The Berkeley Institute houses two core programs, the Berkeley Program on Israel Studies, a nationally-recognized initiative for the study of Israel, and the Berkeley Program on Jewish Law, Thought and Identity, the only program of its type in the western United States.

Together the Institute’s programs promote student and faculty engagement by developing opportunities for research, programming, and mentorship; by bringing visiting faculty and scholars to UC Berkeley; and by organizing colloquia, programs, and classes to strengthen academic inquiry and discourse across the Berkeley campus.

The Institute was launched in 2011, and draws its 22-member faculty committee from Political Science, Sociology, Economics, History, Jewish Studies, Music, as well as the Schools of Law, Journalism, and Business.

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NEWS: Berkeley Law Highlights “Reflections on the Legacy of Nuremberg” Conference

By Andrew Cohen

In the wake of the Holocaust, prosecutors at the 1945 Nuremberg Trials faced a daunting task—trying to seek justice for an unfathomable scale of criminal behavior. Commemorating Nuremberg’s 70th anniversary, a recent Berkeley Law conference shed light on its legacy and influence on subsequent human rights tribunals.

The school’s Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies and the UC Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies organized the event, which drew more than 200 scholars, students, and other guests.

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Watch the Conference Online

Spring Semester Courses by Visiting Israeli Professors

Sociology of Israeli Society (Sociology 179)
Shira Offer, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bar-Ilan University

Transboundary Water Conflict Resolution: The Israeli-Arab Case (College of Natural Resources, DevP 246, open for both graduate and advanced undergraduate students)
Itay Fischhendler, Associate Professor of Geography, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Ottoman Jerusalem and Palestine (History 100M)
Yuval Ben-Bassat, Senior Lecturer of History of the Middle East, University of Haifa, Israel Institute Visiting Fellow

Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel (Legal Studies 174)
Avishai Benish, Lecturer, The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Israeli Constitutional Cases Research Group (Law 298)
Ori Aronson, Assistant Professor, Bar-Ilan Faculty of Law

Holocaust History, Memory, and Representation (Jewish Studies 39K)
Rebecca Golbert, Executive Director, Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies

Innovation and Entrepreneurship: The Case of Israel (Undergraduate Business 98/198 DeCal)
Co-Facilitators: Nir Maoz and Jackson Block, Undergraduate Fellows, Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies. Faculty Sponsor: Steve Tadelis, Associate Professor, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Undergraduate Fellowship: Call for Applications

The Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies invites UC Berkeley undergraduate students to apply for the Berkeley Institute Undergraduate Fellowship. The fellowship is offered for one year with a possibility of extension. Learn more

Video Links

Spring 2015 Semester

Links to Video: International Conference, Reflections on the Legacy of Nuremberg:
Panel 1
Panel 2
Panel 3

Keynote Forthcoming

Link to Video: Prof. Derek Penslar, Between Honor and Authenticity: Zionism as Theodor Herzl’s Life Project

Link to Video: Rabbi Daniel Dahan, Jews and Judaism in France Today

Link to Video: Performance: Jewish Songlines: Judeo-Spanish and Yiddish Music and Dance

Link to Video: Yossi Klein Halevi, “Like Dreamers What I Learned about the Israeli Left-Right Divide

Link to Video: The Private Sphere as Public Policy?: A Symposium on Law and Society in Israel

Fall 2014 Semester

Link to Video: Lecture and Performance—Piyyut: Hebrew Poetry and World Music

Link to Video: Annual Robbins Collection Lecture in Jewish Law and Thought—Maimonides on Mourning: Jewish Law and Emotion

Link to Video: Moderated Discussion—The Future of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

Link to Audio: Colloquium: Still Playing by the Rules: Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel

Video Archive from Past Semesters


Current Law student discusses Jewish identity in a speech at City of Berkeley’s Holocaust Remembrance Day Event

The J.Weekly reflects on Day 1 of our spring conference, a screening of Nuremberg: Its lesson for today

J.Weekly article on event with Daniel Dahan, “Provence’s Chief Rabbi: Stay in France and fight”

Program on Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity

Program on Israel Studies