Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
scjs masthead scjs masthead
Robert Abzug, Director CLA 2.402, 305 E 23rd St B3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-475-6178



The Israel Studies Collaborative has moved! Come visit our new home at

Past events at the Israel Studies Collaborative include:

Golda: Fifty Shades of Gold

Mon, February 25, 2013 • 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM • CLA 1.302D

A talk by Pnina Lahav (Professor of Law, Boston University).

Israel Block Party

Wed, February 27, 2013 • 11:30 AM - 5:00 PM • South Mall

Sponsored by: Texas Hillel

The Honorable Michael Oren, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S.

Thurs., Jan. 31, 2012 • 12:15 PM • Bass Lecture Hall, LBJ School of Public Affairs (2315 Red River St.)

This event is free and open the public but registration is required. Click here to RSVP. Backpacks, book bags and large purses will not be allowed.

The Honorable Michael Oren, Ambassador of Israel to the United States, will give a public lecture at The University of Texas at Austin on Jan. 31 at 12:15 PM at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. The event is cosponsored by the Israel Studies Collaborative of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies, Texas Hillel, and the LBJ School<.

Oren was appointed Israel’s Ambassador to the United States in 2009. Ambassador Oren has written extensively for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The New Republic, where he was a contributing editor. His two most recent books, Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East from 1776 to Present and Six Days of War, were both New York Times bestsellers. He has won the Los Angeles Times History Book of the Year award and the National Jewish Book Award.

Born in the United States and educated at Princeton and Columbia, Ambassador Oren has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown and was a Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

In Israel, Ambassador Oren served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, in the paratroopers in the Lebanon War, and as a liaison with the U.S. Sixth Fleet during the Gulf War. He was also a gold medal-winning athlete in the Maccabiah Games.

The event will take place Thursday, Jan. 31 at 12:15 PM in the Bass Lecture Hall located on the basement level of Sid Richardson Hall Unit III. Free parking will be available in Lot 38 adjacent to the LBJ Library.

Sponsored by: Israel Studies Collaborative, Texas Hillel, LBJ School of Public Affairs

Can Israel Be Both Jewish and Democratic?

A lecture by Ruth Gavison of Hebrew University.

Ruth Gavison is Professor of Law at Hebrew University as well as the founding president of the Center for Zionist-Jewish-Liberal-Humanistic Thought (MATZILA). Dr. Gavison's areas of interest include philosophy of law, democracy and human rights, law and morality, law and politics, religion and state, and Israeli society. She has published dozens of articles and a large number of books on these subjects. Dr. Gavison speaks regularly to the media and is outspoken in her views on human rights and in her opposition to judicial review.

In addition, Gavison has served on numerous public committees, including, most recently, the Winograd Committee investigating the Second Lebanon War (2006–2008). She was an advisor to the Knesset Legislative Committee for a Constitution in 2006.  

She received an Ll.B. in 1969, a B.A. in Philosophy and Economics in 1970, and an Ll.M. in 1971, all from the Hebrew University (HUJ). She was admitted to the Israeli bar in 1971, and in 1975 received a Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Law from Oxford University. From 1969 until her appointment to a full professorship in 1990, Gavison held various teaching positions at the Hebrew University. From 1978 to 1980 she was a visiting professor at Yale University. Since 1984 she has held the Haim Cohen Chair for Human Rights at HUJ. Between 1990 and 1992 she was a visiting professor at USC, and between 1998 and 1999, a fellow at the Institute for Human Values at Princeton.

The Land: The Shaping of the Modern State of Israel and Its Lasting Impact on the Arab-Israeli Conflict

A lecture by Professor Yossi Ben Artzi of Haifa University.

So many of the issues facing Israel and its Arab neighbors can be traced to the demographic and geographic history of the State of Israel. The events of the early years of settlement in Israel bear on such issues as the final borders for the State, the Palestinian question, and the attacks on Israel's legitimacy as a nation-state. Professor Yossi Ben Artzi will provide unique insights on not only Israel's history but on how that history will impact the future of the Middle East. As an academic in Israel, Professor Ben Artzi has been an ardent advocate for academic freedom for Israeli scholars seeking to teach or participate in conferences in Europe, where Israeli citizenship has become a bar to study and teaching. Professor Ben Artzi's presentation promises to be not only informative but also a reminder of the challenge of being an Israeli academic today.


The Asher Arians Memorial Lecture is dedicated to the memory of Professor Asher Arians of Haifa University and the City University of New York. Asher Arians is credited with being the founder of modern political science in Israel and was a popular commentator as well as an advisor to the Israeli government. His books and articles on Israeli politics remain the seminal works in the field. Osh, as he was known, combined his insights with a keen wit that endeared him to his many friends and colleagues. His love for the State of Israel at all times, no matter the politics of the moment, was the driving force of his life and his work.

The Asher Arians Memorial Lecture is a gift to the Austin Jewish Community from Rabbi Alan and Lori Freedman, Temple Beth Shalom, and The Shusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas and is co-sponsored by The Jewish Community Association of Austin, Congregation Agudas Achim, Congregation T'iferet Israel, and Temple Shir Ami.

Zionist Alternatives to a (Jewish) Nation State

A lecture by Dimitry Shumsky of Hebrew University.

In honor of Israeli Independence Day, Dr. Dimitry Shumsky of Hebrew University in Jerusalem delivered a lecture titled "Zionist Alternatives to a (Jewish) Nation-State" April 26 at Texas Hillel.

While most assume a sovereign Jewish nation-state has always been the Zionist movement's ultimate goal, Shumsky contends that pre-1948 mainstream Zionism, along with the radical members of Brith Shalom, advocated an autonomous--but not necessarily statist--interpretation of self-determination. This interpretation was envisaged within a bi-national confederational political framework that would embrace both Jewish and Arab autonomous entities.


Dr. Dimitry Shumsky is a lecturer in Israel Studies and modern nationalism at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His research interests include socio-cultural, intellectual, and political history of modern nationalism; and Zionism and Israeli society, with particular emphasis placed upon the transfer of cultural concepts, ideological frames, and patterns of political thought from the multiethnic regions of Central and Eastern Europe to Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine, as well as to the State of Israel. A major focus of his studies is the post-imperial cultural and ideological legacies within the Jewish nationalism(s) in the aftermath of the Habsburg, Tsarist, and Soviet Empires collapses, and the place and impact of these legacies in the forging of Jewish nationalisms’ perceptions on citizenship, ethnicity, nationhood, and minority rights.

bottom border