Virtual Program Archive

Public Programs

Bodies of Empathy

Tuesday, April 26

Sharon Fridman, Israeli Choreographer and Director, Artist-in-Residence, Francisco Rabal Theater, Pinto Town Hall (Madrid, Spain)

Yasmeen Godder, Israeli Choreographer

Yael Nativ, Professor of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley

Dr. Einav Katan Schmid, Head of the School of Dance, Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and Arts

SanSan Kwan, Professor of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley

How can choreography practice and inspire empathy and care? How is performance conducted with socially engaged values? In what ways do choreographers think about dance as a participatory human event approaching questions of social inclusion and exclusion? Can dance be perceived as an ethical activity, and how can it inform and foster intercultural encounters? This talk joins a larger cultural discussion exploring the role of empathy in dance while offering a perspective from the Israeli dance scene.

Gender, Religion, and the Military in Israel

Tuesday, March 1

Elisheva Rosman-Stollman, Associate Professor of Political Science, Bar-Ilan University

Ronit Stahl, Associate Professor of History, UC Berkeley

Elisheva Rosman-Stollman joins in conversation with Ronit Stahl to discuss her work on religion and gender in the Israeli military, including questions of gender equality, religious accommodation, and the legitimation of religious female soldiers.

Reimagining Diversity and Jewish Belonging: A Journey Through Genesis

Tuesday, February 22

Annual Robbins Collection Lecture in Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity: Reimagining Diversity and Jewish Belonging: A Journey Through Genesis


Amanda Beckenstein Mbuvi, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

In the U.S. American context, the dominant conception of Jewish identity does not fully reckon with the diversity that exists within the Jewish people. This talk explores that gap in conversation with the book of Genesis, highlighting the book’s potential to inform a journey to reimagining Jewish belonging in more inclusive ways.

Controversial Issues in Citizenship Education: Insights from Israel

Wednesday, February 16


Diana Hess: Karen A. Falk Distinguished Chair of Education and Dean of the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-

Madison Chris Edley: the Honorable William H. Orrick, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Law, Former Dean of Berkeley Law, and Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley

Hanan Alexander: Professor of Philosophy of Education, Immediate Past Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, and Koret Visiting Professor of Israel Studies, UC Berkeley

Masua Sagiv: Koret Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies, UC Berkeley, Scholar in Residence, Shalom Hartman Institute, and Menomadin Center, Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law

Adar Cohen: Academic Director of the Teacher Education Program, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Visiting Scholar, UC Davis

Ayman Agbaria: Sr. Lecturer in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Haifa, and faculty member in the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, Jerusalem

Sex Segregation in Israel: Between Gender, Law, and Religion

Tuesday, February 1

Kofi Tirosh, Associate Professor, Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law; former Dean of Sapir Academic College School of Law

Michael Helfand, Vice Dean for Faculty and Research, Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law

Yofi Tirosh will join in conversation with Michael Helfand to discuss her work on sex segregation in Israeli society, including in academia, and the appropriate balance between religious accommodation and sex equality.

Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy

Thursday, November 18

Batya Ungar-Sargon, Deputy Opinion Editor of Newsweek

Ethan Katz, Professor of History, UC Berkeley

Conversation between Batya Ungar-Sargon and Professor Ethan Katz as they dive into complex and controversial issues — raised by Ungar-Sargon’s new book — about American journalism and its role in shaping race, class, religion, and culture in America. Seeking to hold both the Left and the Right accountable, Batya takes issue with the “woke” media and the ways it has led the American public astray.


The Libitzky Lecture on Israel and the Great Powers at UC Berkeley: Israel and the Case of Russia

Tuesday, November 16

Anna Borshchevskaya, Senior Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Professor Ron Hassner, the Helen Diller Family Chair in Israel Studies at UC Berkeley

Anna Bourshchevskaya joins Professor Hassner for a conversation exploring Israel’s relationship with Russia and what this might mean for geopolitics as we know it. This is the second in a series of talks examining Israel’s relationships with global powers.


Reconstructing the Civic: Palestinian Civil Activism in Israel

Thursday, November 4

Amal Jamal, Professor of Political Science, Head of Walter Lebach Institute for the Study of Jewish-Arab Coexistence, Tel Aviv University

Daniel Zoughbie, Associate Project Scientist, Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

Professor Jamal in conversation with Professor Zoughbie about his new book Reconstructing the Civic: Palestinian Civil Activism in Israel (SUNY Press, 2020). This is the second session in a series on Civil Society and Plurality in Israel.


The New Governing Coalition and Shifts in Israeli Society

Thursday, October 14

Moderator: Janine Zacharia, Carlos Kelly McClatchy Lecturer, Stanford University

Panel Participants:

Rami Zeedan, Assistant Professor, University of Kansas

Tal Schneider, Diplomatic & Political correspondent, Globes Newspaper and Times of Israel

Noah Efron, Chair, Program on Science, Technology, and Society, Bar-Ilan University; Host, The Promised Podcast, TLV1

This virtual panel explores Israel’s new governing coalition and the insights it provides on Israeli society. Janine Zacharia moderates a lively discussion — with Rami Zeedan, Tal Schneider, and Noah Efron — about the current government and its very broad coalition, the challenges and opportunities this arrangement has created, some reflections to date on mistakes and successes, and a significant engagement with the shifts in Israeli society that are reflected through this new governing coalition. 


Civil Society and Plurality in Israel: Religion and State

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Michael Karayanni, (Bruce W. Wayne Chair in International Law, Hebrew University Faculty of Law) in conversation with Masua Sagiv (Koret Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley; Shalom Hartman Institute; Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law) about his new book A Multicultural Entrapment: Religion & State among the Palestinian-Arabs in Israel (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

The Current Crisis in Israel: A Conversation with Prof. Chuck Freilich

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The 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.

The Helen Diller Institute 10th Anniversary Naming Ceremony Featuring Justice Dorit Beinisch and Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky

Wednesday, April 22, 2021

The Helen Diller Institute celebrated its 10th Anniversary and new name on April 22, 2021. Justice Dorit Beinisch, the first woman to serve as President of the Israeli Supreme Court and the first woman State Attorney of Israel, was joined in conversation by Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law. Welcome Remarks by Carol Christ, Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley

“PREMIER” Dance Performance and Insights with Artists Elad Schechter and Rand Taha

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

“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 inter-religious and intercultural dialogue through dance negotiates the sociopolitical tensions and rifts evoked by east/west Jerusalem through the expressive forms of dance and movement.

This is a recording of a livestreamed presentation of the Helen Diller Institute for Jewlish Law and Israel Studies in partnership with c.a.t.a.m.o.n. Dance Group in Jerusalem, the Murray Galinson San Diego Israel Inititative, The Peleh Fund, the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice and the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Artists’ conversation facilitated by Dr. Melissa Melpignano.

Robbins Collection Lecture in Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity

Wednesday, April 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Kenneth A. Bamberger, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Professor of Law, UC Berkeley; Faculty co-Director, the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (BCLT) and the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies.
Ariel Evan Mayse, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Stanford University; Senior Fellow, Berkeley Program on Jewish Law, Thought and Identity; Rabbi-in-Residence, Atiq: Jewish Maker Institute.

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.

Session 1 - Translating Hate in the Digital World

Wednesday, February 4, 2021

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?

CHRISTOPHER WOLF (author of Viral Hate) will keynote this session. Panelists include Vlad Khaykin, Carrie Goldberg, and Stephanie Ortiz.

Session 2 - Combating Online Hate: Law, Technology, and Society

Wednesday, March 4, 2021

Keynote and moderator: Prof. Yuval Shany (former Dean at Hebrew University, and former Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Committee)

Panel Discussion:
Imran Ahmed, CEO, Center for Countering Digital Hate
Mary Anne Franks, Professor of Law and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar, University of Miami School of Law
David Kaye, UC Irvine School of Law, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

Meet Me in the Market: Live Dance Performance from Jerusalem

The Hellen Diller Institute travelled (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. 

Israel and the Great Powers: The Case of China

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. 

Diaspora-Israel Relations and the U.S. Presidential Elections: A Conversation with David Horovitz

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.

Israel Studies Colloquium Series

The Yemenite Children Affair: History, Access to Information, and Public Discourse

Roy Peled, Koret Visiting Professor in Israel Studies, UC Berkeley
Dov Levitan, Head of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, Ashkelon College

Lessons Learned from Football Players and Epilepsy to Understand Brain Aging

Daniela Kaufer, Professor of Integrative Biology and Neuroscience and the Associate Dean of Biological Sciences at UC Berkeley

Israeli Women in Combat

Ayelet Harel-Shalev, Associate Professor, The Conflict Management and Resolution Program
Gil-li Vardi, Lecturer in History, Stanford University

Student Events

Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s

Speaker: Marc Dollinger, Jewish Studies Professor, SFSU; Author, Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing  the Alliance in the 1960s and Quest for Inclusion: Jews and Liberalism in Modern America

Marc Dollinger joins us to share the story of Black and Jewish relations from the Civil Rights Era alliances to Black Lives Matter today. Undermining widely held beliefs about Black-Jewish relations, Dollinger describes a new political consensus, based on identity politics, that drew Blacks and Jews together and altered the course of American liberalism and discusses the challenges that remain today.

Comparative Election Laws: Israel and the US

Speakers: Roy Peled, Koret Visiting Professor in Israel Studies
Jay Footlik, Special Assistant to President Clinton in the White House

A comparative view on Israeli and US election law as we conclude a year in which Israel had not one, but 3 election cycles, and the US approaches it’s Nov. 3 presidential elections. The event will compare the legal context in each country, and provide an analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of each case. Some topics that will be touched upon include procedural fairness, inclusion (universal suffrage) and equality (in funding and other means between the contestants).

Mizrahi Identity in the US

There are over 300,000 Jews of Mizrachi and Sephardic descent living in the United States these days; however, their role in the American Jewish community is rarely discussed. Join us for a lively panel on the visibility of Mizrachi American Jews and where they fall in the contemporary discussions surrounding intersectionality, Jewish religious identity, and American Jewish inner-community divides.

Summer Salon Series

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

Featuring Prof. Itay Fischendler in conversation with Miri-Lavi-Neeman

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

Featuring Prof. Sharon Aronson Lehavi in conversation with Dan Shifrin

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

Featuring Prof. Rami Zeedan in conversation with Prof. Ron Hassner