Lectures and Workshops

The CIS facilitates research by undergraduate and graduate students and by diverse faculty in the various fields of Israel Studies, and collaborates with other Binghamton programs and centers, as well as with the Trans-disciplinary Areas of Expertise.



Dr. Ilai Saltzman: “Israel-China Relationship in the Shadow of Great Power Competition”

Please join us for catered lunch and a short talk and discussion 
Monday 13 March
Noon - 1 pm
LT 1310 Judaic Studies Seminar Room (Library Tower 13th Floor)

Register Here, spots are limited

For the past few decades, China-Israel diplomatic, economic, and technological relations have changed dramatically. Israel sought to enhance its ties with  China, a major actor with an increasingly global footprint, in search of promising new and formidable markets for its goods and innovative technology. This ongoing effort holds much promise for Israel but also involves myriad challenges too, especially in the context of US-Israel relations. The talk will contextualize Israel’s objectives and present its limitations.  

Dr. Ilai Saltzman is the Israel Institute Professor of Israel Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park. His scholarship and teaching focus on international security, Israeli foreign and security policy, US foreign policy, and political psychology. Dr. Saltzman is the author of Securitizing Balance of Power Theory: A Polymorphic Reconceptualization (2012). He is also the author of numerous scholarly articles and book chapters, and of commentaries in the Los Angeles Times, Ha’aretz, The Jerusalem Post, and other prominent outlets. Dr. Saltzman earned his Ph.D. in International Relations in 2010 from the University of Haifa, and was a postdoctoral research fellow at the International Security Program (ISP), Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2010-2011).

FALL 2022

Center for Israel Studies invites you to the screening of "SHALAL: A REEL WAR and Q&A with Director Karnit Mandel"
Tuesday| Nov 8, 2022| 5 p.m. | FA 258

Sponsored and organised by the Center for Israel Studies and Judaic Studies Department

While searching in an Israeli archive, a hardheaded filmmaker stumbles across film reels from a long-lost PLO archive seized by Israel in the 1982 Lebanon war.  

As never-before-seen footage of Palestinians is revealed, she begins to wonder what is so dangerous in it that it requires hiding.

The more she uncovers about the content of the films, the more she comes into conflict with the bureaucracy of Israel’s defense apparatus, which denies possessing additional footage. Will she be able to wrestle back any of this untold history, or will the reels forever remain buried?

shalal a reel war


Reuven Abergel presents:
“Darkness in the Holy Land: The Israeli Black Panthers’ Struggle For Human Rights and Against Racism” 
Thursday| 24 March, 2022| 4:30 p.m. | LN 2200

Sponsored and organised by the Center for Israel Studies, Judaic Studies Department and MENA


Reuven Abergel was a co-founder of the Israeli Black Panthers in the 1970’s and co-author of the Israeli Black Panther Haggadah. 
The Haggadah talks about “the pain, discrimination, and oppression that we were subjected to as part of Israel's policy of separation between Jews from Muslim countries and Jews from Eastern Europe.”

Mr. Abergel will speak about the Black Panther uprising in Israel and its continuing relevance today, about anti-Mizrahi racism in Israel/Palestine and its relationship to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Yehonatan Indursky: " The Making of Shtisel"
Wednesday | March 24, 2022 | 4:00 p.m. 

Cornell’s Jewish Studies Program, Department of Near Eastern Studies, the Center for Israel Studies, and Judaic Studies Department at Binghamton University will co-sponsor the visit of Yehonnatan Indursky, the writer and creator of the award-winning TV show Shtisel.

shtisel program

FALL 2019

CIS Simulation: "Deal of the Century" in Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

Sponsored by Israel Institute Support for CIS

Please join the Center for Israel Studies for a Simulation of the so-called "Deal of the Century" and Israel-Palestine negotiations, directed by Dr. Ilai Saltzman.

Students will be divided into small working groups (e.g., Palestinian Authority, Israeli Government, Hamas, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, etc.), and assigned roles (Prime Minister, Foreign Minister) that they will research and then role-play. The simulation will work through two rounds and last approximately 2 hours. Refreshments provided.

Dr. Ilai Saltzman is Associate Director for Academic Programs of the Israel institute. He previously served as a visiting professor at Claremont McKenna College where he taught classes on International Relations theory, US foreign policy, and Israeli foreign and security policy. He is the author of Securitizing Balance of Power Theory: A Polymorphic Reconceptualization (2012), which identified and contextualized different patterns of counterbalancing emerging threats. Ilai has published articles in professional academic journals such as Foreign Policy Analysis, Orbis, Contemporary Security Policy, and International Studies Review. Ilai earned a Ph.D. with a focus on international security from the University of Haifa.

If you want to participate, please sign-up here.

Spring 2019

Yael Kenan's Campus Visit

Sponsored by Israel Institute Support for CIS, Comparative Literature Department, and Judaic Studies Department

Friday | 29 March| 11 am  - 12:15 PM | LT 1506

Yael Kenan presents: "The Politics of Comparison: The Dead-living and the Living-dead in Israeli and Palestinian Literatures."

This talk brings two literary (and political) figures into conversation with each other: the dead-living in Hebrew poetry, and the living-dead in Palestinian literature. Both figures muddle the distinction between life and death, living and dying, and have a fraught relation to their own bodies. But, importantly, the figures exist on opposite sides of the power differential in Israel/Palestine, making comparison both necessary and articularly complex. The lecture offers a reading of each text on its own terms, but likewise probes the possibility of comparison in a context of ongoing power imbalance.

Yael Kenan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at
the University of Michigan. Her dissertation focuses on intersections of mourning
and nationalism in Palestinian and Israeli literatures after 1948.

Friday | 29 March| Class Visit - ISRL Israeli Palestinian Conflict in Literature 

Screening and Discussion with Prof. Erez Tzfadia

Sponsored by Israel Institute Support for CIS and Judaic Studies Department

Monday | 11 February | 12 - 1 PM | LT 1310

Faculty Seminar with Prof. Erez Tzfadia

Monday | 11 February | 3:30 - 6:30 PM | FA 258

"The Ancestral Sin" - A Documentary Series by David Deri, Doron Galezer and Ruth Yuval

Prof. Tzfadia was the scientific adviser of The Ancestral Sin, which tells the story of Jewish-Arab immigrants in the early days of the Israeli state. The documentary sparked a public storm about the role of ethnicity and race in Israeli culture and politics. In the faculty seminar, Prof Tzfadia will discuss the public reception of the film as a way of opening a broader conversation about tensions that lie between theory and practice, and more.

"The Ancestral Sin" is the story of Israel's 'development towns' in a chilling documentary, as never told before: Testimonials and previously sealed transcripts reveal a method, an ideology and a cruel practice of law enforcement and decision makers behind the 'population dispersal' policies in the first two decades of independence. The director's family, like others, was taken to Yeruham, a development town in the Negev desert. Their personal stories recount of the price immigrant-families pay and the price still paid by Israeli society, unwilling to deal head-on with those early years and forgotten towns."

Professor Erez Tzfadia is the scientific advisor of the series. He is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Sapir College, Israel. His work focuses on spatial policy and politics. He was an Israel Institute Visiting Scholar at Rutgers University (2015-6), and he headed the department of public policy and administration at Sapir Collage (2011-5). Tzfadia is the chairperson of BIMKOM – Planners for Human Rights (an Israeli NGO).

Fall 2018

"Reviving the Dead Sea"

Sponsored by Israel Institute Support for CIS and Judaic Studies Department

Tuesday | 13 November | Noon | LT 1310

Lunch and Talk with Noam Bedein, Director of the "Dead Sea Revival Project"
"The Dead Sea Revival Project", founded by Noam Bedein, an environment visual arts activist, has been recognized by CNN/VR, National Geographic, the Israeli mainstream news media in Hebrew and English, the Israeli Knesset's Committee for Saving the Dead Sea, the Israel Government Press Office, the Dead Sea Research Institute, regional councils of the dead sea, and summer internship programs for international students. Noam, an Israeli photojournalist and international speaker, has over a decade of experience in presenting challenges facing the State of Israel. He is currently focused on the endangered Dead Sea, and the changes it is undergoing and the healing that is necessary. 

Please RSVP here by Friday 9 November

Conversations about recent Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting and anti-Semitism

Friday | 2 November | 9 am - 3pm | LT 1310

You are invited to come by the Judaic Studies Seminar Room to talk about Pittsburgh shooting and anti-Semitism.
Faculty members will be talking very briefly, and then listening.

Halloween Movie Night - Israeli horror film "Big Bad Wolves"

Sponsored and organised by Israel Institute Support for CIS and Judaic Studies Department

Tuesday | October 30, 2018 | 7.30 - 9.30 pm | Admissions Center 189

This event is free and open to the public


Israel 2013 | 1h 50min | Hebrew, English subtitles
Directors/Writers: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado
A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim hungry for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings - a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder.

Screening of Ran Tal's film "The Museum" and Q&A with Director

Sponsored and organised by Israel Institute Support for CIS and Judaic Studies Department

Tuesday | October 16, 2018 | 7 - 9 pm | Admissions Center 189
This event is free and open to the public

Special Workshop with the Director
Tuesday | October 16 | 9 am - noon | LT1310
 Sign up Here.

The Judaic Studies Department and Center for Israel Studies present public screening of Ran Tal's latest documentary "The Museum" about the Israel Museum.
Q&A session with the director to follow.

The Museum
Israel 2017 | 74 minutes | Hebrew, English | Hebrew, English subtitles
The Museum is a film that observes, examines and ponders Israel's most important cultural institution, the Israel Museum. The film follows the visitors, observes the observers, listens to the speakers and descends to the storerooms, labs and conference rooms.
The American museum director, the singing security guard, the Jerusalemite curator, the Haredi kashrut inspector, the Palestinian guide and the visitor who lost her vision are some of the characters that take part in a chain of activities which add up to the museum. For about 18 months director Ran Tal collected footage of the daily routine of the museum that seeks to both reflect and mold the Israeli legacy and culture.

Ran Tal, born in 1963, graduated the Tel Aviv University Department of Film in 1994. Tal is an independent director whose documentaries focus on Israeli reality through an historic social perspective. Tal's main focus is on documentary films, in addition to which he directs diverse television projects and is editor of artistic social endeavors.

Tal is the recipient of the Ophir Prize, the Jerusalem Film Festival Volgin Award, the DocAviv Film Festival Award, the Forum for the Preservation of Audio Visual award and the Documentary Forum award. Tal also won the Ministry of Culture Cinema Art prize and the Mifal Hapayis Landau Award for Stage Art.

Tal teaches cinema at the Film Departments at Sapir College and Tel Aviv University.
He is the founder and editor of Takriv (Close Up) online magazine for discussion and critique of documentary film www.takriv.net (together with Anat Even) and one of the founders of the Keshet Broadcasting and Mifal HaPayis "Looking Forward" social project.

Spring 2018


Sponsored by Israel Institute Support for CIS and Temple Beth El Endowment for Judaic Studies 

Monday, 30 April, 2-9 p.m.  (with training and meeting in the weeks before)
LN 1106 (IASH Conference room)

Participants will engage in a Knesset role-play designed to acquaint students with Israeli parliamentary politics and specific issue content chosen at instructor's discretion (in this case, likely content is corruption scandals and/or tension surrounding the US embassy moving to Jerusalem).

This simulation is intended to provide an interactive framework for understanding the complexities of contemporary Israeli coalition politics, and an opportunity for participants to apply your own background knowledge and learning from the course. The exercise is structured to simulate coalition and opposition negotiations within the present political context. Each of you will role play elected representatives of one of the political parties in the 20th Knesset, based on actual electoral results.

In the course of the simulation, you will:

  1. Establish a common position for your party on critical decisions facing the government;
  2. Engage in discussions with other parties in order to elucidate their positions on said issues;
  3. Knesset Plenary: Each party will make a statement of approximately 5-10 minutes articulating clear positions on the issues at stake, and the continuation of the current governing coalition – during which you may propose or oppose a motion of no/confidence;
  4. Subsequent to the plenary, parties will engage in parallel coalition and opposition meetings and negotiations, and determine votes regarding the legislative proposals of the coalition or opposition;
  5. Meet in a final plenary for concluding statements and a vote of no/confidence in the government;

Your goal is to represent as authentically as possible, based on knowledge and research, the perspective and priorities of your party. In the beginning, you should speak as you believe your party would speak. In the process, you should negotiate as you believe your party would negotiate. In the end, you should vote as you believe your party would vote. After the vote, we will have a debrief to share reflections from the activity and assess it as a learning experience and as a reflection of actual political dynamics.

Ned Lazarus, Ph.D. is Visiting Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School and an Israel Institute Teaching Fellow. A Conflict Resolution scholar, practitioner and evaluator, Ned has conducted evaluative studies of Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding initiatives on behalf of USAID, USIP and the European Union. Ned has taught Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, Georgetown University, American University, the University of Malta and the University of Massachusetts-Boston; his research has been published in Peace and Change, International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, Palestine-Israel Journal, and Israel Studies Review. Ned earned his doctorate from American University's School of International Service in 2011; his dissertation traces the long-term impact of peace education participation among more than 800 Israeli and Palestinian Seeds of Peace participants from adolescence through adulthood. Before entering the academic field, Ned served as Middle East Program Director for Seeds of Peace, based in Jerusalem, from 1996-2004.

"Orientalism and the Jewish Question: A Conversation with Gregory Starrett and Joyce Dalsheim"

Thursday, 15 March, 3 pm - 5 pm
LT 2200 Harpur College Dean's Conference Room

Sponsored by CIS and Judaic Studies Department

The historical Jewish Question was formative in contemporary social theory about belonging, difference and othering. Much of that theory has become so taken for granted that we might have forgotten how we got here and risk losing the critical tools for analyzing the problems that face us today. Is the Jewish Question now the Muslim Question? What are we to make of current problems of migrants and refugees from the Middle East and elsewhere arriving on the shores of Europe? How can re-thinking the roots of social theory by revisiting the Jewish Question help us place this moment is a broader historical context?

Joyce Dalsheim is a cultural anthropologist in the Department of Global Studies at UNC Charlotte. Her work deals with issues of nationalism, religion and the secular, and conflict, primarily in Israel/Palestine. She is the author of Unsettling Gaza: Secular Liberalism, Radical Religion and the Israeli Settler Project, and Producing Spoilers: Peacemaking and the Production of Enmity in a Secular Age.

Gregory Starrett is Professor of Anthropology at UNC Charlotte. His research has concerned Islamic education in Egypt and among African-American Muslims in the U.S.; theories of secularism and public culture; and cultural perceptions of threat and difference. He is author of Putting Islam to Work: Education, Politics, and Religious Transformation in Egypt, and co-editor of Teaching Islam: Religion and Textbooks in the Middle East.


Wednesday, 21 February 2018, Noon - 1pm
Judaic Studies Conference Room, Library Tower 13th Floor

You are invited to have lunch and to Skype with Dr. Michael Koplow, Policy Director of the Israel Policy Forum.

Dr. Koplow will brief us on the current political scene in Israel and the PA, as well as the current status of Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Dr. Michael Koplow is the Policy Director of the Israel Policy Forum. Before coming to IPF, he was the founding Program Director of the Israel Institute from 2012 to 2015. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, where he specialized in political development and ideology, and the politics of Middle Eastern states. In 2012-13 he served as a Young Turkey Young America fellow through the Atlantic Council's Young Atlanticist program.

He writes IPF's weekly Koplow Column and edits IPF's Matzav blog, which is a leading source for commentary and analysis on Israel and American Jewry. He is also the author of the Ottomans and Zionists blog and his work has appeared in Security Studies, Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, The National Interest, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, and The Atlantic, among other publications. In addition to his Ph.D., he holds a B.A. from Brandeis University, a J.D. from New York University, and an A.M. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.

 The Center for Israel Studies welcomes Eyal Sagui Bizawe, Director of "Arab Movie"

Film Screening with the Director 
Discussion will follow movie
Wednesday, 14 February, 3 pm - 5 pm

It was a tradition of 1970s Friday afternoons in Israel: tuning in to the only television channel and watching the Arab movie of the week. It was a national pastime, and a strange one at that: how did Israel's official TV station obtain these films? Why did it insist on regularly showing films made by "the enemy"? And why were Israelis so interested in Arabic cinema? This documentary looks into one of the most unlikely moments in Israel's history, and examines not just how but why the country shared cultural heroes with those they were often at war with. A nostalgic examination of a time gone by, and one that raises some challenging questions.

Eyal Sagui Bizawi is a researcher of Egyptian Cinema and Popular Culture, and holds a BA in Arabic Literature and Middle Eastern Studies from the Tel Aviv University and an MA in Cultural Studies from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Co-sponsored by Middle East and North Africa Studies (MENA) and the Cinema Department.

Fall 2017

"Through English, Densely: Comparative Partitions, World Literature, and Critical Pedagogy in Israel/Palestine"

Tuesday, November 14, 4.00pm 
IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
Please join us for a talk by Dr. Ayelet Ben-Yishai of the University of Haifa. Dr. Ben-Yishai will discuss her recent experience teaching a seminar on the Anglophone literature of the 1947 South Asian Partition to Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli students in the English Department at Haifa, focusing on the ways in which students read the South Asian partitions through their own historical and political context. She will describe a pedagogical practice that reinvests the Anglophone texts with their historical, political and formal density while raising important questions about comparative methodologies.

Light refreshments will be served.

Please contact Prof. Lior Libman  for questions.

Professor Kent Schull discusses his service learning course and "The Refugee Crisis in the Middle East"

Tuesday 24 October at Noon
Harpur Edge Conference Room
Please RSVP below by Monday 16 October

This summer Professor Kent Schull led a group of Binghamton University students on a service learning course to Greece. This course investigated issues of human rights, international law, humanitarian aid, immigration, what it means to be a refugee, public health and security concerns, and efforts facilitating and hindering aid. Not only did students learn about these various issues in depth, but they also experienced first-hand the challenges and issues related to the crisis through a two week excursion to Greece where they worked with a local solidarity network, NGOs, the local Greek Community and state on the Greek Island of Leros in the Aegean Sea.

Come hear Professor Schull and one of the student participants speak about their experiences helping refugees this summer.
Kent F. Schull
Associate Professor
Ph.D., UCLA, 2007
Ottoman & Modern Middle East History

This Israel Studies Roundtable event is funded by the Center for Israel Studies.

Spring 2017

Keynote Event: Dorit
Rabinyan discuees all the rivers with professor Lior Libman all the rivers was names one of hte best ten books of the year by Ha'aretz newspaper and awarded the prestigious Bernstein Award for Literature.

Roundtable on Israel in hte Middle East with Michael Eisenstadt and Michael Kaplow. Michael Eisenstadt is a specialist in Persian Gulf and Arab-Israeli security affairs, he has published widely on irregular and conventional warfare., and nuclear weapons proliferation in the missdle east. Dr. Michael Kaplow is the policy director of the Israel Policy Forum.


Question and Answer Session

Dr. Rachel Fish, Associate Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University
"Israel and Turkey"

Question and Answer Session
Question and Answer Session

Associate Professor Kent Schull
Department of History Binghamton University

Read more about the Center for Israel Studies from Inside BU.
Funded in part through a generous grant from  the Israel Institute
For more information, please contact Professor Friedman.