Recorded Events

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Consolidation and Rifts in Current Israeli Society: New Findings from the Israeli Consensus Index

How has the Israel-Hamas War impacted Israeli society? Has it brought people together or deepened existing social fractures? This panel discussion will explore the findings of the recent February 2024 Israeli Consensus Index, a representative national survey that measures attitudes and relationships within the Jewish and Arab Israeli population. The panel of scholars will discuss key data results that reflect the challenges and opportunities within and across different segments of Israeli society. 

manal totry jubran

The Impact of the Israel-Hamas War on the Arab-Palestinian Community in Israel [Part I]

Legal scholar Manal Totry-Jubran (Bar Ilan University) joins Masua Sagiv to speak about the impact of the war on Arab communities in Israel, exploring issues of discrimination, rights, and remedies, and implications for the future of shared society. 

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Iran and Israel: Strategic Vision and Goals

How should we understand Iran’s evolving relationship with Israel? Where do their interests diverge and where do they clash? Please join Abbas Milani (Stanford University) and Ron Hassner (UC Berkeley) for a conversation about Iran’s vision for the region; its influence on proxy forces such as Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis; and Israel's policy towards Iran. This is the fourth in a series of talks examining Israel’s relationships with global powers. 

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Report on the Ground: Pressing Dilemmas in Wartime Israel with Haviv Rettig Gur

Returning for a fourth conversation, Times of Israel Senior Analyst Haviv Rettig Gur and Professor Kenneth Bamberger will discuss the current state of affairs four months into the Israel-Hamas war.

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Do They Really Belong? Modern Israeli "Tribes" and the Dilemma of Ex-Soviet Israelis

Larissa Remennick will compare three generations of Russian-speaking Israelis in terms of socio-economic mobility, Hebrew use and acculturation, and political and civic participation. She will discuss whether Russian-speaking Israelis continue to form a separate ethno-cultural “tribe” in the Israeli social mosaic, and if so, why they have not become an organic part of the Ashkenazi middle classes, 30+ years after their Aliyah. She will also examine the impact of the Israel-Hamas War on Russian speaking Israelis generally and specifically those who fled to Ukraine only to find themselves caught between two wars.

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Report on the Ground: Politics and Geopolitics of Wartime Israel with Haviv Rettig Gur

In their third conversation of the semester, Times of Israel Senior Analyst Haviv Rettig Gur and Professor Kenneth Bamberger will discuss the current state of affairs more than a month into the Israel-Hamas war. 

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Geopolitics, Military Strategy, and the Israel-Hamas War

Haifa University Professor Ehud Eiran, scholar of international conflict and security studies, and Professor Ron Hassner discuss the Israel-Hamas War through the lens of regional dynamics, geopolitics, and military strategy.

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Reporting in a Time of War: A Conversation with New York Times Jerusalem Correspondent Isabel Kershner

NYT Correspondent Isabel Kershner and Journalist and Stanford Professor Janine Zacharia explore this unprecedented moment in Israeli history and society, grappling with the questions it raises for Israelis and their future — what holds Israel together, what forces threaten its future, who is an Israeli?. Their conversation draws both from Isabel Kershner’s recent book, The Land of Hope and Fear: Israel’s Battle for its Inner Soul, and from recent and ongoing events of the Hamas massacre of Israeli civilians and the escalating Israel-Hamas war.

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Report on the Ground: Emergency Briefing with Haviv Rettig Gur

Times of Israel Senior Analyst Haviv Rettig Gur was joined Professor Kenneth Bamberger to provide an emergency briefing, sharing his insights on Hamas' mass attack on Israel and slaughter of Israeli civilians, how Israelis are responding, and how to interpret the escalation of war with Hamas and the national unity cabinet just created to address it.

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Israel and the Global Crisis of Liberalism

Over the past year, Israel has been in the grip of the most intense internal disagreements in the country's history. While most observers have focused on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition politics or executive-judiciary tensions to explain the crisis, Amichai Magen offers a deeper, more structural analysis of the current schism in Israeli society and politics. Like many democracies around the world, Magen argues, Israel in 2023 is confronting a crisis of liberalism. He will be in conversation with UC Berkeley Professor Ron Hassner.

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Report on the Ground: Social and Political Upheaval in Israel

Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel Senior Analyst, in conversation with Ken Bamberger, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Professor of Law. This event is first of three real-time reports will cover the upcoming legislative-judicial constitutional crisis, the latent social divides it has surfaced, and the political future.

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Panel: Social Change in Israel and the Judicial Reforms

This panel took place in Haifa, Israel on July 25, 2023, shortly after the Israeli Knesset passed legislation limiting the High Court of Israel's ability to review the “reasonableness” of government decisions. It was presented to a group of American undergraduate students completing an eight-week summer internship and study abroad program, hosted by the Helen Diller Institute and Yahel Israel.

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The Executioner's Prayer: What Evolutionary Neuroscience and Talmudic Tradition Teach Us About the Roles of Punishment in Society

It's hard to imagine a system of justice without punishments. We might think that judicial sanctions deter potential criminals, or keep offenders off the streets, or provide the "just deserts" of illegal antisocial behavior. But perhaps there’s another reason why every legal system makes use of punishment, one deeply seated in the evolution of humankind and its institutions. Considering how judicial punishment is portrayed in Biblical and Talmudic literature, and understood by evolutionary psychology, we’ll consider new directions in finding forms of punishment that might be most effective in strengthening social cohesion today.

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Little Kids, Big Ideas: What We Learn from Taking Children's Thoughts About Israel Seriously

In contrast to popular views of America's youth as naive or apathetic, this talk will illuminate how young children spend considerable time and effort thinking about big questions that matter in their communities. Even in elementary school, young children think about—and care about—the very issues that adults often assume are beyond children's reach: the intricacies of identity and belonging, and the demands of civic responsibility. Based on a nine year longitudinal study of Jewish children, this talk will illuminate how children develop big ideas about the world, and why children's ideas ought to matter for schools, communities, and society.

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The Future of Shared Society through the Lens of Religion

What is the role of religion in furthering a shared society in Israel? In this session, Tirza Kelman, Tomer Persico, and Muhammad Al-Atawneh will explore the two-sided sword of religion in relation to shared society. Moderated by Masua Sagiv, they will discuss when religion fosters shared society and when it becomes a barrier and an obstacle to that very idea. 

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Israel at 75: Reflections of a US Ambassador

A Conversation with Ambassador Daniel Shapiro hosted by Ron Hassner, Chancellor’s Professor of Political Science and Helen Diller Family Chair in Israel Studies, UC Berkeley.

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Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America

Dahlia Lithwick, one of the nation’s foremost legal commentators and a Senior Fellow at Hartman’s Kogod Research Center, tells the gripping and heroic story of the women lawyers who fought the racism, sexism, and xenophobia of Donald Trump’s presidency—and won. Masua Sagiv, Hartman Scholar in Residence, Koret Assistant Visiting Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies at UC Berkeley, and a scholar of the intersection of law, religion and gender will talk with Lithwick about her new book, Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America and what these significant political changes mean for America and for the Jewish community.

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Exploring Legal Remedies to Gender-Based Harm in Israel and the U.S.

In this workshop, four legal scholars, with expertise in different fields of law — including criminal law, constitutional law, tort law, religion and law, and gender and law — explore the intersections of their work around the formation of and advocacy for legal remedies to gender-based harm in Israel and the U.S. The scholars will engage with one another through their presentations and discussions on this theme and provide a comparative look at the Israeli and U.S. contexts.

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The Future of Shared Society in Israel through the Lens of Civil Society and Education

This event is part of a series of conversations with scholars immersed in the project of coexistence and shared society in Israel — as examined from different conceptual lenses, including law, gender, civics, education, religion, and the arts. The scholars will explore issues of social trust, public policy, and current events shaping the prospects for coexistence, and examine both opportunities for and barriers to building shared society in Israel. The first two sessions will take place in November.

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The Future of Shared Society in Israel through the Lens of Law and Gender

This event is part of a series of conversations with scholars immersed in the project of coexistence and shared society in Israel — as examined from different conceptual lenses, including law, gender, civics, education, religion, and the arts. The scholars will explore issues of social trust, public policy, and current events shaping the prospects for coexistence, and examine both opportunities for and barriers to building shared society in Israel. The first two sessions will take place in November.

yossi shain and ron hassner in conversation

The Israeli Century: How the Zionist Revolution Changed History and Reinvented Judaism

Drawing on his new book The Israeli Century, Prof. Yossi Shain examines the opportunities and challenges of Israeli sovereignty. He explores the new roles afforded to Israelis in the world but also the burdens of carrying the responsibility for the Jewish future. Yossi Shain will be joined in conversation by Prof. Ron Hassner following his presentation.

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Bodies of Empathy

How can choreography practice and inspire empathy and care? How is performance conducted with socially engaged values? In what ways do choreographers think about dance as a participatory human event approaching questions of social inclusion and exclusion? Can dance be perceived as an ethical activity, and how can it inform and foster intercultural encounters? This talk joins a larger cultural discussion exploring the role of empathy in dance while offering a perspective from the Israeli dance scene.

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Gender, Religion, and the Military in Israel

Elisheva Rosman-Stollman joins in conversation with Ronit Stahl to discuss her work on religion and gender in the Israeli military, including questions of gender equality, religious accommodation, and the legitimation of religious female soldiers.

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Reimagining Diversity and Jewish Belonging: A Journey Through Genesis

In the U.S. American context, the dominant conception of Jewish identity does not fully reckon with the diversity that exists within the Jewish people. This talk by Amanda Beckenstein Mbuvi explores that gap in conversation with the book of Genesis, highlighting the book’s potential to inform a journey to reimagining Jewish belonging in more inclusive ways.

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Controversial Issues in Citizenship Education: Insights from Israel

Public dialogue about issues of civic concern is essential to a healthy common life in any open, liberal, pluralistic, democratic society. This includes the discussion of controversial social, political, and economic policies that may cause deep divisions and over which conflicting views may be based on alternative values and methods of analysis. Indeed, with the dramatic increase of migration across the globe over recent decades, the very idea of who should be afforded citizens’ rights, including the right to participate in the public discourse of a democracy, has become one such controversial issue.

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Sex Segregation in Israel: Between Gender, Law, and Religion

Yofi Tirosh (Associate Professor, Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law; former Dean of Sapir Academic College School of Law) will join in conversation with Michael Helfand (Vice Dean for Faculty and Research, Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law) to discuss her work on sex segregation in Israeli society, including in academia, and the appropriate balance between religious accommodation and sex equality.

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Bad News: How Woke Media Undermines Democracy

Conversation between Batya Ungar-Sargon, Deputy Opinion Editor of Newsweek, and Ethan Katz, Professor of History, UC Berkeley, as they dive into complex and controversial issues -- raised by Ungar-Sargon’s new book -- about American journalism and its role in shaping race, class, religion, and culture in America. Seeking to hold both the Left and the Right accountable, Batya takes issue with the “woke” media and the ways it has led the American public astray.

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Libitzky Lecture on Israel and the Great Powers: Israel and Russia

Anna Borshchevskaya, Senior Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, joins Professor Ron Hassner, the Helen Diller Family Chair in Israel Studies at UC Berkeley, for a conversation exploring Israel’s relationship with Russia and what this might mean for geopolitics as we know it. This is the second in a series of talks examining Israel’s relationships with global powers.

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Reconstructing the Civic: Palestinian Civil Activism in Israel

Amal Jamal (Professor of Political Science, Head of Walter Lebach Institute for the Study of Jewish-Arab Coexistence, Tel Aviv University) in conversation with Daniel Zoughbie (Associate Project Scientist, Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley) about his new book Reconstructing the Civic: Palestinian Civil Activism in Israel (SUNY Press, 2020).

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The New Governing Coalition and Shifts in Israeli Society

Janine Zacharia moderates a lively discussion—with Rami Zeedan, Tal Schneider, and Noah Efron—about the current government and its very broad coalition, the challenges and opportunities this arrangement has created, some reflections to date on mistakes and successes, and a significant engagement with the shifts in Israeli society that are reflected through this new governing coalition.

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A Multicultural Entrapment: Religion & State among the Palestinian-Arabs in Israel

Michael Karayanni, (Bruce W. Wayne Chair in International Law, Hebrew University Faculty of Law) in conversation with Masua Sagiv (Koret Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley; Shalom Hartman Institute; Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law) about his new book A Multicultural Entrapment: Religion & State among the Palestinian-Arabs in Israel (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

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The Current Crisis in Israel

The Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies presents a conversation with Professor Chuck Freilich. Author of Zion's Dilemmas: How Israel Makes National Security Policy (2012), and Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change (2018); Former Deputy National Security Adviser in Israel; Senior Fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center.

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The Helen Diller Institute 10th Anniversary Naming Ceremony

The Helen Diller Institute celebrated its 10th Anniversary on April 22, 2021. Justice Dorit Beinisch, the first woman to serve as President of the Israeli Supreme Court and the first woman State Attorney of Israel, was joined in conversation by Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law. Welcome Remarks by Carol Christ, Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley.

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“PREMIER” Dance Performance and Insights

"Premier” is a solo dance choreographed by Elad Schechter, founder and principal choreographer of CATAMON, for Rand Zeid Taha, a Jerusalem born Palestinian dancer. This inter-religious and intercultural dialogue through dance negotiates the sociopolitical tensions and rifts evoked by east/west Jerusalem through the expressive forms of dance and movement. This is a recording of a livestreamed presentation of the Helen Diller Institute for Jewlish Law and Israel Studies on April 6, 2021 in partnership with c.a.t.a.m.o.n. Dance Group in Jerusalem, the Murray Galinson San Diego Israel Inititative, The Peleh Fund, the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice and the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Artists’ conversation facilitated by Dr. Melissa Melpignano.

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Let the Creators Sing: Informing Democracy Indices with Israeli Creators' Voices

Walk with me down the stone steps to the bomb shelter door. Evaluation of freedom of expression is more effectively understood here – in underground bomb-shelter-turned-art-galleries, basement podcast studios, recondite art centers, and underground film archives–than in university buildings, Whitehall, or glass walled think tank offices. Democracy Indices’ (DI) freedom of expression metric should be more carefully interpreted and consider the inclusion of creators’ voices. Creators are visual artists, filmmakers, podcasters, and digital artists, who make a living from these pieces of work. This talk looks at Israeli creators in particular, and is drawn from a larger project that measures creator freedom of expression in five countries two established democracies, United States and United Kingdom, Mexico, Israel, and Russia. The paper uses mixed methods including, survey, interviews, and case studies, to demonstrate that, without these voices, DI’s freedom of expression metric cannot depict an accurate ranking of democracies.

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Comparative Elections: What Happens when the System Fails? Israel and Greece

Israel and Greece both have coalition governments that have struggled to come together, resulting in four recent elections in both countries. Please join Dr. Roy Peled (Koret Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley) and Dr. Ioannis N. Grigoriadis (Associate Professor at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey) in a comparative discussion of Israeli and Greek elections and electoral systems. Professors Peled and Grigoriadis will discuss the transition from old political lines to new ones, public confidence in electoral systems, and the impact of corruption.

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Jewish Law for the Digital Age

Does Jewish law speak to the most important issues of our day? Drawing on Judaism’s millennia-old jurisprudence of radical relevance in the face of change, Professors Ken Bamberger and Ariel Mayse make the counterintuitive argument that Jewish law’s millennia-old approach to surveillance, communication, and information collection, sharing, and use, offer missing frameworks for the struggle to protect privacy in an age of big data.

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Cyber-Hate: Defining and Combating Antisemitism and Hate Online (Part 1)

This symposium will explore the phenomenon of cyber-hate. What are the key issues and manifestations? What are the appropriate responses to online hate? What are the frameworks available — legal, social, technological — and possible constraints to responding? How do we evaluate the success of various solutions? This first session defines the scope of the problem of cyber-hate and its manifestations, with a particular focus on religion, race, and gender.

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Cyber-Hate: Defining and Combating Antisemitism and Hate Online (Part 2)

This symposium explores the phenomenon of cyber-hate. What are the key issues and manifestations? What are the appropriate responses to online hate? What are the frameworks available — legal, social, technological — and possible constraints to responding? How do we evaluate the success of various solutions? In this session, we look at remedies and responses, discussing the legal, social, and technological frameworks and constraints for responding to online hate.

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Was the Biblical Joseph on the Spectrum?

Professor Samuel J. Levine, Professor of Law and Director, Jewish Law Institute, Discussant: Professor Stephen Rosenbaum, Frank C. Newman Lecturer at Berkeley Law; Visiting Researcher Scholar (Disability Studies), Othering and Belonging Institute

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Lessons Learned from Football Players and Epilepsy to Understand Brain Aging

As our brains age, we become more forgetful, more tired and less able to do the cognitive gymnastics of our youth. But what if we could stop the brain from aging? My lab, in collaboration with the lab of Dr. Alon Friedman from Ben Gurion University of the Negev has discovered one of the biological pathways that lead to age-related cognitive decline. It all comes down to the blood-brain barrier, a membrane that separates the brain from blood circulating in the rest of the body. When it gets disrupted - due to trauma or age – blood proteins leak through that can wreak havoc in the brain. Our study identifies dysfunction in the blood brain barrier as one of the earliest triggers of neurological aging and demonstrates that the aging brain may retain considerable latent capacity, which can be revitalized. In this talk I will be presenting data from experiments in mice and humans that explain the link between blood-brain barrier disruption and declining cognitive function. I will also present new work showing how even very old brains can be made young again.

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Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960’s

Marc Dollinger joins us to share the story of Black and Jewish relations from the Civil Rights Era alliances to Black Lives Matter today. Undermining widely held beliefs about Black-Jewish relations, Dollinger describes a new political consensus, based on identity politics, that drew Blacks and Jews together and altered the course of American liberalism and discusses the challenges that remain today.

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Israeli Women in Combat

Professor Ayelet Harel-Shalev draws on interviews with 100 women military veterans about their experiences in combat. Focusing on women in the Israeli Defense Forces, she provides different perspectives about what their experiences teach us, why such research is important, and how to consider soldiers and veterans both as citizens and as violent state actors—an issue with which scholars are often reluctant to engage.

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Mizrahi Identity in the US

There are over 300,000 Jews of Mizrachi and Sephardic descent living in the United States these days; however, their role in the American Jewish community is rarely discussed. Join us for a lively panel on the visibility of Mizrachi American Jews and where they fall in the contemporary discussions surrounding intersectionality, Jewish religious identity, and American Jewish inter-community divides.

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Renewable Energy Revolution under Conditions of Geopolitical Conflict: The Case of the Gaza Strip

The transition toward renewable energy is one of the keys to mitigating climate change. Professor Fishhendler will discuss how conditions of acute interstate conflict shadowed by geopolitical forces shape the deployment of renewables. He will share the case of the Gaza Strip, where despite the conditions of deep poverty and pervasive conflict, the region has become a leader in renewable energy.

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The Yemenite Children Affair

Between 1948-1951, nearly fifty thousand Yemenite Jews immigrated to Israel. Following an arduous journey, the dire conditions in the transit camps, and general poor health, many perished, including many children. Rumors spread in Israel that many of those assumed dead were actually kidnapped and adopted by Ashkenazi families. Four inquiry commissions between 1967 to 2019 found no evidence of such wrongdoing. Nevertheless, the rumors continued as did public outcry. In 2016, the Israel State archive made accessible online the more than 300,000 documents collected by the inquiry commissions. Dov Levitan will give the historical background to the rise and spread of the kidnapping claims. Roy Peled will describe how the opening of the archive had different and contradictory effects on the public debate surrounding the affair.

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Diaspora-Israel Relations and the U.S. Presidential Elections

David Horovitz, founding editor of The Times of Israel joins us as the Morton and Amy Friedkin Scholar-in-Residence. In conversation with Sue Fishkoff, he will reflect on the potential ramifications of the U.S. presidential elections on diaspora-Israel relations and U.S.-Israel bilateral relations. He will also address other hot topics in the media as well as the role of The Times of Israel, as an English language newspaper, in covering the news in Israel.

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Reconsidering the Druze Narrative in the Wake of the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People

Rami Zeedan examines the recent passage of Israel's Nation State Basic Law and it's implications on the Druze population in Israel

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What Can Theater Teach Us in Times of Crisis and Transformation?

Sharon Aronson Lehavi and Dan Shifrin examine the role theater plays in times of crisis and transformation, drawing on the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Comparative Election Law: Israel and the US

In the last year, Israel has had not one, but three elections. As the United States approaches its own election next month, Roy Peled (Koret Visiting Professor in Israel Studies) and Jay Footlik, (Special Assistant to President Clinton in the White House) will compare and contrast the Israel's system with the United States', touching on topics such as procedural fairness, inclusion, and equality.

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Meet Me in the Market: Live Dance Performance from Jerusalem

In 1962 Jackie Kennedy invited the world on a tour of the white house. In this performance, just like she did then, Jackie Kennedy (played by Ori Lenkinski) invites the world via camera lens, on a tour of Mahane Yehuda market — a site which is, like her, rich in history, secrets and life. This show was exclusively live-streamed for the Berkeley Institute as part of the c.a.t.a.m.o.n. (Jerusalem-based dance company) “Jaffa to Agripas” festival. 

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Libitzky Lecture on Israel and the Great Powers: Israel and China

Israel Institute Visiting Professor Ehud Eiran (Haifa University) joins Professor Ron Hassner, the Helen Diller Family Chair in Israel Studies, for a conversation exploring Israel's new alliance with China and what this might mean for geopolitics as we know it.

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Ethnic Minorities and the Army: The Case of Minorities in the IDF

This public lecture, drawn from Rami Zeedan's book, Battalion of Arab: The History of the Minorities' Unit in the IDF from 1948 to 1956, examines the establishment, and the history of, the Minorities' Unit in the IDF. It examines the process that led to the recruitment of the Bedouins, Circassians and Druze into the IDF during the 1948 War and presents the activities of the Minorities' Unit in the 1948 War.

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The "Berkeley School" of Hebrew Literature

A Conversation with Chana Kronfeld and Yael Segalovitz

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Free Speech on University Campuses in an Age of Uncertainty: AIS Keynote Address

In this keynote address for Association for Israel Studies conference, Ron Robin addresses free speech concerns on university campuses in the age of uncertainty. 

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The Boundaries of Judaism

The factionalism and denominationalism of modern Jewry makes it supremely difficult to create a definition of the Jewish people. Instead of serving as a uniting force around which community is formed, Judaism has itself become a source of divisions. Consequently, attempts to identify beliefs or practices essential for membership in the Jewish people are almost doomed to failure. Aiming to go beyond the divisions that characterize modern Jewry, this talk will explore the ever contentious question of “who is a Jew.” Through a historical survey of the shifting boundaries of Jewish identity and deviance over time, this talk will provide new insights into how Jewish law over the centuries has erected boundaries to govern and maintain the collective identity of the Jewish people and will discuss creating a structure of boundaries relevant for contemporary Jewish existence.

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The US–Israel Relationship Under President Donald Trump

In the first year of his administration, President Trump has met with key Middle East leaders, imposed additional sanctions on Iranian officials, set a new tone for the U.S. role at the UN, and, most recently, made the unprecedented decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Dennis Ross explores how these tactical moves affect the U.S.–Israel relationship and what else may be in store for American policy toward Israel and her neighbors this coming year.

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Israeli Artists in Conversation with Israel: Performances

This conference brings Israeli scholars and artists together to examine critical issues in Israeli society through the arts. Drawing on music, film, theater, dance, and visual culture, the conference will focus on the meeting and mixing between social groups, identities, and art forms. The participants will engage with each other and the audience through discussions and performances to explore how the arts express and shape Israel today.

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Israeli Artists in Conversation with Israel: Panel 1, The State of the Arts

This conference brings Israeli scholars and artists together to examine critical issues in Israeli society through the arts. Drawing on music, film, theater, dance, and visual culture, the conference will focus on the meeting and mixing between social groups, identities, and art forms. The participants will engage with each other and the audience through discussions and performances to explore how the arts express and shape Israel today.

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Israeli Artists in Conversation with Israel: Panel 2, Israel between Cultures

This conference brings Israeli scholars and artists together to examine critical issues in Israeli society through the arts. Drawing on music, film, theater, dance, and visual culture, the conference will focus on the meeting and mixing between social groups, identities, and art forms. The participants will engage with each other and the audience through discussions and performances to explore how the arts express and shape Israel today.

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Israeli Artists in Conversation with Israel: Panel 3, Eyal and Sharon

This conference brings Israeli scholars and artists together to examine critical issues in Israeli society through the arts. Drawing on music, film, theater, dance, and visual culture, the conference will focus on the meeting and mixing between social groups, identities, and art forms. The participants will engage with each other and the audience through discussions and performances to explore how the arts express and shape Israel today.

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Israeli Artists in Conversation with Israel: Panel 4, Religion, Gender, and Sexuality

This conference brings Israeli scholars and artists together to examine critical issues in Israeli society through the arts. Drawing on music, film, theater, dance, and visual culture, the conference will focus on the meeting and mixing between social groups, identities, and art forms. The participants will engage with each other and the audience through discussions and performances to explore how the arts express and shape Israel today.

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Israeli Artists in Conversation with Israel: Panel 5, Nelly and Gannit

This conference brings Israeli scholars and artists together to examine critical issues in Israeli society through the arts. Drawing on music, film, theater, dance, and visual culture, the conference will focus on the meeting and mixing between social groups, identities, and art forms. The participants will engage with each other and the audience through discussions and performances to explore how the arts express and shape Israel today.

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Israeli Artists in Conversation with Israel: Panel 6, Art and Technology

This conference brings Israeli scholars and artists together to examine critical issues in Israeli society through the arts. Drawing on music, film, theater, dance, and visual culture, the conference will focus on the meeting and mixing between social groups, identities, and art forms. The participants will engage with each other and the audience through discussions and performances to explore how the arts express and shape Israel today.

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Book Talk: Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City

This conference brings Israeli scholars and artists together to examine critical issues in Israeli society through the arts. Drawing on music, film, theater, dance, and visual culture, the conference will focus on the meeting and mixing between social groups, identities, and art forms. The participants will engage with each other and the audience through discussions and performances to explore how the arts express and shape Israel today.

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Threats to Democracy in Israel

Itzhak Galnoor is the Herbert Samuel Professor of Political Science (Emeritus) at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Academic Director of the "State Responsibility and the Limits of Privatization" project at the Chazan Center for Social Justice at the Jerusalem Van Leer Institute. In this lecture, Professor Galnoor will follow the uneven path of Israel’s democratic development, asking questions such as: While the rules of the game have been observed—fair elections, orderly change of regime, independent judiciary, pluralistic party system, free speech—why have the democratic values underlying them not become axiomatic? What explains the decline in public trust? Do the changes in political practices, such as the emergence of an autonomous civil society, indicate where Israeli democracy is heading? What are the implications for Israel’s democracy of the inability to cope with major problems—security; the status of the Arab citizens in Israel; socio-economic gaps and inequality; and state and religion? Is there a danger to democracy in Israel? How to build an enduring trust in democracy among young people?

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American Judaism 2016: From Theory to Practice and Back

This lecture will explore American Judaism from Chancellor Eisen's unique vantage point as a leading scholar of the subject who currently heads one of the community's major institutions. He will argue, on the basis of both his scholarship and experience, that theory - i.e. Ideology, belief - are much less important to the success of American Judaism than institutions such as synagogues, schools, and camps. In his chosen term: community is key. He will also try to make the case, however - basing himself on the writings of Heschel and Kaplan - that Meaning is also crucial, and at hte end of the day American Jews must be convinced that Judaism adds a degree of Meaning to their lives - significance; values; Truth - available nowhere else. He will provide several examples of that such Meaning might be.

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A Look in the Mirror: Reflections on the Social and Economic Issues Facing Israel Today

Avi Weiss will provide critical background information about the state of Israel’s society and economy. This briefing will explore issues such as the education system, the future of the Israeli labor market, the high cost of living, and the socioeconomic status of minorities such as the ultra-Orthodox, Arab Israelis, and Ethiopian Israelis. 

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Israel at a Major Crossroad: Challenges and Opportunities

The state of Israel is one of a complexity of paradoxes. It is a center of exciting innovations with Silicon Vady, which is second only to Silicon Valley, while at the same time, it has regions of underdevelopment. Its ideology emphasizes equality and fairness, yet it has rising levels of inequality. It is a center of liberalism, coexisting with conservatism, and tensions between Jews and Arabs, and secular and religious forces. Prof. Braverman will identify the sources of tension and social unrest, as well as the choices Israel must make, and present alternative, which will promote tolerance, economic concrete possibilities for enhanced collaboration between California and Israel.

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Building the Solar Revolution in Frontier Economies

Yosef Abramowitz is the Co-founder of the Arava Power Company and now serves as CEO and President of Energiya Global. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Public Policy from Boston University, and a Master of Arts in Magazine Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1991. Mr. Abramovitz became a major social and environmental entrepeneur and was named one of the top six Green Pinoeers worldwide by CNN. He will join us for a talk on Israel’s “solar revolution” and discuss questions of sustainable development.

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The Failures of Ethics: Confronting the Holocaust, Genocide, and Other Mass Atrocities

Defined by the intention to encourage human action that fits sound understanding about what is right and wrong, just and unjust, good and evil, virtuous and corrupt, ethics is arguably a civilization’s keystone. At best, ethics emphasizes careful deliberation about the difference between right and wrong, encouragement not to be indifferent toward that difference, cultivation of virtuous character, and action that defends what is right and resists what is wrong. With those themes forming the context, Jonathan Roth will grapple with what he calls failures of ethics. His talk will emphasize that the Holocaust did not have to happen — nor did any other genocide or mass atrocity. Such disasters have emerged from human choices and decisions. That fact suggests that nothing human, natural, or divine guarantees respect for the ethical values and commitments that are most needed in contemporary human existence, but nothing is more important than our commitment to deferent them, for they remain as fundamental as they are fragile, as precious as they are endangered. Ethics may not be enough. It may be what the poet William Stafford calls the “forlorn cause”. Nevertheless, ethics remains and persists. An irreplaceable safeguard, it still possesses the indispensable corrective for its own failures.

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Ethnic and Religious Diversity in Israel

Calvin Goldscheider will outline some of the major changes in Israeli society emergent in the 21st century. These include shifts in the ethnic composition of the population, increases in economic and social inequality, and conspicuous religious conflicts. We shall consider the ideological background to these changes, the relative assimilation of Jewish ethnic and Arab populations in Israel, patterns of educational attainment and social class, and the question of political priorities in the distribution of resources. An evaluation of current patterns is examined in the context of historical changes in Israel and as a basis for assessing future trajectories.

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From Secular Judaism to Jewish Renewal in Israel

Dr. Ruth Calderon, Talmudic Scholar, Founder of ALMA Home for Hebrew Culture, Former Member of Knesset (2013–2015), Shalom Hartman Faculty Member

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Israel Facing a Changing Middle East

Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., former President of Tel Aviv University, and President of the Israel Institute.

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Diaspora and Group Rights: The Jewish Constitutional Moment

This talk explores a titanic clash — a moment of constitutive politics — among Jews in America a century ago. Fundamental questions about group identity and interests were up for grabs: What did it mean to be both an American and a Jew? Was Jewishness solely a private faith or did it impress on claims to group rights? Lawyers played a critical role in the battle over the politics and meaning of Jewishness — as founders of the first national Jewish organizations, as wordsmiths and public intellectuals, and as authority figures and enthno-cultural heroes. Prof. Forbath elaborates on lawyers’ hammering out of the basic terms of Jewish belonging and apartness in twentieth-century America and explores the kind of constitutional settlement they reached. Prof. William Forbath focuses on U.S. and comparative constitutional law, and constitutional history and theory. His books include Law and the Shaping of the American Labor Movement and The Constitution of Opportunity (co-authored with Joseph Fishkin and forthcoming in 2016). Most recently, Prof. Forbath has written on Jews, law and identity politics in the early twentieth century. Forbath is on the boards of several local and international public interest and human rights organizations.

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Identity Inside Israel and Out: A Conversation Through Movement

Dance performance at UC Berkeley Hillel on November 5, 2015 featuring the Miriam Engel-Angela Dance Company and Berkeley Hillel's own Leah Kahn! The Miriam Engel-Angela Dance Company, will perform “De-parts” a contemporary dance piece that relates to the connection between identity and land. Miriam Engel is an experienced dancer, choreographer and passionate teacher. In 2012, she founded her own company and dance school in Jerusalem, Angela Dance Company and Merhav Mechol (Dance Space). As artistic director, she creates works that are characterized by a personal, colorful and unique language and design, based on both modern techniques and theatrical methods. On stage, Miriam creates a fantastical world of physicality and emotional depth. Leah Kahn is the Senior Jewish Educator at Berkeley Hillel and a dancer and performer. While living in Jerusalem, she danced in the Merhav Mechol ensemble, under the direction of Miriam Engel. In the Bay Area, she recently appeared in “Empty Spaces” with Rogelio Lopez & Dancers and is currently dancing in a site specific piece about climate change by Nina Haft, which will premiere in May 2016.

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Reflections on the Legacy of Nuremberg: The 70th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials - Part 3

History, Memory, and Morality: Revisiting the Holocaust and Nuremberg through the Lens of Today

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Reflections on the Legacy of Nuremberg: The 70th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials - Part 2

Where Were the Jews at Nuremberg? Rethinking the Roles of Victims and Perpetrators in Trials of the Holocaust

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Between Honor and Authenticity: Zionism as Theodor Herzl's Life Project

In 1895, Zionism became the latest manifestation of Theodor Herzl’s ongoing project to attain both honour and authenticity. The very act of striving towards these two affective states, overlapping yet at times contradictory, fueled Herzl’s Zionist passion and sustained him through the nine years during which he irrevocably transformed the Jewish world. 

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Jews and Judaism in France

Chief Rabbi of Aix-En Provence Grand Rabbin d’Aix en Provence, Daniel Dahan, spoke about the current status of Jews and Judaism in France. The lecture was sponsored by the Robbins Collection and the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies. Rabbi Dahan is the author of Agounot: Les Femmes Entravées.

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Jewish Songlines: Judeo-Spanish and Yiddish Music and Dance

Yiddish music and dance performance with Esti Kenan-Ofri (Israel) and Michael Alpert.

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Like Dreamers: What I learned about Israel’s Left-Right Divide

Yossi Klein Halevi, Journalist and Author, Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute; Former Contributing Editor at The New Republic; Chairman of Open House

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The Private Sphere as Public Policy: A Symposium on Law and Society in Israel

Hila Shamir, Associate Professor, Buchman Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University

Ori Aronson, Assistant Professor, Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law

Shira Offer, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bar-Ilan University

Avishai Benish, Assistant Professor, Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Still Playing by the Rules: Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel

The widespread belief about the deep divide between Israel’s Arab and Jewish citizens is that an explosion is imminent. The Arabs are a minority in Israel but a majority in the region. As non-Zionists, they reject Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. They are the victims of discrimination in government policy, the labor market, and the Jewish sector’s attitude toward them. Their leaders campaign on behalf of the Palestinians and fight to alter the Jewish character of the State.

The Jews are being swept toward religion and the political right and are becoming more and more racist toward the Arabs–who are themselves becoming more radicalized. The State cuts services and funding, conducts an occupation, and carries out hostile operations against Arab and Muslim actors in the region, relentlessly amplifying the alienation of its Arab citizens.

But is this the true story? If it is, why do the calm and stability persist? Why is there nearly no violence pitting Arab citizens against Jewish citizens and the State, in contrast to the uncontrolled and harsh conflict being waged on the other side of the Green Line? Why doesn’t either of the sides change the rules?

In this talk Prof. Smooha paints a complex picture of how Jewish and Arab citizens view the State and each other and sheds light on many complicated issues of coexistence in Israel.

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Piyyut: Hebrew Poetry and World Music

The program includes words by Professor Robert Alter, and a performance of traditional and contemporary musical interpretations by Schusterman Visiting Artist Yair Harel and the Ensemble Tafillalt (Jerusalem).

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Maimonides on Mourning: Jewish Law and Emotion

Prof. Moshe Halbertal, Gruss Professor of Law, New York University; Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute

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The Future of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

Abe Sofaer, George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy and National Security Affairs, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Former Legal Advisor, U.S. Department of State Former Federal Judge; Former Egypt-Israel Negotiator

Janine Zacharia, Former Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Washington Post; Former Washington Bureau Chief, Jerusalem Post; Carlos Kelly McClatchy Visiting Lecturer, Department of Communication, Stanford University.

Moderated by Mark Yudof, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law, Former UC President

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Israeli and Palestinian Waterways Conference at UC Berkeley: Keynote Speech

A Green Bridge over Troubled Waters: The Kidron Valley/Wadi El Nar River Basin Project and the Possibilities for Israeli-Palestinian Environmental Collaboration

Glenn Yago, Senior Director, Milken Institute Israel Center; Senior Fellow/Founder, Financial Innovations Labs

Introduction by Gillian Lester, Acting Dean, UC Berkeley School of Law

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Israeli and Palestinian Waterways Conference at UC Berkeley: Opening Remarks and Panel 1

Historical Formations: The Law and Politics of Water Since the British Mandate

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Covering Israel: A Reporter's Notebook

Presentation by Janine Zacharia, Former Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Washington Post; Former Washington Bureau Chief, Jerusalem Post; Carlos Kelly McClatchy Visiting Lecturer, Department of Communication, Stanford University.

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Reporting Israel: the Personal, the Political and the Press

Ha'aretz's editor-in-chief Aluf Benn visits CAL to discuss the peace negotiations, Obama and Netanyahu's relationship, the implications of a nuclear Iran, the civil war in Syria, the state of the press in Israel, how the American press treats Israel and the biggest misperceptions Americans have about Israel and the Middle East.

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My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

In this lecture, Ari Shavit discusses the writing of his book, how Israel has arrived to what he describes as a critical moment in its existence, and how the choices that Israel makes will shape what lies ahead.