Israel Studies ProgramScholarship, Courses & Events

The Israel Studies Program of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Washington promotes the academic study of the histories, cultures, and politics of the State of Israel, Zionism in its various forms and iterations, and the communities of British and Ottoman Palestine, in regional and comparative perspective.

Through engaging academic programming for campus and community audiences and opportunities for student funding and support, the program lends critical insight into unfolding conversations, many with relevance far beyond Israel, about nationalism, liberalism, citizenship, globalization, technology, religion, ethnicity, migration, and the military.

Israel Studies prides itself on dynamic partnerships with other programs on campus, particularly the Sephardic Studies Program, the Middle East Center, the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, (which offers Hebrew and other Middle Eastern language programs), and the Interdisciplinary Near and Middle Eastern Studies Ph.D. Program. Israel Studies engages and welcomes the participation of people from diverse personal backgrounds, academic disciplines, and political perspectives related to Israel/Palestine, encouraging connections between those who may not normally learn with or from one another.

Logo for Israel Studies Program: a large, bold-text "Stroum Center" in all caps sits above the words "Israel Studies Program"
Three Graduate Fellows stand, smiling, with Professor Liora Halperin following research presentations
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Study the histories, societies, cultures, and politics of the State of Israel through our range of courses. Learn more.

Graduate Fellows Sam Gordon and Pablo Jairo Tutillo Maldonado smiling

Support Israel Studies

Make a gift to support Israel Studies at the University of Washington and Israel-related scholarship and programming. Learn more >

Lecturer Adina Hoffman stands in front of a slide of a black-and-white photo of a high-rise building

The Israel Studies Program brings scholars, writers, and thinkers from diverse disciplines to campus to explore issues related to the State of Israel. View events.

Graduate Fellows Oded Oron and Esra Bakkalbasioglu

Graduate students from across the University conduct research on a wide range of topics in Israel Studies. Learn more about our students.

Liora R. Halperin, Israel Studies Program Chair & Chair in Israel Studies

Photo of Liora HalperinLiora R. Halperin is a scholar of Jewish cultural and social history, with particular interests in nationalism and collective memory, language ideology and policy, and Jewish-Arab relations both in Ottoman and Mandate Palestine and in the early years after Israeli statehood. Her first book, Babel in Zion: Jews, Nationalism, and Language Diversity in Palestine (Yale University Press, 2015) was awarded the Shapiro Prize from the Association for Israel Studies for the best book in Israel Studies. She has published academic articles in The Journal of Social HistoryJewish Social StudiesMiddle Eastern Studies, and The Jewish Quarterly Review, among other venues. Her second book, The Oldest Guard: Forging the Zionist Settler Past, explores collective memory in and around the European Jewish agricultural colonies (moshavot) established in late 19th-century Palestine, which were regarded after World War I as the first wave (First Aliyah) of Zionist settlement in Palestine. She received her Ph.D. in History from UCLA in 2011.

About the Israel Studies Program

The bronze "W" sculpture standing at the front of one of the University of Washington campus entrances, with trees in the background.

Photo by Katherine Turner.

Housed in the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, part of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, the Israel Studies Program brings together distinguished faculty with expertise in modern Israel and offers students multiple disciplinary perspectives on the Israeli state, including history, sociology, law, environment, technology, science and culture.

A standing faculty advisory committee advises Chair Liora R. Halperin on Israel Studies public programming; other Israel Studies Program decisions are made by the Chair in collaboration with the Director and Associate Director of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, as well as the Director of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.