The Israel Dialogues: Winter 2023 Sessions
Weekly, Thursdays and/or Fridays, 12:00-1:30 pm
Our celebrated Israel programming returns to your screens on January 12, heralding a new season of insightful discussion into the state of Israel! Presented by a respected cross-section of leading academics and scholars, the Israel Dialogues is an incredible window into the challenges and successes of the Jewish state. The Israel Dialogues provides an opportunity for learners across the world to engage fundamental issues facing Israelis and the Jewish Diaspora alike. A diverse range of topics include discussion on regional and international context and include principal factors which affect Israel’s place in global affairs.
Zoom information is accessible after registration.
Sessions are recorded each week, so even if you miss one, you can always watch it online later.
All sessions from the Fall 2022 Season can be found here: YouTube – Fall 2022 Israel Dialogues
The Winter 2023 Sessions* can be found here: YouTube Playlist – Winter 2023 Israel Dialogues
*Please allow approximately three business days for each session to be uploaded.
Noa Landau “The ‘religionization’ of Israel and the 2022 elections”
Jeff Kopstein “The American Campus: Antisemitism and Israel- A Survey”
Rivka Weill “The Clash of Powers: The Knesset vs. The Judiciary”
Meir Litvak “Israel and Iran: Is Confrontation Inevitable?”
Asher Susser “Is the Two-State Idea Still Relevant?”
Dov Waxman “Israel and the New Antisemitism”
Sammy Smooha “Israel as a Non-Liberal Democracy”
Gabi Ben-Dor “The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East”
Lea Muhlstein “The Future of progressive Judaism in the State of Israel”
With thanks to our Israel Dialogues Organizing Committee: Howard Adelman, Jon Allen, Mark S. Anshan, David Dewitt, Jasmin Habib, Dylan Hanley, Derek Penslar
The Israel Dialogues is presented by Holy Blossom Temple and ARZA Canada
Expert Panellist Bios:
Professor Derek Penslar is the William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History at Harvard University. His research specialties are modern Jewish history in Europe, Israel, and North America. Between 1998 and 2016, Derek held the Samuel Zacks Chair in Jewish History at U of T, and between 2012 and 2016, he was the inaugural holder of the Stanley Lewis Chair in Modern Israel Studies at Oxford. Derek has written a number of books, including Shylock’s Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe, Israel in History: The Jewish State in Comparative Perspective; Jews and the Military: A History; and, most recently, Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader (2020). Derek is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and president of the American Academy for Jewish Research.
Mark S. Anshan is a lawyer and a former Canadian diplomat, serving on several non-profit boards. He provides legal, business, strategic and organisational advice to not-for-profits and charities. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he served in the Canadian Foreign Service at the United Nations and the Canadian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. Mark is a past President of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, and past President of ARZA Canada and past Chair of ARZENU.
Professor David Dewitt joined York University in 1983, following studies at UBC, University of Chicago, and Stanford University and appointments at UBC and U of Alberta. He is now University Professor Emeritus & Senior Scholar, International Relations. Author and editor of 11 books on international affairs and foreign policy, he served from 1988-2006 as Director, York Centre for International & Security Studies (YCISS), two terms as York’s Associate Vice-President Research & Innovation, followed by a four-year leave of absence as Vice President Research & Programs at the independent think tank, Centre for International Governance & Innovation (CIGI). He is currently an advisor to the recently established Canadian think tank, International Peace & Diplomacy (IPD).
Jon Allen was Canada’s Ambassador to Israel from 2006-2010. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto and at Glendon College, York University and a Distinguished Fellow of the Canada International Council. He is the President of Project Rozana, a not for profit whose objective is to build bridges between Palestinians and Israelis via the health sector, and a Member of the Board of Transparency International Canada.
Professor Howard Adelman retired as Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at York University in 2003. He was the founder and director of York’s Centre for Refugee Studies and editor of Refuge for ten years. Best known for his work in applied philosophy, he co-authored a major study entitled Early Warning and Conflict Management: Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda (1996) as part of the 5-volume study International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience. In December 2016, Adelman was named a Member of the Order of Canada.
Dylan Hanley is currently Director, Public Affairs with The U15, advocating on behalf of Canada’s leading research universities to the federal government. Prior to his role with The U15, Dylan spent almost a decade with CIJA, Canada’s leading Jewish advocacy organization, where he was responsible for government relations and university outreach. His work there included dealing with federal and provincial governments, senior university administrations, and working to build bridges between Canada and Israel around issues of innovation and R&D. Since leaving CIJA, Dylan continues strong involvement in the Canadian Jewish community, notably in building Canada-Israel partnerships in science and innovation, including as Canadian co-chair of the bilateral working group on research partnerships with Global Affairs Canada.
Jasmin Habib is the Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Waterloo, former Director of the PhD Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (2019-2022) and founding Director of the Global Engagement Seminar Program (2016-2019). She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology (McMaster University) and an M.A. in International Peace Studies (University of Notre Dame). Among her publications are Israel, Diaspora and the Routes of National Belonging (2019, 2nd ed) and America Observed: On an Anthropology of the United States. Jasmin was born in Israel, her mother is Jewish and the daughter of Holocaust survivors and her father is Palestinian, forcibly displaced from his home during the Nakba, later becoming a citizen of Israel. Her research and publications focus on the politics of empire and the practices of decolonization with primary interest in the experiences of war-affected refugees now living in Israel, Palestine, Canada and the United States; Indigenous practices and relations of autonomy in North America. Her work is primarily ethnographic and collaborative. She has held several editorial roles including as General Editor of the Cultural Spaces Series at the University of Toronto Press and Editor-in-Chief and Anglophone Editor of Anthropologica, the flagship journal of the Canadian Anthropology Society. In 2022, she was awarded the Weaver-Tremblay Award, the Canadian Anthropology Society’s highest honour.
Expert Guest Bios:
Noa Landau is an Israeli journalist. She is the Deputy-Editor-in-Chief of Haaretz, Israel’s oldest daily.
Landau worked at Haaretz since 2009 as a reporter, commentator and news editor. She served as Haaretz head of the news department and editor of Haaretz’s English edition and is a member of the paper’s editorial board. Landau is also the founder of Haaretz21, an organizational project aimed at amplifying underrepresented voices and stories of Arabs/Palestinians in Israel. Before joining Haaretz, Landau worked as a journalist for Galei Tzahal radio, Channel 10 TV and Maariv.
She is also an Advisory Board member and alum of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, where she studied the rise of gag orders in Israel.
In 2017, Landau was chosen one of 50 most influential women in Israel by Forbes magazine.
Jeffrey Kopstein is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. He previously held faculty positions at the University of Toronto, Dartmouth College, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has received fellowships from Harvard University, Princeton University, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where he serves on its Academic Council. In his research, Professor Kopstein focuses on interethnic violence, voting patterns of minority groups, and anti-liberal tendencies in civil society, paying special attention to cases within European and Russian Jewish history. These interests are central topics in his latest books, Intimate Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms on the Eve of the Holocaust (Cornell University Press, 2018), and Politics, Violence, Memory: The New Social Science of the Holocaust (Cornell University Press, 2023). In his most recent work, Kopstein has turned to the study of antisemitism in the United States.
Rivka Weill is a Professor of Law (tenured) at the Harry Radzyner Law School, Reichman University. In recent years, she was a Visiting Law Professor at Cardozo Law School (2016-2017), David R. Greenbaum and Laureine Knight Greenbaum Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at University of Chicago Law School (Fall 2017) and Visiting Law Professor at Yale Law School (Spring 2018). She earned her LLM and JSD from Yale Law School and holds an additional degree in Accounting from Tel-Aviv University. She was a clerk and legal adviser for the President of the Supreme Court of Israel, Aharon Barak. In recent years, she received three times the IDC’s “Best Researcher in Law School” award (2012, 2015, 2017) as well as the IDC’s “Best Lecturer in Law School” award (2010). Her work focuses on constitutional law as well as administrative law with a focus on theoretical and comparative dimensions. She has published in leading law journals in the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel. Professor Weill gave invited talks at prestigious universities across the United States, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
Meir Litvak (PhD Harvard University, 1991) is a Professor at the Department of Middle Eastern History and a senior research associate at the Alliance Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University. His research focuses on Modern Iranian and Shi`I history, modern Islamic movements, and Arab anti-Semitism. Among his publications: Shici Scholars of Nineteenth Century Iraq: The cUlama’ of Najaf and Karbala’ (Cambridge University Press, 1998); Co-author with Moshe Aharonov, Iran: From a Persian Empire to an Islamic Revolution (Open University of Israel, 2014, Hebrew); Co-author with Esther Webman, From Empathy to Denial: Arabic Responses to the Holocaust (Columbia University Press, 2009). His book Know Thy Enemy: Evolving Attitudes towards “Others” in Modern Shiʻi Thought and Practice was published by Brill in 2021.
Gabriel Ben-Dor is Professor of Political Science at the University of Haifa in Israel. He holds a doctorate in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies from Princeton University in the United States. He served as the Rector of the University, and also held the posts of Chairman of the Department of Political Science, Director of the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies, and Dean of Research. Previously he held the elected position of President of the Israel Political Science Association. Until recently he directed the graduate study program at the National Defense College, the highest course of the studies in the Israeli Defense Forces. He was also the founder and director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa. He has recently completed a six-year term as a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Middle East Studies. For over twenty years Ben-Dor lectured at the Royal College of Defense Studies in London, England, one of the leading institutions for national security affairs in the world.
Gabriel Ben-Dor has published seven books and over one hundred and twenty articles in scholarly journals on Middle East politics, the Arab-Israeli conflict, national security affairs, strategic studies, ethnic problems, and political theory. His books include Transition in Israel, Confidence Building in the Middle East (with David Dewitt), and Minorities in the Arab World. Recent articles address the concept of strategic culture and action in the Middle East, civil-military relations in Israel, the evolution of national security doctrines in Israel, the political sociology of national security in Israel, national resilience of democracies facing terrorism, and the tension between democratic values on the one hand, and challenges of national security on the other. At present, he is at work on a major book dealing with the problems of countering terrorism in democratic societies.
Dov Waxman is the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair of Israel Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Professor of Political Science. He is also the director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Before joining UCLA, he was the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies at Northeastern University. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from Johns Hopkins University, and his B.A. from Oxford University. His research focuses on the conflict over Israel-Palestine, Israeli politics and foreign policy, U.S.-Israel relations, American Jewry’s relationship with Israel, Jewish politics, and contemporary antisemitism. He is the author of four books: The Pursuit of Peace and The Crisis of Israeli Identity: Defending / Defining the Nation (Palgrave, 2006), Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel (Princeton University Press, 2016), and most recently, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2019)
Dr. Sammy Smooha is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Haifa. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and President of the Israeli Sociological Society. He is a member of The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Israel Prize laureate in Sociology. Prof. Smooha served as a visiting professor and a research fellow at many institutes, including Brown University, University of Michigan, UCLA, University of Washington, Brandies University, SUNY, NYU, University of London-SOAS, and the United States Institute of Peace. He studies Israeli society in comparative perspective, with a focus on ethnic relations. He has published widely on the internal divisions and conflicts in Israel, and has authored and edited numerous articles and books on Arab-Jewish relations. He conducts, from 2003 on, the annual Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel.
Asher Susser is Professor Emeritus of Middle Eastern History at Tel Aviv University (TAU). He was the Director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at TAU for twelve years and taught for over thirty-five years in TAU’s Department of Middle Eastern History. He has been a Fulbright Fellow; a visiting professor at Cornell University, the University of Chicago, Brandeis University, and the Stein Family Professor of Modern Israel Studies at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Israel, Jordan and Palestine; The Two-State Imperative. His online course on The Emergence of the Modern Middle East has been taken by some 120,000 students in over 160 countries.
Rabbi Lea Mühlstein is the International Chair of Arzenu – the political voice of Reform, Progressive and Liberal Religious Zionists. Born and raised in Germany, Lea holds a BA and MSci in Chemistry from Cambridge University as well as an MA in Jewish Studies from King’s College London. Ordained in 2012 by Leo Baeck College, Lea is currently Senior Rabbi at The Ark Synagogue, London. She is a member of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. In addition to her deep commitment to Zionism, she has a great passion for interfaith and social action work as well as world Jewry. She has previously served on the boards of various Jewish and non-Jewish organisations including the WUPJ and EUPJ.