"Israel Abroad" Conference October 28-29, 2018

Buildings in east campus

Israel was founded with the mission of “ingathering of the exiles” – bringing the Jews back to their historic homeland. While in 1948 less than ten percent of the Jewish population lived in the Jewish state, sixty-six years later almost every second Jew calls Israel home. This is a remarkable achievement, which only few Zionists predicted half a century ago.

What was also unforeseen, however, is the fact that today there exists a large Israeli diaspora all over the world. The expatriate Israeli community numbers today anywhere between half a million and one million people. Some of them live permanently abroad, while others plan to return to Israel.

This is the first academic conference to focus on different communities, past and present, real and virtual, of Israelis abroad.
RSVP for conference

Conference Schedule

7:30-9:00 PM

Keynote Address by Shira Ruderman, Executive Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation, followed by panel discussion on "Preserving Israeliness for the Next Generation of Israeli-Americans," moderated by Dan Raviv, senior Washington correspondent for i24 News.

Panel Discussion:
Shira Ruderman (Ruderman Family Foundation)
Elad Strohmayer (Spokesperson, Embassy of Israel)
Ronit Gudes Totah (Former regional director of Israeli American Council)

A dessert reception will follow the discussion.

8:30 - 9:15 AM

Registration and Networking Breakfast

9:15 - 9:45 AM

Greetings, Peter Starr, Dean of College of Arts and Sciences
Introduction: From Yordim to Emigrants (Michael Brenner, American University)

9:45 - 11:30 AM

A Century of Emigration
The Jewish Emigration from Palestine, 1881-1939 (Gur Alroey, University of Haifa)
The Origins of the Israeli Diaspora (Ori Yehudai, University of Toronto)
The Size and Characteristics of Israelis Abroad (Uzi Rebhun, Hebrew University, Jerusalem and The Jewish People Policy Institute)
Respondent: Calvin Goldscheider (Brown University/AU)
Moderator: Michael Brenner (American University)

11:30 AM -12:45 PM
Lunch Break
12:45 – 2:15 PM

Israelis in the United States
Between Host Society and Country of Origin: Ethnic Identity of Second-Generation Israeli Immigrants in the US (Lilach Lev-Ari, Oranim Academic College of Education and Bar-Ilan University)
Israelis in Silicon Valley (Roni Floman, Tel Aviv)
The Israeli Palestinian Diaspora in the United States (Randa Serhan, American University)
Respondent: Pamela Nadell (American University)
Moderator: Guy Ziv (American University)

2:15 - 2:30 PM

Coffee break

2:30 - 4:00 PM

Israelis Around the World
Israel at a Crossroads: The View from 30,000 Feet (Dan Ben-David, Tel Aviv University)
Israeli Superstar Professors at American Universities(Erran Carmel, American University)
From Beaches and Bazaars to Business and Chabad Houses: Shifting Patterns among Israeli Travelers to India (Maina Singh, American University)
Berlin - The “Promised City”? (Michael Brenner, American University)

Moderator: Dan Arbell(American University/Brookings)

4:00 - 4:15 PM
Coffee break
4:15 - 5:30 PM

Israeli Writers in the United States
Round Table Discussion with Ruby Namdar, Maya Arad, Shelly Oria
Moderator: Lauren Strauss (American University)

6:30 - 8:00 PM

“Israelis in Africa” discussion with African and Israeli diplomats at the Mission of the African Union, Washington, DC. Space limited - By Private Invitation to AU students, attending scholars and Friends of the Center for Israel Studies