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 Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, 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 and encourages connections between those who may not normally learn with or from one another.
The Sudan-Israel normalization process: A tactical move but a strategic hazard
Under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu and General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Israel and Sudan are close to establishing historic diplomatic ties — but outside of the democratic process. Graduate fellow Yasir Zaidan explains.
Ethics and animals in the Bible: Why ancient Israelites thought of birds as moral examples to follow
Though present-day moral philosophers might disagree, in ancient times, animals like birds were seen as tuned in to the divine will and exemplars of right living. Graduate fellow Forrest Martin explains.
Tracing the history of Armenians in Jerusalem
Graduate fellow Ara Daglian explains the history of Armenians in Jerusalem — one of the largest, most historic homes for the Armenian diaspora.
Study the histories, societies, cultures, and politics of the State of Israel through our range of courses. Learn more >
Support Israel Studies
Make a gift to support Israel Studies at the University of Washington and Israel-related scholarship and programming. Learn more >
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 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
Liora 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 History, Jewish Social Studies, Middle 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
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.