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 Transdisciplinary Areas of Expertise.

Center for Israel Studies Knesset Simulation

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).

Overview and Rationale

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 their 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.

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Israel Studies Undergraduate Research and Creative Work Grant

This award is designed to support Binghamton University students' independent research or creative work. To qualify, your project must be supervised by a Binghamton University faculty member, and you must currently be enrolled in independent study credit (2 or 4) or honors thesis credit at Binghamton University (exceptions may be granted if a student has exceeded the maximum number of thesis or independent study credits allowed by his or her college). Funding is competitive and award amounts vary. The maximum award is $500.

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Center for Israel Studies Roundtable

The Israel Studies Roundtable offers a small group of Binghamton University undergraduates the opportunity to attend a series of at least eight workshops and discussions throughout the 2017-18 academic year with Binghamton University faculty and leading scholars of Israel studies, as well as artists and other figures. The roundtable is intended to deepen the understanding of the complexities of Israeli history, culture, and society in an extracurricular environment.

Funded in part through a generous donation by Marc and Joan Saperstein on ongoing support from the Israel Institute.

For more information, please contact Professor Friedman.

Funded in part through a generous grant from the Israel Institute.