer Dr. Smadar Sheffi gave a brief overview of contemporary Israeli art to set the stage for this series. She also conversed with Esther Cohen, whose work challenges an inner cultural debate between heritage from the past and traditions that carry on to this day.