ABOUT THE INSTITUTE
The Institute for Israel Studies, which began as the Israel Studies Collaborative, was formalized in January 2015, thanks to the generous support of the Schusterman Foundation, the Israel Institute, and the Arnold S. Chaplik Professorship. We seek to be one of a handful of premier hubs for the academic study of Israeli society, culture, politics, and foreign relations.
In both our teaching program and research initiatives, we strive to reflect the richness and diversity of Israel. We offer undergraduate courses in psychology, sociology, anthropology, law, creative writing, security studies, history, and demography. Our research approach is committed to academic freedom and creativity; we encourage collaboration among individuals of varied backgrounds, interests, and experience. We believe these interactions facilitate opportunities for unique and cutting-edge projects that advance the field of Israel Studies.
In conjunction with the Schusterman Center, the Institute also offers an assortment of educational and cultural activities that engage students and faculty from across campus, in addition to cultivating connections with the Austin community. Our lecture series include well-known novelists, artists, political scientists, historians, and more. We hope to form lasting relationships and continued collaboration with our guests.
If you would like to become involved with the Institute, or if you would like more information, please contact us.
TWO NEW COURSES OFFERED SPRING 2018
We're excited to announce two new courses for the Spring 2018 semester!
Registration opens back up on January 8!
Jewish/Hebrew/Israeli Theater will be taught by Israeli actor and director, Roy Horovitz.
A Triangular Relationship: Israel, Latin America & The Jewish Diaspora will be taught by our 2017-2018 Postdoctoral Fellow, Jonathan Grossman.
POSTDOCTORAL ALUMNUS, SEBASTIAN KLOR, PUBLISHES FIRST BOOK
Sebastian Klor, post-doctoral fellow during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 academic years for the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies and the Institute for Israel Studies, has just published his first book, Between Exile and Exodus. Dr. Klor worked on the book while at SCJS, and it focuses on his research regarding Argentinian migration to Israel between 1948 and 1967. Here is a letter he wrote to SCJS and IIS, acknowledging his gratitude for our support:
“I have a huge debt to the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas, where I was a post-doctoral fellow in 2013–2015, with support from the Israel Institute. Its programs brought me into contact with accomplished scholars and students whose intellectual curiosity is unbounded. Among them is my good friend and colleague, Prof. Ami Pedahzur. I am profoundly grateful to him for supporting and encouraging me and finding the funds that allowed me to complete the manuscript. The Schusterman Center became my academic home in every sense. The intimate atmosphere that prevails there, in large measure thanks to the efforts of the senior program coordinator, Galit Pedahzur, and the scholarly energy invested in the Center’s activity provided me with the ideal conditions to write the book.”
To learn more about his fascinating research or to order the book, please go here:
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Roy Horovitz, M.A., is an Israeli actor, director, dramaturg and lecturer who will be joining the Institute for the spring 2018 semester.
Roy is a graduate of the Nisan Nativ Acting Studio, and of the Drama Department in Tel-Aviv University, where he gained an M.A. and B.A. with Distinction. He is now a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature at Bar-Ilan University, working on Biblical Israeli dramaturgy.
Over the course of his career, he has been awarded "Best Actor" at the International Children and Youth Festival, Haifa, 1997 (for "Panther in the Basement" by Amoz Oz), and again in 2011 (for "Volunteer Man"). He also won "Best Director Award", 2011, for "Pollard's Trial" (The Cameri Theatre, Tel-Aviv).
In 2012, Roy chaired the artistic committee of the International Exposure of Israeli Theatre.
Between 2011-2015, he was the artistic director of the Municipal theatre in Kiryat Shmona.
In 2016, Roy was appointed artistic director of the "Spring Festival" in Jaffa, which was dedicated to the life and work of the great Israeli author Shay Agnon, the Nobel Prize winner.
Lately, he directed "Little Gem" by Elaine Murphy for "Habima"- Israel's National Theatre, and "Certificate of Life" by Ron Elisha.
Roy is also a Member of the Theater Department of the Israeli Council for Culture and Art, a member of the Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting, a member of the Classification Committee of immigrant theater artists with the support of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and a member of the Artistic Committee of MATAN - Experimental Theater Center, with the support of the Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts.
During his time with the Institute, he will teach a course called 'Jewish/Hebrew/Israeli Theater'. He will also continue writing his dissertation for his Ph.D., performing locally and across North America, meeting great people, eating great Mexican food, and exploring the local attractions that Austin has to offer.
He will perform a play called My First Sony at the Dell Jewish Community Campus on Wednesday, March 7. You can find more details here.
Grossman is currently a doctoral fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations and a Herzl fellow at the Cherrick Center for the Study of Zionism, the Yishuv and the State of Israel. He was awarded by the Zalman Shazar Center the Jacob Katz Memorial Prize for outstanding doctoral research in Jewish History, in a ceremony that took place at the Israeli President's house. He also works at the culture section of Walla! News, one of Israel's largest and most popular web portals, where he writes literature and television reviews. His latest piece was about the new season of House of Cards!
Grossman’s research interests are the triangular relationship between Israel, the (North and Latin) American countries, and the Jewish diaspora; diaspora politics and international relations in general; Israel Studies; and Latin American history. For his next research project, he is interested in exploring the various, and possibly contested, discourses that took place among the US Jewish community in the 1970s and 1980s with regard to Israel's relationship with the Central American dictatorships, against the backdrop of the general dispute among this community over Israeli and American politics and the rise of the neoconservative movement.
During his year at UT, Grossman will teach two courses: ‘History of Israel’ in the fall and ‘A Triangular Relationship: Israel, Latin America, and the Jewish Diaspora’ in the spring. He also hopes to publish parts of his dissertation as articles and turn the whole dissertation into a book manuscript, as well as begin developing the above-mentioned research project. He is greatly looking forward to listening to live music and exploring the beautiful hill country.