The Institute in the News

April 10, 2019: The Mitzpeh

Prof. Yoram Peri and Amb. Dennis Ross discuss the Israeli election at an event at the University of Maryland

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reelected in a close race to what will be a record fifth term in office Tuesday night, despite facing a pending criminal indictment on bribery and fraud charges and pushback against his conservative stance on Palestine.
Students and other members of this university gathered to listen to two political scholars discuss the election as the votes were being counted. (read more)

November 22, 2017: The Mitzpeh

University of Michigan professor explains how emigration created Israeli identity

Within an intimate room in H.J. Patterson Hall, University of Michigan professor Bryan K. Roby explained how emigration sculpted Israeli culture and identity Tuesday night. The event, hosted by the Gildenhorn Institute, was part of a series which introduces events like this on a weekly basis. Roby is the last speaker of the semester. (read more)

September 13, 2017: The Mitzpeh

Haaretz editor-in-chief visits UMD to discuss liberal news coverage in Israel, U.S.

The lecture focused on the role of Haaretz as the mainstream liberal news outlet in Israel under a right-wing government, and comparisons of Israel and the United States’ current relationship between the public, politics and the  media. (read more)

April 6, 2017: The Mitzpeh

Visiting UCLA professor discusses Moroccan Jewish identity, effects of tourism

The Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies welcomed Aomar Boum, a socio-cultural anthropologist, Wednesday to discuss the effects of the integral history of Jewish culture and presence in Morocco and other Arab countries on the people and governments. (read more)

February 16, 2017: Washington Jewish Week

Israeli Stage tackles tough issues in translation

Guy Ben-Aharon wants to change the cultural conversation in the United States. He’s doing it by bringing Israeli plays to diverse audiences, both within the Jewish community and beyond. Theater, he believes, can facilitate dialogue, introduce new ideas, and open viewers’ minds. (read more)

February 10, 2016: Washington Jewish Week

In Maryland, two friends relive four minutes of terror

Israeli journalist Shlomi Eldar and Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish along with a group of 50 students and other attendees relive the horror that occured when an Israeli missile hit Dr. Abueliash’s home killing four of his daughters in 2009. (read more)

February 25, 2015: The Diamondback

Writer Sayed Kashua addresses life as Palestinian citizen of Israel in talk

Sayed Kashua, an Israeli-Arab author and journalist, spoke in the Prince George’s room in the Stamp Student Union and showed an episode of his show “Arab Labor” to a crowd of about 80 people. (read more)

November 6, 2014: The Diamondback

Israeli ambassador visits Univ. of Md., discusses differences in countries

Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the U.S., delivered a speech and answered questions Wednesday amid both support and criticism from about 250 students and faculty gathered at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. (read more)

October 1, 2014

This year, GIIS welcomes its first Journalist-in-Residence, Shlomi Eldar.

Mr. Eldar just completed a fellowship in the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center and has a masters degree in Middle Eastern studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As Journalist-in-Residence, Shlomi will participate in Gildenhorn Institute events to share his expertise on Gaza and Hamas, including our recent Open Forum on the War in Gaza, and will publish research papers on the GIIS website. He will serve as a resource for professors who wish to invite him to their classes and will be available to speak with students about his field of expertise.

Mr. Eldar is a contributing writer for the Al-Monitor’s Israel Pulse covering Palestinian Authority and the surfacing of Hamas. He has published two important books: “Eyeless in Gaza” in 2005, and “Getting to Know Hamas” in 2012.

Aside from writing, Mr. Eldar has been a successful and influential media journalist in television over the last twenty tears. He has worked on Israel’s channels 1 and 10 covering controversial and profound stories. For this work he received the Sokolov Prize, Israel’s most important media award, in 2007.

Perhaps what stands out most in his career is the documentary he directed called, Precious Life, a story of a sick boy caught in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This film was a selection of the 2010 Telluride and Toronto International Film Festivals and won the Ophir Award, Israel’s Oscar for documentary filmmaking. In cooperation with the Merrill School of Journalism, the Gildenhorn Institute will host a screening of this film on December 2. You can view the trailer below.

September 4, 2014: The Diamondback

Students debate volatile situation in Gaza

The Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies and the Anwar Sadat Chair of Peace and Development cosponsored the event An Open Forum on the War in Gaza. (read more)

February 25, 2014: The Diamondback

Israel studies course pairs University of Maryland students with Tel Aviv professor

When university President Wallace Loh visited the Middle East in April, he returned with some new additions.

Loh signed academic partnerships with several universities in Israel and Jordan in an effort to globalize this university and strengthen its relationships with those institutions.

Almost a year after the agreement, university students are able to learn with students at Tel Aviv University through video-conference software in an Israel studies class. (read more)

February 6, 2014: The Diamondback

Israeli author encourages criticism, pride in country

Ari Shavit, a columnist and reporter for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, discusses his book about the complexity of Israel’s history. (read more)

January 23, 2014: Washington Jewish Week

UMd. student receives Gildenhorn Scholarship

University of Maryland’s Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies recently awarded junior Michelle Thomas with its first Gildenhorn Family Scholarship in recognition of her pursuit of an Israel Studies minor. (read more)

December 21, 2013: UMD Administration Opposes ASA Boycott of Israeli Institutions

Statement of the University of Maryland President and Provost Opposing the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

We firmly oppose the call by some academic associations—American Studies Association; Asian-American Studies Association—to boycott Israeli academic institutions. Any such boycott is a breach of the principle of academic freedom that undergirds the University of Maryland and, indeed, all of American higher education.

Faculty, students, and staff on our campus must remain free to study, do research, and participate in meetings with colleagues from around the globe. The University of Maryland has longstanding relationships with several Israeli universities. We have many exchanges of scholars and students. We will continue and deepen these relationships. (read more)

November 10, 2013: The Mitzpeh

Jane Harman talks Israel Security at UMD lecture

Former Rep. Jane Harman believes in a few things: securing Israel’s borders, structuring a transitioning government for Syria, and sending love letters to Secretary of State John Kerry.

Harman, now the director, president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, shared her thoughts on Israel’s security as an essential aspect of the U.S.’s foreign affairs on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at the “Seismic Shifts in the Middle East” lecture. (read more)

October 23, 2013: The Diamondback

Former congresswoman speaks on changing Middle East

From the nuclear technology in Iran to chemical weapons in Syria and conflict between Israel and Palestine, tension and turmoil in the Middle East dominate international headlines.

Last night, Jane Harman, a nine-term former congresswoman from California, spoke about these issues to an audience of about 200 people in the Gildenhorn Recital Hall in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in an event called “Seismic Shifts in the Middle East,” part of an annual series held by the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies. (read more)

May 14, 2013: Americans for Peace Now reviews Israel 2023

A recent review of the second installment of Shlomo Hasson’s Israel 2023 monograph praised the publication as an invaluable contribution to increasing our understanding of the dilemmas facing Israel, and to increasing thereby the possibility of informed and intelligent debate. (read more)

April 24, 2013: University of Maryland and Tel-Aviv University Establish Academic Partnership

In April 2013, UMD President Wallace Loh and GIIS Director Yoram Peri joined Governor O’Malley on a trade mission to the Middle East. The delegation established a new academic partnership with Tel Aviv University, forging ties based on a shared dedication to international engagement. The agreement paves the way for a wide variety of cooperative efforts, including: exchange of faculty and students for research, teaching, and study; jointly taught courses utilizing online technologies; joint research activities; exchange of scholars for seminars, conferences and other academic meetings; and exchange of scholarly publications and other information, including library collections and services. One of the foremost priorities of the new partnership is the development of Israel Studies programs, and the two universities are formulating a joint online course, or “global classroom,” to allow students both in Israel and College Park to participate in the same course simultaneously.

Yoram Peri in Israel Signing

In foreground, signing: University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh, left, and Rector of Tel Aviv University, Professor Aron Shai, right.

In background, left-right: Michele Eastman, Assistant President and Chief of Staff (UMD); Dr. Ross Lewin, Associate Vice President for International Affairs (UMD); Dr. Charles Caramello, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School (UMD); Dr. Raanan Rein, Sourasky Professor of Latin American and Spanish History and Vice President of Tel Aviv University; and Professor Yoram Peri, the Abraham S. and Jack Kay Chair in Israel Studies and Director of the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies (UMD).

April 22, 2013: The Passing of Jack Kay

The Joseph B and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies mourns the passing of Jack Kay, benefactor of the Abraham S. and Jack Kay Chair in Israel Studies, and the Barbara and Jack Kay Graduate Program in Israel Studies.

Abraham S. Kay was born in Lithuania in 1899 and came to Washington D.C. as a child. He left school at age 12, but proved a successful businessman. His Kay Construction Company thrived on work in the Washington, D.C. and Maryland area. His son Jack followed in his father’s footsteps. Born in 1925, Jack and his father were pioneers in developing the Maryland suburbs after World War II, including such communities as Kemp Mill Village.

Jack Kay graduated from Maryland in 1947, and became a business and community leader, as well as a dedicated philanthropist in his own right. He was a resident of Chevy Chase, Md. and Palm Beach, Fla. His business interests included a real estate management firm, Kay Management. He was honored for his philanthropic efforts with a number of prestigious awards from the Jewish community

May his memory be for a blessing.

Private Concert and Reception for Jack Kay

April 18, 2013: CityBizList Baltimore

UMD-UMB Collaboration Making Middle East Debut

University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh will expand research and academic partnerships in Israel – one of the world’s most entrepreneurial nations – as he accompanies Governor Martin O’Malley on a trade mission to the region. Also, Loh will forge UMD’s first ties with Jordan, during his week in the Middle East.

Yoram Peri & Martin O'Malley

Governor Martin O’Malley and GIIS Director Yoram Peri in Israel.
Photo credit – THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore

November 3, 2012: Associated Press

In Israel, media stars are turning to politics

They spent their journalistic careers analyzing, covering and skewering Israel’s politicians. Now, a striking number are vying to join their ranks. (read more)

September 10, 2012: NPR

Israeli Perspectives On Iran

Some in Israel, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have been speaking out about the need to act aggressively against Iran, with or without the support of the U.S. But many Israelis, including some in the military, do not share this view. Please join us to talk about the range of public opinion within Israel over how to respond to Iran’s nuclear program. (click to listen or read the transcript)

June 16, 2011: Haaretz

Keeping it academic

About six years ago, Martin H. Blank, the chief operating office of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, approached the University of California, Berkeley, where three generations of his family had studied, with an offer to establish a center for Israel studies. He was politely informed that, politically, it wasn’t the “right time” for it. (read more)

February 28, 2011: InTheMoment

Israel Next on Arab Revolutionary Agendas

On January 1, no one would have predicted protesters in Tahrir Square would oust Hosni Mubarak and Moammar Gadhafi’s iron grip over Libya would start slipping away. Could an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement be the next game-changing event in the Middle East? (read more)

February 23, 2011: Washington Jewish Week

Values clash – Jews hypocritical on democracy in Middle East?

As Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime collapsed earlier this month, many Jewish groups were quick to release statements awash in optimism and hope. But simmering beneath these rosy outlooks was a trepidation that true democracy might turn a region already unfriendly to Israel all the more hostile. (read more)

January 24, 2011: The Huffington Post

Israel as a “Mansion in the Jungle”

This week, Israel’s Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak left the party along with four of his Knesset colleagues to form a small new party that immediately joined Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ruling coalition. This move was seen as another tactical maneuver in the Byzantine world of Israeli coalition politics. (read more)

November 2, 2010: Clarice Smith Center blog

International Relations: Now Served in the Lobby

On Thursday, October 14th, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren gave an informative, educational, and inspiring speech on the relationship of the United States and Israeli governments. This occurred in none other than the Dekelboum Concert Hall at CSPAC. The lecture itself was a peaceful event which brought together students and faculty from all different backgrounds to learn about an incredibly important issue. (read more)

October 18, 2010: The Diamondback

Guest column: Standing for justice

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s job is to make Israel look good, regardless of the truth. And when the United States is giving Israel about $3 billion in military aid every year, it is in Oren’s best interest to make this relationship seem special and mutually beneficial.  (read more)

October 15, 2010: The Diamondback

A Speech Marked by Silence

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren’s first-ever appearance on the campus was quiet, but the tension was palpable.

Oren, the distinguished guest for the Gildenhorn Institute-sponsored event, discussed the importance of the U.S.-Israeli relationship in the campus’ third annual Richard and Elizabeth Dubin lecture series yesterday in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. (read more)

October 13, 2010: The Mitzpeh

Journalism’s new Israel course

The Israel studies department is hoping to branch out to other majors and departments through new classes that non-Israel studies minors can take. For this semester, the department teamed up with the communication and journalism departments to create Special Topics in Journalism: Society, Politics, and Mass Media in Israel. (read more)

October 11, 2010: The Diamondback

Stand with Israel: Our indispensable ally

On Oct. 14, we will have the opportunity not only to educate ourselves about Israel’s special relationship with the United States but also to hear from one of the world’s premier authorities on Middle Eastern affairs – Ambassador Michael Oren. (read more)

October 5, 2010: Ynet News

Israel Studies increasingly popular in US

WASHINGTON – Whoever visits the University of Maryland’s campus could not possibly make the mistake of thinking that Israel studies department is a mouthpiece for Israeli PR efforts. For starters, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would never show the film Khirbet Khizeh. On the other hand, Dr. Yuval Benziman, who arrived here three weeks ago from Tel Aviv University would and does. (read more)