Summer Institute For Israel Studies At Schusterman Center 2017, Brandeis University, USA

Publish Date: Nov 01, 2016

Deadline: Jan 20, 2017



At the Summer Institute for Israel Studies, university faculty from North America and around the world participate in seminars at Brandeis and in Israel that help them design courses in Israel Studies for their home universities.

270 faculty fellows have completed SIIS, teaching thousands of students with syllabi developed at SIIS.

At Brandeis

During the first two weeks, SIIS fellows are in residence at Brandeis and participate in seminars taught by distinguished Israel Studies scholars. These seminars focus on Israel’s society, history, politics, culture, foreign affairs, and diplomacy. Fellows are then required to present syllabi for the courses they plan to teach on their home campuses. Accommodations are in shared suites at the university's newest residence halls.

In Israel

On a 10-day study tour in Israel, fellows meet with leading figures in public life, the academy and the arts; including politicians and civil servants, writers, public intellectuals, and Jewish and Arab community leaders. Fellows also visit select historical and cultural sites. Participation in this portion of the Summer Institute is highly recommended but optional. Group flight travel from the US to Israel and back is covered. Accommodations are in single rooms in hotels.


Brandeis University covers travel expenses (within North America and to Israel), accommodations, and most meals. Fellows participating in both the Brandeis and Israel segments will receive a stipend of up to $2,500. Fellows participating solely in the Brandeis seminar will receive a stipend of up to $1,500.

Ongoing Programming

After completing the program, Summer Institute for Israel Studies alumni continue to enjoy access to a trove of resources – syllabi, articles, archives, podcasts, conferences, workshops and webinars – and an even-growing network of peers that spans the globe.

Our Zionism in the Twenty-First Century conference included an SIIS fellows workshop with Anita Shapira "On Constructing Narratives" using her new book as a reference, Israel: A History.

Our webinar series for that academic year included discussions about Israel's recent election, its post-1948 visual landscape, and the politics of the Arab sector.
Our SIIS-only workshop, "On History, Memory and Commemoration," featured a discussion by Amos Oz of his novel, A Tale of Love and Darkness.

SIIS Fellows’ Academic Homes

Fellows have come from nearly 200 universities in the United States and across the world. Institutions range from small liberal arts colleges, to Jewish and Christian academic institutions, U.S. military academies, large research universities, and the Ivy League.

About The Summer School

The Summer Institute for Israel Studies has trained 270 college and university faculty members to develop courses in Israel Studies. Recent participants teach history, international relations, film, Jewish studies, religion, law, anthropology, linguistics, and security studies.

Competitive fellowships are open to faculty members in the humanities and social sciences.
Applications are due January 20, 2017.

June 20 - July 2, 2017 Seminar at Brandeis
July 3 - July 12, 2017 Israel Study Tour

  • Stipend of up to $2,500 offered for the full program; $1,500 for the Brandeis seminar only
  • Travel (within North America and to Israel), accommodations, and most meals covered
  • World-class faculty from Israel and the U.S. teach Brandeis seminar
  • Leading personalities in public life, the academy, and the arts meet with group in Israel
  • Create a syllabus and leave equipped to teach a new course in any discipline
  • Join a network of 270 faculty members — teaching at nearly 200 institutions worldwide — supported by a wealth of pedagogical resources and continuing professional development

Please click on the links below or at your left to find out more about the program.
Contact with any questions.


General Questions:

Q: What can I learn from the Summer Institute?

A: After the Summer Institute for Israel Studies (SIIS), which includes a two-week seminar at Brandeis University and a ten-day study tour in Israel, you will be able to create and teach courses in Israel Studies at your home institution. During the Brandeis residency, you will attend seminars given by distinguished Israel Studies scholars, in disciplines such as Israeli history, politics, sociology, literature, cinema, music, and more. You will discuss foundational and current Israel Studies scholarship, and learn about debates within the field. In Israel, you will meet with scholars, government officials, writers, artists, public intellectuals, and community leaders. You will visit cultural and historical sites, and you will have the opportunity to contextualize what you heard in the Brandeis portion of the Institute. See fellow testimonials for more details.

Q: Are there additional opportunities to learn about Israel Studies after SIIS?
A: Following the program, SIIS fellows become part of an online community os Israel Studies scholars through participation in a SIIS Listserv and Facebook page, open to all SIIS cohorts from 2004. The Schusterman Center invites fellows to participate in an annual conference designed for them and in a webinar series of lectures. Additionally, Fellows are welcome at all programs at Brandeis during the academic year. Fellows also have access to Jellyfish, our online Israel Studies resource.

Q: Do I need to speak Hebrew to participate in the Institute at Brandeis or in Israel?
A: No. Most Fellows do not have any Hebrew language background, though some have been functional or fluent in the Hebrew language. Hebrew language proficiency is not required.

Applying to the Summer Institute:
Q: How do I apply to be an Institute Fellow?

A: All of the application requirements can be found on our online application form. You will be directed to provide a current CV, a personal statement explaining your background and interest in Israel Studies, your plans for introducing an Israel Studies course at your home institution, and what you expect from your participation in the Institute. You will also need two letters of support. One should be from your department chair or a senior administrator stating your home institution’s interest in developing a new course in Israel Studies.

Q: When is the application due?
A: The application is due by January 20th.

Q: When will I be notified if I am accepted?

A: You will be notified in late February or early March.

Other Summer Institute Fellows:
Q: Where do other Fellows come from?

A: Fellows come from colleges and universities across the United States and the world. Click here for a complete listing of Fellows’ home institutions.

Q: Which disciplines do Fellows come from?

A: Fellows come come from all disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including history, political science, geography, film studies, literature, Jewish studies, economics, sociology, anthropology, Middle Eastern Studies, international relations, law and security studies.

Q: What are the accommodations like at Brandeis and in Israel?

A: At Brandeis, you'll be staying in individual rooms within shared suites at the university's newest residence halls. You will be sharing bathroom and kitchen. In Israel, you'll stay in single rooms at hotels.

Q: What meals are provided?

A: At Brandeis, the program covers all meals taken on campus, which include bagels and coffee, salad buffet and hot lunch, hot or cold dinner. There are both vegetarian and kosher options available. Any meals taken off-campus are at the fellows' expense.

A: In Israel, the hotel provides a magnanimous buffet breakfast, and the group often takes lunch at local restaurants or packs a lunch box. Dinner may be provided at the hotel, or fellows may pay for their own meals around town. As the group does eat in non-kosher venues, special kosher meals will be provided if requested. Other dietary restrictions are also accommodated (vegan, specific allergies).

Q: Is there universal wireless Internet access?

A: There is wireless Internet access throughout the Brandeis campus. In Israel, the hotels offer Internet services at a fixed rate and the tour bus is usually set up for free Internet access.


The Summer Institute seminars are taught by distinguished Israel Studies scholars. These seminars focus on Israel’s society, history, politics, economics, culture, foreign affairs, and diplomacy.

  • Faculty presenters at Brandeis
  • Faculty presenters in Israel


Applying to the Summer Institute for Israel Studies
Applicants must be actively teaching at a college or university
that has approved their plans to introduce a course on Israel Studies.

Applications are due on or before January 20th. Notifications will be made by the end of February or beginning of March.

Application Instructions:

  1. Fill in the online application form.
  2. Upload a current Curriculum Vitae.
  3. Upload a personal statement explaining your background and interest in Israel Studies, your plans for introducing an Israel Studies course at your home institution, and your expectations from participation in the Summer Institute.
  4. Note the title of the Israel Studies course you plan to teach.
  5. Upload a sample syllabus of a related course you have already taught. A second syllabus is optional.
  6. Ask two recommenders to send reference letters directly to
    ** Important: One letter of recommendation must come from a provost, chair or other senior administrator confirming your institution's interest in offering an Israel Studies course. **

Questions? Contact Keren Goodblatt at, 781-736-7310.

The Summer Institute for Israel Studies is generously supported by the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Israel Institute and other donors, and is organized in cooperation with the American Jewish Committee.

To APPLY click "Further official information" below and fill the application form.

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