Schusterman Scholars Seminars

A Schusterman Scholars Seminar

Schusterman scholars and visiting academics deepen their academic study of Israel in biweekly seminars.

The Schusterman Center's biweekly Scholars Seminar on Israel Studies provides a multidisciplinary forum for our doctoral students, faculty and related scholars to deepen the scholarship in the field.

By invitation only, interested participants are welcome to submit an online request to attend any or all of our upcoming seminars. 

This semester

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Fall 2019
  • Yair Lorberbaum, Bar Ilan University: The Barak Court's Revolution in Legal Interpretation at the Crossroads of Legal Theory and Israeli Politics

  • Keren Friedman-Peleg, College of Management Academic StudiesTrauma and Resilience in Israel's Southern Periphery

  • David Weisburd, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Tel Aviv - Jaffa and the Law of Crime Concentration

  • Gary Samore, Brandeis University: Israel and Nuclear Weapons: Maintaining the Monopoly

  • Rachel Fish, Paul E. Singer Foundation: Rav Froman’s Vision: One Land, Two Peoples 

A sampling of our past speakers

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Spring 2019
  • Jason Lustig, Harvard University: Who will be the successors to European Jewry? Israeli Archives and the European Jewish Cultural Legacy

  • Tally Kritzman-Amir, Harvard University: Seeking Asylum in Israel: Border Policies in a Comparative Context

  • Marik Shtern, University of California San Diego and Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research: Between the Wall and the Mall: Israelis and Palestinians in Post-Oslo Jerusalem

  • Orna Sasson-Levy, Bar-Ilan University: Gendered citizenship: the case of women breaking the silence

  • Omri Asscher, University of California, Los Angeles: Reading across Borders: Israel, America, and the Politics of Translation between Jews

  • Elizabeth Imber, The College of Idaho: Empire of uncertainty: Zionism, British imperialism, and the future of the Yishuv

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Fall 2018
  • Alexander Kaye, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University: The Theological Origins of Religious-Secular Conflict in Israel

  • Randa Abbas, Western Galilee Academic College: Israel as a Rainbow of Cultures and Traditions Druze Women as Part of a Minority    

  • Steve Kaplan, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Falasha, Beta Israel, Ethiopian Jews: Models and Methods

  • Eva Gurevich, Brandeis University doctoral candidate: Post-1967 Secular Messianism in Israeli Politics and Culture

  • Eilon Schwartz, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Between Racists and Traitors: A Search for a Politics of the Common Good  

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Spring 2018
  • Walker Robins, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies: Between Dixie and Zion: Southern Baptists' Palestine Questions

  • Zvi Zohar, Bar-Ilan University: Why Don't Israelis in the Negev Observe Two Days of Yom Tov?

  •  Shayna Weiss, United States Naval Academy: Holy Waters: The Controversy over Jerusalem's First Public Pool

  • Rifat Azam: The Israeli Supreme Court and the Challenges of Equality in Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State

  • Karen Spira, Brandeis University doctoral candidate: “The best place for any child”: Evolving Attitudes Toward Orphanhood in the Pre-state Yishuv

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Fall 2017
  • Tamara Wittes, Brookings Institution: Lessons from the Trenches – Bridging the Academic-Policy Divide in US Mideast Policy

  • Gil Rubin, Harvard University: Vladimir Ze'ev Jabotinsky between Eastern Europe and Palestine

  • Mikhael Manekin, Israel Tomorrow: The Depoliticization of the Israeli Left – How Money and Institutions Drove the Peace Camp Away from Israeli Political Discourse and Power

  • Yair Ettinger: Haredim in Israel – Ideology or Sociology

  • Dorit Rabinyan: Dorit Rabinyan on her novel "All the Rivers"

  • Itamar Lurie, Israeli Psychoanalytic Society: A De-Stabilizing Encounter – The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in the Therapeutic Context

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Spring 2017
  • Sharon Shalom, Bar-Ilan University: Between 'Identification' and 'Identity' – Case Study of the Second Generation of Ethiopian Immigrants to Israel

  • Adam Ferziger, Bar-Ilan University: Yankees in Rabbi Kook's Court – The Role of American Orthodoxy in Israeli Judaism

  • Haim Koren, Israeli Ambassador: Reflections of an Israeli Diplomat in Egypt and South Sudan

  • Safa Aburabia, Ben-Gurion University: The Historical Discourse on the Nakba – Resistance Voices of Bedouin Women from the Naqab

  • Liron Shani, Brandeis University: Between Nationalism, Science and Livelihood – The Role of Agriculture in Contemporary Israeli Society

  • Amber Taylor, Brandeis University: Jerusalem is Not for Sale – Orthodox Opposition to the Creation of the BYU Jerusalem Center on the Mount of Olives

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Fall 2016
  • Ronit Irshai, Rivkah Rosenberg, Avishalom Westreich: The Intersection of Religious Law, Family and Gender in Israel Today

  • Derek Penslar, Harvard University: Theodor Herzl – A Biography for the 21st Century

  • Aron Shai, Tel Aviv University: China and Israel – Strange Bedfellows

  • Orit Rozin, Tel Aviv University: From "A Home for All Jews:" The Right to Childhood and the Age of Marriage Law

  • Shlomo Fisher, Hebrew University: Jewish Identity in Israel after the Zionist Revolution: A Reading of the Pew Center Survey of the Religion of Israelis

  • Dan Ben-David, Tel Aviv University: Israel at a Crossroads: The View from 30,000 Feet (A socio-economic review)

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Spring 2016
  • Aviad Hacohen, Shaarei Mishpat Academic College: Freedom of Religion in Democratic Israel – Is it a Reality or Was it a Dream?

  • Aviv Ben-or, Brandeis: Abandoning Language – Sami Michael as an Arabic Writer

  • Lital Levy, Princeton University: The Political Uncanny – Reading Palestinian-Israeli Intersubjectivities

  • Mohammed S. Wattad, UC Irvine / Zefat Academic College: Israel, A Jewish and Democratic State – Perspective of an Arab Minority Citizen

  • Shachar Pinsker, University of Michigan: To Write in a Silent Language? Yiddish in Israeli Literature and Culture

  • Mostafa Hussein, Brandeis University: David Yellin's Encounter with Arabo-Islamic Culture and the Study of the Land of Palestine

  • Liora Norwich and Robert DeBoard, Brandeis University: A Framework for Exploring Political Mobilization – An Overview of Israel Case Studies

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Fall 2015
  • Rachel Werczberger, Tel Aviv University / UPenn: The Making of Authenticity – New Age Spirituality in Israel and the Resacralization of Jewish Identity

  • André Levy, Ben-Gurion University / Brandeis: Happy Mimouna – The Construction of Ethnic Frivolousness in Israel

  • Motti Inbari, UNC Pembroke: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, A Comparison – Radical Ultra-Orthodoxy and Messianic Religious Zionism

  • Noga Kadman, Tour guide and author: Palestinian Visits to Depopulated Villages in Israel

  • Guy Ziv, American University: The Structure-Agency Debate Revisitied – Shimon Peres and Actor Indispensability

  • Uri Bialer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem / Brandeis: Pre-State Historical Legacies and Israel's Foreign Policy

  • Nir Avieli, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev: Size Matters – Defining Israeli National Cuisine

  • Susanna Klosko, Brandeis University: The Inform, the Unfortunate, and the Aged – Chronic Illness, Naturalized Jews, and the American Consulate in Ottoman Jerusalem

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Spring 2015
  • Amihai Radzyner, Bar-Ilan University Law School: The Impact of Supreme Court Rulings on the Halakhic Status of the Official Rabbinical Courts in Israel

  • Oren Barak, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: State, Society and Security in Israel/Palestine and Lebanon

  • Noam Shoval, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Jerusalem's Geopolitical Question: An Urban and Social Geography

  • Shraga Bar-on, Shalom Hartman Institute: "Godseekers:" A Cross-Identity State of Faith and the Jewish Renaissance in Israel

  • Jon Levisohn, Mandel Center for the Study of Jewish Education: Pedagogy Session - Teaching Contentious Issues

  • Dan Perelman, Associate Provost of Innovation in Education: Pedagogy Session - On Teaching Israel

  • Galeet Dardashti, Rutgers University: Money, Music and Mizrahiyut: The Piyut (Sacred Song) Craze in Israel

  • Anita Shapira, Tel Aviv University: Ben-Gurion - Father of Modern Israel (public event and book-signing)

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Fall 2014
  • Yiftach Klein, Actor: "Fill the Void" - Examining Religion in Society

  • Gideon Aran, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Studying Palestinian Suicide Terrorism in Israel

  • Michael Zank, Boston University: Jerusalem in the Religious Studies Classroom - Theoretical Considerations and Topical Issues

  • Liora Norwich, Brandeis University: Ethnic Contention in Democratic Contexts: The Arab Minority in Israel

  • Yael Aronoff, University of Michigan: The Political Psychology of Israeli Prime Ministers - When Hardliners Opt for Peace

  • Nachman Ben-Yehuda: Israel Through a Prism of Unconventionality

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Spring 2014
  • Jonathan Gribetz, Rutgers University: Knowing the Enemy through Translation -- On Arabic Renderings of Zionism

  • Donna Divine, Smith College: The Middle East Conflict -- Is the Pen Mightier than the Sword?

  • Savyon Leibricht, Author and Playright: Writing about the Holocaust

  • Gershom Gorenberg, Journalist and Historian: Rewriting Israeli History -- Two Cases of Narrative, Evidence and Cognitive Dissonancee

  • Hillel Cohen, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Can one Write the History of the Conflict without Lying? The Hevron Massacre (1929)

  • Uri Bialer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: History of Foreign Policy -- Working in Israeli Archives

  • David Fisher, Documentary Filmmaker: When Private Goes Public

  • Dan Schueftan, Haifa University: Israel's National Security Challenges in a Changing Regional and International Environment

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Fall 2013
  • Annette Koren, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies: Teaching Israel at American Universities -- Growth, Placement, and Future Prospects

  • Shai Feldman, Crown Center for Middle East Studies: Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East

  • Madalina Vartejanu-Joubert, INALCO Paris: On the Bonfils Archive - Photographs from the 19th Century Middle East

  • Ariel Roth, Israel Institute, Washington DC: Jewish Historical Memory and Israeli Security Policy

  • Tuvia Friling, Ben Gurion University of the Negev: 'New' Historians Use of the Shoah in Israel's Historiographical Discourse

  • Rachel Rojanski, Brown University: Yiddish - The Story of a Jewish Culture in a Hebrew State 1948-1968

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Spring 2013
  • Yoel Rappel, Elie Wiesel Archive, Boston University: The Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel

  • Edwin Seroussi, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Jo Amar - A Western Israeli Artist

  • Sariel Birnbaum, SUNY Binghamton: Image of the Jew in Arab Historical Cinema

  • Yehudah Mirsky, Brandeis: Multiple Modernity as Theory and Theology - Shmuel Noah Eisenstadt and Rav Kook

  • Shay Rabineau, Brandeis: Israeli Hiking Trails as Articulations of National Identity

  • Sara Hirschhorn, Brandeis: Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and the Jewish-American Makings of Efrat

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Fall 2012
  • Pnina Lahav, Boston University School of Law: The American Identity of Golda Meir

  • Ute Deichmann, Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Koeln University: The Difficult Beginning of Israeli-German Scientific Cooperation

  • Asaf Romirowsky, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Philadelphia: Refugee Relief: the Quakers and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

  • Uri Zaki, B’tselem USA: The Mammoth in the Room: The Israeli Occupation - Facts, Myths, Politics and Narratives

  • Dor Guez, Photography and Video Artist, Israel: On The Rose Art Museum Exhibition, "Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean"

  • Charles Asher Small, Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism, New Haven: Is it Possible to Study Contemporary Antisemitism in the Academy Today?: Conceptual and Political Impediments

  • Ilana Pardes, Harvard Divinity School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Agnon's Moonstruck Lovers: The Song of Songs in Israeli Culture

  • Emily McKee, Schusterman Center Post-Doctoral Fellow, Anthropology: Water Governance and the Politics of Scale: Middle-Eastern Cross-Border Conservation

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Spring 2012
  • Tsafrir Goldberg, Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education: The Politics and Practice of Israeli High School History Curriculum about the Jewish-Arab Conflict

  • Eitan Bar-Yosef, University of Pennsylvania: Cry, The Beloved Country - Blackface, Mimicry, and Ethnicity in the Israeli Theater of the 1950s

  • Oded Haklai, Queen's University: Palestinian Ethnonationalism in Israel

  • Rivka Neriya Ben-Shahar, HBI Scholar/Sapir Academic College: The Creation of a New Women's Religious Culture: An Integrated Perspective

  • Eric Fleisch, Schusterman Scholar, NEJS: American Jewish Philanthropy to Israel in the Post-UJA Era

  • Efraim Inbar, Bar-Ilan University: The Arab Uprising and Israel

  • Abigail Jacobson, Research Fellow, Crown Center for Middle East Studies: Wallahi, al-Umma Matat...": The Ihsan Tourjman Diary as Source for Study of Jerusalem during WWI

  • David Jacobson, Director, Program in Judaic Studies, Brown University: The Emergence of Talmudic Legends in Contemporary Israeli Culture

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Fall 2011
  • Laura Ligouri, Schusterman Scholar, Brandeis Anthropology: Reflections and Reconstructions of the Psyche in Israeli Theater

  • Michael Kassen, AIPAC President-elect: A Discussion on the Role of AIPAC

  • Michael Feige, Schusterman Visiting Professor, Anthropology, NEJS: The Changing Concept of Home among the West Bank Settlers

  • Charles D. Freilich, Senior Fellow Belfer Center, Kennedy School: National Security Decision Making Process in Israel

  • Yigal Schwartz, Ben Gurion University: Hebrew Literature in Europe - The 'Austro-Hungarians' versus the 'Russians'

  • Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch, Schusterman Post-doc Politics/Heller School: Beyond Kumbaya - Using Symbolic Reparation in the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

  • Michael Keren, University of Calgary: We Are Coming Unafraid - The Jewish Legions and the Promised Land in the First World War

  • Uri Bialer, Schusterman Visiting Professor History, NEJS: The History of Israel's Foreign Policy as an Area of Study

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Spring 2011
  • Yuval Jobani, Schusterman Post-doc NEJS: Man and Nature - AD Gordon on Secular Jewish Identity

  • Benni Neuberger, Open University: On the Stability of Israel's Democracy

  • Alain Deickoff, CNRS/Universite de Quebec: The Recognition of Israel as a Jewish State

  • Guy Abutbul, Schusterman Scholar, Sociology: The Construction of Ethnic Identities in the Israeli Middle Class

  • Yoram Peri, University of Maryland: The Military's Political Role in the Middle East and in Israel

  • Rachel Fish, Schusterman Scholar, NEJS: Michel Warshawski and the Zionist Idea

  • Avinoam Patt, University of Hartford: 'The People Must be Forced to go to Palestine' - a New Assessment of Zionism among the Survivors of the Holocaust

  • Adi Gordon, University of Cincinnati: On Jews and Other Nations - The Intellectual Biography of Hans Kohn

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Fall 2010
  • All seminar participants: Topics on Chanukah

  • Ceynep Zivcik, Schusterman Scholar, Politics: Turkey and Israel - The Role of the Military in Civil Society

  • Dan Ben-David, Tel Aviv University: A Macro Perspective of Israel's Society and Economy

  • Mitchell Bard, AICE: The Arab Lobby

  • Nahshon Perez, Visiting Professor Boston University : The Privatization of Jewishness in Israel: On Markets, Pork and the Sabbath

  • Gerald Steinberg, NGO Monitor: Monitoring NGOs

  • Uzi Rebhun, Hebrew University: Demography, Social Prosperity and the Future of a Sovereign Israel

  • Pnina Lahav, Boston University: A Small Nation Goes to War: Israel's Cabinet Authorization of the 1956 War

  • Sammy Smooha, Haifa University/Brandeis University: Is Israel Western?

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Spring 2010
  • Liora Halperin, Harvard University Center for Jewish Studies: Language Diversity in the Yishuv

  • Sayed Kashua, Writer-in-Residence, Haaretz columnist, novelist, screenwriter

  • Aviva Halamish, Open University of Israel, Brandeis University: Soviet Influences on Israeli Culture in the Early Years

  • Andi Arnovitz, HBI Artist in Residence Brandeis University: Tear/ Repair [kriah/ichooi]

  • Ethan Bronner, Jerusalem Bureau Chief, New York Times: Covering the Middle East in 2010: A Report from the Field

  • Maoz Azaryahu, Haifa University/Brandeis University Anthropology: Asher Hiram and the Architecture of Military Cemeteries

  • Dalia Ofer, HBI Guest, Brandeis University: Parenthood in the Shadow of the Holocaust

  • Yarden Fanta-Vagenshtein, Harvard Research Fellow: Education: The Ethiopian-Israeli Community

  • Shay Rabineau, Schusterman Scholar, NEJS: Hiking Trails in Israel

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Fall 2009
  • Michal Ben-Josef Hirsh, Schusterman Politics Post-doc, Politics: Until the Messiah do us Part: An Ideational and Political Alliance Between Israel and American Christians

  • Daphne Tsimhoni, Princeton University: Between the Star and the Crescent: The Position and Dilemmas of Palestinian Christians, in Between Israel and the Palestinian Authority

  • Alex Weingrod, Professor Emeritus Ben-Gurion University: The New Israeli Minorities

  • Edwin Seroussi, Hebrew University: Music in Israel Today: Processes and Experiences

  • Yoram Bilu, Schusterman Visiting Professor/Anthropology: The Messianic Self: Towards a Comparative Analysis of Habad and Braslav in Israel

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Spring 2009
  • Mordechi Inbari, Schusterman Post-doc/NEJS: Rabbi Amram Bloi and the History of Neturei Karta

  • Randy Geller, Schusterman Scholar/NEJS: Framing the Druze Question: A Unique Minority in the Jewish State

  • Nili Gold, University of Pennsylvania: Writing Literary Biography

  • Gabi Sheffer, Hebrew University: The Study of Civil-Military Relations in Israel: A New Perspective

  • Nira Yuval Davis, University of East London: Belonging and the Politics of Belonging

  • Hagar Lahav, Sapir Academic College, HBI: The State of Journalism in Israel

  • Paula Kabalo, Ben Gurion University of the Negev/Boston University: Challenging Disempowerment in 1948: The Role of the Jewish Third Sector during the Israeli War of Independence

  • Gannit Ankori, Hebrew University, Brandeis University: Israeli Art

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Fall 2008
  • Benny Gidron, Schusterman Visiting Professor/Heller School, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev: Civil Society: The Missing Link in Israel Studies

  • Guy Ben Porat, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev: Secular but illiberal? Paradoxes of Israeli Democracy

  • Ronit Matalon, Haifa University: On Memory & Autobiography

  • Dr. Maina Chawla Singh, University of Delhi/American University: 'Being Indian--Being Israeli': Ethnicity and Identity Among Indian Jews in Israel

  • Etgar Keret, Writer: Girl on the Fridge, Jellyfish

  • Yaacov Ariel, University of North Carolina: Christian Zionism

  • Joseph Ringel, Schusterman Scholar/NEJS: What Is A Sephardi? A Debate Between R. Ovadiah Yosef And R. Eliyahu Zinni

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Spring 2008
  • Natan Aridan, Ben Gurion University: Israeli Diplomacy and Diaspora Communities 1948-1957

  • Ofir Abu,Schusterman Scholar/Politics: Nationalism, Religion and the Breakdown of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

  • Motti Inbari, Schusterman Post-doc/NEJS: Who Will Build the Third Temple: Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount

  • Motti Inbari, Schusterman Post-doc/NEJS: Theology of the Disengagement: Rabbinical Response to a Crisis of Faith

  • Rachel Fish, Schusterman Scholar/NEJS: Bi-Nationalism: Nation-State Creation or Intellectual Framework

  • Guy Abutbul Selinger, Schusterman Scholar/Sociology: From Mizrahiyut to Sephardiyut: The Construction of a New Political Subject