Past Events Archive

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Events in Cinema, Art and Politics: Week of April 20-23, 2015

Above and Beyond
 Film Screening
Followed by Q&A with Professor Tamar Frankel

Monday, April 20

In 1948, a group of Jewish American pilots answered a call for help. In secret and at great personal risk, they smuggled planes out of the U.S., trained behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and flew for Israel in its War of Independence. The film has a special Brandeis connection: One of the pilots featured is Harold Livingston '55.

Boston University professor of law Tamar Frankel is a former member of the Haganah and an early member of the Israeli Air Force.

Cosponsored by the Department of American Studies, Brandeis University Alumni Association, Department of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, National Center for Jewish Film and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Nira Pereg: Artist Talk and Reception

Tuesday, April 21

Acclaimed Israeli artist Nira Pereg's visit to Brandeis University is presented with support from the Bronfman Brandeis-Israel Research Collaboration Fund, Artis, the Rose Art Museum, the Department of Fine Arts, the Brandeis Arts Council and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Iran and Israel: Prospects for De-escalation

Thursday, April 23

A talk with Meir Javedanfar, Iran-Israel expert and author of The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran. For details click here.

Cosponsored by the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Program and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

The Teaching of Israel in the Academy:
A Summer Institute for Israel Studies Symposium

April 19, 2015

The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies hosted a scholars symposium April 19th; about the challenges and opportunities of teaching Israel on college campuses in North America and around the world. Keynote speakers included Jeffrey Herf and Shibley Telhami from the University of Maryland. Alumni of the Summer Institute for Israel Studies presented their experience of teaching Israel Studies in multiple disciplines and diverse institutions.
This symposium was cosponsored by the Israel Institute.
For program details and videos, click here.

Ambassador Dennis Ross at Brandeis

dennis ross

The Middle East and the Israeli Elections

March 26, 2015

Invited to campus at the behest of student group BIPAC (Brandeis-Israel Public Affairs Committee), Ambassador Dennis Ross spoke with different groups of students and faculty on campus as well as with alumni of the Summer Institute for Israel Studies in a webinar. At a well-attended public event in the evening he was introduced by President Frederick M. Lawrence.  For more details and video...

This program was made possible by funding from Hillel International, and cosponsored by BIPAC, bVIEW, J Street U Brandeis, Hillel at Brandeis and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Shimon Attie: Artist Residency 2015

shimon attie

Shimon Attie returned to Brandeis for a residency that engaged questions of memory, place and identity. His artwork, recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize, gives visual form to personal and collective memories, histories of marginalized and forgotten communities, and physical landscape. 

The following artist talks took place February 26 & 27 and March 26:

"Israel/Palestine: Facts on the Ground"
at the Mandel Center for the Humanities, M328 (third floor conference room)

"Gendered and Other Memory Spaces"
at Goldman Schwartz 115

"Language and Landscape" Panel Discussion with Shimon Attie and Joseph Wardwell, moderated by Professor Peter R. Kalb.
at Goldman Schwartz 115

This artist residency was generously funded by the Poses Fund, Brandeis Arts Council, presented by the Department of Fine Arts and cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

For more...

Brave Miss World

Brave Miss World

Special screening followed by talk with Linor Abargil

March 24th, 2015

Israeli beauty queen Linor Abargil was abducted and raped in Milan, Italy two months before being crowned Miss World in 1998. Ten years later, she’s ready to talk about it – and to encourage others to speak out.

Sponsored by the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund; the Film, Television and Interactive Media program at Brandeis; the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies; and the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Services

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

Special screening followed by talk with human rights lawyer,
Susan WeissGett

March 10th, 2015

Gett, the Israeli bid for an Oscar, takes place entirely in a Rabbinical courtroom where the wife is begging her husband to grant her a Jewish divorce. It is the third of a trilogy of films written by sister and brother Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz, illuminating the difficulty of divorce in a country that does not recognize civil jurisdiction over marriage.

Sponsored by the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund, the Film, Television and Interactive Media program at Brandeis, and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel
Lecture & Book-signing by Professor Anita Shapira

January 14, 2015Ben-Gurion Father of Modern Israel

The Reading Room audience overflowed into the hall to hear from Anita Shapira, professor emerita in Jewish History and founder of the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies at Tel Aviv University. Her reflections on Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel were preceded by opening remarks from Ilan Troen, Stoll Family Chair in Israel Studies and Director of the Schusterman Center. There were a number of interesting questions from the eclectic audience and a book-signing followed. More...

A Future More VividBetsy Rosenberg

Poetry Reading & Conversation with Betsy Rosenberg

December 1, 2014

American-Israeli poet and translator Betsy Rosenberg "enchants and unsettles in poems that read like oracles." [Gabriel Levin]. An avid audience discussed Betsy Rosenberg's work in the Mandel Reading Room as the sun set. Cosponsored by the Creative Writing program, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

Fill the Void

Film Screening and Q&A with Actor Yiftach KleinYiftach Klein

December 4, 2014

After a young Hasidic woman dies in childbirth, her 18-year-old sister is asked to cancel her upcoming marriage to a promising young man and marry her widowed brother-in-law. A lively discussion was engendered by Alice Kelikian and Yiftach Klein in responding to questions from the audience at Wasserman Cinematheque. Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Film, Television & Interactive Media Program.

Q&A with Richard Cohen

Author of "Israel: Is it Good for the Jews?"

November 20, 2014

Shai Feldman and Ilan Troen carried out a "Davos-style" discussion with Richard Cohen about his new book Israel: Is it Good for the Jews? Richard Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, where he has covered national politics and foreign affairs since 1976. Shai Feldman is Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center and Professor of Politics. Ilan Troen is Stoll Family Chair in Israel Studies and Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

A Teach-In on the Gaza Conflict and BDS Movement

November 16, 2014BDS Session

Are you confused and concerned about the conflict that occurred in Gaza between Palestinians and Israelis? Do you want to better understand the political landscape of Gaza and gain insight into Palestinian politics? Has the Gaza conflict impacted the climate on college campuses and the attitudes held by the Millennial generation toward Israel? What is the BDS movement and its impact on campus?  

These issues were explored in lectures and break-out sessions in a Sunday teach-in on campus.

For program details click here.

Artist Talks, October 2014

efrat natan

October 28

Israeli artist Efrat Natan presented her work to Brandeis students in Gannit Ankori's class, "Moving Images: Israeli Video Art in Context."

Ribbon Around a Bomb
October 13

Israeli artist Nelly Agassi presented the first lecture in the Fall 2014 Art and Gender Global Perspectives series. Funded by the Brandeis Arts Council, presented by the Department of Fine Arts with Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and co-sponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Nelly was a visiting artist in Fall 2010, creating an art installation in honor of the Schusterman Center dedicationAt Brandeis, she and photographer husband Assaf Evron discussed their craft with Brandeis classes in the Fine Arts.

Meet the Director
Special Screening of "Route 90" and Q&A with Anat Zeltser

October 2, 2014

Anat Zeltser and Modi Bar-on travel to the Israeli present. They road trip Route 90 – the lowest highway in the world, the longest road in Israel, the only one to connect it from side to side, border to border. Route 90 stretches through the Great Rift Valley, perhaps though the Israeli rift as well. It crawls by the landscapes that once were at the security and ideological forefront and are now in the backyard.

Director Anat Zeltser also visited Brandeis Hebrew classes and shared the artistic process of creating documentaries with Brandeis students.

Program co-sponsored by the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund; the Film, Television, and Interactive Media program, and the Hebrew language program. 

September 2014 Lectures

What Israel's Growing Ties with China Mean for the US-Israel Relationship

September 11th

The Brandeis International Business School invited Sam Chester, analyst at KCPS Clarity, to discuss the Israel-China relationship. Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center.

Orit Rozin: "The Right to Childhood: Law, Change, and Social Identity"

September 10th

Orit Rozin, senior lecturer in the department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University, will give a talk as part of the HBI Seminar on Gender, Culture, Religion, and the Law. 
Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.


Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution

Rav Kook cover

Reception and Book Signing
May 1, 2014

Yehudah Mirsky is Associate Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. His book, recently published by Yale University Press, has been called "Learned, luminous and uncannily timely..." by the Jewish Review of Books. The reception included reflections by Eugene Sheppard, Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History and Thought at Brandeis and Alexander Kaye, Tikvah Post-Doctoral Fellow in Jewish Thought at Princeton University.

Click here for the flyer
Click here for a photo album of the event.

The Shoah in Israeli Culture, Memory and Politics

April 27-28, 2014

The Schusterman Center hosted a conference for SIIS fellows and the general public on "The Shoah in Israeli Culture, Memory, and Politics." It took place over Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah). 

The conference opened with a videotaped message from Elie Wiesel, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University and University Professor. The author of Night and over 60 fiction and non-fiction books, Professor Wiesel is also the 1986 Nobel Peace Laureate. 

Keynotes were offered by Dan Michman, Modern Jewish History Professor and Chair of the Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research at Bar-Ilan University; Head of the International Institute of Holocaust Research and John Najmann Chair in Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem and by Yehudah Mirsky, Associate Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. For more, including videos...

Cosponsored by the Israel Institute and the Center for German and European Studies.

Savyon Liebrecht, Award-winning Israeli Author and PlayrightSvyon Liebricht at Grad Seminar

March 27-28, 2014

Savyon Liebricht came to Brandeis at the invitation of the Center for German and European Studies and the Schusterman Center in collaboration with Israeli Stage. Actors Will Lyman, Patrick Shea and Rebecca Schneebaum read from her new play, Dear Sigmund and Carl, which depicts the historic meeting between Freud's and Jung's sons. Following the performance, Ms. Leibricht took questions from the audience.

The next day, she spoke with the Schusterman Scholars in a private seminar - "Writing about the Holocaust."

She is the recipient of the Alterman Literary Prize for her story collection "Apples from the Desert" (1987) and the Prime Minister's Prize for Literature (1992 and 1999) and the Playwright of the Year Award (2004 and 2006). 

Unemployment: Why Americans Blame Themselves and Israelis Blame the System

March 20, 2014

Ofer Sharone, sociologist and assistant professor in MIT's Sloan Institute of Work and Employment Relations spoke about his book, Flawed System Flawed Self, and the cross-national in-depth interviews that revealed unique unemployment experiences in each country. Cosponsored by the Sociology Department.

1914 and the History of the Middle East
Reassessing the First World War and its Impact on the Region

March 20, 2014

This panel discussion examined how new findings have changed our understanding of WWI and how the war dramatically changed the Middle East. Moderated by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, the panel featured:

  • Paul Jankowski, Raymond Ginger Professor of History at Brandeis University 
  • Stephen Van Evera, Ford International Professor in the Political Science Department at MIT 
  • Cyrus Schayegh, Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University
  • Asher Kaufman, Associate Professor of History and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame

For the video... 

Mika Rottenberg Solo Show: Bowls Balls Souls Holes

Opened February 13, 2014
at the Rose Art Museum

Mika Rottenberg is an Israeli video and installation artist born in Buenos Aires in 1976. In conjunction with her solo exhibition she received the Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter award and spent several days in residency on the Brandeis campus. Public events included an artist talk and reception that were part of the "Art and Gender: Global Perspectives" Lecture Series. 

Funded by the Brandeis Arts Council, presented by the Department of Fine Arts with Women & Gender Studies and cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

"Six Million and One"
Special Screening and Q&A with Director David Fisher

January 30-31, 2014

Documentary filmmaker David Fisher engaged with the audience at the Wasserman Cinematheque following the special screening of his film, Six Million and One. The award-winning film follows David and his siblings as they retrace the journey of their late father Joseph during the Holocaust.

On Friday, January 31, he spoke to the Schusterman Scholars Seminar about the making of documentary films in Israel and what happens when the private becomes public.

Cosponsored by the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund, and the Program for Film, Television & Interactive Media at Brandeis.

Meet the Author: Ari Shavit

My Promised Land The Triumph and Tragedy of IsraelShavit Event 01-27-14

January 27, 2014

Ari Shavit, Haaretz columnist and public intellectual, spoke to a group of student leaders and to a full house at Brandeis about his bestselling book, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. As it examines the complexities and contradictions of the Israeli condition, his book asks difficult but important questions: Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? Can Israel survive? Culminating with an analysis of the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing, My Promised Land uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present.

Cosponsored by the Israel Institute.

For the video...

Israel Studies Workshop in IndiaFred Lawrence and Ilan Troen

December 9-10, 2013

OP Jindal Global University collaborated with the Schusterman Center in creating an Israel Studies workshop for members of their School of International Affairs. Brandeis faculty Ilan Troen, Gannit Ankori, Yehudah Mirsky and Rachel Fish all presented lectures at the New Delhi event, and were accompanied by President Fred Lawrence.

The organizers for OP Jindal were alumni of our Summer Institute for Israel Studies, Rohee Dasgupta and Robert Barnidge. More...

Meet the Artist: Gilad RatmanHeads wall, by Gilad Ratman

October 23, 2013
Presentations in Brandeis classes

  • "Israel: Art and Politics - A Love Story," in Prof. Gannit Ankori's Israeli Art class.
  • "The Workshop," in Prof. Peter Kalb's Contemporary Art class;  Designing the Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Two crowded classrooms were held captive by talks given by artist Gilad Ratman, himself a lecturer at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem. In explaining the methodology in developing his art pieces and exploring the meaning of "Israeliness" in art, he discussed the role of the media in marketing what is Israeli in art whereas his own interest lies in finding the primordial. He is captivated by the similarity between land and skin in creating a border or boundary, noting that video too is about the surface of things. More...

Unearthing the Dead Sea Scrolls: Religion, Politics and Science of its Excavation

October 17, 2013
Boston Museum of Science

The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies collaborated with Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies to offer a special program for high-school educators in the Boston area.  Through discussion with scholars and examination of the large-scale exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls at Boston's Museum of Science, secondary school educators of social studies and physics had an opportunity to explore the significance of these artifacts, as well as intersections with contemporary technology and politics. More...

Verses of Longing: Desire and Gender in Modern Hebrew LiteratureVerses of Longing Scholars Workshop

Brandeis-BGU International Workshop for Scholars
Organizers: Ilana Szobel and Hamutal Tsamir

October 1-2, 2013

This workshop explored the ways in which Hebrew literature represents, constructs and struggles with various forms of desire, addressing the juxtaposition of poetics and desire in the context of ideology, nationalism, Judaism, modernity, sexuality, passion, and power. The scholars workshop takes place in Hebrew with one English-language session open to the general public. More...

Sponsored by the Bronfman Philanthropies grant for the Brandeis-Israel Collaborative Research Initiative, with the support of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the NEJS department.

Omer Fast: 5000 Feet is the Best

Rose Art Museum
September 17 - November 3rd, 2013

Israeli-born artist Omer Fast kicked off a new multi-year series at the Rose Art Museum called "Rose Video." First shown at the 2011 Venice Biennale, 5000 Feet is Best opens up a discussion about one of the most pressing issues of today - drone surveillance and warfare. More...


Schusterman Center and UC BerkeleyEducator Workshop on Israel at UC Berkeley
Educator Institute on Israel and World Affairs

August 12-16, 2013
UC Berkeley

Schusterman Center and UC Berkeley faculty from their History Social Science Project have teamed up to offer an SIIS-like program for high school and community college educators. Taking place at UC Berkeley August 12-16, the program provides teaching tools about Israel for a world history curriculum. More...

Bronfman Brandeis-Israel Research Collaboration Award

Announced August 2013

A project of the Rose Art Museum and the Israel Museum has been awarded a Bronfman Brandeis-Israel Research Collaboration Award. The first phase in a series of research-based, thematic exhibitions - accompanied by scholarly publications - will be featured at both museums. Brandeis participants will be Christopher Bedford, the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose, and Gannit Ankori, chair in Israeli art in the Department of Fine Arts and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. Israel Museum participants will be Mira Lapidot, Yulla and Jaques Lipchitz Chief Curator of the museum, and Amitai Mendelsohn, curator of the David Orgler Department of Israeli Art.

The Politics of Victimhood: The Work of Dahlia RavikovitchRavikovitch

March 12, 2013

It was standing room only at a talk on the work of beloved Israeli poet Dahlia Ravikovitch, by Ilana Szobel, assistant professor on the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Chair in Hebrew Literature. Her book, A Poetics of Trauma: The Work of Dahlia Ravikovitch, was recently co-published by the HBI Series on Jewish Women and the Schusterman Series on Israel Studies.

"Zionism in the Twenty-First Century" Draws Scholars to BrandeisSIIS Fellows deliberating at Zionism conference, 2013

February 17-18, 2013

The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies hosted the scholar's conference "Zionism in the Twenty-First Century," on February 17-18, 2013 at Brandeis. Over 100 scholars, from the Boston area and as far away as China and the Ukraine, braved the snowstorm to attend the two-day series of lectures and discussion. Keynotes were given by Israel Prize winner Anita Shapira and New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier. Half of the attendees were university professors and fellows of the Summer Institute for Israel Studies, who regularly gather online or at Brandeis to pursue continued advancement of the field.

The event was cosponsored by the Israel Institute.

For more, including videos...

The Israeli Election and its Regional Implications

January 16, 2013

Professor Ilan Troen moderated a panel discussion with fellow Brandeis Professors Shai Feldman and Yehudah Mirsky, joined by Dr. Hussein Ibish of the American Task Force on Palestine.
For the video...

Dor Guez: Artist in Residence

Dor Guez Exhibition

September 20-December 9, 2012

100 Steps to the Mediterranean
September 20th-December 9th, 2012, the Rose Art Museum opened 100 Steps to the Mediterranean, a solo exhibition of photography and video installations by Dor Guez, one of the most compelling emerging artists in the Middle East. This first major museum show for him in the United States was co-curated by Gannit Ankori and Dabney Hailey. 

An illustrated catalogue with essays by the artist, the curators – Gannit Ankori and Dabney Hailey - and Samir Srouji, a Boston architect and artist, was launched on Tuesday, October 30th at the Rose in conjunction with a public talk by the artist.

A mini-symposium took place on Wednesday, October 31 entitled "Exposures: Photography and the Politics of Looking." Lectures by Andres Zervigon, Professor of Photography at Rutgers University, and Catherine Cisse van den Muijsenbergh, director of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation, the Netherlands, followed by a panel discussion reflecting upon photography, its uses and contexts. Participants included Prof. Ilan Troen, Dr. Cynthia Cohen, Dor Guez, Dabney Hailey and Prof. Gannit Ankori.

Workshops with the artist and/or his work were scheduled with Brandeis classes and centers, some of which connect Guez’s work with social justice initiatives and some to his engagement with identity, family and memory. He also spoke on November 1, 2012 in a webinar to the Summer Institute for Israel Studies fellows: "The Nationa's Groves: Looking at the Post-1948 Landscape in Israel."

The exhibition and programs are cosponsored by the Schusterman Center, the Rose Art Museum, the International Center for Ethics, Justice & Public Life, Artis–Contemporary Israeli Art Fund, the Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter Artist in Residency Annual Award Program, the Lois Foster Exhibition Fund and the Office of the Provost, Brandeis University.


Cosponsored Events, Fall 2012

The Law in These Parts

November 12, 2012

This documentary film examines the military lawyers and judges charged with developing and administering a legal system in the West Bank and Gaza. Screening was followed by a Q&A with director Ra'anan Aleandrowicz.
Cosponsored by the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund and the Film, Television and Interactive Media Program at Brandeis.

Israel at the Crossroads:
Conversation with Chief US Correspondent for Haaretz

October 24, 2012

An "off the record" conversation with Natasha Mozgovaya, chief U.S. correspondent for Haaretz, on the turbulence within and across the Israeli borders, the US-Israel diplomatic dance, and the changing face of Israeli society.

The talk was moderated by Jonathan Sarna, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History. The event is cosponsored by the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism.

Orchestra of Exiles

September 20, 2012

Discussion with director Josh Aronson after a special screening at the Wasserman Cinematheque. "He rescued some of the world's greatest musicians to create one of the world's best orchestras..."

Program cosponsored with the Program on Film, Television and Interactive Media and the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund.


Our Test Grows out of Their Weakness: Israel and the Security Challenge of the Feeble Lebanese State 1968-2000

March 21, 2012Ehud Eiran 

A discussion with Ehud Eiran, department of International Relations, Haifa University and former assistant to Prime Minister Ehud Barak's Foreign Policy Advisor. The political instability in the wake of the “Arab Spring” reintroduces the threat posed to Israel not by the might of its neighbors, but rather by their weakness. The talk explored the various strategies Israel used between the years 1968 and 2000 against similar threats that emerged in the wake of Lebanon’s internal crisis.

Listen to the podcast...

To Be on the 'Right Side of History': The Concept and Praxis of Revolution in Early Islamic Times

March 15, 2012Jacob Lassner

Jacob Lassner, Philip M. & Ethel Klutznick Professor of Jewish Civilization, Northwestern University, discussed his research. The program was cosponsored by the Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies program, The Crown Center for Middle East Studies and the Schusterman Center.

View photo album of this event.

Art and Memory: Moving Images

March 6, 2012Shimon Attie

In this joint program with Fine Arts and Film Studies, internationally acclaimed artist Shimon Attie presented his work, spanning from early projections in Berlin’s Jewish Quarter to his most recent video installation – MetroPAL.IS (2011) – which deals with Israelis and Palestinians living in New York City. 

A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism

March 1, 2012Daniel Byman

Daniel L. Byman, Senior Fellow with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, discussed his new book with an attentive audience of Brandeis students, faculty and community. The program was sponsored by the Politics Department, The Crown Center for Middle East Studies and the Schusterman Center

For the video...

Hold On to the Sun: Writing and Unholy Redemption

Michal Govrin

October 26-27, 2011

Acclaimed Israeli author Michal Govrin gave a public talk about the process of writing her newly translated book, Hold On to the Sun. In this portrait of the artist as a young woman, Govrin offers a kaleidoscope of stories and essays -- a search for meaning in a post-Holocaust world.

Selected in 2010 by the Salon du Livre of Paris as one of the most influential writers of the past thirty years, Govrin also held workshops with two Brandeis classes. More...

Event cosponsored with Hadassah Brandeis Institute.

When Hope Ends in Slavery: Human Trafficking in Israel

September 13, 2011Rabbi Levi Lauer, Florence Graves, Ilan Troen

In an event cosponsored by the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Rabbi Levi Lauer, executive director of ATZUM, spoke about the trafficking of women into Israel and efforts on the ground to stop it.  Following meetings with students and faculty, Rabbi Lauer spoke in an evening program to members of the Brandeis community and beyond. For the audiocast...

UN Recognition of Palestinian Statehood: A New Dawn or Another Debacle?

September 7, 2011UN Recognition of Palestinian Statehood: Panel

In September 2011, Palestinian representatives were calling for a unilateral
 declaration of statehood in the United Nations. The implications and 
consequences of such a step were explored by two experienced
 observers and participants in Israeli/Palestinian negotiations: David
 Makovsky, Ziegler Distinguished Fellow and Director of the Project on
 the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute and Ghaith al-Omari, Executive Director at the American Task Force in Palestine 
(ATFP) and advisor to then Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. 

The panelists also met with student leaders to discuss bringing their message to college campuses.

Read the Justice article, Turning Conflict into Coexistence

For the video...


27th Association for Israel Studies ConferenceAIS participants

June 13-15, 2011

Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State was the topic for the 27th AIS conference, cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

The Brandeis community was invited to attend Plenary sessions that featured leading scholars and public intellectuals who addressed the topics "What Does the US Want in the Middle East and What Should it Want?" and "Arabs in the Jewish State." A keynote speech was given by Professor Moshe Halbertal.

  • Over 400 participants arrived from the US, Israel and Europe
  • See the Jewish Advocate write-up of the conference.
  • Click here for webcasts of the keynote address and plenary sessions.

Dedication of New Center HomeNelly Agassi Installation

November 10, 2010

Click here to view a videocast of the dedication of our new Center home and the inauguration of Gannit Ankori as Chair of Israeli Art in the Department of Fine Arts and the Schusterman Center. Ably assisted by Brandeis students, guest artist Nelly Agassi contributed a symbolic "ribbon-cutting" installation composed of red satin ribbons. See her installation unfolding here.

The Schusterman Center benefited from gifts of Israeli artwork that now grace its halls.

Conversation with MK Tzipi Livni: A Town Hall Meeting on Israel-Diaspora Relations

October 4, 2010

An audience of nearly 350 people attended the town hall meeting with MK and former leader of the opposition, Tzipi Livni. Another 100 viewed a live broadcast in the overflow facility at Shapiro Campus Center theater.

For the video...

Read Ms. Livni's article "We Need to Dialogue with Diaspora"


Sayed Kashua -  Author, Columnist, Screenwriter

March 8-10, 2010Sayed Kashua

Celebrated author, columnist and screenwriter Sayed Kashua was invited to campus to share his body of work with several Brandeis classes. The wider Brandeis community and general public enjoyed the screening of the "Passover" episode of his hit series Arab Labor. The show, based on his satirical weekly column in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, is among the top 10 most popular shows on Israeli TV, filmed in Arabic and Hebrew and boasting a mostly Arab cast.

For the audiocast and more...

Covering the Middle East in 2010: A Report from the Field

February 2, 2010

Ethan Bronner

Ethan Bronner, Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the New York Times, shared behind-the-scenes stories and the challenges faced by a journalist covering two opposing narratives. Bronner has been Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times for the past two years following four years as the paper’s deputy foreign editor focused largely on the Middle East. A series of articles that he helped edit after Sept. 11th 2001 won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism.

This event was cosponsored with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and photographed by Max Shay.

Read the Hoot article: Brandeis Discusses Impartiality in Israel.

David Newman of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

November 4, 2009

David Newman spoke about "Thirty Years of the Settlement Movement: Gush Emunim."
Newman is professor of political geography in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University in Israel. He edits the international journal Geopolitics, and has published widely on territorial dimensions of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Since the late 1980s, Newman has been involved in peace-related activities and in a variety of Track II discussions and negotiations.

Amos Oz, Israel: A Personal PerspectiveAmos Oz

November 15, 2009

Acclaimed Israeli author and public intellectual, Amos Oz, addressed Brandeis audiences with his personal perspective on Israel and the art of story telling. He also participated in a Summer Institute for Israel Studies workshop on History, Memory & Commemoration.

For more, including a video...

The Challenge of the U.N. Gaza ReportGoldstone Event

November 5, 2009

Hosted by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.

Justice Richard Goldstone, head of a controversial UN fact-finding mission to the Gaza Strip and Dore Gold, the former Israeli ambassador to the UN, visited Brandeis to discuss assertions that Israel and Palestinian fighters committed war crimes during fighting in the winter of 2009.

For more, including a video...

Dan Meridor, Deputy Prime Minister of Israel:Dan Meridor Israel in the Changing Middle East

October 15, 2009

Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Crown Center for Middle East Studies

Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, Dan Meridor, discussed the many challenges facing Israel due to the changing region of the Middle East. Among the issues touched upon were: The challenges of unconventional warfare and violence of non-state actors; the growing regional and international concern over the Iranian nuclear program; Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations; the Goldstone Report, etc. After speaking, the Deputy Prime Minister conducted a Q&A section moderated by Professor Shai Feldman, Director of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies.

Re-Viewing the Nation: Memory, Membership, and EthnicityWeingrod

A series of lectures with Alex Weingrod, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Department of Sociology-Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

October 14, 2009
Bones, Burials and Forming the Nation

October 19, 2009
Ethnicity Matters: Or Does it?

October 22, 2009
The New Israeli Minorities

2008 - 2009

Tel Aviv at 100: Myth, Memory & Actuality

Prof. Alona Nitzan-ShiftanMarch 22-23, 2009

Scholars joined together from Israel and the United States to examine the significance and meaning of establishing the first Hebrew city in nearly two millennia. Panels were held to discuss Tel Aviv from its founding to the present, with an emphasis on its cultural legacy including art and architecture, and the world premiere of the documentary film Tel Aviv by popular Israeli filmmakers, Modi Bar-On and Anat Zeltser.

For more, including an audiocast...

At Home Abroad: Diasporas and Homelands
Comparative Perspectives Workshop

March 1, 2009

Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

The Schusterman Center and Cohen Center cosponsored a workshop on March 1, 2009: "At Home Abroad: Diasporas and Homelands Comparative Perspectives" that  brought together scholars of Diaspora communities who explored two main themes of common interest. They focused on the economic and political relationships between Diaspora communities and their homelands. The second theme of discussion involved the ways, formal and informal, Diaspora communities educate their members about the homeland and thereby shape or reconstruct their identities.

Yehuda Amichai: The Making of Israel's National Poetamichai book

Nili Scharf Gold, Associate Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature, University of Pennsylvania

February 9, 2009

Nili Scharf Gold held a seminar and book signing for Yehuda Amichai: The Making of Israel's National Poet, the first publication in the Schusterman Series in Israel Studies. Considered an astonishing revision of the prevailing critical analysis of the poetry of Yehuda Amichai, Gold’s book is based on materials she discovered in a Yale archive and a cache of unpublished letters written by Amichai to his lover in 1947-48. She spoke about the art of literary biography as well as the nuances of her research.  

Israeli Author and Filmmaker Etgar Keret

October 27, 2008etgar keret
Film Screening of "Jellyfish"

October 28, 2008
Meet the Author Series Public Lecture & Book Signing

Etgar Keret is internationally acclaimed for his short stories. His book, The Nimrod Flip-Out, which was published in 2006, is a collection of 32 short stories that captures the craziness of life in Israel. His books are bestsellers in Israel, and have been published in 22 languages. As a filmmaker, Keret is the writer of several feature screenplays, including Skin Deep (1996), which won First Prize at several international film festivals and was awarded the Israeli Oscar. Keret is a lecturer in the film department of Tel Aviv University. At Brandeis, in addition to his public events, he offered a creative writing workshop and participated in a Hebrew-language class.

Israeli author Ronit Matalon: On Memory and Autobiography

September 22-24, 2008ronit matalon

Matalon discussed aspects of her books in public forums as well as classroom lectures in both English and Hebrew.

Ronit Matalon was born into a family of Egyptian-Jewish descent in 1959 and studied literature and philosophy at Tel Aviv University. Matalon has worked as a journalist for Israel TV, and for the daily Haaretz (covering Gaza and the West Bank during the 1st Intifada). More recently, she has been a critic and book reviewer for Haaretz, and has taught at the Camera Obscura Academy for the Arts in Tel Aviv.  Matalon's critically acclaimed first novel, The One Facing Us, presents a kaleidoscopic saga chronicling several generations of an Egyptian Jewish family. At Brandeis, Matalon discussed her most recent novel The Sound of Her Steps.


Brandeis in the Berkshires, 2008

August 3-4, 2008Cotler

Irwin Cotler, MP, member of parliament, former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada delivered the keynote address at Brandeis in the Berkshire: "Israel at 60: The Gathering Storm and Beyond."

Schusterman Center Inaugural Conference

Visions & Visionaries: Imagining Israel at Sixtyavineri

April 6, 2008

The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies held its inaugural conference marking the sixtieth anniversary of the State of Israel. Invited speakers included Shlomo Avineri, professor of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and former director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the first government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; Ruth Gavison, Haim H. Cohn Professor of Human Rights in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Hillel Halkin, translator, journalist and author; and David Makovsky, senior fellow and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

For the audiocast...

The Theology of the Disengagement: Rabbinical Response to a Crisis of Faith

March 13, 2008

A public lecture by Motti Inbari, Post-Doctoral Fellow, on the theological dilemmas raised by Israel’s Disengagement plan (2005) and the widening faultline within the yeshiva world, particularly the Mercaz Harav.

Cosponsored with the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department

New Forms of American Spirituality: Kabbalah Centre as an Israeli Export

A Public lecture by Jody Myers of California State University, Northridge

January 24, 2008

Cosponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry  and the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program.

Jody E. Myers is a professor at the Department of Religious Studies, California State University, Northridge. Her most recent area of research is popularization of Kabbalah in contemporary American society. Her publications include “Phasing In: American Jewish Women’s Ritual Celebrations for the New Moon (Rosh Hodesh)” in Women Remaking American Judaism and Kabbalah and the Spiritual Quest: The Kabbalah Centre in America.

One Land, Two Peoples: Sixty Years since the 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine

December 1-2, 2007partition conference

Cosponsored with the Crown Center for Middle East Studies.

Sixty years after the U.N. decision of November 29, 1947, the question of partitioning Palestine remains unresolved. This international symposium explored the Jewish and Arab debates on partition in the 1930s and 40s, reflected on the history of partitions as a way of resolving multi-ethnic and multi-national conflicts worldwide, and examined the relevance of this issue in today’s discourse among Israelis and Palestinians.

For the audiocast...

Meir Shalev: Renowned Israeli Author

ShalevNovember 14, 2007

Meir Shalev, a renowned Israeli author, is attracting widespread attention in the United States and Europe. At Brandeis, Shalev talked about his just-published sixth novel, A Pigeon and A Boy, a tale of wandering passion and the return home - whether by humans or winged creatures. The talk was held at Shapiro Campus Center and was followed by a discussion and book signing.

Benny Gidron: Israeli NGO Expert Visits Heller School 

November 12, 2007

Benny Gidron, director of Ben Gurion University's Center for Third Sector Research spoke at the Heller School on The Israeli Non-Profit Sector and an Evolving Policy Outlook. He was a visiting scholar at the Heller School and the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program in 2008-2009.

South African-born Journalist Compares South Africa and Israel 

Is Israel the New Apartheid State?

October 17, 2007

This lecture was presented by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, in cooperation with the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.

Benjamin Pogrund is the founding director of Yakar’s Center for Social Concern in Jerusalem, which promotes dialogue among Jews, and between Israelis and Palestinians. Born in South Africa, Pogrund served as a reporter for the Rand Daily Mail (Johannesburg) newspaper, where he specialized in investigating apartheid. He was jailed for this work and later emigrated from South Africa. Pogrund has authored books about Nelson Mandela and the media under apartheid, and writes for newspapers such as Haaretz and The Guardian. He is a co-editor of Shared Histories: A Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue, and a member of the editorial board of the Palestine-Israel Journal. Pogrund is currently serving as an INSPIRE Fellow at the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University.