In February, a $10 million endowment gift from the Helen Diller Foundation to the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies launched the institute’s 10th anniversary celebration.
Now named the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, an academic hub with campus-wide scope housed at Berkeley Law, it will expand engagement with students, faculty, and the broader community.
“It’s a pleasure to see the Israel and Jewish Studies academic landscape flourish here, and become a model for programs around the country,” says UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ.
Established in 2011, the institute examines Judaism and Israel through a rigorous academic lens, brings renowned visiting educators to campus, and provides “diverse programming and viewpoints that probe Israel’s complexities, challenges, and criticism,” says advisory board member and Berkeley Law graduate Olivia Wittels ’19.
Offerings include wide-ranging courses, conferences, lectures, and panels, an undergraduate fellows program, a global internship program, and opportunities to collaborate with other law schools, Jewish law centers, and Israeli legal institutions.
Faculty Director and Berkeley Law Professor Kenneth Bamberger says the gift will help grow the institute’s number and diversity of students, faculty, learning opportunities, and experiential programs.
The 10th anniversary events include a presentation by renowned Israeli author Etgar Keret, a two-part symposium on combating anti-Semitism and hate online, a Robbins Collection Lecture on Jewish law for the digital age, and an event honoring the institute’s naming with former Israeli Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch, Christ, and Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky.
Student Emile Katz ’21 calls the institute “invaluable” to his law school experience and “a special organization that other law schools don’t have, and therefore sets Berkeley Law apart.”
— Andrew Cohen