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.


Gain first-hand knowledge, connections, and international work experience through an academic internship in Israel. You can broaden your view of Israel and the Middle East with a Global Internship in Israel focused on Social Change. For more information on this opportunity on the Berkeley Study Abroad website, click here.

Upcoming Events

March 31st
Israeli Women in Combat Professor Ayelet Harel-Shalev

Stay tuned for more upcoming events in Fall 2020!

Berkeley Institute in the News

Ron Hassner

UC Berkeley Establishes First Faculty Chair in Israel Studies

MAY 2, 2019

Joining a select group of universities in the world with an endowed faculty chair in Israel Studies, the University of California, Berkeley today (May 2, 2019) announced the creation of the Helen Diller Family Chair in Israel Studies. The chair is the university’s first in the field and will endow courses, research and programs of the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies.

The chair, made possible by a $5 million grant from the Helen Diller Foundation, will be held by Ron Hassner, the Berkeley institute’s faculty co-director and an international relations expert on the relationship between religion and conflict. Hassner, a recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award, is an associate professor of political science whose courses regularly draw hundreds of students. In fall 2018, Hassner pioneered UC Berkeley’s first regular course on conflict in the Middle East.

Click here to read more!

Feminist icon Rachel Adler on #MeToo and Jewish law


Early in her lecture last week in Berkeley, theologian and feminist icon Rachel Adler brought up the #MeToo movement, but she quickly narrowed the focus to the #GamAni movement (Hebrew for MeToo). Her target? The long-standing male supremacy embedded in Jewish texts.

“My task,” said the professor of modern Jewish thought and gender at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, “is to problematize certain halachic categories.” Click here to read more!

Key Funders Invest in the UC Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies

January 25, 2019 (eJP)

The Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies at UC Berkeley has received a $1 million matching grant from The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation of Los Angeles, with the goal of meeting a $10 million endowment by 2024.

The Institute also received grants totaling nearly $2 million from the Koret Foundation and the Jim Joseph Foundation in partial support of the Institute’s operations as it raises this endowment. Click here to read more!


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