October 24, 2019Jonathan 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.
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.
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.
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.
In his article, Understanding The New Post-Secular Israel, Professor 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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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!
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!
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"