Events: 2015-2016

Israel Puppet Cinema: Salt of the Earth
Featuring Artist Zvi Sahar

Friday, April 8, 2016 | 8:00 PM
Saturday, April 9, 2016 | 8:00 PM

Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center: Kogod Theatre

A thousand pounds of salt become a punishing Middle Eastern desert; plastic tanks barrel down paper streets; and a faceless, nameless puppet emerges a rebel hero in this work by artist Zvi Sahar. Puppetry and hand-painted miniature sets combine with live filmmaking and projected video feeds, as a Lilliputian universe is created and destroyed before our eyes.

In Salt of the Earth, inspired by the bestselling Israeli novel The Road to Ein Harod by Amos Kenan, Sahar and PuppetCinema show us a dystopic world in which our protagonist — fleeing his country’s latest military coup — discovers the meaning of perseverance, survival, and ultimately, freedom.

Click here to view clips from the performance

“The Dream of My Life was Realized”; Mordecai Anielewicz in History and Memory: Between Command and Leadership
Featuring Dr. Havi Dreifuss

Monday, March 7, 2016 | 12:30 – 2:00 PM
3105 Susquehanna Hall

Co-Sponsered with The Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies

Mordecai Anielewicz, the commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, is one of the most renowned Jewish heroes of the Holocaust. Yet based on numerous war-time accounts as well as later testimonies, there are some questions regarding when and why he was appointed commander of the ZOB (the Jewish Fighting Organization) that may shed light on hitherto unknown aspects of the Uprising, as well as its commemoration in Israel and throughout the world.

Dr. Havi Dreifuss is an associate professor at the Department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University and heads the Center for Research on the Holocaust in Poland at the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Currently she is a fellow at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, working on “Religious Life during the Holocaust: The Beginning of the End.”

I Shall Not Hate: A Theatrical Presentation and Discussion
Featuring Gaza Doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish

Monday, February 9, 2016 | 5:00 – 6:30 PM
Stamp Student Union Atrium

The new Mosaic Theater Company of DC is producing I Shall Not Hate based on the memoir of Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. Mosiac and the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies are presenting Dr. Abuelaish at the University of Maryland, along with the Palestinian-Israeli actor who portrays him, Gassan Abbas. Abbas will perform excerpts from the play, which tells the story in Gaza and Israel of the extreme challenges facing this man, his family, and his wrenching quest to live and achieve in both societies.

Abbas and Dr. Abuelaish will be joined for discussion with the audience by Yoram Peri, Director of the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies and GIIS journalist-in-residence Shlomi Eldar. At the time of Operation Cast Lead, Eldar was an Israeli TV journalist who took the on-air call that seared the conscience of a nation as his friend Izzeldin sought help from the Israeli missile strike that hit his family home with tragic consequences. They will speak together of life across the boundaries of this conflict.

Click here to view the video of the event.

Israelis’ Trust in the Army in the Military in an Era of New Wars
Featuring Meytal Eran-Jona

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 | 12:30 PM
3105 Susquehanna Hall

Between 2001 and 2010, Israel experienced an era of endless wars, involving both High Intensive conflicts and Low Intensive Conflicts, as well as periods of relative quiet. Using public opinion polls on the public’s trust in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted during that time period, Dr. Meytal Eran-Jona will shed light on Israel’s civil-military relations. Her talk will explore both stability and change in the Israeli perception of their military, during a decade of increased public criticism towards the IDF.

Yitzhak Rabin’s Legacy and Today’s Middle East
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 | 6:30 PM

Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

This year we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. To honor his legacy, Aaron Miller and Shlomo Ben-Ami will discuss Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, current crises, and the future of the Middle East.


Aaron David MillerAaron David Miller, Vice President of New Initiatives, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.




Shlomo AmiShlomo Ben-Ami, Vice President, Toledo International Center for Peace & former Israeli Foreign Minister.





yoram periProf. Yoram Peri, Abraham S. and Jack Kay Chair in Israel Studies, Director of the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies.




This event is FREE and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved here. Please note that reserving a ticket does not guarantee admission to the lecture, as we are accepting more reservations than we have seats to minimize empty seats. See the ticket reservation page for more information on the ticketing policy for this event.

Thinking about Israeli Society through Visual Culture: the Case of Contemporary Art by Former Soviet Union Immigrants
with Dr. Tal Dekel

Thursday, October 1, 2015 | 12:30 – 2:00 PM
4213 Art-Sociology Building (Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture)

Dr. Tal Dekel will discuss the work of women artists from the FSU (Former Soviet Union) and demonstrate the ongoing dynamics between newcomers and veteran citizens in Israel, with a particular focus on aspects of the power relations between them. Dr. Dekel will argue for a new understanding of the role expected for women immigrants by the hegemonic group within the nation-state, deriving from a “neo-racism” which aims to define the ethno-national character of the country and its symbolic boundaries.

The discussion will integrates theories from various fields of knowledge – Israel studies, migration studies, political science, gender studies, sociology and artistic analysis. A showcase of artworks will be presented throughout the talk.

tal dekelTal Dekel, Ph.D. is visiting UMD from the Department of Art History and the Gender Studies Program at Tel Aviv University, where she specializes in contemporary Israeli culture, with a particular interest in art, gender and transnationalism. Using intersectional analysis, her books and articles discuss agency and identity construction processes (race, class, gender, religion, age, etc.) under conditions of migration.

This event is cosponsored by the Art History and Archaeology Department


See our Events from Years Passed:

2016 – 2017 Academic Year

2015 – 2016 Academic Year

2014 – 2015 Academic Year

– 2014