Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies

0M2A0897The 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.


Yossi AbramowitzIsraeli Solar Outfit Seeks to be ‘Superpower of Goodness’

Dan Pines, J.Weekly

After moving to Israel’s blazing Arava Desert, Yosef Abramowitz felt the heat and wondered why Israel did not lead the world in solar energy.

He didn’t wait for an answer and launched Energiya, a solar power company that has built moneymaking solar fields in Israel and Africa. Today Abramowitz, who formerly enjoyed a career in the nonprofit sector, has a message for others aspiring to green up the planet: Profit is not a dirty word.

He said so at a March 8 lecture at U.C. Berkeley’s Blum Center for Developing Economies. Sponsored by the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, the lecture drew about 50 students and faculty, including many from Cal’s Haas School of Business. Read the full article here.


Israeli Solar Outfit Seeks to Be ‘Superpower of Goodness

Israeli Scholar Says Country Needs a Miracle – And Hope

Mothers fear having babies at hospital once hailed for promoting Israeli, Palestinian coexistence

Ex-Israeli ambassador tackles Mideast chaos in Berkeley talk

Israel Institute Visiting Professor/The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Visiting Professor of Israeli Law and Society Ori Aronson wins the annual Shneur Zalman Cheshin Prize for Academic Excellence in Law

Article by Berkeley Institute Visiting Professor of Sociology, Shira Offer, selected as a finalist for the Rosabeth Moss Cantor Award in Work-Family Research.

Applications for Visiting Faculty and Scholars Program

The Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies invites applications for visiting faculty and scholars for 2017-2018.

More information on the Visiting Faculty and Scholars program and how to apply here.

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

Fall 2016 Courses:

Junior Seminar: Occupy Wall Street in Comparative Perspective (Political Science 191)
Prof. Michael Shalev, Hebrew University
Course #20728, Tuesdays, 10-12 PM, 202 Barrows

Economic Policy: Israel as a Case Study (Economics 196)
Prof. Tali Regev, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya 
Course #32799, Wednesdays, 3-6 PM, Evans 60

Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel (Legal Studies 174)
Prof. Tami Kricheli-Katz, Tel Aviv University
Course #32984, Tuesdays/Thursdays, 8-9:30 AM, Kroeber 155

Film: A Look Into Israeli Minorities
(DeCal: Jewish Studies 98/198)
Leora Ghadoushi, Berkeley Institute Undergraduate Fellow
Faculty Sponsor: Visiting Professor Ilana Szobel, Brandeis University
98, Course #17756, 198, Course #17739

False Consciousness – An Israeli Perspective
(Graduate Seminar in Sociology, JS Designated Emphasis)
Nissim Mizrachi, Tel Aviv University
Course #23584, Monday 10-12:00 PM, 402 Barrows

Video Links:

Spring 2016 Semester

Ethnic and Religious Diversity in Israel: Changes, Inequality and the Quality of Life

The Failures of Ethics:
Confronting the Holocaust, Genocide, and Other Mass Atrocities

Israel at a Major Crossroad: Challenges and Opportunities 

Building the Solar Revolution in Frontier Economies: Supporting Sustainable Development in Israel and Africa

“A Look in the Mirror: Reflections on the Social and Economic Issues Facing Israel Today”

Fall 2015 Semester

Itamar Rabinovich: Israel Facing a Changing Middle East: Link to video

Identity Inside Israel and Out: A Conversation Through Movement: Link  to video

Willy Forbath: Diaspora and Group Rights: The Jewish Constitutional Movement – Link to video

Ruth Calderon: From Secular Judaism to Jewish Renewal in Israel – A Personal Story and Public Point of View – Link to video

Video Archive from Past Semesters


Program on Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity

Program on Israel Studies