News

Fall 2020 Update
Brandeis will provide an on-campus residential experience for undergraduate students this fall, with classes held in person, remotely or through a combination of both methods. Our graduate schools will offer their classes in a hybrid format. Learn more about our plans for the fall 2020 semester.
Alex Kaye on "the Battle over Israel's Identity"

On August 3, our own Alexander Kaye, the Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Assistant Professor of Israel Studies, led a webinar, "Jewish Theocracy vs. Democracy - the Battle over Israel's Identity," for f the Hiddush series, "Israel/Diaspora at a crossroads - Religion, Law, and Morality in challenging times." Hiddush, an NGO that deals with religious pluralism in Israel, presented the webinar in partnership with Ruach Hiddush [Rabbis and Cantors for Religious Freedom in Israel], JPLAN [Jewish Pluralism Legal Action Network] and AAJLJ [American Association of Jewish Lawyers & Jurists]. Prof Kaye is the author of "The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel."

 

Schusterman Doctoral Fellow PhD '17 Mostafa Hussein writes in Haaretz about the rise of Hebrew and Jewish studies in Egypt

Accomplished Schusterman Scholar and Doctoral Fellow, PhD '17, NEJS, Dr. Mostafa Hussein has a new article in Ha'aretz on Hebrew and Jewish studies in Egypt that explores the development of this knowledge and its place within the Egyptian culture from the beginning of the 20th century until today. Read "Jewish Studies on the Nile: The Rise of Hebrew and Jewish Degrees in Egypt". Dr. Hussein is an intellectual historian studying the intertwined worlds of Jews and Muslims in the modern Middle East. He is a faculty member at the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan and LSA Collegiate Fellow at UM's International Institute. 

Thoughtful review of Alex Kaye's book in The Lehrhaus
On June 30 The Lehrhaus published Shalom Carmy's thoughful and substantive review of Alexander Kaye's recent book, The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel (Oxford University Press, 2020). Prof. Kaye is the Stoll Assistant Professor of Israel Studies in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department and a core Schustman Center faculty member. Read Shalom Carmy's review.
Prof. Alex Kaye interviewed about the Invention of Jewish Theocracy

Our own Alexander Kaye, the Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Assistant Professor of Israel Studies, was interviewed online on June 8, 2020 about his recent book, The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel (Oxford University Press, 2020). Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, President and Dean of Valley Beit MIdrash in Phoenix, AZ interviewed Prof. Kaye. Watch the interview on YouTube, or listen on SoundCloud.  

Jonathan D. Sarna honored by CJP

Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) has honored our director Jonathan D. Sarna this month by naming him a 2020 Superstar. CJP awards this designation to volunteers who make a substantive positive impact in the community. As Chair of the CJP Jewish Journalism Task Force, Dr. Sarna "brought his expertise, academic approach, and creativity to lead an incredibly engaged and thoughtful group of volunteers. Jonathan asked challenging questions and engaged CJP in a new way of thinking through research and analysis. brought his expertise, academic approach, and creativity to lead an incredibly engaged and thoughtful group of volunteers. Jonathan asked challenging questions and engaged CJP in a new way of thinking through research and analysis." Read more.

Prof. Gannit Ankori to helm Rose Art Museum

We are proud to congratulate core Schusterman Center faculty member Gannit Ankori on her new position as Interim Director and Chief Curator of the Rose Art Museum, which will begin July 1st. Dr. Ankori is Professor of Art History and Theory and Chair in Israeli Art at the Departments of Fine Arts, and the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. She has published and lectured extensively about modern and contemporary art from a global perspective, with emphasis on issues pertaining to gender, nationalism, identity, religion, trauma, exile, hybridity, disability, and their manifestations in the creative arts. Please join us in congratulating Professor Ankori on her appointment. We wish her every success as she assumes this new and exciting challenge!

We are proud to announce our new Research Guide to Israel Studies, a one-stop shop for Israel Studies queries, needs, and information. Launched on May 12, 2020, this free guide contains resources for researchers of every kind. From the high schooler writing a class report, to a journalist looking for reliable information, to a senior academic with thirty years' experience, everyone - especially those now working from home - will find it invaluable. Produced with the Israel Studies faculty at Brandeis University, in conjunction with other leading scholars, and edited by our associate director, Dr. Shayna Weiss, this is the most comprehensive guide of its kind available. Explore the Research Guide to Israel Studies, and share it with everyone in your life interested in learning more about Israel.

Schusterman doctoral fellow published in OUP journal

Schusterman doctoral fellow Iddo Haklai has published his first scholarly article. "Four Paradigms of Legal Change: American Conservative Halachic Rulings on Women’s Roles in Synagogue Practice" appears in Volume 40, Issue 2 of Modern Judaism: A Journal of Jewish Ideas and Experience, published by Oxford University Press. Haklai's research focuses on the theological frameworks and concepts developed by thinkers within the religious-Zionist labor movement in British Mandatory Palestine, and their integration of religious traditionalism, Zionism, modernism and social-democratic ideas. Read the abstract.

Shayna Weiss featured in Identity/Crisis Podcast discussion of Unorthodox

On May 7, 2020, our associate director Shayna Weiss appeared in Identity/Crisis, a new weekly roundtable podcast about news and ideas helmed by Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. In this episode,  Kurtzer discusses the Netflix series Unorthodox and depictions of Jewish culture in TV and film with guests Joseph Cedar (director of Oscar-nominated Footnote), Naomi Seidman (author of My Scandalous Rejection of Unorthodox in Jewish Review of Books) and our very own Shayna Weiss, Brandeis University's resident Israeli television scholar. Listen to the episode.

Postponed due to COVID-19: Summer Institute for Israel Studies
We regret to announce that, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Summer Institute for Israel Studies (SIIS) will be postponed to Summer 2021. We share in your disappointment. This is not the outcome we had hoped for, but health and safety are our highest priority. We are grateful to the SIIS faculty, and to the 2020 fellows, and very much look forward to welcoming you to Brandeis next summer. 
Associate director Shayna Weiss featured in online lecture series

On April 29, our associate director Dr. Shayna Weiss delivers the lecture "A Day in Degania: Building a Secular Utopia in Israel's First Kibbutz" for the CJP Genesis Forum monthly series. Sessions are recorded and made available online. We will post a link to Dr. Weiss's talk once it is posted. 

The latest scholarship from Summer Institute for Israel Studies alumni
Two Brazillian Summer Institute for Israel Studies (SIIS) fellows, Guilherme Casarões (2015) and Monique Sochaczewski (2017) collaborated on an article, Between Three Circles: Brazil's Middle East Policy from Collor to Bolonsaro, published in the latest edition of the Tel Aviv Review of Books. We are always delighted to see Summer Institute alumni team up to produce cutting edge Israel scholarship. especially when they belong to different cohorts. It demonstrates the impact SIIS has had - and continues to have - on the field of Israel Studies, and evinces the robust, international community of scholars the program has created over the past 15 years. Prof. Casarões teaches at the Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo/FGV and Prof. Monique Sochaczewski teaches at the Brazilian Army Command and General Staff College (ECEME).
Our director joins the Coronavirus conversation

On April 22, our director, Professor Jonathan D. Sarna, participates in the virtual conversation: (Jewish) Journalism in (the Coronavirus) Crisis. The discussion is part of The Forward's new series, #ForwardFocus: Talks in Trying Times.

 

Alexander Kaye Chairs Harvard Virtual Event

On April 17, Alexander Kaye, the Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Chair of Israel Studies, chaired an online book talk by Derek Penslar about his recently published Theodore Herzl: The Charismatic Leader, The webinar was a presentation of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) at Harvard University.

Between Dixie and Zion - a new book by a Schusterman post-doctoral fellow & Summer Institute alum

Congratulations to Walker Robins, former Schusterman Center post-doctoral fellow and Summer Institute for Israel Studies alum, on the publication of his first book, Between Dixie and Zion: Southern Baptists and Palestine before Israel. The book examines Southern Baptist engagement with Palestine and the Palestine question prior to 1948. Dr. Robins revised the manuscript during his post-doctoral Israel Institute fellowship at the Schusterman Center. He is now a lecturer in history at Merrimack College in North Andover.

Yehudah Mirsky on what we can learn from COVID-19
In a March 26 opinion piece in The Forward, Schusterman Center core faculty member Yehudah Mirsky shared a fresh take on a lesson we can draw from the Coronavirus and the way it has temporarily reshaped our lives. Read "Amid COVID-19, a powerful lesson about inwardness."
Jonathan Sarna on growing influence of Orthodox groups in WZC
Our very own Jonathan D. Sarna was interviewed by the Cleveland Jewish News for a March 23rd article on the growing influence of Orthodox groups in the World Zionist Congress. Read the article
The history of quarantine and immigration to Israel - a book by a Summer Institute Fellow

Rutgers University Press has published, Under Quarantine: Immigrants and Disease at Israel’s Gate, a recent book by Summer Institute for Israel Studies alumna Rhona Seidelman. The book is especially relevant at the present moment, as we live through the Coronavirus outbreak, a time marked by quarantines, some mandatory, others self-imposed, and related issues of immigration. Add it to your homebound reading list. 

Summer Institute alum launches groundbreaking course
Dr. Dina Roginsky, a 2012 Summer Institute for Israel Studies fellow who teaches Modern Hebrew language and culture at Yale University, has launched Languages in Dialogue, a new course that blends the study of Arabic and Hebrew. According to an article on the Yale website, "it is believed to be the only one of its kind currently offered in higher education worldwide." Roginsky co-created and co-teaches the course with her colleauge, Sarab Al Ani, who teaches Arabic at Yale.  Nelleke Van Deusen-Scholl, director of Yale's Center for Language Study, is quoted in the article, saying the course "offers students the opportunity to explore linguistic and cultural similarities and differences, and gain a deeper understanding of cultural perspectives and practices on a range of topics and issues, such as food and dietary restrictions, music, identity, and gender relations, among others.” Read the article
Associate Director Shayna Weiss speaks at IPF Atid Boston's Launch
Shayna Weiss speaks at Israel Policy Forum's Atid Boston launch reception, taking place Thursday, February 20, 2020. "a special evening marking the official launch of IPF Atid’s newest chapter community!" Dr. Weiss will be among a the feautured speakers,  "leading figures from the academic, policy, tech, and activist communities exploring the latest developments in Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding and policy." Her talk interrogates the question, "How can an inclusive and diverse peace movement be built and strengthened by involving stakeholders that span gender, class, religious and ethnic lines?"
Our director heads meeting on Israel-Diaspora Relations

In January, AJC Jerusalem hosted a meeting of representatives of over ten Israeli universities and colleges for a discussion with AJC’s Israel-Diaspora Task Force, to explore the potential of a joint project. Our director, Jonathan D. Sarna co-lead the meeting with Dr. Steve Bayme, AJC’s Director of Contemporary Jewish Life department.

Our former associate director to head the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism
Robert Kraft has appointed Dr. Rachel Fish as the founding executive director of the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism. Dr. Fish is the former associate director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, as well as an alumna of our Schusterman Doctoral Fellowship program, PhD '13, NEJS. Congratulations, Dr. Fish! Said Kraft, in an article in the Jerusalem Post, “I am thrilled to have Rachel lead this new and important effort. Rachel’s education, experience and, most importantly, her commitment make her the right person for this role. She is equipped to face the growing epidemic of antisemitism with tenacity and a proven track record of progress through a lifetime of work in this arena. Our family is honored and privileged to have Rachel lead this new foundation, which is so close to our hearts.” Read more.
Hot off the presses: New book by Prof. Alexander Kaye
We are thrilled to announce that Oxford University Press has published the first monograph by Alexander KayeKarl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Assistant Professor of Israel Studies, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.  The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel "is an intellectual history, based on newly discovered material from numerous Israeli archives, private correspondence, court records, and lesser-known published works... the account of the blurring of the categories of "secular" and "religious" illustrated in the book are relevant to all studies of modern history and to scholars of the intersection of religion and human rights." The ebook is available now, while the hardcover will be available on February 19, 2020.
Schusterman Doctoral Fellowship Alum Accepts Tenure Track Professorship
Penn State University has offered Eric Fleisch PhD '14, NEJS the tenure track Assistant Professorship in Jewish/Israel Studies, and he has accepted. And that's not all; Rutgers University Press will publish his book, Checkbook Zionism: Philanthropy and Power in the Israel-Diaspora Relationship. Congratulations, Dr. Fleisch! We are always thrilled to celebrate the successes of our Schusterman Doctoral Fellowship alumni, and their contributions to both scholarship and the education of the next generation of global citizens.
Shayna Weiss in documentary on Israeli TV's Global Impact
Schusterman Center associate director Shayna Weiss is interviewed in a forthcoming French documentary, "Israël, terre de séries," on the global influence of Israeli TV. Filmmaker Olivier Joyard's documentary debuts on January 30, 2020 on French television's Canal+.

January 1, 2020

Schusterman Center director Jonathan D. Sarna discusses anti-semitism as a "symptom of intense social and cultural stress, revealing more about America's underlying maladies than about Jews." Read his blog post featured in the Times of Israel.
The Schusterman Center at AJS

The Schusterman Center is proud to see so many of our faculty members presenting at the annual Association for Jewish Studies Conference. If you are at AJS, please consider attending these discussions.

  • Jonathan Sarna will take part in roundtable Between Activism and Theology: A Critical Examination of the Role of Yitz Greenberg in American Judaism on Mon, December 16, 1:30 - 3:00 PM, Hilton Bayfront San Diego, Sapphire 410A.
  • Shayna Weiss will be a panelist for Jews and other “Others” on Global Television on Mon, December 16, 1:30 - 3:00 PM, Hilton Bayfront San Diego, Aqua Salon AB. Her presentation is titled Reshaim Arurim: The Case of Linguistic Others in Israeli Television.
  • Shayna Weiss will also participate in Building Bridges: Feminist Mentorship, Collaboration, and Coalition-Building roundtable on Mon, December 16, 5:15 - 6:45 PM, Hilton Bayfront San Diego, Aqua 307.
  • Alexander Kaye will be a discussant at Exile in the Modern Jewish Imagination roundtable on Tue, December 17, 3:15 - 4:45 PM, Hilton Bayfront San Diego, Aqua 303.
Gannit Ankori comments on contemporary Israeli TV shows and movies

The number of Israeli TV shows, movies and adaptations being released in the US is staggering. Read more about all the current and upcoming shows and movies from Israel that you can watch on Netflix.  Gannit Ankori, Schusterman Center Faculty member and professor of Art History and Theory at Brandeis University who specializes in contemporary Israeli and Palestinian art, film and visual culture examines these shows and offers her comments in this new article in The Forward.

Shayna Weiss to appear at the Boston Jewish Film Festival
Associate director, Shayna Weiss, to appear at the Boston Jewish Film Festival! As part of the two part TLV TV Binge on November 17, she will first introduce the show Autonomies, a dystopian drama that depicts a divided Israel, with Tel Aviv as its secular capital and Jerusalem as an Orthodox “Haredi Autonomy.” Following the screening of "Muna", which tells the story of an Israeli-Palestinian photographer chosen to represent Israel in an international art exhibition and the opposition she faces from both sides, Shayna will moderate a discussion with producer Mira Awad, whose own experience as a singer, songwriter, actress and activist inspired the show. Please join us. Tickets available on the Boston Jewish Film Festival Website
Jonathan Sarna on Mark Twain and the Holy Land

October 24, 2019

Jonathan Sarna spoke at the New York Historical Society's celebration of the 150th anniversary of Mark Twain's INNOCENTS ABROAD, (1869). The anniversary is being marked by an exhibit on Mark Twain and the Holy Land at NYHS. Professor Sarna discussed the significance of Mark Twain's trip and his book, the transformation that steam travel produced, and the rise of holy land tourism in the second half of the 19th century. The noted American historian Prof. Gil Troy interviewed Professor Sarna on stage to the audience of 200, including notable members such as Ron Chernow and Roger Hertog.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews on Israeli TV with Shayna Weiss
Shayna Weiss talks about Israeli television, the representation of ultra-Orthodox Jews in this medium, and why this matters as we put Israel in a global context.
A Yom-Kippur Lesson from Rav Kook
Yehudah Mirsky speaks about stopping anger for anger's sake in his article Stop Being So Triggered. This Yom Kippur, Commit To Ending The Outrage.
Yehudah Mirsky interviewed on the Israeli elections
Middle East expert Yehudah Mirsky analyzes the Israeli election and what it means for the country's long-reigning prime minister.
Yehudah Mirsky interviewed on podcast about the next Israeli elections
In the Vibe of the Tribe Podcast – Episode 74: Israeli Election Redux, on June 25, 2019, Professor Yehudah Mirsky and our former associate director Dr. Rachel Fish help listeners understand the upcoming Israeli elections. 
Jonathan Sarna on the shift in American Jews’ attitudes toward Israel

In a July 1, 2019 interview with BrandeisNOW, Jonathan Sarna speaks to the changing relationship between American Jews and Israel.  The interview follows the publication, by Yale University Press, of the 2nd edition of Sarna's seminal book, "American Judaism."

The Jerusalem Post interviews Shayna Weiss

Amy Spiro interviewed our associate director and resident expert on the politics of Israeli popular culture for her article, Assessing the Gal Gadot Effect on Israel's Image, which ran in The Jerusalem Post on June 20, 2019.

Shayna Weiss quoted in The Atlantic
Peter Beinart quotes our associate director Shayna Weiss in his June 20, 2019 article in The Atlantic, Unpacking the Immense Popularity of Shtisel.
Shayna Weiss speaks on Al Jazeera's "The Stream"
On May 16, 2019, our associate director Shayna Weiss spoke on Al Jazeera English's "The Stream" about Israel and Eurovision, for their segment on the Eurovision boycott. Watch the recording. To learn more about the topic, read Pop Toys and Power Politics: Israel and the Eurovision Song ContestWeiss's article in the Jewish Review of Books. 
Historian Jonathan Sarna Fact-checks Rep. Tlaib's Holocaust/Israel Comments
The Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) interviewed scholar, historian, and Schusterman Center director Jonathan Sarna for a May 14, 2019 article about Rep. Rashida Tlaib's comments claiming Palestinians offered Jews a safe refuge from the Holocaust. He discredited those claims, explaining that "the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, helped the Nazis recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS.” Sarna advised that people “interested in facts, rather than distortions and propaganda, should consult Klaus Gensicke and Alexander Fraser Gunn’s 'The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis: The Berlin Years,' or the very readable book by David Dalin and John Rothmann, 'Icon of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam'.” Read Jackson Richman's article on the Jewish News Syndicate website.
Israel and the Eurovision Song Contest - Shayna Weiss in the Jewish Review of Books

Associate director Shayna Weiss's Pop Toys and Power Politics: Israel and the Eurovision Song Contest, appeared May 13, 2019 in the Jewish Review of Books. "But not taking Eurovision seriously or ignoring it altogether means ignoring the power of cultural politics and performance. Eurovision is a deeply political activity disguised as a campy contest that hopes to transcend those very politics. For Israel, being part of Eurovision is a potent way of asserting its identity as a member of the community of nations. It’s a reflection of the classic Zionist idea of normalization, of creating a Jewish country that is a country like any other." Read the article

Maham Ayaz Wins 2019 University Prize Instructorship
Congratulations to Maham Ayaz! Schusterman doctoral fellow Maham Ayaz was one of seven graduate students selected for a 2019 University Prize Instructorship. Awarded by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), the grant enables recipients to design and teach their own courses for undergraduate students. Maham's course, The State and the Individual, will include Israel as a case study. Read about the award and Maham's course.
"Israeli TV hits the big time" - an interview with Shayna Weiss
Our associate director and scholar Shayna Weiss explains how Israeli TV developed and the role it plays in Israeli society and politics in this BrandeisNOW interview, on May 6, 2019. Get some solid insight into what shows like Fauda, Shtisel, and Prisoners of War reveal about Israeli society and politics, and why they are resonating so strongly with American audiences these days. Read the interview
New book on "Teaching the Arab-Israeli Conflict" features scholarship by Summer Institute for Israel Studies alumni
Summer Institute for Israel Studies alumna Rachel Harris has a new book, "Teaching the Arab-Israeli Conflict," published by Wayne State University Press in April 2019. Harris edited the volume, which includes chapters by 17 Summer Institute for Israel Studies (SIIS) alumni, and by our associate director Shayna Weiss. Many of the contributing SIIS authors speak about how the Summer Institute impacted them and their scholarship. In the introduction, Harris cites the program as the inspiration for the book.
Yehudah Mirsky's article in the Jewish Review of Books
Yehudah Mirsky 's essay in the Spring issue of the Jewish Review of Books, "Universal Rights and the Particular Jew," delves into Jewish involvement in the creation of the human rights system after the Holocaust. Read his throughtful piece, which discusses, among other elements, the history of shifting international attitudes toward Israel.
Former Eizenstat Grant recipients receive Wexner fellowships
Congratulations to former Eizenstat '65 Undergraduate Israel Travel Grantees, Hannah Kober and Ezra Cohen, on being named Wexner Fellows! From strength to strength. See them and the other Wexner fellows.
Jonathan Sarna at the Brandeis Seminar on Contemporary Jewish Life
On March 27, 2019, our director spoke on the subject "Next Year in Jerusalem in Contemporary American Haggadot." 
Ilana Szobel will deliver the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program's 2018-2019 Distinguished Faculty Lecture
Professor Ilana Szobel will present her lecture "Sexualized Violence in Modern Hebrew Literature and Israeli Culture"on April 11 at 2:00 PM at Brandeis University in Skyline Commons. Learn more about this and other upcoming events.
Yehudah Mirsky Speaks UN Panel marking solemn anniversary

On March 26, 2019 Professor Yehudah Mirsky will participate in a panel at the UN marking the 25th anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide, The Genocide Convention at 70: From Definition to Implementation. The event is organized by the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the United Nations and the World Jewish Congress.

 

Yehudah Mirsky on Understanding The New Post-Secular Israel

In his article, Understanding The New Post-Secular IsraelProfessor Yehudah Mirsky parses some of the deeper currents in Israeli politics and society today. The article appeared in the New York Jewish Week on March 14, 2019. Useful reading in advance of the Israeli elections taking place April 9, 2019. 

Jonathan Sarna's five must-read books about American anti-Semitism

Just in time for the U.S. House of Representatives March 6, 2019 vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, our director Jonathan Sarna has you covered with his five must-read books about American anti-Semitism. Check out his recommednations in BrandeisNOW

Our newest graduate: Dr. Amber Taylor

Congratulations to our newly minted PhD, Dr. Amber Taylor! The newest graduate of our Schusterman Doctoral Fellowship program and of the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies department successfully defended her dissertation, "Contest and Controversy in the Creation of the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center, 1984-1987," on February 26, 2019. Dr. Taylor will bring her Israel studies expertise to bear in her new position as a writer/historian at the History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, focusing on women's history.

Yehudah Mirsky in Tablet Magazine: The End of the World That 1948 Made
In this Tablet Magazine article, Yehudah Mirsky explores the legacy of key events in the year Israel of Israel's founding and the impact that continues to resonate today.

"2018 was, on top of everything else, one long procession of 70th anniversaries of the raft of monumental events of 1948. Those 70-year-old decisions were critical in creating the historical reality we have been living in for two generations, and, taken together, they comprise a set of ideas about what it takes to make a decent, livable world. Looking at those anniversaries together helps us better understand how and why that world is now coming apart, and what it might take to put at least some of it back together, and maybe even move forward..." Continue reading at Tablet Magazine.
Congratulations, Eva Gurevich, ABD!
Congratulations to Schusterman Doctoral fellow Eva Gurevich, whose thesis proposal has just been accepted. She is now officially ABD (all but dissertation). Eva is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. Way to go, Eva!
Congratulations, Professor Yehudah Mirsky!
Brandeis University Dean of Arts and Sciences Dorothy L. Hodgson has awarded the rank of Full Professor to Schusterman Center core faculty member Yehudah Mirsky. The promotion recognizes his outstanding contributions in scholarship, development of new courses and outreach beyond the University. Congratulations, Prof. Mirsky!
Celebrating the Founding of the AJS at Brandeis University
On Monday, December 17, 2018, at the 50th Annual Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) Conference, the Schusterman Center will cosponsor this year's Brandeis University reception. Conference registrants, including Brandeis alumni, faculty, and graduate students, will celebrate the founding of the AJS here at Brandeis University. Core Schusterman Center faculty members, including Ilana Szobel, Alexander Kaye, Yehudah Mirsky and Associate Director Shayna Weiss, are presenting at the conference. 
Publications - Journal

Check out the latest issue of our journal "Israel Studies," Volume 24.1 (Spring, 2019). Read it online at JSTOR and Project MUSE. This issue features not one but two special sections, Art and Design, and Security and Foreign Policy Issues. Access the journal through an institutional subscription, or subscribe directly.

Shayna Weiss Speaks at Boston Jewish Film Festival

On November 18, our associate director Shayna Weiss is speaking at the Boston Jewish Film Festival. She will introduce a screening of Israeli TV show "Shababnikim," contextualizing it within the framework of Israeli culture and society. This event is part of the Festival's TLV TV Binge Day.

Lebanese Newspaper L'Orient Le Jour Interviews Yehudah Mirsky
Lebanon's leading French daily paper L'Orient Le Jour interviewed Professor Yehudah Mirksy for an article (in French) on Israel - Diaspora relations, published on November 13.
"A Home for All Jews" Named the Finalist for the Jordan Schnitzer Award

On November 12, the Association for Jewish Studies named Orit Rozin's "A Home for All Jews: Citizenship, Rights and National Identity in the New Israeli State" (Brandeis University Press: Schusterman Series in Israel Studies & Brandeis Series in Gender, Culture, Religion, and Law) the finalist for the prestigious Jordan Schnitzer Award in the category of Modern Jewish History and Culture: Europe and Israel. These awards recognize outstanding scholarship in the field of Jewish Studies and honor scholars whose work embodies the best in the field: rigorous research, theoretical sophistication, innovative methodology, and excellent writing.

Jonathan Sarna Speaks at Ruderman Journalist Mission

 At the Ruderman Journalist Mission, on November 7,  Center director Jonathan Sarna spoke about "The American Jewish Community 2018: Past, Present, and a Glance at the Future" at a panel on American Jewry: The Next Generation. His co-panelists were our esteemed Brandeis colleagues Janet Krasner Aronson, Leonard Saxe and Michelle Shain of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and Steinhardt Social Research Institute.

Jonathan Sarna Sheds Light on American Jewry for an Israeli Audience
Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon published an expanded translation of Schusterman Center director Jonatham Sarna's Tablet article, The Future of the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre: Is American anti-Semitism really distinctive from that of other diaspora countries? Just how worried should we be?
Yehudah Mirky Speaks at Annual 2018 ADL Meeting

On November 8 Yehudah Mirsky spoke at the National Commission Meeting of the Anti-Defamation League, held this year in Houston, TX, on "Israeli Religious Pluralism and American Jewry."

Shayna Weiss Interviewed for a PRI.org Story

Schusterman Center associate director Shayna Weiss was interviewed for "The ultra-Orthodox are the hottest thing on Israeli TV," a story in Public Radio International's Global Post.

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat VIsits Brandeis to Meet Israel Travel Grantees

On Tuesday, November 6, former Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat visited the Schusterman Center to meet with the six recipients of the Frances Taylor Eizenstat '65 Undergradute Israel Travel Grant, which he established in memory of his wife. Our grantees shared their projects with the Ambassador, and the other students, staff and faculty who came to hear the presentations. Their projects ranged broadly from playing an integral role in the launch of a cutting edge tech startup in Tel Aviv, to senior thesis research examining the ways that Jewish religious law accommodates the conflicting needs of observant individuals dealing with mental illness, to working in a biochemistry lab with a world-famous geneticist, to name a few. Brandeis students never cease to impress! Read about the 2017-2018 grantees and their intriguing projects!

Meet Our New Leadership Team and Faculty


Director: University Professor Jonathan D. Sarna ’75, MA’75

Associate Director: Dr. Shayna Weiss '07

Karl, Harry and Helen Stoll Family Chair in Israel Studies: Professor Alexander Kaye  

Doctoral Student Career Moves

Schusterman Scholar Gangzheng She, who graduated with his PhD only last spring, has already landed a tenure track position! Dr. She is now Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Tsinghua ranks 17th around the world  - 1st in China and the 3rd in Asia - according to the QS World University Rankings 2019.  See the rankings. Congratulations, Dr. She!

Publications - Books
Hot off the presses: "The Palestinian National Revival: In the Shadow of the Leadership Crisis, 1937–1967" by Moshe Shemesh, the latest in our Perspectives on Israel Studies series, published by Indiana University Press.

What reviewers are saying: 

“The web of relationships woven by Palestinians—leaders and ordinary subjects of regimes that felt embattled and weak—was extraordinarily complicated and often changed as swiftly as did the regimes. Moshe Shemesh unravels these complexities and all students of the Middle East, no matter their background, will benefit.”
— Donna Robinson Divine, author of "Exiled in the Homeland: Zionism and the Return to Mandate Palestine"

“This impressive book reflects a lifetime of immersion in Palestinian history, and as a result, throws a great deal of new light on many aspects of Palestinian society and politics. Moshe Shemesh adds new facts and insights to virtually every major episode in the forty-year period he covers.” 
— Avi Shlaim, author of "The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World"