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Film Screening: The Wonders
February 10


Recent News & Events


"Global Israel Series"

Global Israel is a series of events at Washington, DC embassies exploring Israel's diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations with other countries. Attendance at Global Israel Events is restricted to AU students, faculty, and friends of the Center for Israel Studies.

Click Here to Learn More.

November 2, 2015 Embassy of Germany

October 8, 2015 Embassy of Ethiopia
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September 9, 2015 Embassy of Uruguay
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Reinventing Israel: Transformations of Israeli Society in the 21st Century

October 28-29, 2015

International scholars examined more recent aspects of the transformation of Israeli society in the 21st century, including the birth of the start-up nation, the growing economic inequality, changes in Holocaust memory and in Israel-diaspora relations. Co-sponsored by the Center for Israel Studies and Jewish Studies Program. 

View Event Program.

View Event Photo Album.

View Event Video of keynote address by David Ellenson, "From BG to Bibi: The End of an Era in Israel-Diaspora Relations?"

View Event Video of History and Memory Panel

View Event Video of Economy and High Tech Panel.

View Event Video of Politics and Law Panel.

View Event Video of Religion and Ethnicity Panel.

View Event Video of Imagining Israel in 2035-Different Visions Panel


SIS Water, Cooperation and Peace in the Middle East Practicum Research Report

October 20, 2015

For their capstone research requirement, a team of SIS graduate students assessed the peacebuilding effectiveness of wastewater recycling projects undertaken jointly by Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations. They presented their research on a panel with the AU faculty who accompanied them, Dr. Eric Abitbol and Dr. Ken Conca, as well as Dr. Clive Lipchin, of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, one of their research partners on the ground.  Co-sponsored by School of International Service (SIS) and CIS.


Anywhere Else Film Screening and Discussion about Israelis in Berlin 

October 19, 2015

A large crowd of students and community members were treated to a screening of the film "Anywhere Else" by Ester Amrami followed by a panel discussion about Israelis in Berlin. Anywhere Else is an indie film about an Israeli grad student (Noa, age 33) living in Berlin, who returns to her homeland for a visit. Panelists Stefan Buchwald (Director German Information Center USA, German Embassy), Ilan Sztulman (Head of Public Diplomacy, Israeli Embassy) and Michael Brenner, Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies, discussed how Berlin has become a new "hot spot" for many young Israelis.  

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"The U.S.-Israel Relationship" with Michael Oren and Tamara Wittes

September 30, 2015

Member of Knesset and former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren elaborated on some of the themes in his new book Ally in a talk about the U.S.-Israel relationship, focusing on Syria and the recent Iran Deal. Tamara Wittes, Director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, then discussed his presentation with him, also taking questions from the mostly-student audience. Co-sponsored by CIS, Jewish Studies Program, and Kennedy Political Union.

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View Event Video.



April 21, 2015

Israeli media celebrity and gay activist Assi Azar came to AU to screen his documentary, Mom and Dad I Have Something to Tell You about the process of coming out as a gay man in Israel.  The film is told from the perspective of parents reactions to their children revealing that they were gay.  Co-sponsored by CIS, AU Students for Israel, Center for Diversity and Inclusion and Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

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April 1, 2015

Ambassador Martin Indyk gave the Amos Perlmutter Memorial Lecture to a standing room only crowd. Two-time U.S. Ambassador to Israel and current executive vice-president of the Brookings Institution, Indyk spoke about the history of the region, and the current involvement of countries like the United States and Britain. Ambassador Indyk concluded his lecture by stating that the best way for the United States to restore order in the Middle East is relying on its traditional partners in the region. The lecture was co-sponsored by CIS and the School of Public Affairs (SPA) in memory of SPA professor Amos Perlmutter, who taught at the University for nearly thirty years, until his death in 2001.

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March 23, 2015

Nathan Guttman, Washington Bureau Chief of The Forward, andNatan Sachs, Fellow for Middle East Policy at the Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Instiution, discussed the results and implications of the March 17 Israeli elections. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Michael Brenner

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View Event Video.



February 23, 2015

Bar-Ilan University Professor Jonathan Rynhold discussed his new book, the most comprehensive and up-to-date survey of American attitudes towards Israel. According to Rynhold, while there remains widespread American support for Israel, there is a growing gap between the U.S. parties on Israel. He also spoke about a distinction between warm feelings towards Israel in both parties and opinions on Israeli policies. Differences between the parties play out on issues like the Iranian nuclear threat and settlement construction.

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View Event Video.



February 5, 2015

SIS Professor Guy Ziv discussed his recently published book on how leaders' personalities impact their states' foreign policies. Ziv's work focuses on Israeli elder statesman Shimon Peres' dramatic shift from hawkish strategist to dovish peacemaker. He applied his research findings to other leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed the relevance of his work to the upcoming Israeli elections and their implications for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. Co-sponsored by CIS, SIS, and US Foreign Policy Program.

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January 21, 2015

Students who participated in the School of International Service's 2014 Graduate Practicum "Water, Cooperation and Peace in the Middle East" gave a detailed presentation on their research findings from their trip to Israel last summer. Co-Sponsored by CIS and SIS.

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Link to 2014 Practicum Team Final Report. 



January 15, 2015

AU professor Richard Breitman and University of Florida professor Norman Goda discussed their recently published third volume of James G. McDonald's edited diaries and papers, which covers the years 1945-47. They offered the audience an insider's view into the deliberations of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, along with insights into President Truman's decision to break with the British government on Palestine. Co-sponsored by CIS, Jewish Studies Program, and History Department.

View Event Video

Read more about Richard Breitman's book here



November 20, 2014

An appreciative over-flow audience was treated to an intimate concert of Israeli and American music representing Professor Dinur's personal journey from Israel to America.  AU alumna Mary Voutsas on piano and Brian Prunka on oud joined the AU Chamber Orchestra.  Co-sponsored by CIS, the Department of Performing Arts and AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.



November 17, 2014

Popular Tel Aviv DJ (Soulico), musician and professor Eyal Rob was back by popular demand to give a presentation on the multi-ethnic music scene in Tel Aviv.  Co-sponsored by AU Students for Israel, CIS, AU Hillel, ZBT, AEPHI, AEPI, and SDT.



November 5, 2014

CIS and the Jewish Studies Program presented a panel discussion on antisemitism with Ira Forman, Department of State Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, Rabbi Andrew Baker, American Jewish Committee's director of International Jewish Affairs and Abensohn Chair Michael Brenner.  Moderated by Professor Pamela Nadell.


October 28, 2014

All-day conference with 15 international scholars featuring Moshe Halbertal as keynote speaker.  Co-sponsored by AU Center for Israel Studies and Jewish Studies Program with support from the Knapp Family Foundation.  

View Event Video for Non-Jews in the Jewish State.

View Event Video for Separation between State and Religion panel.

View Event Video for Jewish Pluralism panel.

View Event Video for Moshe Halbertal address: "Israel at the Crossroads of Democracy,Nationalism and Religion."


German Restitutions to Israel:
Transitional Justice and Public Debate

October 13, 2014

Professor Norbert Frei (University of Jena, Germany), one of the world's leading experts on Nazi Germany, presented his extensive research on German restitutions to Israeli Holocaust survivors. He discussed the initial resistance to German reparations both in Germany and Israel during the 1950s and 60s, and elaborated on the impact the German reparations had on the Israeli economy and society. American University Professor Richard Breitman highlighted the importance of this work in his response to Professor Frei. The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Israel Studies and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with support from the Curt C. and Else Silberman Foundation.

Richard Breitman's Q and A response: View Event Video.

Azerbaijan and the West: The Strategic Importance of Central Asia to Israel and the United States

September 16, 2014

His Excellency Rafael Harpaz, Israeli Ambassador to The Republic of Azerbaijan, and Mammad Talibov, political counsellor at the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC, discussed the strategic importance of Azerbaijan to Israel and the United States. During the event, both Ambassadors highlighted the importance of communication and cooperation for a better future. The  discussion was moderated by KSB Professor Richard Linowes.

View Event Photo Album.

Performance/Discussion with Israeli Choreographer-in-Residence Rachel Erdos

September 11, 2014

Award-winning Israeli choreographer Rachel Erdos completed a weeklong residency with the AU Dance Department with a performance/discussion in the Katzen Arts Center.  Performers included members of Company E (contemporary repertory dance company) and AU Dance students. Ms. Erdos discussed her approach to choreography and how it was influenced by Israeli current events with AU Dance Program Director Melanie George and Paul Emerson, executive director of Company E.  The event ended with a standing ovation and a deeper admiration for the power of dance to connect people.  Co-sponsored by CIS, Department of Performing Arts, Company E and Embassy of Israel.

View Event Photo Album.

"After Bombs and Rockets: Now What?"

September 8, 2014

An appreciative standing room only crowd attended a panel discussion on the Gaza conflict moderated by School of International Service (SIS) Dean James Goldgeier.  Panelists included  Natan Sachs (Brookings Institution), Aaron David Miller (Wilson Center), and Hussein Ibish (American Task Force on Palestine), who mingled with students at the reception after the event. Co-sponsored by CIS and SIS. 

View Panel Discussion.

View Event Photo Album.

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CIS Video Features

See recent event videos featuring Michael Oren, Dennis Ross, Leon Wieseltier, and more.

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