News Archive


Visiting scholars and academic study antidote to anti-Israel line at U.C. Berkeley

(J. Weekly Editorial)

After years of battling calls for the destruction of Zionism, Israel’s friends at U.C. Berkeley learned they cannot out-shout the BDS crowd. They can, however, out-educate them.

The Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies at Cal has pulled off a remarkable feat since its founding in 2011. Through its Israel Studies program, the institute has brought world-class scholarship to the study of Israel, and in so doing, mellowed the climate on what had been one of the most hostile of campuses vis-à-vis Israel.

1-dec16coverMaking strides: Israel studies flourishing at Cal

(Dan Pine, J. Staff)

As a U.C. Berkeley freshman, Jackson Block looked in vain for a course about Israeli high-tech innovation. Rather than wait for one to turn up in the catalog, he went ahead and created the class himself.

That kind of enterprising spirit is built into the Israel Studies fellowship, where Block had free rein to design a syllabus, book guest lecturers and co-teach a class on his subject of interest. Now a senior majoring in business, Block has co-taught “Innovation & Entrepreneurship: The Case of Israel” every year since.


Israeli Solar Outfit Seeks to Be ‘Superpower of Goodness

(Dan Pine, 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. (Read More)

BAbraverman-avishai-group_normal_sizeIsraeli Scholar Says Country Needs a Miracle – And Hope
(Arno Rosenfeld, J.Weekly Correspondent)

Avishay Braverman, an economist, scholar and former senior Israeli politician, brought a message of guarded optimism about Israel’s future to a packed lecture hall at Berkeley Law on Feb. 25.

Braverman highlighted pressing challenges facing the Jewish state, including economic inequality, a stalling technology sector, shifting demographics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Read More)

Mothers feaCROP2womenr having babies at hospital once hailed for promoting Israeli, Palestinian coexistence
(Shaina Shealy, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, 2016)



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

Professor Shira Offer is visiting from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Bar-Ilan University.  Her article is titled “The Costs of Thinking About Work and Family: Mental Labor, Work–Family Spillover, and Gender Inequality Among Parents in Dual-Earner Families.”  Read the full article here




BAitamar-rabinovich-hassner_normal_sizeEx-Israeli ambassador tackles Mideast chaos in Berkeley talk
(Maya Mirsky, J. Weekly, 11/5/2015)

There were questions on Syria, questions on Palestine, questions on Israel-U.S. relations. But one question posed to former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Itamar Rabinovich got a big laugh: How does one become an ambassador? (Read More)

201579133915TIRM4113.JPG_Thumbnail2Visiting Professor Ori Aronson wins the annual Shneur Zalman Cheshin Prize for Academic Excellence in Law  
In this picture, Professor Aronson receives his prize from the Hebrew University Law Faculty dean, Yuval Shani, and Bar Ilan University Law Faculty dean, Shahar Lifshitz. (Read More)

 JLIL Nurem 650x325 Banner_REVBerkeley Law Highlights
“Reflections on the Legacy of Nuremberg” Conference
(5/13/15 Andrew Cohen) In the wake of the Holocaust, prosecutors at the 1945 Nuremberg Trials faced a daunting task—trying to seek justice for an unfathomable scale of criminal behavior. Commemorating Nuremberg’s 70th anniversary, a recent Berkeley Law conference shed light on its legacy and influence on subsequent human rights tribunals. Read More

photoCurrent Law student discusses Jewish identity in a speech at City of Berkeley’s Holocaust Remembrance Day Event (5/7/2015) A current law student at Boalt, Judah Marans, speaks about his grandfather and about his personal journey at UC Berkeley at the City of Berkeley’s 13th Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day.  This story is titled “Grandchild’s Story.”



The J.WeeklSue-Final-weby reflects on Day 1 of our spring conference, a screening of Nuremberg: Its lesson for today (Sue Fishkoff, 5/5/2015) What might be the single most important film about Nazi crimes was commissioned in 1946 by the U.S. War Department — which then turned around and suppressed it, making sure it was never seen by American audiences (…)



 J.Weekly BAfrenchrabbi_questions_normal_sizearticle on event with Daniel Dahan, “Provence’s Chief Rabbi: Stay in France and fight”  (Dan Pine, J.Weekly Staff, 4/16/2015) Inside a packed U.C. Berkeley lecture hall, Rabbi Daniel Dahan rattled off every obscene anti-Semitic act committed on French soil, from the famed Dreyfus affair in the 19th century to the massacre at a kosher supermarket in Paris three months ago (…)



The Sharon_Aronsen_Lehavi-232x300Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies highlights Institute’s Lisa and Douglas Goldman Visiting Israeli Professor Sharon Aronson-Lehavi Visiting Professors bring new perspectives and areas of expertise to TDPS, enriching both our curriculum and relationships with other universities (…)



Polish Purim wall decoration, 20th century  photos/courtesy magnes collection of jewish art and life

J. Weekly highlights the opening of the Gourmet Ghettos Exhibit,hosted by the Berkeley Institute, the MagnesCollection, and the Center for Jewish Studies. (Carly Nairn ,  9/11/2014) Long before 1971, when Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse on Shattuck Avenue, or even 1966, when Alfred Peet opened his first coffee shop in the North Berkeley neighborhood, gourmet ghettos existed throughout the world. Just as Saul’s, the lone Jewish deli on Shattuck, gives more than lip service to the California palate, the gourmet ghettos of Europe, Asia and North Africa were influenced by the customs, cuisines and agriculture of their surroundings. The result is an incredible diversity — from the kreplach and cabbage soup of Eastern Europe to the couscous and chickpea mélanges of the Mediterranean (…)



5/07/15: Current Law student discusses Jewish identity in a speech at City of Berkeley’s Holocaust Remembrance Day Event

5/07/15: The J.Weekly reflects on Day 1 of our spring conference, a screening of Nuremberg: Its lesson for today

4/16/15: J.Weekly article on event with Daniel Dahan, “Provence’s Chief Rabbi: Stay in France and fight”

3/05/2014: The Law School highlights the Berkeley Institute’s annual conference on water and the environment in Israel and the Middle East

3/2014: Visiting Professor Sharon Aronson-Lehavi Brings New Perspectives to TDPS

10/17/2013: The Space Between: From ritual to performance — and back again

9/17/2013: UC-Berkeley Institute for Jewish law gets $2.85 million grant

4/11/2013: Filling an ‘Appetite for Jewish Learning’

3/4/2013: Berkeley Institute Announces New Executive Director; Adds Director of Israel Studies Research

1/15/2013: Video Released: Watch Britain’s Chief Rabbi Speak on the “The Future of Judaism’

12/6/2012: Judaism’s message of radical hope [On Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks visit to Berkeley]

12/3/2012: Lecture by Britain’s Chief Rabbi Assesses ‘The Future of Judaism’

4/23/2012: Path-breaking Conference Compares Jewish and Islamic Law

4/1/2012: Conference on Israel’s High-Tech Industry Draws Packed Audience

1/26/2012: Silicon Wadi: Israeli high-tech explored at Berkeley conference

9/7/2011: Studying Israel: Israel has finally arrived

6/17/2011: Keeping it academic:  Berkeley has a reputation as a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment. A new multidisciplinary center of Israel studies aims to remove the subject from the realm of campus politics

4/13/11: The Berkeley Institute “Fills an Appetite for Jewish Learning”

3/1/2011: Berkeley to get Israel studies institute

2/24/2011: UC Berkeley Gets Institute for Jewish Law and Israel