Israel Studies Colloquium Programs

The monthly Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Colloquium on Israel Studies provides an interdisciplinary space for presentation and discussion of academic papers, and a forum for developing research and teaching.


Spring Colloquium Series:

  • Elisa Farinacci, Post Doctoral Fellow, University of Bologna
    “How Space is Culturally Transformed: Religious and Aesthetic Creativity on the Israeli-Palestinian Border”
  • Daniella Wegner, Former Fulbright Scholar, Hebrew University and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design; UC Berkeley Alumna
    “Let the Creators Sing: Informing Democracy Indices with Israeli Creators’ Voices”

Click here to view a recording of the event!

Fall Colloquium Series:

  • Roy Peled, Koret Visiting Professor in Israel Studies, UC Berkeley
    Dov Levitan, Head of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, Ashkelon College
    “The Yemenite Children Affair: History, Access to Information, and Public Discourse” 

Click here to view a recording of the event!

  • Daniela Kaufer, Professor of Integrative Biology and Neuroscience and the Associate Dean of Biological Sciences at UC Berkeley
    “Lessons Learned from Football Players and Epilepsy to Understand Brain Aging.”

Click here to view a recording of the event!

  • Ayelet Harel-Shalev, Associate Professor, The Conflict Management and Resolution Program
    Gil-li Vardi, Lecturer in History, Stanford University
    “Israeli Women in Combat”

Click here to view a recording of the event!

Fall Colloquium Series:

  • Stephanie Rotem, Berkeley Institute Visiting Professor; Tel Aviv University
    “Hadassah Women Build a ‘Modern Hospital’ — The Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus”
  • Alain Dieckhoff, Professor, Science Po
    “The Growth of Religious Nationalism in Israeli Society”
    Special Joint Session with the Center for Democracy, Toleration, and Religion and the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion
  • Eva Gurevich, PhD Candidate, Brandeis University
    “Israel as the State of Redemption: Political, Theological, and Cultural Implications”
  • Tally Kritzman-Amir, Visiting Professor, Harvard University
    “The Methodology of Immigration Law: The case of Israel”

Spring Colloquium Series:

  • Joshua Teitelbaum, Professor, Bar-Ilan University
    Israel-Gulf Relations: From Enemies to Allies of Convenience
  • Yael Zerubavel, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University
    “Israeli Memorial Landscape: Competing Approaches to Remembrance and Forgetting”
  • Dov Waxman, Gilbert Chair in Israel Studies, Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, UCLA
    “Antisemitism, Anti-Zionism and Criticism of Israel: Where to Draw the Line?”


Fall 2018

  • Asher Grunis, Former President of the Supreme Court of Israel Thursday, UC Berkeley School of Law “The Role of the Supreme Court in Israel’s Democracy”
  • R. Jeffrey Saks, rabbi, author, UC Berkeley School of Law “S.Y. Agnon: A Nobel Laureate Between Traditionalism, Modernism, and Surrealism”
  • Anat Balint, Israel Institute Visiting Professor, San Francisco State University UC Berkeley School of Law “Israeli Media and Politics”
  • Itay Fischhendler, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Tuesday, UC Berkeley School of Law “The Role of Rhetoric, Discourse and Language in Marketing Contested Infrastructure: The Case of Israel”

Spring 2019

  • Tomer Persico, Koret-Hartman Visiting Professor of Jewish Thought
    “The Temple Mount: Sanctity, Nationalism and the End Point of Zionism”

  •  Hilda Nissim, Chair of History, Tel Aviv University
    “The Israel Museum: Between Zionism and Civic Nationalism”

  • Itai Ater, Israel Institute Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley; Tel Aviv University “Economic Policy in Israel after the 2011 Social Protests: A Turning Point or Just a Blip?”

  • Uri Dorchin, Israel Institute Visiting Professor, UCLA; Zefat Academic College “Real Time: Hip-Hop in Israel”

Fall 2017

  • David Hirsh, Professor of Sociology Goldsmiths, University of London
    “Contemporary Left Antisemitism”
  • Rami Zeedan, Political Scientist, Open University of Israel
    “Arabs in the Three Branches of Power of the Israeli Political System – Politics, Identity, and Leadership”
  • Gayil Talshir, San Jose State University, Department of Political Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; 2017-2018 Israel Institute Visiting Professor
    “Israeli Democracy in Crisis? Between Governability and Governance”
  • Amnon Reichman, 2017-2018 Robbins Collection Visiting Professor in Comparative Law, Associate Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa
    “Legal-Net: The Use and Misuse of Technology in the Regulation of Judges in Israel”

Spring 2018

  • Gershon Shafir, Distinguished Professor, Department of Sociology
    University of California, San Diego
    “Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict”
  • Ruth Zafran, Associate Professor, IDC, Herzliya, Radzyner Law School; 2017-2018 Berkeley Institute Visiting Scholar
    “The Israeli Transnational Surrogacy Story – Some Empirical and Normative Reflections”
  • Sarah Hankins, Professor of Sound Studies, UC San Diego
    “Black Musics, Blackness, and the Israeli Imagination”
  • Keren Friedman-Peleg, Medical Anthropologist, The College of Management – Academic Studies
    “PTSD and the Politics of Trauma in Israel”

Fall 2016

  • Nissim Mizrahi, Tel Aviv University (Anthropology and Sociology)
    “Sociology in the Garden: Beyond the Liberal Grammar of Contemporary Sociology”
  • Michael Shalev, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology)
    “Who Came and Who Stayed Home? Israel’s Massive Street Protests of 2011”
  • Itzhak Galnoor, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Political Science)
    “State Responsibility and the Policy of Privatization in Israel”
  • Moshe Naor, University of Haifa (Israel Studies)
    “Oriental Neighbors: Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine”

Spring 2017

  • Tamar Kricheli-Katz, Tel Aviv University (Law and Sociology) and Tali Regev, Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya (School of Economics) 
    “Grammatical Gender: Does Hebrew Language Fail Women in Math”
  • Shir Kochavi, Cultural Arts Director, Addison Penzak JCC
    “Salvage or Restitution? The Removal of Jewish Cultural Property to Israel After the Holocaust”
  • Motti Regev, The Open University of Israel (Sociology)
    “Musical and Other Cultural Cosmopolitanism in Israel”
  • Anat Moorvile, Israel Post-Doctoral Fellow at University of California, Davis (Jewish Studies)
    “Israel in Africa: Medical Diplomacy and Global Health, 1959-1973”

Fall 2015

  • Vered Shemtov, Stanford University (Hebrew and Comparative Literature)
  • Elana Gomel, Tel Aviv University (English and American Studies)
    “Limbotopia and the Changing Concept of Time in Hebrew Literature after Oslo”
  • Ori Aronson, Israel Institute Visiting Professor /The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Visiting Professor of Israeli Law and Society, Bar Ilan University (Faculty of Law)”How Come Israel Still Has a Constitution? On the Status Quo as Countermajoritarian Difficulty”
  • Itamar Rabinovich, Tel Aviv University (Middle Eastern History), Former Israeli Ambasador to the United States, President of the Israel Institute
    “The Boundaries of Israel Studies”
  • Arie Dubnov, University of Haifa (History)
    “The Dream of the Seventh Dominion: British Liberal Imperialism and the Palestine Question”

Spring 2016

  • Calvin Goldscheider, Brown University (Sociology and Judaic Studies)
    “Israeli Society in the 21st Century: A Social Demographer’s Perspective”
  • Ilana Szobel, Brandeis University (Hebrew Literature)
    “Performance, Disability, and Zionism in the work of Tamar Borer”
  • Jonathan Gribetz, Princeton University (Near Eastern Studies and Judaic Studies)
    “The PLO Research Center: Israel Studies in the Arab World”
  • Tamara Lotner-Lev, University of Haifa (History)
    “Environmental Regulation of Israeli Offshore Oil and Gas”

Fall 2014

  • Hila Shamir, Associate Profesor at the Buchman Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University; Visiting Scholar, Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies.
    “Anti-trafficking in Israel: Nationalism, Borders, and Markets”
  • Francesco Spagnolo, Curator of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and a Lecturer in the Department of Music, and Yair Harel, Founder and Director of Invitation to Piyut and a leading figure in the piyut revival movement in Israel.
    “The Revolution of the Third Generation: Redefining Israeli Identity through Traditional Music and Song “
  • Ruth Gavison, Professor of Law,  Hebrew University in Jerusalem; One of the founders and former President of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
    “Should Israel Entrench its Constitutional Identity? “
  • Stuart Cohen, Professor of Political Studies, Bar-Ilan University.
    “How Serious Is the Threat of Dual Authority in the Israel Defense Forces? “

Spring 2015

  • Yuval Ben-Bassat, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Middle Eastern History, University of Haifa;
    2014-2015 Abramson-Israel Institute Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley.
    “Was the Ottoman Institution of Petitioning the Sultan Obsolete by the End of the 19th Century?: The Case of the District of Jerusalem”
  • Michael Karayanni, The Bruce W. Wayne Chair in International Law, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
    “On ‘Sheep Gone Astray’:  A Muslim Headscarf in a Nazareth Catholic School and a Sephardi Student in an Ashkenazi Ultra-Orthodox School”
  • Itay Fischhendler, Associate Professor at the Geography Department, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; 2014-2015 Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley.
    “In the Name of Energy Security: The Struggle Over the Exportation of Israeli Natural Gas”
  • Derek Penslar, Samuel Zacks Professor of Jewish History, University of Toronto; Stanley Lewis Professor of Israel Studies, Oxford University.
    “Men, Money, and Materiel:  How Israel Won the 1948 War”

Fall 2013  

  • Ran Abramitzky, Professor of Economics, Stanford University
    “The Mystery of the Kibbutz: How Socialism Suceeeded”
  • Fania Oz-Salzberger, Professor of History, University of Haifa School of Law
    “Social Protest and the Social Networks: Israel’s Civic Discourse On-and Off-Line”
  • Sharon Aronson-Lehavi, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Visiting Israeli Professor
    “Performing the Bible on the Israeli Stage”
  • Shay Hazkani, PhD Candidate, Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Department of History, New York University
    “Abandoning Religion for a Revolver: Israeli Soldiers Writing on the ‘Jewish Nature’ in the 1948 War”

Spring 2014

  • Rhona Seidelman, Visiting Professor, University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)
    “Under Quarantine at Israel’s Ellis Island: Shaar Ha’aliya, 1949-1952”
  • Amnon Lehavi, Atara Kaufman Professor, Faculty of Law, IDC, Gilbert Foundation Visiting Professor, Berkeley Law
    “Constitutional Challenges of Community and Localism in Israel”
  • Shaun Halper, Ph.D. UC Berkeley Department of History
    “Langer’s Brand of ‘Zionist’ Homosexuality: Implications for Thought and Society in the Yishuv”
  • Liora Halperin, Assisstant Professor of History, University of Colorado
    “Babel in Zion: A New Look at Language Diversity in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine”

Fall 2012

  • Prof. Robert Alter, Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature
    “Rewriting the Book of Job in the Poetry of Natan Zach”
  • Prof. Yaacov Yadgar, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund Visiting Israeli Professor
    Rejecting the ‘Religious vs. Secular Binary: Masortim in Jewish-Israeli Politics”
  • Miri Lavi-Neeman, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley Department of Geography
    “Green Settlment — the Politics of Israeli Environmentalism Past and Future”
  • Prof. Pnina Lahav, Law Alumni Scholar Professor of Law, Boston University
    “Sisters: The American-Israeli Dialogue on the Meaning of Feminism”

Spring 2013

  • Prof. 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 
    “Israel following the 2013 elections: A new chapter or more of the same?”
  • Sayed Kashua, Israeli journalist, author, and creator of Israel’s prime-time television sitcom “Arab Labor”
    “The Stepmother Tongue”
  • Prof. Barak Medina, 2012-2013 Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Visiting Professor (Law) “Developments in the Legal Doctrine of Equality in Israel”

Fall 2011    

  • Daniel C. Kurtzer, S. Daniel Abraham Professor of Middle East Policy, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Egypt
  • Eliezer Rivlin, Deputy President, Supreme Court of Israel
    “The Legal and Social Challenges Faced by the Israeli Supreme Court”
  • Arye Carmon, President, Israel Democracy Institute
    “A Democracy Without a Constitution: The Future of Israel’s Survival”
  • Prof. Ron Hassner, Assistant Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley; Gilbert Foundation Colloquium Faculty Fellow
  • Prof. Jason Wittenberg, Associate Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley; Gilbert Foundation Colloquium Faculty Fellow
    “Barriers to Entry: Who Builds Fortified Boundaries and Why?” 

Spring 2012

  • Shmuel Rosner, The Jerusalem Post, Author, Shtetl, Bagel, Baseball
    “The ‘Distancing Hypothesis’: Young American Jews and Israel”
  • Prof. Yael Aronoff, Serling Chair in Israel Studies, Michigan State University
    “When Hard-Liners Opt for Peace: The Political Psychology of Israeli Prime Ministers”
  • Prof. Alon Tel, Ben Gurion University; Visiting Professor, Stanford University; Founder, Adam Teva v’Din, “Milk and Honey – or Chlorinated Hydrocarbons? Pollution, Promise, and the Israeli Environment”
  • Prof. Ben Brinner, Chair, UC Berkeley Department of Music
    “Playing Across a Divide: Israeli-Palestinian Musical Encounters”

Spring 2011

  • Prof. Arieh Saposnik, Gilbert Foundation Professor, Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, UCLA; Director, Nazarian Center for Israel Studies
  • Prof. Dana Blander, Schusterman Visiting Israel Studies Professor, Department of Political Science, Tufts University
  • Prof. Arie Dubnov, Goldman Visiting Israel Studies Professor, Department of History, Stanford University
  • Prof. Nurit Novis-Deutsch, Fulbright Scholar, Institute for Human Development, UC Berkeley. 
  • Prof. Ann Swidler, Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley