The Israel Studies Program 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 perspectives.
Through engaging academic programming for campus and community audiences and opportunities for student funding and support, the program lends critical insight into unfolding conversations about nationalism, liberalism, citizenship, globalization, technology, religion, ethnicity, migration, and the military in Israel and beyond.
Israel Studies prides itself on dynamic partnerships with other programs on campus, particularly the Sephardic Studies Program, the Middle East Center, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the Interdisciplinary Near and Middle Eastern Studies Ph.D. program. The program engages people from a range of personal backgrounds, academic interests, and political perspectives who may not normally learn with or from one another.
About the Israel Studies Program
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.
The Israel Studies Program is made possible through the Jack and Rebecca Benaroya Endowed Fund for Excellence in Israel Studies, which was created in 2016 through a $5 million gift from Seattle-area donor Becky Benaroya. The Benaroya Fund supports a faculty chair in Israel Studies as well as an annual lectureship and other public programming.
A standing faculty advisory committee advises Benaroya Chair Liora R. Halperin on Israel Studies public programming; other Israel Studies Program decisions are made by the Benaroya 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.