2011 – 2012

Fall 2011

Tuesday, August 30

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

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

Honorable Daniel C. Kurtze
Former Ambassador to Israel and Egypt

S. Daniel Abraham
Professor, Princeton University

Moses Hall, UC Berkeley

Monday, September 19

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

Israeli Intellectuals and the Six-Day War

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

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

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

David Makovsky and Ghaith al-Omari give an informed perspective of the uncertain future for a peace in the Middle East.
Co-sponsored by: Berkeley Hillel, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Institute of International Studies, Israeli Action Committee, Real Partners, Real Peace and International House.

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

Tuesday, December 6

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

Spring 2012

Thursday, January 19

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 – Thursday, February 2

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

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

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

Jewish Music Festival

Bustan Quartet
 7:00 pm at the Magnes Collection,
2121 Allston Way Berkeley

Monday, April 16

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

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 – Tuesday, April 24

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.