Past Events

Speaker Eran Carmel at podium with arm outstretched, and purple Schusterman Center banner behind him.

Erran Carmel, Professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business, speaks at the Innovation in Israel: Economy and Society Conference on April 1, 2019.

Man singing into microphone claps hands, guitar hanging from his shoulders

Dudu Tassa and The Kuwaitis in concert. Copyright - Lior Keter.

'Hotel Corona': Exploring Unexpected Directions in Contemporary Israeli Music

July 7, 2020

Mark Kligman, Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music; Director of Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music; Professor of Ethnomusicology and Musicology

in conversation with:

Shayna Weiss, Associate Director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University


three men in the desert

Safed in the 19th century. From the Lenkin Family Collection of Photography at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

Plagues and the Land of Israel: From Ottoman Times to Our Times 

June 23, 2020

Yaron Ayalon, Associate Professor of Jewish and Middle Eastern Studies and Director, Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, College of Charleston

in conversation with:

Jonathan D. SarnaUniversity Professor, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History; Director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University

This was the second event in our Summer Online Series. Watch the recording on our YouTube channel

Hall full of people
Israel After the Elections: What's Next?

June 9, 2020

A panel discussion with:

Eva BellinMyra and Robert Kraft Professor of Arab Politics, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University 

David MakovskyZiegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relation

Bar Sananes, MA/MBA'20, Recent graduate of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program, Brandeis University

Discussant and Moderator:
Yehudah MirskyProfessor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

This was the first event in our Summer Online Series. Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

Jewish Nationalism and the Temple Mount: The End-Point of Zionism

April 2, 2020

An online seminar with Tomer Persico,the Shalom Hartman Institute Bay Area Scholar in Residence and the Koret Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught for eight years at the Department for Comparative Religion in Tel-Aviv University. 

Watch it on our YouTube channel.

A Foreign and Grating Language? Yiddish in Israel: A History

March 31, 2020

An online lecture with Rachel Rojanski about her book Yiddish in Israel: A History. Rachel Rojanski is an Associate Professor of Judaic Studies at Brown University. Her research focuses on the history of  the east European Yiddish-speaking Jewish diaspora from late 19th century to the end of the 20th century, with a special interest in American Jewish history, Zionism and Israel studies.

Watch it on our YouTube channel

Party Time in the Promised Land? Israeli Politics of Bad Faith & the Global Crisis of Liberalism

March 26, 2020

An online seminar with Uriel Abulof, a senior lecturer in Politics at Tel-Aviv University. He is an LISD Research Fellow at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School and at the Truman Institute. Since Fall 2019, Abulof has been an Israel Institute Visiting Professor at Cornell's Department of Government. Abulof studies the politics of fear, happiness and hope, legitimization, social movements, existentialism, nationalism and ethnic conflicts.

Watch it on our YouTube channel.

Book cover illustration of a bearded man in ancient dress holding a tablet
The Invention of Jewish Theocracy:  The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel

February 26, 2020

A book launch and discussion of Professor Alexander Kaye's new book, The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel. A book signing followed.


Alexander Kaye, Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Assistant Professor of Israel Studies, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University


David Katz, Visiting Professor in the Department of History, Brandeis University

Yehudah Mirsky, Professor, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University


Shayna Weiss, Associate Director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University


A blue, black and white poster for the event with a strip of film bent or folded into the shape of a curvy triangle.
Next Year in Argentina

February 12, 2020

A film screening of  "Next Year in Argentina," a documentary exploring Jewish-Argentine history, identity and attitudes towards Israel. Following the screening, join us for a panel discussion examining Argentinian Jewry and the subject of return migration.

Jonathan Sarna, Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies 

Raanan Rein, Elías Sourasky Professor of Latin American and Spanish History and Vice President of Tel Aviv University

Tali Flomenhoft, Associate Director of Parent and Family Giving at Brandeis University, a Mexican-Israeli Jew

Adrián Krupnik, postdoctoral fellow at Tel Aviv University and the University of Potsdam and a Schusterman Center for Israel Studies Summer Institute fellow. 

Moderated by:
Dalia Wassner, Ph.D., Director, HBI Project on Latin American Jewish & Gender Studies

Cosponsored with The HBI Project in Latin American Jewish & Gender Studies (LAJGS), the International Business School and The National Center for Jewish Film 

Jewish Women and Religious Change in Israel and the United States: Divergence and Dialogue

January 30, 2020

A conversation about developments concerning Israeli women in Judaism, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox, and how they have impacted similar issues in the US. Watch the recording.

Featuring presentations by:

Moria Ran Ben Hai, Scholar in Residence at Hadassah-Brandeis Institute: How Jewish Women Are Challenging Israeli Orthodoxy

Einat Libel-Hass, post doctoral fellow in the Sociology Department at Bar Ilan University; lecturer at Ashkelon Academic College in Israel: Jewish Women in Reform and Conservative Settings in Israel: Past, Present and Personal 


Rabbi Stephanie Sanger-Miller, Assistant Director at Brandeis Hillel on Divergence and Dialogue - Israeli & US Developments

Student comment: 

Lily Schmidt-Swartz, '20 on Looking Forward.

Moderated by:

Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, The Shulamit Reinharz Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute and Director, Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and Law

Jonathan D. Sarna, University Professor, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and Director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies

Cosponsored with the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, in collaboration with the Jewish Feminist Association at Brandeis.

Group of graduate students posed in two rows with Jonathan Sarna and Yael Zeruabvel, assembled in front of a wall with a sign reading Schusterman Center for Israel Studies
The Formation of New Jewish Communities: Doctoral Student Workshop

January 19 - 20, 2020

The Schusterman Center will be hosting its 4th Biennial Graduate Student Workshop for graduate students writing a dissertation in modern Jewish Studies. The topic of the workshop is the formation of new Jewish communities in the Americas, Israel, Australia and beyond.

The goal of the workshop is to help situate doctoral students’ research within broader comparative, transnational, and global themes.  By drawing together students with diverse perspectives and research interests, the workshop will facilitate productive boundary-pushing conversations about American Jewish history, Israel Studies, and other areas in modern Jewish Studies. This workshop is designed to give advanced graduate students in modern Jewish history a space to discuss their work, explore pedagogy and professionalization, and create an intellectual community. Participants will read and discuss a dissertation chapter with an opportunity for feedback from their peers and facilitators. There will also be sessions on archives, publishing, and the job market.

Facilitators include: Jonathan D. Sarna, University Professor and Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University and Yael Zerubavel, Professor of Jewish Studies and History, Emerita, Rutgers University.

Michael Fishbane on the Poetry of Chaim Nahman Bialik

November 13, 2019

"Natural Supernaturalism: Themes of Mystic Light and Despair in the Poetry of Chaim Nahman Bialik" was the subject of 56th Annual Simon Rawidowicz Lecture, given by Michael Fishbane, PhD '71. 

Followed by Reception

Co-sponsored by The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, and the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies

The Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Chair in Israel Studies Lecture

November 12, 2019

Galut: Exile and Existence in Modernity

Lecture by Alexander Kaye
Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Chair Family Assistant Professor of Israel Studies

Followed by Reception

Galut, commonly translated as "exile", is a very old term that Jews have used to describe their condition. Originating in the context of the Jewish diaspora in antiquity, it once meant primarily geographical displacement from the Land of Israel. In time, it became a political, and then a theological, and even an existential concept. This lecture will examine the ways that this ancient idea has been refashioned as it encounters modern phenomena, such as the global experiences of mass migration, statelessness and political exile, and modern ideologies such as existentialism, communism and nationalism. It looks at the ways that galut remains a key term in the way that Jews are understood, both by themselves and by others, and contemplates its significance at a time of political upheaval.

Cosponsored by the Brandeis University Provost's Office, the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies

Hebrew Language Arts Week

November 1, 2019

October, 28 through November 1, 2019

The Hebrew Language and Arts Week includes lectures and performances by prominent international artists, musicians, politicians, and a chef. Most events are conducted in Hebrew and are free and open to the public. For more information, including a full schedule, contact the Hebrew Language Program at Brandeis University at

Cosponsors include the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Center for German and European Studies, Brandeis Hillel.
How Israel's Most important Leaders Shaped its Destiny

October 31, 2019

5:30 - 7:00 PM
Brandeis University

David Makovsky, Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relation, spoke on themes in his new book coauthored with Amb. Dennis Ross, Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel's Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny.

Moderated by Leon Kraiem '21.

Cosponsored by Brandeis Hillel.

Not Your Toy: Israel-Europe Relations through the Lens of the Eurovision Song Contest

October 10, 2019

5:30 - 7:00 PM
Brandeis University

Why does Israel participate in a European song contest, and what does this contest say about how Israel and Europe relate to each other? How can popular culture inform how we study international relations? Learn why this contest is crucial for understanding both Israel and Europe today.

This lively panel discussion featured associate director Shayna Weiss, in conversation with:

Paul Jordan, aka Dr. Eurovision
Hankus Netsky, the co-chair of Contemporary Improvisation at the New England Conservatory
Sabine von Mering, director of the Center for German and European Studies

Cosponsored by the Center for German and European Studies.
American Jews and Israel: Daniel Gordis and Jonathan Sarna in Conversation

October 3, 2019

5:30 - 7:00 PM
Brandeis University

A discussion with Daniel Gordis and Jonathan D. Sarna on the relationship between American Jews and Israel. Dr. Gordis's recently published book We Stand Divided: The Rift Between American Jews and Israel and the second edition of Dr. Sarna's seminal American Judaism: A History, published in June, were available for signing.

Lessons From Jimmy Carter's White House: Israel, The Middle East Peace Plan, and the Iranian Revolution

September 19, 2019

5:00 - 6:30 PM
Brandeis University

An evening with Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, author of President Carter: The White House Years. Ambassador Eizenstat was the chief White House domestic policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter and served as the United States Ambassador to the European Union from 1993 to 1996 and as the United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury from 1999 to 2001.

Chair and Moderator: Gary Samore, Crown Family Director and Professor of the Practice of Politics, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University
Cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, the Department of History, the Department of Politics and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.

Frances Taylor Eizenstat ’65 Undergraduate Israel Travel Grant Recipient Presentations

September 19, 2019

12:00 - 1:30 PM
Brandeis University

The returning 2018-2019 Frances Taylor Eizenstat ’65 Undergraduate Israel Travel Grant recipients shared experiences with members of the Brandeis community and with Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, who established this travel grant program to honor and continue the legacy of his wife, Frances Taylor Eizenstat '65.

If you are a Brandeis undergraduate interested in advancing your academic and/or career interests with an internship, volunteer program, research, work experience or special project in Israel, please email to learn how you, too, can apply for the grant!

An Evening with Lian Najami: A Story of Shared Existence

September 18, 2019

7:00 - 8:30 PM
Brandeis University

A special evening with the first Arab-Israeli Rhodes Scholar, Lian Najami, who spoke about her push for shared existence in Israel. She also discussed issues concerning minorities and individuals with disabilities, two groups with which she strongly identifies.

Cosponsored by Brandeis Hillel, the Heller School For Social Policy and Management, and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Fall 2019 Welcome Back Open House

September 3, 2019

Mandel Center for the Humanties, 3rd Floor
Schusterman Center for Israel Studies

The Schusterman Center held a festive open house to welcome new and returning Schusterman Center scholars, faculty, students and friends and to launch the new academic year. 

NCJF Annual Film Festival

May 7 - 19, 2019

We are proud to be among the sponsors for the 2019 National Center for Jewish Film's (NCJF) Annual Film Festival. The lineup featured a number of Israeli and Israel-themed selections, including the New England premieres of "Back to Maracanã" and "Tel Aviv on Fire."  Visit the festival website to view the program

May 7, 2019

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Brandeis University

This one-day workshop is for doctoral students, post-doctorates, and faculty in the Boston area who teach, or plan to teach, Israel-related topics. Renowned educator Dr. Erika Falk will conduct the workshop. Dr. Falk is the program director of the Israel Institute, an academic organization dedicated to promoting teaching and research about modern Israel. 

Film Screening: "Hidden Face"

May 5, 2019

5:00 - 6:30 PM
Volen, Room 119
Brandeis University

Free & open to the public
In Hebrew with English subtitles

In cooperation with Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI) and Schusterman Center for Israel studies, Brandeis Hillel presents the film, "Hidden Face" by Eyal Datz. The screening is being held in commemoration of Yom HaShoah. There will be a Q&A following the movie screening with two Israelis who appear in the film.

Synopsis: Through the Admor of Sanz-Klausenburg's heroic story, a man who experienced personal desolation and succeeded in rehabilitating his and his community's life, the film exposes the Holocaust stories as they're told in the Chasidish community. It presents the complex relations between the Chasidish community and the memory of the Holocaust and the ways they experience the revival and the spiritual victory over the Nazis.
Israel after the Election: The Impact on American Jews and Our Connection to Israel

April 16, 2019

5:30 - 7:00 PM
Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Goldfarb Library 
Brandeis University

Lecture by Ambassador Ross, followed by Q&A moderated by Hornstein students Tali Flomenhoft MA/MBA ’19, Bar Sananes MA/MBA ’20

Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. For more than twelve years, Ambassador Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process, dealing directly with the parties as the U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He is Co-Chair of The Jewish People Policy Institute.

Presented by the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program and the Initiative for Jewish Identity at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Sexualized Violence in Modern Hebrew Literature and Israeli Culture

April 11, 2019

2:00 - 3:30 PM
Skyline Commons
Brandeis University

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (WGS) presents the 2018-2019 Distinguished Faculty Lecture, by Professor Ilana Szobel: "Sexualized Violence in Modern Hebrew Literature and Israeli Culture."  She is Associate Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, and a core faculty member at the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and here at the Schusterman Center. Her research interests include modern Hebrew literature, disability studies, women and gender studies, sexualized violence, psychoanalysis, trauma studies, and film theory. Professor Szobel is currently working on a book project, Flesh of My Flesh: Sexual Violence in Hebrew Literature and Israeli Culture, which explores the literary history of gender-based violence in Hebrew literature and situates the rhetorics of sexual aggression within the context of gender, race, disability, and Zionism. 

Created in 2004, the Brandeis Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series features a presentation each year by a Brandeis professor who is an internationally recognized scholar of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. 

Israeli Literature in Translation Reaches the République des Lettres (France) 

April 4, 2019

12:00 – 1:30 PM

A presentation by our Writer in Residence, Dr. Chantal Ringuet, an award-winning Canadian author, scholar and translator. Dr. Ringuet was previously Scholar in Residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, in 2016. Learn more about Dr. Ringuet.

Her talk focused on the main issues and challenges pertaining to the translation and dissemination of modern Israeli literature in France. What are the main issues encountered in writing a reference book on Israeli literature destined to a French readership? While l’Académie française (founded in 1635) is acting as the main authority on the French language, how do the cultural parameters of Israel conform to those of France through the medium of literary translation? These are the main questions that the lecture examine.

Cosponsored by the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.



Revolutionary Jews: The Politicization of the Iranian Jewish Communities in the Twentieth Century

April 3, 2019

12:15 – 1:45 PM 

A Brown Bag Seminar with Lior Sternfeld, Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Open to the public. Bring your lunch. Light refreshments will be served. 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of a broad-based revolution in Iran that eventually gave birth to the Islamic Republic. In March 1978, a revolutionary group was elected to the leadership of the Jewish communities in Iran. They began forming alliances with non-Jewish leaders of the revolutionary movement and actively taking part in operations, including publishing newspapers and pamphlets aimed to recruit more members to the movement. This facilitated the active participation of Iran's Jews, the largest group in the Middle East outside of Israel, in anti-Shah demonstrations. In this talk, Lior Sternfeld will analyze the social and political transformations undergone by Iranian Jews that eventually led to the role they played in one of the most important revolutions of the twentieth century. 

Cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University.

March 31 - April 1, 2019

A collaboration between the Asper Center for Global Entrepreneurship at Brandeis International Business School and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, this two-day conference united scholars innovators, economsts and entrepreneurs to explore Israeli innovation "from all angles." The keynote featured Dr. Karnit Flug, the first female Governor of the Bank of Israel, in discussion with Dr. Lisa M. Lynch, Brandeis University provost and economic expert. 

Flug served as, overseeing the design and implementation of Israel's monetary policy from 2013 to 2018. She is widely credited for maintaining stability and supporting growth in the Israeli economy.

To learn more, you may read the conference recapview conference schedule, and check out the speakers. Find relevant tweets using hashtag #InnoIsrael. The conference was free and open to the public. 



Israel at the Polls, Again: Why? And is Anything Really Changing?

March 27, 2019

March 27, 2019
5:30 – 7:00 PM
Hassenfeld Conference Center
Geller Conference Room
Brandeis University

A panel discussion. Free and open to the public. Wheelchair accessible.

Shayna Weiss, Associate Director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies


  • Eva Bellin, Myra and Robert Kraft Professor of Arab Politics, Crown Center for Middle East Studies
  • Shai Feldman, Crown Family Director and Professor of Politics, Crown Center for Middle East Studies
  • Yehudah Mirsky, Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies
  • Doron Shapir, M.A. Candidate for International Economics and Finance at the Brandeis International Business School

Cosponsored with the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University.

What is Home? A Lecture by Dror Keren

March 25, 2019

Lecture in English: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 
Q&A discussion in Hebrew: 12:00 PM  
Merrick Theater, Spingold Theater Center
Brandeis University

Brandeis University welcomed Dror Keren, actor, playwright and director. The funny guy. The creative genius. The winking, witty, geeky, lovable best friend. Dror Keren is one of the most important people in Israeli theatre. He has starred in countless productions over the past 20 years, touring with productions he has adapted, directed and acted in – from Lincoln Center in New York to national theaters in China. Known for his razor sharp wit and punchy-writing, Dror Keren showcases what it means to be Israeli: The dilemma of living in the conflict; acknowledging, as a second generation Holocaust survivor, the need for a Jewish homeland; struggling to find an artistic voice amid people suffering from PTSD and the side-effects of war. Keren has delved into the fundamental question of what, for a writer like himself, is home. Is it within his writing? Is it wherever his readers and viewers are? Or is home just the place where he sits down and writes?

Sponsored by the Center for German and European Studies, the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, the Department of Theater Arts, and the Hebrew Program at Brandeis UniversityFor more information, please contact 

Ireland and Israel: Parallel and Divergent Paths in National Liberation

March 11, 2019

5:30 - 7:00 PM
Mander Center for the Humanities, 3rd Floor Reading Room
Brandeis University

A roundtable discussion exploring the relationship between Ireland and Israel, past, present and future. Free and open to the public. Wheelchair accessible.


Dr. Lisa Lynch, Provost and Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy, Brandeis University 


  • Former Ambassador to Ireland

  • Alexander Kaye, Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Assistant Professor of Israel Studies, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Near East and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

  • Frances Malino, Sophia Moses Robison Professor Emerita of Jewish Studies and History, Wellesley College

Cosponsored by the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis University.

Documentary Film Screening: The Sign for Love

February 12, 2019

2:00 - 3:20 PM
Shapiro Campus Center Theater
Brandeis University

Filmmakers Iris Ben Moshe and Elad Cohen presented and discussed their documentary film about being deaf and gay in Israel, "The Sign for Love" (2017). The film was screened in conjunction with Prof. Ilana Szobel's course, Love, Sex, and Power in Israeli Culture. It has won accolades at various film festivals and is particularly praised for its portrayal of disability. The multilingual Q&A after the screening took place in ASL, ISL, and English. Learn more about the film

Cosponsors: Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation Program (CAST); Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI); Lurie Institute for Disability Policy; Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (NEJS); Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (WGS)
Artist Talk: Nevet Yitzhak - Permanent Exhibition

December 6, 2018

An intimate talk with Israeli video artist Nevet Yitzhak, whose work is on exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Yitzhak creates large-scale video installations with appropriated images that re-contextualize current social and political conditions. Cosponsored by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

West Bank Military Courts and International Law in the Scope of the Conflict

November 15, 2018

Jerusalem Post correspondent Yonah Jeremy Bob spoke about military courts in the West Bank and international law surrounding the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Yonah Jeremy Bob is the Intelligence, Terrorism and Legal Analyst for The Jerusalem Post and has spoken in universities, federations and synagogues throughout the US, Canada and Israel, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto and others dating back to 2000. Prior to working at the Post, he worked on Hasbara (public relations) and international security law issues in the IDF Legal Division, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice International Law Division. Mr. Bob has been interviewed by and provided commentary for CNN, BBC, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Turkish TV, Sky News, Los Angeles KABC Radio, Voice of America, and others. 

Cosponsored with Brandeis Hillel.

Refugees in the Land of Refugees: The Israeli Asylum Regime in a Comparative Context

November 7, 2018

A talk by Tally Kritzman-Amir. Over the last years, the Israeli asylum system has become both institutionalized and increasingly exclusionary, to the point of preventing the entry of any asylum seekers and promoting their deportation. Kritzman-Amir’s talk described the gradual processes of institutionalization and exclusion in a comparative context, and discussed the broader implications for refugee protection and responsibility sharing.

Dr. Tally Kritzman-Amir is a Senior Lecturer of immigration and international law at the College of Law and Business, Israel. In 2017- 18, she was a visiting fellow at the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program and a scholar-in-residence at the Hadassah Brandeis Institute of Brandeis University. She is currently an Israel Institute Associate Professor in the Harvard University Department of Sociology. 

Sponsored by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, with cosponsorship by the Hadassah Brandeis Institute, Department of International and Global Studies, Legal Studies Program, and Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Back from Israel with Tales to Tell: Eizenstat Grantees Present Their Projects

November 6, 2018

Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities
3rd Floor Conference Room (Room 328)
Refreshments served.

What do Brandeis students do with their Frances Taylor Eizenstat ’65 Undergraduate Israel Travel Grant? Join the returning 2017-2018 grantees, hear about their projects and let them inspire you to design your own! This is your chance to ask  questions, both of the grantees, and of the Schusterman Center staff. Learn how you can advance your academic & career interests with the help of an Eizenstat grant. Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat will be in attendance. All majors welcome and eligible to apply! Learn about the Eizenstat Undergraduate Israel Grant and how to apply.

Israel's Photoshop Law: The Idea, The Execution, and the Effect

October 25, 2018

12:30 p.m.

Brandeis Skyline Commons

Free and open to the public. Kosher lunch provided, RSVP here.

Panel discussion with Dr. Rachel Adatto, a former Member of Knesset and an expert in women’s health. Adatto spearheaded the Photoshop law in the Knesset, which banned the use of Photoshop to “remake” the images of models in advertising without disclaimers. She served as Chair of the National Council for Women’s Health; the senior advisor to the Minister of Health on women’s issues; and on four U.N. committees dealing with women’s health. Adatto has an undergraduate degree in law, an MBA and MD from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, director, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Brandeis University

Shayna Weiss, associate director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University

Cosponsored by Brandeis Hillel, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, the Brandeis Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the Seminar on Contemporary Jewish Life, and the Israeli Consulate.

American Jewish Feminism and Israeli Feminism: Launching a Trans-National Archive

October 18, 2018

Noon-2 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (Room 303)

RSVP: Sarah Shoemaker,

Lunch and panel discussion to celebrate the launch of the Brandeis/Haifa Feminist Collaborative, a joint project of Brandeis Library’s Archives & Special Collections Department and the Haifa Feminist Center (Isha L'Isha).

Joyce Antler, Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Emerita, Brandeis University

Marcia Freedman, American-Israeli activist and feminist; member of Israel's Knesset (1973–1977)

Hannah Safran, co-founder, Haifa Feminist Institute, Isha L'Isha

Surella Seelig, Outreach and Special Projects Archivist, Brandeis University

Dr. Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Shulamit Reinharz Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute; Director, Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and Law

This project is supported by a grant from the Bronfman Brandeis-Israel Collaborative Research
Program and by the following divisions of Brandeis University:
Brandeis Library
Hadassah-Brandeis Institute
American Studies Program
Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
Schusterman Center for Israel Studies
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program
Women’s Studies Research Center

October 15, 2018

Offered the week of October 15, 2018.

Join us for a week of amazing performances by international Israeli artists starting October 15, 2018.  Note events are in Hebrew and/or English.  All are welcome.

Sponsored by: Schusterman Center for Israel Studies; Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; Consulate General of Israel to New England; Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Center for German and European Studies; International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life; Hillel at Brandeis; Department of Theater Arts.

Conversation with Francine Klagsbrun

April 26, 2018

Francine Klagsbrun was at Brandeis to launch her National Jewish Book Award-winning "Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel" (Schocken Books, 2017). In conversation with Dr. Judith Rosenbaum, executive director of the Jewish Women's Archive.

Lioness is the definitive biography of the iron-willed leader, chain-smoking political operative, and tea-and-cake-serving grandmother who became the fourth prime minister of Israel. Klagsbrun’s superbly researched and masterfully recounted story of Israel’s founding mother gives us a Golda for the ages.

Klagsbrun is the author of more than a dozen books, including "The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day and Married People: Staying Together in the Age of Divorce." Klagsbrun was also the editor of the best-selling "Free to Be... You and Me" and is a regular columnist for The Jewish Week, a contributing editor to Lilith, and on the editorial board of Hadassah Magazine. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, and Ms. Magazine.
Book cover of The Zionist Ideas: Vision for the Jewish Homeland -- Then, Now. Tomorrow
From the Zionist Idea to the Zionist Ideas: How to Jump Start an Old-New Conversation

April 12, 2018

Book launch and author talk with
Gil Troy

Gil Troy is an American political historian and a distinguished scholar in North American History at McGill University. He has also taught at the Ruderman Program on relations between Israel and American Jewry at Haifa University, at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya, and at the Rothberg Program for Overseas Students at Hebrew University.

Troy's most recent manuscript is: The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland—Then, Now, Tomorrow (JPS, 2018).

Building upon Hertzberg’s classic text, Troy's The Zionist Ideas is the most comprehensive Zionist collection ever published. Over 170 passionate visionaries (4x more than Hertzberg, now including women, mizrahim, and other overlooked thinkers) are organized by three time periods, then subdivided into six schools of Zionist thought—Political, Revisionist, Labor, Religious, Cultural, and Diaspora—shedding light on the surprisingly diverse and shared commitments to realizing Israel as a democratic Jewish state. This mosaic of voices will engage equally diverse readers in reinvigorating the Zionist conversation—weighing and developing the moral, social, and political character of the Jewish state of today and tomorrow.

Ben-Gurion University President Rivka Carmi speaking to an auditorium full of people
The 10th Anniversary of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies: A Conference and Celebration

March 25, 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Ilan Troen Lectures on Contemporary Israel Affairs
Daniel Shapiro, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel
"The United States and Israel Face a Changing Middle East”

Rivka Carmi, President, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
“Personal and National Stories Intertwine: Israel at 70"

Monday, March 26, 2018
10th Anniversary Conference

Roundtable: "Home, Land, and Homeland"


Safa Abu Rabia, Harvard University
Shay Rabineau, Binghamton University
Yehudah Mirsky, Brandeis University

Followed by facilitated small-group discussions

"The Distance between Beirut and Jerusalem: 162 Kilometers or 101 Miles"

A workshop on reimagining the past

with "Theatre of Operations" artists Hagar Ophir and Hakim Bishara

Nili Gold
Book Launch and Author Talk

March 15, 2018

Haifa: City of Steps," by Nili Scharf Gold
Brandeis University Press, 2017

Author Nili Scharf Gold, Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature, in Conversation with Prof. Ilana Szobel

Haifa: City of Steps is a rich look, from a native daughter, at the evolving relations of people, architecture, and landscape in Haifa over several decades.

Birthrate Politics Event poster
Book launch and author talk for “Birthrate Politics in Zion: Judaism, Nationalism and Modernity under the British Mandate”

January 30, 2018

Book launch and author talk for “Birthrate Politics in Zion: Judaism, Nationalism and Modernity under the British Mandate”

 (Indiana University Press, 2017)

 with author, Lilach Rosenberg-Friedman

 January 30, 2018

Eizenstat grantees with Ambassador Eizenstat and Professor David Ellenson
Back from Israel: Eizenstat Grantees Tell All

November 15, 2017

Returning Eizenstat Israel Travel Grant recipients shared stories of their projects and adventures in Israel, followed by a discussion with Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union and former Deputy Secretary of the United States Treasury.

Justice Rubinstein

November 6, 2017

Discussant: Yehudah Mirsky, Associate Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

Moderator: David Ellenson, Director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University

Justice Rubinstein’s visit courtesy of the Consulate General of Israel to New England.

Cosponsored by Brandeis University and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University

Marcia Falk
"The Book of Blessings" and "The Days Between" - Feminist Prayer Books for Our Times. Talk and Book Signing with Author Marcia Falk

November 6, 2017

We celebrated the release of the 20th-anniversary edition of Marcia Falk's The Book of Blessings: New Jewish Prayers for Daily Life, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival (Central Conference of American Rabbis), with Marcia Falk herself! Dr. Falk also read from her recent book, The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season (Brandeis University Press, The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Series on Jewish Women).

The Central Conference of American Rabbis was delighted to bring Marcia Falk's groundbreaking book of creative liturgy back into print. With new essays by scholars Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Rabbi Dalia Marx, and Rabbi David Ellenson, this volume will inspire a new generation and re-ignite those who encountered this innovative collection when it was first published in 1996.

Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, and the Brandeis University Program in Religious Studies

Dorit Rabinyan addresses audience

Photo Credit: Credit: Ziv Koren

A Doomed Israeli-Palestinian Love Story

November 1, 2017

A riveting evening with Dorit Rabinyan, one of Israel's most acclaimed young novelists. The author discussed and signed copies of her international bestselling, award-winning "All the Rivers," the controversial love story between an Israeli writer and a Palestinian painter.

Cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies and by the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation Program (CAST); the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; and the Hebrew Language Program.

Event Poster
Jerusalem: 50 Years of Complex Unification. A talk by Dr. Elan Ezrachi

October 26, 2017

In June 1967, Jerusalem was transformed from a small, divided and threatened town with an international border running through it, to a large metropolis, under Israel's control. The unification of Jerusalem radically changed the city's character. The residents, regardless of religion and ethnicity, were sharing in the new city, now managed by Israel during one of its most euphoric and triumphalist moments. Dr. Elan Ezrachi is a native of Jerusalem and the author of a new book (in Hebrew) telling the story of what happened in Jerusalem since 1967.

Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Brandeis Hillel

"The Mute's House" - Film Screening and Discussion with Director Tamar Kay

October 16, 2017

Award-winning filmmaker Tamar Kay shared her Oscar nominated documentary short (32 minutes), “The Mute's House,” in Professor Gannit Ankori's “Art and Trauma: Israeli, Palestinian, Latin American and United States Art" class. This was followed by Q&A with the director, moderated by Prof. Ankori.

Association for Israel Studies Conference

June 12, 2017

The Schusterman Center and Brandeis University hosted the 33rd annual meeting of the Association for Israel Studies, with generous support from the Israel Institute.

Keynote conversation with Leon Wieseltier:

"Reflections on the Balfour Declaration"
June 12, 2017
Moderator: Ilan Troen

Plenary session I, “50 Years Since ’67”
June 13, 2017
Moderator: David Ellenson, Brandeis University
Speakers: Anita Shapira, Tel Aviv University
     Hussein Ibish, Arab Gulf States Institute
     Dan Kurtzer, Princeton University
     Husam Zomlot, Chief Representative of the Palestinian General Delegation to the United States

Plenary session II, “The Role of NGO’s Inside/Outside of Israel”
June 13, 2017
Moderator: Rachel Fish, Brandeis University
Speakers: Peter Beinart, City University of New York
     Alisa Doctoroff, Past President, UJA-Federation of New York
     Gerald Steinberg, Bar-Ilan University
Essential Israel book cover
"Essential Israel" Book Launch

May 2, 2017

The Schusterman Center's newest publication has just been published: Essential Israel: Essays for the 21st Century. The book launch featured an introduction by David Ellenson, remarks by co-editors Rachel Fish and Ilan Troen, as well as commentary by Len Saxe, director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies.

Can Israel be Both Jewish and Democratic?

March 30, 2017

An internationally renowned leader and advocate of religious liberty, Rabbi Uri Regev – President and CEO of Hiddush – spoke about the tension between the religious establishment in Israel and democratic values.

Hebrew Language and Arts Week

March 21, 2017

The Hebrew Language program hosted an interactive week of Hebrew language and arts, emphasizing the Experiential Learning method. Cosponsored by the Near Eastern & Judaic Studies Department, the Department of Theater Arts, the Schusterman Center, Hillel at Brandeis, Hillel International, and the Israeli Consulate, the week featured lectures by renowned playwright Yehoshua (Joshua) Sobol.
The Last Words: The Fate of the Ladino Language in Turkey

Filmmaker Rita Ender screened and discussed her documentary film, with commentary provided by Schusterman Center and Anthropology Department visiting professor André Levy.

Among the Righteous: Jews in Arab Lands During the Holocaust. A Talk by Dr. Robert Satloff

January 25, 2017

As International Holocaust day approached, we joined Dr. Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy. His talk focused on research for his book Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust's Long Reach into Arab Lands.

An expert on Arab and Islamic politics as well as U.S. Middle East policy, Dr. Satloff has written and spoken widely on the Arab-Israeli peace process, the challenge of Political Islam, and the need to revamp U.S. public diplomacy in the Middle East.

The event was cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies.

Jewishness in Israel - Online Course in January-February 2017

This online course was offered to Brandeis alumni and members of the Brandeis National Committee on three Tuesdays in January-February, 2017. Professor David Ellenson presented the topic in three live online seminars, provided readings and answered questions.

"Oriental Neighbors: Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine" - Meet the Author: Abigail Jacobson

November 22, 2016


A sizeable audience heard from David Ellenson, Ilan Troen, Eugene Sheppard and the author herself, followed by a book signing. Abigail Jacobson is the academic director of the Mediterranean Neighbors Program at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and co-author of the Oriental Neighbors with Moshe Naorassistant professor in the department of Israel Studies at the University of Haifa.  

Cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies.

From Anti-Zionism to Anti-Semitism: Preparing High School Students for the New Reality

November 14, 2016

Twoo hundred educators took part in this conference in Ft. Lee, New Jersey which was developed by the Schusterman Center in order to help educators in Jewish high schools understand and deal with what their graduates are likely to experience in college. Program details.

The program was cosponsored by the Avi Chai Foundation.

Reception for Eizenstat Undergraduate Travel Grantees

November 9, 2017

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat attended our third annual reception for grantees of the Frances Taylor Eizenstat '65 Undergraduate Israel Travel Grant Program. President Ron Liebowitz, Provost Lisa Lynch, Center Director David Ellenson and audience members heard from last year's grantees who studied at Hebrew University; interned at the Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma; volunteered on a farm for school-leavers; researched Jewish law; and excavated antiquities.

Where Does Responsibility Lie? Reframing the Israel-Palestine Conflict

September 20, 2016

A talk by David N. Myers drew a standing-room only crowd at the Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room. Myers is the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA and has written widely in the fields of Jewish intellectual and cultural history. Among them is his book Between Jew and Arab: The Lost Voice of Simon Rawidowicz, published by Brandeis University Press in 2008.