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Center for Israel Studies | 2015-16 News Archive


Center for Israel Studies
Battelle Tompkins, Room T39

Center for Israel Studies
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016

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.

Read about the series: Empanadas and Diplomacy: Uruguay Embassy Event Kicks off "Global Israel" Series.

February 29, 2016 Embassy of India
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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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The Secular-Religious Divide in Israel

April 14, 2016

The Center for Israel Studies hosted Ben-Gurion University Professor Guy Ben-Porat for an intimate lunch session with students. Professor Ben-Porat discussed his latest book on the secular/ religious divide in Israel.

“Home and Wandering” in the Fiction of Eshkol Nevo

April 6, 2016

The Center for Israel studies welcomed one of Israel’s most acclaimed writers, Eshkol Nevo, who discussed the themes of, “home” and “wandering” in his latest books, Neuland and Homesick. Nevo addressed an existential dilemma of Jewish history: the conflict between exile and home. Remarks were followed by a discussion and Q&A with Professor Michael Brenner and the audience, and a book-signing reception.  

Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands

April 4, 2016

Senior journalist with the Israeli news outlet Yediot, Ahronot, Ben-Dror Yemini discussed, “Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands.”


"From Hunted Revolutionary to Peace-Making Statesman: Why Did Menachem Begin Leave no Political Heirs?"

March 28

The School of Public Affairs and the Center for Israel Studies welcomed Israeli academic and public intellectual Daniel Gordis to give the prestigious Amos Perlmutter Lecture, named for a longtime political advisor to the Israeli government, and beloved SPA professor of political science from 1972 until his death in 2001. During the lecture, Gordis talked about the way current leaders of Israel lack Menachem Begin’s hopeful vision, despite the fact that they frequently invoke the late prime minister’s name. Gordis called Begin a “unique figure who did not leave any political heirs.”

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"The Struggle for Israel 1917-1947" with Bruce Hoffman and Benny Morris

March 15, 2016

How did the State of Israel come into being? What role did violence play in the emergence of the Jewish state? Two leading experts on the origins of Israel discussed the pre-1948 foundations of Israel. Bruce Hoffman is the director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the United States Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center. His recent book, Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947, investigates the right-wing Irgun and Lehi movements and their struggle for independence. Benny Morris is a professor in the Middle East Studies department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and currently the Goldman Visiting Israeli Professor in Georgetown University's Department of Geovernment. His books The Origins of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 and 1948: A History of the First Israeli-Arab War are considered the authoritative writings on the birth of Israel and its ensuing conflicts.

View Event Video.


Performance of "Promised Land"

March 2, 2016

The Center for Israel Studies and Department of Performing Arts hosted a stripped-down Mosaic Theater Company production of "Promised Land", created by the youth ensemble of Habimah, Israel's national theater. The play chronicles the waves of Sudanese refugees who crossed the desert to enter Israel legally and illegally, finding themselves stranded in a drama of relocation and displacement. The show was followed by a discussion with Mosaic Theater artistic director Ari Roth, the actors, Israeli director and Visiting Israeli Artist Sinai Peter, and AU student Dau Doldol '18, a refugee from the region. 


Young Israel on Stage

February 28, 2016

What is it like to try to be a "normal" twenty-something in the midst of war and uncertainty? Department of Performing Arts students sought answers to this question as they performed excerpts of The Guide to the Good Life, an edgy, contemporary Israeli play by Yael Ronen. Following the scenes the audience was treated to a showing of Operation Grandma, an Israeli cult comedy about the military and kibbutz life, directed by Dror Shaul. The evening ended with a discussion with "Young Israel on Stage" directors Sinai Peter (Visiting Israeli artist) and Caleen Jennings (Department of Performing Arts), Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies Michael Brenner, and Maya Cohen (Embassy of Israel). The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Israel Studies and Department of Performing Arts. 


Screening of The Wonders

February 10, 2016

CIS hosted a screening of The Wonders (112 min, in Hebrew with English Subtitles) by Avi Nesher, recognized as one of Israel's all-time greatest filmmakers. 


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.

View Event Photo Album.

View Event Video.

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Fall 2016 Focus on Israel-Europe Connection

This September, the Center for Israel Studies will pivot its attention to the relationship between Israel and Europe. Michael Brenner, Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies, will teach a new course on “Europe and Israel”.

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