Schusterman Scholars Seminars

A Schusterman Scholars Seminar

If you enjoy academic presentations, we encourage you to join us for our biweekly Schusterman Scholars Seminars. These are advanced seminars geared toward faculty and graduate students, and open to all, presenting the latest research in Israel Studies to the Schusterman Center community and beyond.

The Seminars are live, online events. Registration required; details forthcoming. 

Fall 2020

nuclear warheads
Rockets, Nukes and Cyber Too - Israel's Current Security Challenges

September 24, 2020

Thursday, 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Charles FreilichGoldman Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Politics, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University

Dr. Freilich, a former deputy national security adviser in Israel and long-time senior fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center, has taught political science at Harvard, Columbia, NYU, and Tel Aviv University. He is the author of "Zion’s Dilemmas: How Israel Makes National Security Policy" (Cornell University Press, 2012); "Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change" (Oxford University Press, 2018); and "Israel and the Cyber Threat: How the Startup Nation Became a Global Cyber Power" (forthcoming 2020). He has published numerous academic articles and over 150 op-eds and appears frequently on U.S., Israeli, and international TV and radio stations.
image of citron
The Saga of the Citron: Historical and Global Perspectives

September 30, 2020

Wednesday, 12:00 - 1:30 PM EDT 

Introductions by:

  • Jonathan D. Sarna, University Professor, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History; Director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University
  • Shmuel FeinerProfessor of Modern Jewish History at Bar-Ilan University; Chairman of the Jerusalem Leo Baeck Institute; Chairman of the Samuel Braun Chair for the History of the Jews in Germany

Framing the context of the project:


  • Debra Kaplan, Senior Lecturer with tenure, Bar Ilan University, Department of Jewish History
  • Alexander Kaye, Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Assistant Professor of Israel Studies, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University
  • Zev EleffAssociate Professor of Jewish History, Touro College and University System


  • Christine Hayes, Robert F. and Patricia Ross Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale University

In partnership with the Historical Society of Israel.

Women and children by the Western wall
Text and Violence in Jerusalem: Hebrew Graffiti on the Western Wall

October 15, 2020

Thursday, 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Yair WallachSenior Lecturer in Israel Studies; Chair of the Centre for Jewish Studies at the SOAS University of London

Dr. Wallach studies modernity in Israel/Palestine, looking at both Arab-Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli society, focussing on urban space, as well as visual and material culture. Before joining SOAS he was a Research Associate in the “Conflict in Cities” research project at Cambridge University, where he looked at "shared space" in Jerusalem and other divided cities.

Title TBD

October 29, 2020

Thursday, 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Claris Harboun, Research Associate, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Brandeis University

Claris Harbon is a scholar of law, socio-legal studies, race/ethnicity studies, and gender studies. Her work examines the home, especially public housing in Israel as a site of both oppression and resistance. 

Harbon received her DCL from McGill University with a dissertation "Lawbreaking as Lawmaking: Redefining Women’s Everyday Resistances to Injustices". She holds two LLM degrees, one from Tel Aviv University and one from Yale Law School.

Haredi woman pregnant
Books and Babies: Reproductive Literacy among Haredi Women in Israel

November 12, 2020

Thursday, 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Michal Raucher, Assistant Professor, Rutgers University

Michal Raucher joined Rutgers University in Fall 2018. Her research lies at the intersection of Israel studies, Jewish ethics, and the anthropology of women in Judaism. As a Fulbright Fellow, Dr. Raucher conducted ethnographic research on reproductive ethics of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish women in Israel. She has been awarded grants from the Wenner Gren Foundation for anthropological research, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Crown Family Foundation. 

Sail Tower And Great Mosque, Haifa,Israel
It Takes a Nation: Telescopic Temporality and Childhood in Israel

December 3, 2020

Thursday, 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Maya Dworsky-RochaDoctoral Student, Brandeis University

Maya Dworsky-Rocha, MA'16, studies the intersectionality of childhood and race through the lens of children’s literature. A graduate of the Comparative Humanities (MACH) program, Maya's capstone project, "White Kids Fight Dragons, Black Kids Fight Drugs," dealt with the lack of heroes of color in children's transformative literature. In her doctoral work she continues her research into the use of pedagogical narrative in the formation of ethnic and national identities not only in the US, but also in Israel and Palestine.

Pictured: Sail Tower And Great Mosque in Haifa, Israel.

A sampling of our past speakers