Public Events Archive

Spring 2021


Wednesday, May 19th


he Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies presents a conversation with Professor Chuck Freilich. Author of Zion’s Dilemmas: How Israel Makes National Security Policy (2012), and Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change (2018); Former Deputy National Security Adviser in Israel; Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center.

Click here to watch a recording of the event!


Thursday, April 29th


Acclaimed Israeli author Ayelet Tsabari will discuss her memoir, The Art of Leaving and its themes of longing and belonging, growing up Mizrahi in Israel, and reclaiming her Yemeni identity. She will be joined by discussant Rabbi Miriyam Glazer, Emerita Professor of Literature at American Jewish University.

Join her and Prof. Miriyam Glazer, as they discuss growing up Mizrahi in Israel, and re-finding and reclaiming that identity through writing and extensive research into Yemeni culture and traditions. In the discussion, they will also explore how a writer’s cultural background, mother tongue, and origins influence and inform her writing, in terms of both content and style.

Click here to hear a recording of the event!


Thursday, April 22nd


Former Israeli Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch in conversation with Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky

Welcome Remarks by Carol Christ, Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley

Justice Dorit Beinisch, the first woman to serve as President of the Israeli Supreme Court and the first woman State Attorney of Israel, will be joined in conversation by Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law.

Click here to hear a recording of the event!


Monday, April 12th


How are the historical experiences of the Black and Jewish communities at once distinct and interconnected? Should we see efforts to combat racism and antisemitism as separate struggles? What are African Americans’ and Jews’ responsibilities to one another in America’s current racial reckoning? In this conversation, Eric K. Ward, a leading expert on the relationship between racism, antisemitism, and authoritarian movements; and Michael Rothberg, an eminent scholar of historical exclusion and its legacies, will tackle these questions and other pressing matters in contemporary Black-Jewish relations. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Tina Sacks of the School of Social Welfare. 

Click here to hear a recording of the event!


Tuesday, April 6th


“Premier” is a solo dance choreographed by Elad Schechter, founder and principal choreographer of CATAMON, for Rand Zeid Taha, a Jerusalem born Palestinian dancer. This interreligious and intercultural dialogue through dance negotiates the sociopolitical tensions and rifts evoked by east/west Jerusalem through the expressive forms of dance and movement.

Click here to hear a recording of the event!


Wednesday, March 10


Does Jewish law speak to the most important issues of our day? Drawing on Judaism’s millennia-old jurisprudence of radical relevance in the face of change, Professors Bamberger and Mayse make the counterintuitive argument that Jewish law’s millennia-old approach to surveillance, communication, and information collection, sharing, and use, offer missing frameworks for the struggle to protect privacy in an age of big data.


Thursday, February 11


Please join us for an intimate conversation with acclaimed Israeli author Etgar Keret and GTU Jewish Studies Professor Deena Aranoff. They will discuss Keret’s most recent writing and film projects, his approach to storytelling and to the world, his penchant for the absurd, and more. Keret is an internationally acclaimed Israeli writer and filmmaker. Known for his short stories and books, Keret fuses the bizarre with the banal, and offers a window on a surreal world that is both dark and comic.

Click here to hear a recording of the event!


Thursday, February 4th + March 4th


This symposium will explore the phenomenon of cyber-hate. What are the key issues and manifestations? What are the appropriate responses to online hate? What are the frameworks available — legal, social, technological — and possible constraints to responding? How do we evaluate the success of various solutions? Join us for a two-part virtual symposium this spring – each session includes a keynote address and a moderated panel. 

Click here to view both recorded programs!


Fall 2020

Wednesday, September 9th


Join the Berkeley Institute as we travel (virtually) to Jerusalem for an exclusive show, as part c.a.t.a.m.o.n. Dance Group’s ‘From Jaffa to Agripas’ Festival. This performance features Ori Lenkinski as Jackie Kennedy walking through the Mahane Yehuda market. 

Click here to view a recording of the event!


Wednesday, September 16th


Israel Institute Visiting Professor Ehud Eiran (Haifa University) joins Professor Ron Hassner, the Helen Diller Family Chair in Israel Studies, for a conversation exploring Israel’s new alliance with China and what this might mean for geopolitics as we know it. 

Click here to view a recording of the event!


Wednesday, October 21st


The biblical Joseph’s behaviors, interpersonal relationships, and personal development are often difficult to understand, and at times seem to defy explanation. Professor Samuel J. Levine’s book, Was Yosef on the Spectrum? (Urim Publications, 2019), offers a coherent and cohesive reading of the well-known Hebrew Bible story, presenting a portrait of Yosef (Joseph) as an individual on the autism spectrum. Samuel J. Levine joins us in conversation with Stephen Rosenbaum to discuss the story of Joseph through his lens. 


Wednesday, November 18th


David Horovitz joins us as the Morton and Amy Friedkin Scholar-in-Residence. In conversation with Sue Fishkoff, he will reflect on the potential ramifications of the U.S. presidential elections on diaspora-Israel relations and U.S.-Israel bilateral relations. He will also address other hot topics in the media as well as the role of the Times of Israel, as an English language newspaper, in covering the news in Israel.

Click here to view a recording of the event!

Event History

Summer Salon Series

August 18th, 2020

Summer Salon Series 3: Reconsidering the Druze Narrative in the wake of the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People

Click here to view a recording of the event! 


JULY 8th, 2020

Summer Salon Series 2: What Can Theatre Teach Us in Times of Crisis and Transformation?

Click here to view a recording of the event! 


JUNE 23, 2020

Summer Salon Series 1: Renewable Energy Revolution under Conditions of Geopolitical Conflict: The Case of the Gaza Strip

Click here to view a recording of the event! 

MARCH 23rd – MAY 7th

Israel and Jewish Identity in the Age of COVID

Click here to see out podcast series!


Desert in the Promised Land: Nature, Settlement, and the Politics of Space in Israel

Yael Zerubavel tells the story of the desert from the early twentieth century to the present, shedding light on romantic-mythical associations, settlement and security concerns, environmental sympathies, and the commodifying tourist gaze. Drawing on literary narratives, educational texts, newspaper articles, tourist materials, films, popular songs, posters, photographs, and cartoons, Zerubavel reveals the complexities and contradictions that mark Israeli society’s semiotics of space in relation to the Middle East, and the central role of the “besieged island” trope in Israeli culture and politics.

Professor Yael Zerubavel, Rutgers University 5:30 PM Lecture, 6 PM Reception. The Great Hall, Bancroft Hotel


ROBBINS COLLECTION ANNUAL LECTURE IN JEWISH LAW, THOUGHT, AND IDENTITY: From Sinai to Ethiopia, and Back to Israel: The Halakhic and Conceptual World of Ethiopian Jewry

In his talk, Prof. Rabbi Shalom delves into the history, customs, and law of the Beta Israel, codifying the ancient cultural heritage of Ethiopian Jewry and contrasting it with Orthodox rabbinic law. Navigating tensions between religion and culture, he offers suggestions for honoring Beta Israel tradition while fully participating in the greater Jewish community.

Prof. Rabbi Sharon Shalom, Ono College and Bar-Ilan University 5:30 pm Reception, 6 PM Lecture, Room 105


Religion in the Military: The Case of Israel

Join us for this inaugural lecture by Ron Hassner, Chancellor’s Professor of Political Science, Helen Diller Family Chair in Israel Studies, and Faculty Director at the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies.

Professor Ron Hassner will explore how religion affects modern militaries. Shifting the focus away from radical religion as a source of extremist violence, Hassner studies how routine religious practices and preferences shape the tactics and strategies of all armed forces, in Israel and beyond.

Professor Ron Hassner Bancroft Hotel – The Great Hall, 5:30pm-7:30pm


“Unlikely Refuge: Survivors, Aid Organizations and Local Communities in WWII Uzbekistan and Iran”

Mikhal Dekel is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the City College and the CUNY Graduate Center and Director of CCNY’s Rifkind Center for Humanities and the Arts. She is the recipient of many awards – including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation and the Lady Davis Foundation – and is the author of three books: Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey (W.W. Norton in 2019) Oedipus in Kishinev (Bialik Institute, 2014), and The Zionist Moment (Northwestern University Press, 2011).

Professor Mikhal Dekel Warren Room – Berkeley Law 295, 5:30pm-7:30pm


Innovations and Collaborations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems: Toward Sustainability in the Middle East

Suleiman Halasah, Founder of the Jordan-Israel Center for Community, Environment and Research, under the auspices of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Drawing from his extensive research and work in the region, Suleiman Halasah will present collaborative initiatives around food, energy and water in Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. He will be joined by Berkeley Professor Isha Ray as a discussant.

Suleiman Halasah – Room 330 Blum Hall, 5:30pm-7:30pm


A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion

Tom Segev is among Israel’s leading journalists and historians. His works include The Seventh Million; 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East; Simon Wiesenthal; and One Palestine, Complete (chosen one of ten best books of 2000 by The New York Times).

Journalist Tom Segev Berkeley Law – Room 100, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Double Amnesia: Rethinking the History of Zionism and Human Rights

James Loeffler, Jay Berkowitz
Professor of Jewish History at the University of Virginia

The year 2018 marks the seventieth anniversary of two momentous events in twentieth-century history: the birth of the State of Israel and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Both remain tied together in the ongoing debates about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, global antisemitism, and American foreign policy. Yet the surprising connections between Zionism and the origins of international human rights are completely unknown today. Drawing on his recent book, Professor Loeffler will discuss what international law’s forgotten Jewish past reveals about the current crisis and uncertain future of human rights.

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
105 Law Building Berkeley Law

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Trump, Netanyahu and the Midterm Elections: How the Campaign and Results Will Affect the US-Israel Relationship

Allison Kaplan Sommer

The mantra of American supporters of Israel has always included the word “bipartisan.” Traditionally, Israeli leaders over the decades have worked hard to cultivate friends on both sides of the aisle to ensure that economic, military and political support for the Jewish state remains rock-solid. In turn, both Republican and Democratic leaders have bent over backwards to outdo one another in declarations of support for Israel to win key voter groups and major political donors. But as extreme partisanship has utterly transformed politics in the Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu era, the old rules of the U.S.-Israel relationship no longer apply. How has that affected the 2018 midterm campaign? And how might the results transform the relationship even further?

Allison Kaplan Sommer has been living and working as a journalist in Israel since 1993 and has been a staff writer at Haaretz since 2012. She is the former Washington DC correspondent, feature writer and critic for the Jerusalem Post, and has written on a freelance basis for numerous U.S. publications, including the New Republic, Politico, The Forward and the New York Daily News. Originally from Rhode Island, she earned her B.A. in English and Theater at Wesleyan University and her M.A. from the Columbia School of Journalism. In 2016, she received the 2016 B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism and in 2017, she received Simon Rockower Award for Journalistic Excellence. In Fall 2017, she was the Arnold Distinguished Visiting Chair in Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston.

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
110 Law Building Berkeley Law

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.

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Warren Room, 295 Law Building 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

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

The event is open to all.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Boundaries of Judaism

The Robbins Collection Annual Lecture in Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity

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.

5:30 pm Reception at the Donor Lobby/ Steinhart Courtyard
6:00 Lecture at 105 Law Building

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.

6:00 pm Reception, 6:30 pm Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Law Building 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.

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

The event is open to all.

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?

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
105 Law Building Berkeley Law

The event is open to all UC Berkeley, students, staff, and faculty.

Wednesday, 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. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Welcome Back Event

Meet and greet event for new students and faculty, introducing the Berkeley Institute.

5:30 PM
Warren Room, 295 Law Building

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Band’s Visit

First Screening for the Art and Film: Isreali Film Series

Directed by Eran Kolirin

5:00 – 7:00 pm
Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Thursday, October 27, 2016

American Judaism 2016: From Theory to Practice and Back

A Robbins Collection Lecture on Jewish Law and Thought

Arnold Eisen
Chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary in New York

5:15 Reception, 6:00 pm Lecture
Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

Second Screening for the Art and Film: Israeli Film Series 

Directed by Eran Kolirin

6:00 pm
Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Threats to Democracy in Israel

Public Lecture

Itzhak Galnoor
Herbert Samuel Professor of Political Science (emeritus)
Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Senior Fellow, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

5:30 pm Reception, 6:00 pm Lecture
Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Late Marriage


Directed by Dover Koshashvili

6:00 pm
Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Is 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

5:30 pm Reception, 6:00 pm Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Law Building

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Poetry with Shlomi Hatuka

Shlomi Hatuka
Moderated by Ilana Szobel and Chana Kronfeld

2:30 – 4:00 pm

Monday, February 13, 2017

On the Banks of the Tigris

Performance and Conversation with Yair Dalal
Directed by Marsha Emerman

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Borrowed Identity

Film Screening in Conversation with Sayed Kashua
Directed by Eran Riklis

5:30 Reception, 6:00 pm Screening
Warren Room
295 Law Building, UC Berkeley School of Law

Monday, February 27, 2017

East Jerusalem / West Jerusalem

Film Screening, Performance and Conversation with David Broza and Ali Paris
Directed by Dover Koshashvili

6:00 Reception, 6:15 pm Screening
Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Till We Have Built Jerusalem

Public Lecture

Adina Hoffman

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wedding Doll

Film Screening in Conversation with Filmmaker Nitzan Gilady
Directed by Dover Koshashvili

6:00 pm Reception, 6:15 pm Screening
Warren Room
295 Law Building, UC Berkeley

September 17, 2015

An Environmental and Urban Revolution in an Israeli/Palestinian Water Basin: The Example of the Yarqon/Aluja Basin

Join us for a discussion with Master Architect Liora Meron to discuss the new master plan as a breakthrough in Israeli/Palestinian cooperation around socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental issues. This is a joint event with the Blum Center and the Berkeley Water Group IdeaLab.

6:00 pm
B100 A/B Blum Hall

September 30, 2015

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

Film Screening and discussion with Co-Director Shlomi Elkabets and Professor of Law Ori Aronson.

6:30 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Film
100 Law Building

Dinner will be provided.


October 13th, 2015

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.

12:45-2:00 pm
132 Law Building, UC Berkeley

Joint event with the HRC, International Human Rights Law Clinic, and Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law

Itamar Rabinovich Flyer

October 28th, 2015

Israel Facing a Changing Middle East

Reception and Lecture

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

Reception 5:15 pm, Lecture 6:00 pm
Bancroft Hotel, Great Room

View Photos
View Video

Miriam Engel Flyer

November 5, 2015

Identity Inside Israel and Out: A Conversation Through Movement

Public Performance

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.

7:00 pm Reception, 7:30 pm Performance and Conversation
Berkeley Hillel

View video
View Photos

William Forbath Flyer

November 9, 2015

Diaspora and Group Rights: The Jewish Constitutional Moment

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

5:00 pm Reception, 5:30 pm Lecture
Golberg, Room 295 Law Building

View Video

Final Ruth Calderon Flyer

November 19, 2015

From Secular Judaism to Jewish Renewal in Israel – A Personal Story 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.

5:30 pm Reception, 6:00 pm Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Law Building

View Video
View Photos

Public Talk Calvin Goldscheider

February 4th, 2016

Ethnic and Religious Diversity in Israel: Changes, Inequality and the Quality of Life

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

5:30 PM Reception, 6 PM Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Law Building, UC Berkeley

View Photos
View Video

John Roth Public Flyer Final

February 23, 2016

The Failures of Ethics: Confronting 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

5:30 PM Reception
Warren Room, 295 Law Building

6 PM Lecture
Room 100, Boalt Hall

View Photos
View Video


February 25, 2016

Israel 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

5:30 pm Reception
Warren Room, 295 Law Building

6:00 pm Lecture
Room 100, Boalt Hall

View Photos Here
View Video Here

new yossi flyer

March 8, 2016

Building the Solar Revolution in Frontier Economies: 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

5:30 pm Reception, 6:00 pm Lecture
Blum Center, Plaza Level

View Photos Here
View Video Here

Jonathan Gribetz Flyer

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

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

5:30 pm Reception, 6:00 pm Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Law Building

View Photos

Sagit Mor

March 30, 2016

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

Sagit Mor
University of Haifa Faculty of Law, Israel, Visiting at University of Washington
Co-sponsored by the Center for Law and Society and the HIFIS Disability Cluster

4:00 – 6:00 pm
Warren Room, 295 Law Building

Avi Weiss

April 7, 2016

A Look in the Mirror: Reflections on the Social and Economic Issues Facing Israel Today

Avi Weiss
Executive Director, Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel
Co-Sponsored by the Economics Department

5:30 pm Reception, 6:00 pm Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Law Building

View Video Here

Susannah Heschel Flyer

April 12, 2016

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

A Robbins Collection Lecture on Jewish Law and Thought

Susannah Heschel
Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College
Co-Sponsored by the Robbins Collection

5:15 pm Reception, 6:00 pm Lecture
Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way

View Photos

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Canada and the Holocaust: The Untold Story

Irving Abella
Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry

J. Richard Shiff
Professor, Department of History, York University, Toronto

Goldberg Room, Boalt Hall

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gourmet Ghettos: Modern Food Rituals

A new exhibition exploring eating, identity and activism in Jewish life and beyond.
Co-sponsored by the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and by the Center for Jewish Studies, UC Berkeley

5:00 – 7:00pm
Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Journalist’s Angle

Lecture Series on Different Angles on the Middle East Conflict.

Sue Fishkoff
Editor of the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California.

For more information, email

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Historical Angle

Lecture Series on Different Angles on the Middle East Conflict

Yuval Ben-Bassat
Senior Lecturer of History of the Middle East, University of Haifa
Abramson- Israel Institute Visiting Professor

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Future of the Peace Proces

Moderated Discussion

Abe Sofaer, George P. Shultz
Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy and National Security Affairs, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Janine Zacharia, Carlos Kelly McClatchy
Visiting Lecturer, Stanford University

Bancroft Hotel

See video recording here

Friday, October 31, 2014

An Environmental Angle

Lecture Series on Different Angles on the Middle East Conflict

Itay Fishhendler
Senior Lecturer of Geography, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Jewishness of Israel: Meaning, Justification, Implications

Lecture Series on Religion, Law, and State in Israel

Ruth Gavison
Professor Emeritas of Human Rights Law, Hebrew University

Haim H. Cohn
Founding President of Metzilah Center for Zionist, Jewish, Liberal, and Humanist Thought

5:40 PM
132 Law Building

For more information, email

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Maimonides on Mourning: Jewish Law and Emotion

A Robbins Collection Lecture on Jewish Law and Thought
Co-sponsored by the Robbins Collection, UC Berkeley School of Law

Moshe Halbertal
Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem; Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy at The Hebrew University; Professor of Law, New York University

5:15 pm
Bancroft Hotel

See video recording here

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Piyyut: Hebrew Poetry and World Music

Lecture and Performance
Co-hosted by the Magnes Collection

Robert Alter
Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley

Yair Harel
Schusterman Artist-in-Residence, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

7:00 pm
The Magnes
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley

See video recording here

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in Regional Context: A Mediator’s Perspective

Lecture Series on Different Angles on the Middle East Conflict

Peter Bartu
Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies, UC Berkeley; UN Mediator and Negotiator

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Judaism in the Israel Defense Force: Bridge or Barrier?

Lecture Series on Religion, Law and State in Israel

Stuart Cohen
Professor Emeritus of Political Studies, Bar-Ilan University; Chair of the Department of Government and Politics at Ashkelon Academic College

5:40 PM
Warren Room, 295 Law Building

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jewish Nightlife: An Evening of Celebration with Poetry and Music

End of Semester Performance featuring UC Berkeley Students and Piyyut North America Workshop Participants

Yair Harel
Director, Schusterman Artist-in-Residence for The Magnes Collection

Performances by Berkeley Students: 5-6 pm
Piyyut Bay Area Project: 7-8:30 pm
Hosted by the Magnes Collection
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley

Private Sphere as Public Policy

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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

Public Symposium

2:30 – 5:00 pm
Goldberg Room (297 Law Building), Berkeley Law
See video recording here

Zero Motivation

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Zero Motivation

Student Event

Film screening and discussion with Professor Shira Offer

7:00 pm
Warren Room, 295 Law Building

See photos here

Yossi Final Student FLYER

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Like Dreamers: What I’ve Learned about Israel’s Right/Left Divide

Yossi Klein Halevi
Journalist and Author

5:30 pm
Boalt 105

Jewish Songlines Concert

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Judeo-Spanish and Yiddish Music and Dance


Esti Kenan-Ofri and Michael Alpert

See video here

Reflections on the Israel Election

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Reflections on the Israeli Election

Student Conversation with Janine Zacharia

6:30 pm
Warren Room, 295 Law Building


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Between Honor and Authenticity: Zionism as Theodor Herzl’s Life Project

Derek Penslar
Professor of Jewish history, University of Toronto, Oxford University

See photos here
Link to Video

Nuremberg Conference Poster

April 27 – 28, 2015

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

International Conference

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

Identity through Art

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Identity through Art: A Multicultural Performance

Student Performance and Q&A

Aaron Samuels
Author and Slam Poet

6:30 pm
Goldberg Room, UC Berkeley

See photos here

July 25, 2013

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

Berkeley School of Law

August 15, 2013

A Green Bridge 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

Dean’s Seminar Room, Boalt Hall

October 9, 2013

Jews and Words

Fania Oz-Salzberger
Professor of History, University of Haifa

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


November 12, 2013

THE 2013-2014 ROBBINS COLLECTION LECTURE IN JEWISH LAW AND THOUGHT:What We Can Learn from the Jewish Political Tradition

Michael Walzer
Professor Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study

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.

November 14, 2013

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

Berkeley School of Law
CLICK HERE for photos.

November 20, 2013

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
Lecture Co-Sponsored with the Institute of European Studies

5:00 pm
201 Moses Hall, University of California, Berkeley

November 25, 2013

Second Track Diplomacy and Prospects for Peace in Israel/Palestine

Dr. Gershon Baskin
Founder, Co-Chairman, Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information
Lecture Co-Sponsored with the Olive Tree Initiative

Berkeley School of Law (Room 100)

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 for Haaretz
February 14, 2014
12:00PM, Northgate Library

Video Link

“Reporting Israel: the Personal, the Political, and the Press”*
Aluf Benn
Editor-in-chief for Haaretz
February 21, 2014
12:00PM, Northgate Library

Video Link

“Covering Israel: A Reporter’s Notebook”
Janine Zacharia
Former Jerusalem Bureau Chief for The Washington Post
March 7, 2014
12:00PM, Northgate Library

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.


February 19, 2014

Film Screening and Talk:Brave Miss World

Cecilia Peck
Co-Sponsored with Berkeley Hillel

145 Dwinelle

March 6, 2014

Public Panel and Networking Event:Israeli Start-Ups in the International Arena

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)

Room 105, Boalt Hall


Water Conference Banner

March 11, 2014

International Conference

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.

Bancroft Hotel


March 19, 2014

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

Graduate Theological Union Library


April 3, 2014

Gender, Sexuality and Modern Jewish Identity

Shaun Halper
Lecture co-sponsored with the Paradigms of Jewish Identity DeCal, Q-Jew, and Miriam the IV

4-5:30 pm
145 Law Building

Julie Grimmeisen Public Lecture

April 7, 2014

Haluzah or Beauty Queen? National Ideals of Women in Israel after 1948

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

5:00 pm
3401 Dwinelle Hall

flyer, rabbinical conference

April 8-10, 2014


Talmudic Transgressions: Engaging the Work of Daniel Boyarin

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.

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.

Berkeley School of Law and the Graduate Theological Union

Full program


April 10, 2014

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 15, 2014

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

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

4:00 pm
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley


April 30, 2014

Yom Ha-Shoah Week Theater

If the Whole Body Dies: Raphael Lemkin and the Treaty Against Genocide

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

A staged reading of the one-act play by Robert Skloot, followed by a discussion with the playwright.

Durham Theatre

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2012-2013 Gilbert Foundation Colloquy: Behind the Robe

A discussion between former Israeli Chief Justice Dort Beinisch and Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski

Reception at 5:00 PM
Program at 5:45 PM

Click here to view event slideshow

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Future of Judaism

A Robbins Collection Lecture in Jewish Law and Thought

Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Reception begins at 5:00 PM
Program at 6:00 PM

Booth Auditorium, Berkeley Law
2778 Bancroft Way

Click here for the photo slideshow.

Wednesday, February 14

Israel Following the 2013 Elections: A New Chapter or More of the Same?

Undergraduate Student Workshop

Professor Yoram Peri, Abraham S. and Jack Kay
Chair in Israel Studies and Director of the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park

4:30 PM
Morrison and Foerster Room
298 Law Building

Kosher refreshments will be served.

Monday, April 8

‘Stop Looking at Me!’ Talmudic Teachings on the Indeterminacy of Law

Faculty/Graduate Student Roundtable

Dr. Leon Wiener Dow
Post-Doctoral Fellow in Jewish Law, Robbins Collection; Schusterman Israeli Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow

12:00 – 1:45 PM

Tuesday, March 19

The Reborn Jewish Community of Poland: Identities and Interactions

Faculty/Graduate Student Roundtable

Konstanty Gebert
Scholar-in-Residence, Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland

12:30 – 2:00 PM
Institute of European Studies
Seminar Room, 201 Moses Hall

Thursday, March 14

Writing Identity

A Conversation with Dr. Leon Wiener Dow & Sayed Kashua
Novelist; Columnist; Creator of Arab Labor, Israel’s Leading Television Show

Reception at 5:00 PM
Program at 5:45 PM

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Revolution and Change in the Middle East: Policy Challenges For The U.S.

Co-sponsored by the Institute of International Studies and the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law

Revolutions, counter-revolutions and peace-process stagnation are presenting unprecedented challenges for the U.S. in the Middle East. Can the U.S. influence change or is the “American era” in the region drawing to a close?

Honorable Daniel C. Kurtze
Former Ambassador to Israel and Egypt

S. Daniel Abraham
Professor, Princeton University

Moses Hall, UC Berkeley

Monday, September 19, 2011

When Maskilim Went to the Spas: On the Recovery and Rejuvenation of the Jewish Body, Mind and Nation

During the last third of the 19th century Marienbad, a fashionable spa town in Bohemia, became an intellectual and spiritual venue for Hebrew and Yidish writers from Eastern Europe. It became known not only for its amenities and luxuries but also for its Jewish sociability and infrastructure. The poets and writers who visited Marienbad and nearby Carlsbad on a regular basis assigned Jewish and Zionist images to the places. Judah Leib Gordon, David Frischmann, Sholem Aleichem, Rueben Brainin and Chaim Nachman Bialik paid considerable attention to the present Jewish groups, who represented almost every religious, cultural and social aspect of the Jewish nation at the time. Especially since the establishment of the Zionist congresses unofficial pre- and post-conventions of delegates in Marienbad and Carlsbad furthered the spas’ character as places of intellectual Jewish encounters.

Mirjam Triendl-Zadoff
University of Munich, Department of History

Moses Hall, UC Berkeley

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Israeli Intellectuals and the Six-Day War

Co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Institute of European Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

The Six-Day War is considered a turning point in the history of the State of Israel, in the Jewish world and not least in international politics of the 20th century. Within less than a week the geographical and political reality of the Near East was changed radically, and the extreme events left their imprint on the society of the young state. An almost apocalyptic fear, which had prevailed in the Israeli public opinion before the war, was overnight replaced by a victor’s euphoria. Many Israeli intellectuals confronted the new reality and reflected this turning point in history of the state in their writings.

This talk focused on three central Israeli intellectuals, who represented different political and ideological streams in intellectual circles of post-war Israel: the writer Moshe Shamir, the politician and journalist Uri Avneri and the poet and linguist Yonatan Ratosh.

Noam Zadoff
University of Munich, Department of History

Moses Hall, UC Berkeley

Monday, October 3, 2011

Prospects for Peace: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict…What is Next?

Co-sponsored by Berkeley Hillel, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Institute of International Studies, Israeli Action Committee, Real Partners, Real Peace and International House.

David Makovsky and Ghaith al-Omari give an informed perspective of the uncertain future for a peace in the Middle East.

7:00 pm
Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley School of Law

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Biblical Law and Narrative: Leviticus 5:20-26, Fraudulent Transaction, and the Joseph Story

Professor Calum
Carmichael Cornell University

12:15 PM
Dean’s Seminar Room

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The State of the Middle East Peace Process

Shmuel Rosner
Israeli Journalist & Blogger; Author of Shtetl, Bagel, Baseball

4:30 pm
Boalt Hall, School of Law

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 – Thursday, February 2, 2012

Israel Through the High Tech Lens

Israel has been a uniquely and immensely successful hub of technology entrepreneurship. With the second largest number of start-up companies in the world (after the U.S.) and numerous NASDAQ listed companies outside North America, Israel is often compared with Silicon Valley. This spring, the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law Economy and Society will launch “Israel through the High-Tech Lens,” an international conference which will focus on important and multidisciplinary aspects of the flourishing Israeli high-tech phenomenon.

Haas School of Business and UC Berkeley School of Law

Monday, February 13, 2012

Demonic Desires: The Evil Inclination (“Yetzer Hara”) in Rabbinic Thought

Professor Ishay Rosen-Zvi
Department of Hebrew Culture Studies, Tel-Aviv University

6:00 pm
Warren Room, Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley School of Law

Monday, February 27, 2012

Laws and Ethics: Jewish and U.S. Traditions

Rabbi Elliot Dorff
Director and Prof. of Philosophy, American Jewish University

12:45 pm
Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley School of Law

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jewish Music Festival

Bustan Quartet

7:00 pm
The Magnes Collection
2121 Allston Way Berkeley

Monday, April 16, 2012

Narrating the Law: How Stories Create Complex Law in the Talmud

A Robbins Collection Lecture in Jewish Law and Thought

Professor Barry Wimpfheimer
Northwestern University

5:15 pm
Goldberg Room, Boalt Hall School of Law

Click here to view event slideshow.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Investing in Israel: How Innovation from the Start-Up Nation is Changing all of Our Lives

Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley School of Law

Monday, April 23, 2012 – Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Legal Heterodoxy in Islamic and Jewish History: Late Antique and Medieval Transformations


Goldberg Room, UC Berkeley School of Law

Click here to see the event announcement.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Graduate and Undergraduate Student Introductory Event: Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law, Economy, and Society

Barrows Hall

Monday, February 14, 2011

Law in the Nation / Law as the Nation

The Second Annual Robbins Collection Lecture in Jewish Law is delivered by Professor Suzanne Stone, University Professor of Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University, with comments by leading jurisprudence scholar Kathryn Abrams, UC Berkeley’s Herma Hill Kay Distinguished Professor of Law.

Boalt Hall

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Institute Launch Reception

Hosts: Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau & Dean Christopher Edley Jr.
Keynote Speaker: Former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner

Morrison Reading Room
Doe Library