New Name. New Logo. Lasting Legacy.
Welcome to the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (formerly Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies). The Institute houses two core programs, its Program on Israel Studies, a nationally recognized initiative, and its Program on Jewish Law, Thought and Identity, the only program of its type in the western United States.
In honor of our 10th anniversary, the Helen Diller Foundation announced a $10 million endowment gift that will ensure a lasting legacy. Read more about this incredible gift here.
Fall 2022 Newsletter
Please click here to view a copy of our most recent newsletter!
Monday, September 12th
Film Screening and Panel Discussion of 9th Circuit Cowboy: The Long, Good Fight of Judge Harry Pregerson
9th Circuit Cowboy is the story of Judge Harry Pregerson, who served on California’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for almost 50 years and was known for placing his personal scruples over what he discounted as abstract legalities. The film screening will be followed by a discussion with Honorable Dean D. Pregerson and Filmmaker Terry Sanders, moderated by Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky.
Honorable Dean D. Pregerson: Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
Terry Sanders: Academy Award-winning Filmmaker; Co-Head of the American Film Foundation
Erwin Chemerinsky: Dean, Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, Berkeley Law
This event is part of the Institute’s Program on Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity.
Wednesday, September 21st
The Israeli Century: How the Zionist Revolution Changed History and Reinvented Judaism
Drawing on his new book The Israeli Century, Prof. Yossi Shain examines the opportunities and challenges of Israeli sovereignty. He explores the new roles afforded to Israelis in the world but also the burdens of carrying the responsibility for the Jewish future. Yossi Shain will be joined in conversation by Prof. Ron Hassner following his presentation.
Yossi Shain: Chair of the School of Political Science, Government, and International Relations, Tel Aviv University
Ron Hassner: Chancellor’s Professor of Political Science and Helen Diller Family Chair in Israel Studies
5:45 PM – Virtual – Register here.
UC Berkeley has announced a $10 million endowment gift from the Helen Diller Foundation to the law school’s Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies. In recognition of this generosity, the institute is now renamed the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies. Read more!
Institute in the News
Erasing the Ukrainian Holocaust Site of Babi Yar, AgainBabi Yar is the single most symbolic site of the Holocaust in Ukraine and across the former Soviet Union; it captures the predominant way in which the Germans and their allies massacred Jews on Soviet and Ukrainian soil, what priest and author Patrick Desbois has called “the Holocaust by bullets”. In the fall of 1941, […]
BDS? Never Heard of it.The massive international response to the crisis in Ukraine should have shocked BDS activists to the core. Twenty-plus years into its efforts to single-out Israel and sever its cultural, economic, and academic ties with the rest of the world, BDS has nothing to show for its efforts. Not a single company, bank, or university has […]
Why I’m in Mourning for Hope and Democracy in UkraineThis has been the worst month of my 50 years of life. My mom died suddenly and unexpectedly a few weeks ago, my cousin’s 26-year-old son took his own life last week, and now Russia has invaded Ukraine. I know these may seem like unrelated events — personal, tangential, global — but they are inextricably […]
Former Student of the Tel Aviv – Berkeley Executive LL.M. Program Appointed as First Muslim Justice to Israeli Supreme CourtLast week, Khaled Kabub was appointed to the Israeli Supreme Court, making him the first Muslim to serve in this role. Justice Kabub is an alum of the Tel Aviv – Berkeley Executive LL.M. Program, a long-standing program of the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, in partnership with Tel Aviv University. […]
Analysis | When Recruiting the Diplomats of the 21st Century, Start at Community CollegesThis piece is part of ISD’s blog series, “A better diplomacy,” which highlights innovators and their ideas for how to make diplomacy more effective, resilient, and adaptive in the 21st century. Diplomacy is, at least in a democracy, about representing the people. Across the U.S. foreign affairs workforce, there is a crisis of representation– as […]
California Can Learn Much From Israel on How To Conserve Water, Manage Drought BetterWe can no longer pretend to be surprised by global warming. California experienced droughts in 11 of the last 15 years. The question is not whether another drought is looming. The question is: Why aren’t we better prepared?
Alumni Spotlight: Nick Shafer – John Gardner Public Service Fellow, Middle East Bureau, USAIDThe 10th Anniversary Spotlight Series highlights alumni, faculty, students and friends of the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies who are agents of change in their communities and careers and have contributed to the vibrancy of the Institute. Nick Shafer, Class of ’19, an alumni of the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish […]
A Long Conflict Between Israel, Palestinians? No One Wins, Scholar SaysAfter years of relative calm, a sudden blitz of violence has raised worries of a new, protracted conflict in the Middle East. What happens next? Predicting the course of armed conflict is always difficult, says Ron Hassner, a Middle East expert at UC Berkeley, but neither side has much to gain by such a conflict, and both have much to lose.
Jewish program at UC Berkeley gets $10m from Diller FoundationThe Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies at UC Berkeley announced Tuesday it has received a $10 million gift from the S.F.-based Helen Diller Foundation to coincide with the institute’s 10-year anniversary.
UC Berkeley Jewish Law and Israel Studies Institute Receives $10M Gift from Helen Diller FoundationTo kick off the 10th anniversary of UC Berkeley’s Jewish Law and Israel Studies Institute, the university announced on Feb. 9 that a $10 million endowment gift has been given by the Helen Diller Foundation.
New podcast looks at Israel and Jewish identity in ‘Age of Covid’Interested in how a plague of locusts impacted Jews and Arabs in Palestine under Ottoman rule in 1915? Or how Haredi communities in Israel today have chafed against government edicts during the Covid-19 pandemic? Or why massive, expensive fortified barriers, like the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the West Bank barrier in Israel, continue to proliferate all over the world?
UC Berkeley Establishes First Faculty Chair in Israel StudiesMay 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 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 […]
Feminist icon Rachel Adler on #MeToo and Jewish lawEarly 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.”
Key Funders Invest in the UC Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel StudiesThe 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.