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Battelle Tompkins, Room T39

Center for Israel Studies 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016-8038 United States

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"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 p.m.

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.

9:15-9:45 a.m.

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


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)
Respondent: Calvin Goldscheider (Brown University/AU)
Moderator: Michael Brenner (American University)

11:30 - 12:45 p.m.
Lunch break
12:45–2:15 p.m.

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)


Coffee break


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

Coffee break

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


“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