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Center for Israel Studies | 2011-2012 News


Center for Israel Studies
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2011-2012 News & Events

Israel: Cultural Images and Political Realities

May 21, 2012
Academic conference cosponsored by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Several of Israel's leading scholars addressed topics such as "The Image of Jews in Arab Cinema," "Mom I'm Home: The Lebanon Case in Israeli Films,"  and "Communicating Awe: Israeli Media on Yom Hashoah." The afternoon featured a roundtable discussion on "Fateful Issues in Israeli Politics and Society" moderated by Professor Ilan Troen,  Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University and including American University Schusterman Visiting Professor Fred Lazin.  The participating professors were all part of AICE's Visiting Israeli Scholars Program. See Conference Program


Fred Lazin: Israel's Changing Collective Identity

April 24, 2012
Lecture by Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor Fred Lazin on the changes in Israeli society from the Sabra culture of 1948 to today's multiculturalism.


Peter Beinart: The Crisis of Zionism  

April 23, 2012
Author Peter Beinart spoke about his newly released book, The Crisis of Zionism. Beinart is Senior Political Writer at the Daily Beast, associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York and a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. Aaron David Miller, Distinguished Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and advisor to six Secretaries of State on Arab/Israeli negotiations, provided a formal response, sparking a lively discussion.


Talia Carner: Princess or Prisoner?

April 17, 2012
Award-winning Israeli author Talia Carner discussed her newest book, Jerusalem Maiden, followed by a reception and book-signing. In Jerusalem Maiden in 1911, in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem under the backward Ottoman rule, a young woman sets out to challenge God. The feisty Esther's life-long struggle between her passions and her strict society's religious dictates sends her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, city and the Holy Land.


Idan Raichel: Inside the Artist's Studio

March 6, 2012
See video: Idan Raichel at AU: Inside the Artist's StudioIsraeli music superstar Idan Raichel came to American University for an intimate discussion and performance. The New York Times calls Idan an "Israeli Singer of the world…[who] has worked with about 100 different musicians and singers to fuse traditional Middle Eastern instruments with electronic sounds, and to combine Jewish music with that of regions ranging from West Africa to Latin America and India." Idan recently toured with India.arie and they played together at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. See related Washington Jewish Week article: Ultra-Unorthodox Performer.


Is Israeli-Palestinian Peace Still Possible?Reflections of a Committed Israeli Peace Activist

February 16, 2012
Lecture by Gershon Baskin, Israeli activist, who has been credited with playing a critical role in the Gilad Shalit deal. The Palestinian house is divided into two separate regimes. Israel has a Likud-led coalition government. The US President is campaigning for re-election, Europe is trying to relieve itself from financial collapse, neither Russia nor China are engaged; can the two parties (Israelis and Palestinians) do it by themselves? See related article: Jewish Peace Activist Warns of Trouble Brewing in Mideast.


Greener, Cleaner, Better: Israeli Innovation in Greentech Conference

February 7, 2012
The conference highlighted three themes: new thinking on green technologies and ecosystems, the unique Israeli success in this sector, and special regional/political issues. Keynote address by Michael Granoff of Better Place, the electric vehicle company.

Please see Greentech Conference Archive.


Strengthening Israel's Democracy: Arab Citizens of Israel

January 22, 2012
Conference hosted by the Center for Israel Studies. Co-sponsored by Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues. For conference schedule, please see


The Knowledge Economy Triangle:India, Israel, and the United States

January 17, 2012
Panel discussion on the evolving strategic relationships – economic, technological and cultural – between India, Israel and the United States. Location: Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center. Co-sponsored by Center for Israel Studies (CIS), Kogod School of Business, Embassy of India, Embassy of Israel, American Jewish Committee and Virginia Israel Advisory Board (Office of the Governor).


Screening of award-winning Israeli films My Australia and Mabul, with post-film discussion

December 4, 2011
Screening of Israeli films My Australia and Mabul (The Flood) in AU's Greenberg Theatre, as part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. Large crowds attended the films and participated in a post-film discussion with Mabul director Guy Nattiv and screenwriter, Noa Berman-Herzberg


Screening of LIA and post-film discussion 

December 6, 2011
Screening of documentary film by Israeli director Taly Goldenberg, about the life of Lia Van Leer, legendary founder of the Israel Film Archive and cinematheques in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. A discussion followed with filmmaker Aviva Kempner and Fred Lazin, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor.


"Twenty Years Together: The Place of Russian Israelis in Israel's Social and Cultural Mosaic"

November 16, 2011
Lecture by Larissa Remennick, Professor of Sociology, Bar-Ilan University. 


"The Arab Spring: Causes and Consequences in the Middle East, Focusing on Egypt, Syria and Libya"

November 15, 2011
Lecture by AU SIS Adjunct Professor Yosef Olmert. In addition to his teaching work, Dr. Olmert served in senior positions in the Israeli government, such as the Director of Communications under Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Policy Advisor to Defense Minister Moshe Arens. Dr. Olmert served diplomatic missions across the world and was a participant at the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 and subsequent Israeli/Syrian peace talks.   


"The Jerusalem Syndrome: How a Tiny Political Network Shapes Israel's Policies on a Volatile City"

November 10, 2011
Lecture by Ami Pedahzur, Professor of Government and Middle Eastern Studies, and the head of the TIGER Lab (Terrorism, Insurgencies, & Guerillas in Education & Research), University of Texas, Austin.


"Sharett versus Ben-Gurion: A Reconsideration of Israel's Policy of Massive Retaliation in the 1950s."

November 8, 2011
Lecture by Michael Doran, Roger Hertog Senior Fellow at Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution.


"Women Who Make Things Happen"

October 27, 2011
Panel discussion on women who build growth businesses with Shelly Porges, senior advisor, Global Entrepreneurship Program, U.S. State Department and Dr. Liora Katzenstein, founding president of the Institute for the Study of Entrepreneurship and Management of Innovation (ISEMI), Tel Aviv. Co-sponsored by CIS and Kogod School of Business. See related article: Female Entrepreneurs as a Global Priority.


"Can the Peace Process Be Saved?"

September 22, 2011
Lecture by Israeli Major General (ret.) Danny Rothschild, followed by Q&A

Israeli Major General (ret.) Danny Rothschild is the Director of the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya and is the Chairman of the Annual Herzliya Conference Series on the Balance of Israel's National Security. During his service as Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Rothschild played a significant role in the negotiations that led to Israel's peace agreements with Jordan and with the Palestinians. Co-sponsored by CIS and the SIS International Politics Program.


An Israeli Love Story

September 13, 2011
Written by esteemed playwright Pnina Gary and starring award-winning actress Adi Bielski, An Israeli Love Story vividly captures the atmosphere of pre-state Israel, yet the play's universal themes of love and loss in a time of war remain relevant today. See also:Pnina Gary: An Israeli Love Story About Love and Israel: An Israeli Love Story


Reflections On the Eve of 9/11

September 1, 2011
A Conversation with Professors Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University and Ed Kessler, Director of Cambridge University's Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths.

See event recap: Religion and Revolution, Post-9/11.

Akbar Ahmed

Jewish/Muslim Relations: Bridging the Divide

On October 11, ABC News Nighline correspondent John Donvan moderated a discussion between AU Professor Akbar Ahmed and Senior Rabbi Bruce Lustig of Washington Hebrew Congregation on Jewish/Muslim Relations: Bridging the Divide. The discussion, in the new SIS building, attracted a standing room only crowd of over 150, and was cosponsored by the Center for Israel Studies, SIS, Muslim Student Association and Jewish Student Association. See more from the Washington Jewish Week.


Screening of Sayed Kashua's Forever Scared

Presented on October 18 at the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival with introduction by Fred Lazin, Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at American University.


India, Israel and the Wider Middle East: Squaring the Circle

With Professor P.R. Kumaraswamy
September 15

Dr. Kumaraswamy, a well-known scholar and authority on India-Israeli relations, spoke about his new book, India’s Israel Policy (Columbia University Press), and wider India/Middle East relations. The event was cosponsored by CIS and the American Jewish Committee.

Greener, Cleaner, Better: Greentech Conference

Michael Granoff

Archives from Greener, Cleaner, Better: Israeli Innovation in Greentech, including Michael Granoff keynote video and more.

See Conference Archive

SheshBesh: Cultural Respect Through Music

Distinguished ensemble SheshBesh visited from Israel to perform concert and promote cultural understanding through music.

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Watch Video

Is The American Jewish Establishment Failing Liberal Zionism?

Peter Beinart

Peter Beinart critiques an establishment that he contends is out of touch with young Jews at the Amos Perlmutter Memorial Lecture: "The Crisis of Zionism"

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Watch Video at iTunesU

Video: Integrating Israeli Arabs into High Tech

Tsofen: integrating Israeli Arabs into high tech

Video: Israeli NGO Tsofen's Chairman Dr. Ramzi Halabi and Executive Director Smadar Nehab discuss their work integrating Israel’s Arab citizens into its high tech industry and extending the benefits of these industries to Arab communities.

See Video

iTunesU Archived Event Podcasts & Video

Idan Raichel at American University: Inside the Artist's Studio

See our podcasts and videos on iTunesU.

See CIS on iTunesU

Ambassador Michael Oren

Photo: Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren

Ambassador discusses Israeli-U.S. relations in appearance sponsored by Center for Israel Studies

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Migration of Indian Jews

Photo: Maina Singh

Scholar in residence Maina Singh explores the plight of Israel’s 70,000 Indian Jews.

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