“If you look at the Zionist ideals, one of the core beliefs is to normalize life for the Jewish state. Unfortunately, because of the conflict and controversy, Israel has not enjoyed a normal existence. Just as we currently seek normalization for the nation, we seek normalization in the academic discourse around Israel. Students and faculty should be able to do research on Israel without issue, just as if they were studying France or Ukraine.
“Lynn and Stacy have long had a great interest in Israel studies, and I have been a friend of the family for many years. Lynn and I have talked at length about issues of Israel studies, and I was happy to come on board as the Israel Institute was being launched. Through the Institute, we aim to take a strategic and global view across the field of Israel studies. Our objective is not advocacy, but to create more opportunities for study and research around all aspects of Israel’s politics, history, arts and culture.
“Since the birth of Israel studies, we have seen changes in leaps and bounds. The field is now stronger and larger than it has ever been. Working with partners in academic institutions in the U.S. and abroad, we plan to grow and advance the field of Israel studies and create more opportunities for conversation among partners within the field. In addition, we are looking to develop relationships in countries with no or few Israel studies program, especially China.
“Our work is particularly important because in less than a decade, the group of current incumbents and chairs of Israel study centers will be replaced. We would like to prepare the next generation to take their place and continue to pursue Israel’s normalization and growth across academia.”
Read more about our work in Israel