Berkeley, for the first time, to host AIS conference

June 22, 2018

UC Berkeley, which launched the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies in 2013, will host the 34th annual conference of the Association for Israel Studies later this month.

“The fact that Berkeley is hosting the annual AIS conference is a testament to the leadership position this campus has achieved since the program on Israel studies was launched just six and a half years ago,” says the institute’s founding faculty director, Kenneth Bamberger, the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Professor of Law at Berkeley Law.

This year’s conference, “Israel at 70: Challenges and Opportunities,” takes place June 25 -27 at Berkeley Law. It’s the first time the conference will take place at Berkeley and only the second time it be will held in California.

More than 300 academics are expected to attend. The plenary session will honor Berkeley’s historic strength in the field of Hebrew literature, specifically recognizing the contributions of professors Chana Kronfeld and Robert Alter.

Highlights open to the public include a keynote address that examines free speech on university campuses by University of Haifa President Ron Robin, a Berkeley alum, and a concert and conversation with Israeli musicians Amos Hoffman and the Noam Lemesh Quartet at the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life.

“There was no Israel studies program just a few years ago,” says Bamberger. “Now, Berkeley has a tremendous leadership role – both nationally and internationally – in Israel studies.”