Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies

17371845155_336bd83efc_zThe 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.


Watch a video about 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. 


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 Scholars Program

The Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies invites applications for visiting scholars for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. There is no deadline for applications at this time and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The Institute will also consider applications for periods of time that vary from one month duration to the full academic year.

More information on how to apply here

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

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

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:

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

Spring 2015 Semester

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

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