Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies

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.



“Israeli Artists in Conversation with Israel”

This conference on April 5-7, 2017 will provide an intricate way of examining Israeli society, in its diversity and its disparities, through the arts and particularly through the provocative work of young and emerging creators in the arts scene.  The conference will include scholars and artists, an artist workshop for students, discussions, interviews, a round table, an installation, and performances, and will look at multiple artistic mediums from music, to theatre, to film, to poetry, to visual culture, to dance.  The conference will place special emphasis on the mixing and meeting – between art forms, between groups, between identities, between art and technology. More information here.

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Student Spotlight Video 

This video introduces the Berkeley Institute’s Undergraduate Fellows Program, which fosters a rising cohort of student leaders through more intimate engagement with the study of Israel, Jewish Law and Thought, and Jewish Identity.The students talk about their rich experiences as fellows, which include developing key professional and leadership skills, launching and teaching student-initiated courses, and planning compelling student events related to the Jewish experience and to Israel and its neighbors. 

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. Applications rolling for Fall 2017.  Learn More

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.

Fall 2017 Courses:

Comparative Politics: Democracies, Dictatorships, and Hybrid Regimes in the Middle-East and North Africa (Political Science 140Z) Prof. Rami Zeedan, The Open University
Course #46500, Mondays, 2-5 PM, 126 Barrows

Social Structure, Inequality, and Political Cleavages in Israel (Jewish Studies 123)
Prof. Michael Shalev, Hebrew University
Course #46688, Tuesdays/Thursdays, 11-12:30 PM, 124 Wheeler

Spring 2018 Courses:

Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel (Legal Studies 174)
Prof. Amnon Reichman, University of Haifa Faculty of Law 

The Political Economy of Israel (Political Science 149S)
Prof. Michael Shalev, The Hebrew University

Palestinian Society in Israel:Integration vs. Segregation (Political Science)
Prof. Rami Zeedan, The Open University

Comparative Criminal Justice Reform (Legal Studies)
Prof. Hadar Dancig- Rosenberg, Bar-Ilan University

The Politics and Pragmatics of Trauma in Contemporary Israel (Medical Anthropology)
Prof. Keren Friedman-Peleg, The College of Management – Academic Studies 

Jewish Thought: Theological Challenges in Contemporary Israel (Jewish Studies 122)
Prof. David Kasher 

Jewish Food Journey: the Old, the New, and Everything In Between 
DeCal Facilitated by Anna Manevich

Graduate Courses

Israeli Supreme Court (Law)
Prof. Amnon Reichman, University of Haifa Faculty of Law

The Power of Failure: Rethinking Hebrew Literary History (Comp Lit) Intensive Mini-Seminar
Prof. Michael Gluzman, Tel Aviv University 

Jewish Law (Law)
Prof. Kenneth Bamberger and Prof. David Kasher

Program on Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity

Program on Israel Studies