Public Events Archive

Event History

Thursday, February 22, 2018
The U.S. – Israel Relationship Under President Donald Trump

Ambassador Dennis Ross, William Davidson Distinguished Fellow, Counselor, Irwin Levy Family Program on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship

In the first year of his administration, President Trump has met with key Middle East leaders, imposed additional sanctions on Iranian officials, set a new tone for the U.S. role at the UN, and, most recently, made the unprecedented decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. How do these tactical moves affect the U.S. – Israel relationship and what else may be in store for American policy toward Israel and her neighbors this coming year?


Please RSVP

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
105 Boalt Berkeley Law
  The event is open to all UC Berkeley, students, staff, and faculty. 

March 7, 2018
Panel: New Scholarship on Arab-Palestinians in Israel

The panel will focus on Arab-Palestinians in Israel (within the Green-Line) at Israel’s Seventieth. Those Palestinians found themselves as part of the State of Israel after the new armistice lines were drawn at the end of the 1948 War. Nowadays, they amount to about 1.8 million citizens and make up 20% of Israel’s population. In the panel, we seek to discuss themes related to and challenges faced by, this ethnic minority within Israel. Panelists will present papers that include topics related to demography, economy, politics, identity, and memory. Particular attention will be given to the government’s policies towards its Arabs citizens regarding their economic situation and the dispute over the land rights of the Bedouins in the Negev. Presentations will stem from different disciplinary approaches, such as anthropology, law, and political science, thus providing a comprehensive point of view on the topic.   Dr.  Safa Abu-Rabia – The Israel Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University. Dr.  Abu-Rabia will present: “Out of Time”: Spatial Temporality among Bedouin as the Struggle for Land in the South of Palestine/Israel.”   Dr. Morad Elsana – The Israel Institute Teaching Fellow, California Western School of Law. Dr. Elsana will present: “The Dispossession of Indigenous Land: The Bedouin Land Case in the Negev.,”   Mr. Thair Abu-Rass – Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Government, University of Maryland. Mr.  Abu-Rass will present: “The Arab citizens in the contemporary Israeli demography.”   Dr. Rami Zeedan – 2017-2018 Israel Institute Visiting Professor, The Open University of Israel. Dr. Zeedan will moderate the panel.  

3:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Goldberg Room, Boalt Hall, Berkeley Law
  The event is open to all UC Berkeley, students, staff, and faculty. 

Fall 2017


Monday, September 11, 2017
Welcome Back Reception

Meet the Berkeley Institute’s new visiting faculty, scholars, and fellows and learn about upcoming courses in Israel Studies, planned guest lectures, and student events coming up in the next year. We will also introduce various resources the Berkeley Institute can offer to undergraduate, graduate, and J.D. students. Light refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Berkeley Law
The event is open to all UC Berkeley, students, staff, and faculty. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Peace Economics: Commercial Diplomacy in the Middle East

Haisam Hassanein, Glazer Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Economic cooperation is often a staple of peacemaking and diplomacy. With today’s increasing commercial collaboration between Israel and Egypt, Hassanein examines the role of commercial diplomacy between the two countries and its effect on the “cold peace” left in the wake of the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. With an eye on the impact both current and future trade agreements have on normalization between Israel and Egypt, Hassanein will discuss the potential for closer formal relations between the neighboring states, as well as shifting the popular sentiment among Egyptians and Israelis from “the other” to “allies.

Please RSVP

6:00 pm Reception 6:30 Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Berkeley Law
The event is open to all. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Robbins Collection Annual Lecture in Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity: “The Boundaries of Judaism”

Donniel Hartman
President, The Shalom Hartman Institute 

The factionalism and denominationalism of modern Jewry makes it supremely difficult to create a definition of the Jewish people. Instead of serving as a uniting force around which community is formed, Judaism has itself become a source of divisions. Consequently, attempts to identify beliefs or practices essential for membership in the Jewish people are almost doomed to failure. Aiming to go beyond the divisions that characterize modern Jewry, this talk will explore the ever contentious question of “who is a Jew.” Through a historical survey of the shifting boundaries of Jewish identity and deviance over time, this talk will provide new insights into how Jewish law over the centuries has erected boundaries to govern and maintain the collective identity of the Jewish people and will discuss creating a structure of boundaries relevant for contemporary Jewish existence.

Please RSVP.

5:30 pm Reception- Donor Lobby/ Steinhart Courtyard
6:00 Lecture- 105 Boalt Hall

The event is open to all. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Ethnic Minorities and the Army: The Case of Minorities in the IDF 1948-1956

Rami Zeedan, Berkeley Institute Visiting Faculty; The Open University of Israel 

This public lecture will focus on some of the most interesting findings that were published in Dr. Rami Zeedan’s 2015 book: Battalion of Arab- The History of the Minorities’ Unit in the IDF from 1948 to 1956. Ben Shemen, Israel: Modan Publishing. [ in Hebrew]. The book examines the establishment, and the history of, the Minorities’ Unit in the IDF. It further examines the process that led to the recruitment of the Bedouins, Circassians and Druze into the IDF during the 1948 war. The book presents the activities of the Minorities’ Unit in the 1948 War, discusses the activities of this unit during its early phase and operation “Hiram” of the 1948 War. The book continues with the activities of the Minorities’ Unit until the “Suez Crisis”, along with discussion on the controversial relationship among the various minorities in this unit that led to a fatal battle within the unit between the Bedouins and the Druze. A major part of the book is dedicated to the Israeli policy towards the recruitment of minorities to the IDF in the first decade, and the decision to implement the mandatory conscription only on the Druze and Circassians since 1956.

Please RSVP.

6:00 pm Reception 6:30 Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Berkeley Law
The event is open to all. 

Monday, November 13, 2017
The Balfour Declaration and the World of Israel’s Founders

Donna Robinson Divine
Morningstar Family Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Government Emerita, Department of Government, Smith College; President Association for Israel Studies; Professor [Affiliate] University of Haifa

The Balfour Declaration helped shape a Zionist nation-building story that reflected a set of ideals rather than the realities of developing the Jewish National Home in Palestine. Nor did it reflect the trials, pains and losses of the nameless immigrants who deferred their own happiness to advance the Zionist cause. Divine’s talk will explain how and why the Balfour Declaration widened the dissonance between Zionist theory and practice in British Mandate Palestine.

Please RSVP

6:00 pm Reception 6:30 Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Berkeley Law

The event is open to all. 

Spring 2017


Film Screening “Wedding Doll” In Conversation with Filmmaker Nitzan Gilady

Directed by Dover Koshashvili
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Warren Room
295 Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley

Public Lecture: “Till We Have Built Jerusalem” Speaker: Adina Hoffman

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Warren Room
295 Boalt Hall, UC  Berkeley


Film Screening “East Jerusalem/ West Jerusalem,” Performance and Conversation with David Broza and Ali Paris 

Directed by Dover Koshashvili
Monday, February 27, 2017
Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Film Screening “A Borrowed Identity,” In Conversation with Sayed Kashua 

Directed by Eran Riklis 
Monday, February 13, 2017
Warren Room
295 Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley School of Law

Film Screening “On the Banks of the Tigris,” Performance and Conversation with Yair Dalal

Directed by Marsha Emerman 
Monday, February 13, 2017
Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Poetry with Shlomi Hatuka

Shlomi Hatuka, Moderated by Ilana Szobel and Chana Kronfeld 

Thursday, February 9 Barrows, 254 


jlil_schwartz_nissim_announcev4-finalIs Israel Stuck Forever with its Political Fault Lines? A Project to Reorient the Left-Right Chasm

Nissim Mizrahi and Eilon Schwartz, Moderated by Claude Fischer

Wednesday, November 30 Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall




Third Screening “Late Marriage”

Directed by Dover Koshashvili

Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Susannah Heschel Flyer

Robbins Collection Lecture on Jewish Law and Thought 

Jewish Scholars and the Study of Islam: Reflections on Modern Jewish Identity

Susannah Heschel
Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College

 Tuesday, April 12
5:15 Reception, 6 PM Lecture
Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way
Co-Sponsored by the Robbins Collection

View Photos

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

Avi Weiss 
Executive Director, Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel

Thursday, April 7th
5: 3o PM Reception, 6 PM Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall
Co-Sponsored by the Economics Department

View Video Here

Toward a Disability Critique of Torts: Case Studies from the U.S. Sagit Mor
and Israel

Sagit MorSagit Mor 
University of Haifa Faculty of Law, Israel, Visiting at University of Washington

Wednesday, March 30th
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall
4 – 6 PM
Co-sponsored by the Center for Law and Society and the HIFIS Disability Cluster

Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, & the Early Jonathan Gribetz Flyer
Zionist – Arab Encounter

Jonathan Gribetz
Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Judaic Studies at Princeton University

Thursday, March 17th
5:30 PM Reception, 6 PM Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall

View Photos

Building the Solar Rnew yossi flyerevolution in Frontier Economies: Supporting Sustainable Development in Israel and Africa

Yosef Abramovitz
President and CEO of Energiya Global Capital, co-founder of the Arava Power Company
Co-Sponsored by the College of Natural Resources, and the Blum Center for Developing Economies

Tuesday, March 8th
5:30 PM Reception, 6 PM Lecture
Blum Center, Plaza Level

View Photos Here
View Video Here

12745832_1047438311972505_8848082606393962889_nIsrael at a Major Crossroad: Challenges and Opportunities 

Avishay Braverman
Former President, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Knesset Member (2006-2015); Economist; Former Senior Official, World Bank
Co-Sponsored by the Masters in Development Practice

Thursday, February 25th
5:30 PM Reception, Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall
6 PM Lecture, Room 100, Boalt Hall 

View Photos Here
View Video Here

The Failures of Ethics: John Roth Public Flyer FinalConfronting the Holocaust, Genocide, and Other Mass Atrocities

John Roth
Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College
Co-sponsored with the Human Rights Cente, the Human Rights Clinic and the Human Rights Program

Tuesday, February 23rd
5:30 PM Reception, Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall
6 PM Lecture, Room 100, Boalt Hall

View Photos
View Video

Ethnic and Religious Diversity in Israel: Changes, Inequality Public Talk Calvin Goldscheiderand the Quality of Life

Public lecture with Calvin Goldscheider, Ungerleider Professor Emeritus of Judaic Studies and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Brown University

Thursday, February 4th
5:30 PM Reception, 6 PM Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley

View Photos
View Video

From Secular Judaism to Jewish Renewal in Israel – A Personal Final Ruth Calderon FlyerStory and Public Point of View

Reception and Lecture with Ruth Calderon, former Knesset Member (2013-2015), Talmudic Scholar, Founder of ALMA Home for Hebrew Culture, and Shalom Hartman Faculty Member 

Thursday, November 19th, 2015
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall
5:30 PM Reception, 6 PM Lecture

View Video
View Photos


Diaspora and Group Rights: The Jewish Constitutional MomentWilliam Forbath Flyer

Joint event with the Center for the Study of Law & Society- Reception and Lecture with Willy Forbath, a legal and constitutional historian.

November 9th, 2015
5 PM Reception, 5:30 PM Lecture
Golberg, Room 295 Boalt Hall

View Video


Public PerformanceMiriam Engel Flyer
Identity Inside Israel and Out: A Conversation Through Movement

The Miriam Engel-Angela Dance Company, will perform “De-parts” a contemporary dance piece that relates to the connection between identity and land. Joint event with Berkeley Hillel.

November 5th, 2015
7 PM Reception, 7:30 PM Performance and Conversation
Berkeley Hillel

View video
View Photos

Israel Facing a Changing Middle EastItamar Rabinovich Flyer

Reception and Lecture with Itamar

Rabinovich, President of the Israel Institute, former Israeli Ambassador the the United States

October 28th, 2015
Reception 5:15 PM, Lecture 6:00 PM
Bancroft Hotel, Great Room

View Photos
View Video

Do You Have a Plan for Saving the World? Ben Ferencz Does


Reception and Lecture with Ben Ferencz, former Nuremberg War Crimes Prosecutor, Chief Prosecutor for the United States in The Einsatzgruppen Case

October 13th, 2015
132 Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley
Joint event with the HRC, International Human Rights Law Clinic, and Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law


Identity through ArtStudent Performance and Q&A

Identity through Art: A Multicultural Performance with Author and Slam Poet Aaron Samuels

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 6:30 pm, Goldberg Room, UC Berkeley

See photos here



International Nuremberg Conference Poster
Reflections on the Legacy of Nuremberg: The 70th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials

April 27: Film Screening followed by discussion with film maker of Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today at 6:15 pm

April 28: all day, at the Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way

Panel 1
Panel 2

DPPublic lecture
Between Honor and Authenticity: Zionism as Theodor Herzl’s Life Project
With Derek Penslar, Professor of Jewish history, University of Toronto, Oxford University

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
See photos here
Link to Video



Reflections on the Israel ElectionStudent Conversation with Janine Zacharia
Reflections on the Israeli Election

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
6:30 pm in the Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall






Performance: Jewish Songlines Concert
d Yiddish Music and Dance

Thursday, March 19, 2015
with Esti Kenan-Ofri and Michael Alpert
See video here





Yossi Final Student FLYERPublic lecture
Like Dreamers: What I’ve Learned about Israel’s Right/Left Divide
With journalist and author Yossi Klein Halevi

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
At 5:30 pm in Boalt 105
Video: Coming Soon




Zero MotivationStudent Event:
Zero Motivation
Film screening and discussion with Prof. Shira Offer

Thursday, February 26, 2015
7 pm in the Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall
See photos here





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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
2:30 to 5:00 pm
Goldberg Room (297 Boalt Hall), Berkeley Law
See video recording here




 Public Lecture

Canada and the Holocaust: The Untold Story
Irving Abella, J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry; Professor, Department of History, York University, Toronto
September 10, 2014
Goldberg Room, Boalt Hall
At 12 noon

BerkeleyFlyerYom Ha-Shoah Week Theater
If the Whole Body Dies: Raphael Lemkin and the Treaty Against Genocide
A staged reading of the one-act play by Robert Skloot. Followed by a discussion with the playwright.

April 30, 2014
Durham Theatre

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies and the Jewish Student Union with Special Thanks to the Theater, Dance and Performance Studies Department

Co-sponsored Lecture

Soviet Documentary Film of the Holocaust: Why it was Marginalized and the Case for Reassessment

Jeremy Hicks, Reader in Russian Culture and Film/ Chair of the Department of Russian Queen Mary, University of London

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
4:00 p.m.
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley

Sponsored by the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, and the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union


Co-Sponsored EventIndiaToIsrael

From India to Israel: A Multicultural Celebration
Hosted by the Jewish Student Union (JSU), the Hindu Student Union (HSU), Indus, Indian Students Association (ISA), Hillel, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Mishelanu and KALB Public Access

The Magnes Museum
April 10, 2014



flyer, rabbinical conferenceConference

Talmudic Transgressions: Engaging the Work of Daniel Boyarin
A unique three-day conference, bringing leading Talmudic scholars to Berkeley to discuss Jewish law and engage with the scholarship of Daniel Boyarin. See full program for list of topics and presenters.

April 8-10, 2014
Berkeley School of Law and the Graduate Theological Union

Co-sponsors: The Center for Jewish Studies, Graduate Theological Union; the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Stanford University; the Department of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley; the Department of Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley; The Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion; and the College of Letters and Sciences, Arts and Humanities Division.

Full program


Julie Grimmeisen Public LectureCo-sponsored Lecture

Haluzah or Beauty Queen? National Ideals of Women in Israel after 1948
Julie Grimmeisen, University of Munich
April 7, 2014
3401 Dwinelle Hall
5:00 pm

Sponsored by the Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies, the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, and the Department of History


Lecture ShaunHalperFinal
with t
he Paradigms of Jewish Identity DeCal, Q-Jew, and Miriam the IV
“Gender, Sexuality and Modern Jewish Identity”

Shaun Halper
April 3, 2014
145 Boalt Hall, 4-5:30 pm 



Lecture Co-Sponsored with the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union

“Between ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’: Talmudic and Contemporary Gender Diversity”
Charlotte Fonrobert, Visiting Professor of Rabbinics, Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Stanford University

Graduate Theological Union Library


International Water Conference Banner
“Israeli and Palestinian Waterways: History, Politics, and Technology of Water and Environment in the Middle East”

Conference in
partnership with the College of Natural Resources
 Co-sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy; the College of Environmental Design; the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES); the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment (CLEE);the Institute of International Studies (IIS); and the Friends of the Arava Institiute.

March 11, 2014
Bancroft Hotel



Covering Israel:
Conversations with
Contemporary Journalists

Co-Sponsored with the Graduate School of Journalism

“My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel”
Ari Shavit
Senior Correspondent, Haaretz
February 14, 2014
Noon, Northgate Library

Video Link

“Reporting Israel: the Personal, the Political, and the Press”*
Aluf Benn
Editor-in-chief, Haaretz
February 21, 2014

Video Link

“Covering Israel: A Reporter’s Notebook”
Janine Zacharia, Former Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Washington Post
Noon, North Gate Library
March 7, 2014

Video Link

* This event is co-sponsored by the Israel Center, Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties and the Israeli Consulate.



Public Panel and Networking Event in Co-Sponsored with the Berkeley Center for Law and Business (BCLB), the Israeli Consulate, Berkeley Hillel, TAMID Investment Group, the Haas Jewish Business Club, and Jewse (Jews in Engineering)

“Israeli Start-Ups in the International Arena”

March 6, 2014
Room 105, Boalt Hall



Film Screening and Talk
with Berkeley Hillel

“Brave Miss World”
Cecila Peck, Director
7:30pm, 145 Dwinelle
February 19, 2014


Lecture: “Jews and Words”‘
Fania Oz-Salzberger
Professor of History, University of Haifa

School of Law
October 9, 2013
Morrison Reading Room, Doe Library, UC Berkeley Campus



Lecture Co-Sponsored with the Institute of European Studies
“Tears the Civil Servant Cannot See: Levinas on Ethics, Politics and Zionism”
Professor Michael Morgan
Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Jewish Studies, Indiana University at Bloomington

November 20, 2013, 5pm
201 Moses Hall, University of California, Berkeley


Lecture Co-Sponsored with
the Olive Tree Initiative

“Second Track Diplomacy and Prospects for Peace in Israel/Palestine”
Founder, Co-Chairman, Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information
November 25, 2013, Berkeley School of Law (Room 100


“Prospects for Peace: An Assessment by

Ambassador Dennis Ross”

Ambassador Dennis Ross


Counselor, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Lecture Co-Sponsored with the Institute on International Studies; Religion, Politics, and Globalization Program; The Olive Tree Initiative; Institute of Governmental Studies; Berkeley Hillel; Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law
November 14, 2013 Berkeley School of Law
CLICK HERE to view the event.
CLICK HERE for photos.



“What We Can Learn from the Jewish Political Tradition”
Michael Walzer
Professor Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study

November 12, 2013, Berkeley School of Law

Click here to view the video for “Political Theory and Social Criticism,” from the Conversations with History series, hosted by Harry Kreisler (Executive Director, Institute of International Studies)

CLICK HERE for photos.


Faculty/Graduate Student Roundtable: Maimondes and Islamic Law: The Case of Sufism
Gideon Libson
Professor Emeritus of Muslim Law, Jewish Law and Comparative Jewish-Islamic Law
Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
July 25, 2013
Berkeley School of Law


Summer Roundtable:

“A Green Bridge Meron_Flyer_Final(2)over Troubled Waters: The Israeli/Palestinian Initiative for Environmental Dignity in the Kidron/Wadi El Nar Basin”
Liora Meron
Chief Architect, Kidron/Wadi El Nar Basin and Master Implementation Plan

August 15, 2013
Dean’s Seminar Room, Boalt Hall




Faculty/Graduate Student Roundtable: Maimondes and Islamic Law: The Case of Sufism
Gideon Libson
Professor Emeritus of Muslim Law, Jewish Law and Comparative Jewish-Islamic Law
Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
July 25, 2013
Berkeley School of Law