Taub Center Speakers Program

Each year, the Taub Center organizes a series of public lectures by international scholars. The Speakers Program offers the academic community and the general public a chance to participate in a dynamic dialogue about issues, events, and scholarship related to Israel.

Speakers Program / Spring 2015

February 10, 2015


14A Washington Mews, 1st Floor

Regulating Israeli Higher Education

 moshemaor.jpg       Professor Moshe Maor, Israel Institute



Moshe Maor is Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the holder of the Wolfson Family Chair of Public Administration. His areas of expertise are bureaucratic politics, public sector reforms in Israel and OECD Countries, public policy dynamics and comparative politics. Maor is also a member of the Council for Higher Education in Israel. He is the author of Political Parties and Party Systems (Routledge, 1997) and Parties, Conflicts and Coalitions in Western Europe (Routledge and LSE, 1998), as well as has numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Governance, Public Administration, European Journal of Political Research, Journal of European Public Policy, Policy Sciences, West European Politics, Journal of Theoretical Politics, Public Administration Review, Administration & Society, Democratization, Disaster, and Israel Affairs.               

          RSVP via E-mail> rsvp.taub@nyu.edu

February 25, 2015


14A Washington Mews, 1st Floor

Ethnic Minorities and the Army: Implications for Inclusion

 soldiers.jpg       Dr. Rami Zeedan, Taub-Schusterman Postdoctoral Fellow



March 11, 2015


14A Washington Mews, 1st Floor

Radio Bari and Italy's Middle-Eastern Foreign Policy in the 1930s

Dr. Arturo Marzano, University of Pisa

Arturo Marzano (Rome, 1973) got his PhD in Contemporary History at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, and has been Research Fellow at the University of Pisa, where he taught "History of the Middle East" and "History of the International Relations", post-doc Research Fellow at the International Institute for Holocaust Research - Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Visiting Researcher at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and Senior Research Fellow at the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2). His research mainly deals with history of Judaism, Zionism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the relationship between Italy and the Middle East in the XX century. He has published extensively on Italian and International journals, including Contemporanea, Passato e Presente, The Journal of Conflict Studies, European Journal of Jewish Studies, Israel Studies. He also worked with NGOs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in Syria and in Lebanon between 2001 and 2004.

March 25, 2015


14A Washington Mews, 1st Floor

New Perspectives on Jewish-Arab Relations in Palestinian and Israeli Cities


     Professor Menachem Klein, Bar-Ilan University /

King's College London


Prof. Menachem Klein is a member in the Department of Political Science at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. A graduate of the Hebrew University, he has been a visiting professor at a number European universities and is currently at King's College London. In 2000 he was an adviser for Jerusalem Affairs and Israel-PLO Final Status Talks to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shlomo Ben-Ami, and a member of advisory team operating in the office of Prime Minister Ehud Barak. In 2003 he was one of the signatories of the Geneva Agreement. His book Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron was published in 2014 by Oxford University Press and was named to The New Republic's 2014 Best Global Non-Fiction List.

April 6, 2015


14A Washington Mews, 1st Floor

We Know Better Than You What is Good for You': Israel and Its Emigrants in the Early Years of the State


  Dr. Ori Yehudai, Taub-Schusterman Postdoctoral Fellow

Following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, masses of Jewish immigrants and refugees flooded into the country, and their absorption became a formidable challenge for the young Jewish state. But during the same years tens of thousands of Jews also left the country, some returning to their countries of origin and others heading to new destinations. Who were these people and why did they leave? How did Israeli government and society react to the troubling phenomenon of Jewish out-migration? Based on new archival material, the lecture will shed light on a little-known yet significant chapter in Israel’s history, which has not lost its relevance even today.

April 8, 2015

5:00pm (early start time)

19 University Place, Room 102

Filmaker Ra'anan Alexandrowicz presents "47 Years of Documentation"


47 Years of Documentation is the latest intriguing project by award-winning director Ra'anan Alexandrowicz (Martin, The Law in These Parts, James's Journey to Jerusalem). Alexandrowicz will deliver a lecture accompanied by footage of Hebron taken over the last 50 years, raising broader questions regarding documentation, history, and politics. From the newsreels of the late 1960s, through TV coverage from the 1970s and 1980s, all the way to ubiquitous YouTube clips in the last decade, the process sheds light on the dramatic changes that have occurred in Hebron, and mainly on the transformations that have taken place in the act of documentation during that period of time.

April 19, 2015

All Day Conference

53 Washington Square South, 1st Floor

American Jews and Israel: A Relationship in Transition

10:00 AM:  Greetings
10:15 AM: Session 1: American Jews and Israel – Trends and New Directions
                        Dov Waxman, Northeastern Univ.
                        Theodore Sasson, Brandeis Univ.
                        Steven M. Cohen, HUC-JIR
                        Moderator: Mijal Bitton, NYU
 12:30 PM:  Lunch
 1:00 PM:  Session 2: Israel Experience and Israel Education
                        Shaul Kelner, Vanderbilt University
                        Yona Shem-Tov, Encounter
                        Bethamie Horowitz, NYU
                        Moderator: Lisa Grant, HUC-JIR
3:15 PM  Coffee break
 3:30 PM Session 3: Ties and Tensions: American Jewish Leadership and Israel
               Joy Levitt, JCC of Manhattan
               John Ruskay, Exec. VP Emeritus, UJA-Federation, NYC
               David Ellenson, HUC-JIR
               Moderator: Amir Shaviv, JDC
 6:00 PM Dinner
 7:00 PM Ambassadors Panel Discussion:
The View from Washington and Jerusalem
                Itamar Rabinovich, Dan Kurtzer
                Moderated by JJ Goldberg, The Forward



May 4, 2015


14A Washington Mews, 1st Floor

The Israeli Paradox: Military Censorship as a Protector of the Freedom of the Press

Dr. Hillel Nossek, College of Management, Academic Studies (Israel)

Fall 2014

September 15, 2014


14A Washington Mews, 1st Floor

Lessons Learned from the Israeli-Palestinian Peace-Finding Process

 yair-image.jpg       Professor Yair Hirschfeld, University of Haifa



          The Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies


Dr. Yair Hirschfeld will provide an insider account as to why Secretary Kerry's Peace Initiative for the Middle East failed and discuss why a less ambitious effort would have prevented the foreseeable break-down of negotiations. Hirschfeld will argue that the definition of peace, as such, is decisive for a successful outcome. It has to be understood that "peace is not a piece of paper, or a given moment, but an ongoing process, when former enemies learn gradually to trust each other."

Based on this basic understanding Hirschfeld will describe the causes that permitted the successful conclusion of the Oslo Accords, and the dramatic inside story, that caused later failures and set-backs. Hirschfeld will analyze the importance and problems of US mediation, of other inputs of the international community, as well as the impact of the regional powers, and particularly the ongoing struggle between radical militant Islamic state- and non-state actors, with the pragmatic pro-Western Arab states and Israel.

          RSVP via E-mail> rsvp.taub@nyu.edu

October 22, 2014 (NEW DATE)


14A Washington Mews, 1st Floor

Is Arab/Jewish Coexistence in Israel Possible?

Professor Yuli Tamir, former Israeli Education Minister

Dr. Tamir is former Minister of Education and Minister of Immigration in Israel, and is currently President of the Shenkar College of Industry and Design in Tel Aviv. She received a BA in Biology and an MA in political science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a PhD in political philosophy from Oxford. Between 1989 and 1999, she was a philosophy lecturer in Tel Aviv University and a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem, Princeton and Harvard universities. She served as a member of the Israeli Knesset between 2003 and 2010. This year, she is co-teaching a course in NYU's Steinhardt School with Bethamie Horowitz.

October 28, 2014


Grand Hall, 238 Thompson Street


Shattered Rhymes: The Life and Poetry of Erez Bitton

Film Screening, Panel Discussion and Poetry Reading

Join The Taub Center for the US Premiere screening of Sami Shalom-Chetrit’s Shattered Rhymes: the Life and Poetry of Erez Bitton, followed by poetry reading, a panel discussion, and Q&A!

Sami Shalom-Chetrit’s Shattered Rhymes: the Life and Poetry of Erez Bitton (2014, 63 mins) is a cinematic portrait of Jewish-Moroccan Israeli-based renowned poet Erez Bitton, and of his acclaimed poetry. A successor of the legacies of North-African poetizing and a pioneering predecessor of Mizrahi poetry in Israel, Bitton travels through the important landmarks of his, his family’s, and his generation’s, lived histories, shares from his experiences as a blind person, and reads from his musical, critical, multifaceted poetry.

We are honored to host Erez Bitton for some poetry reading. The panel discussion will feature:

Ammiel Alcaly (Classical, Middle Eastern, and Asian Languages and Cultures, Queens College)
Zvi Ben-Dor Benite (Department of Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, NYU)
Sami Shalom Chetrit - Director of Shattered Rhymes (Department of  Classical, Middle Eastern, and Asian Languages and Cultures, Queens College)
Ella Shohat (Department of Art & Public Policy / Department of Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, NYU)

Q&A will follow.

Please be sure to RSVP for this event: rsvp.taub@nyu.edu

Cosponsored by:

NYU Center for Media and Religion
Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies
Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies
NYU Council for the Study of Disability


November 9, 2014


53 Washington Square South, Screening Room

Screenings From The Other Israel Film Festival

Write Down, I'm an Arab

dir. Ibtisam Mara'ana Menuchin

An intimate portrait of the Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish, from an unexpected perspective: the women who influenced his work. Darwish's tumultuous life story is brought to screen by an Israeli Jewish lover, his first wife, personal interviews, and rare archival material. Through these components, the film aims to understand Darwish's inspiration for some of his most provocative songs, and the passion behind his work.


dir. Mushon Salmona

The story of Raed and Sleiman, Bedouin cousins, who make their way in life between their parents' tradition and their wish to be part of modern Israeli Society. Their journey, aspirations, and their impossible love to the same Jewish girl, tells the story of a whole community in transition.

4:00 pm: Screening of "Write Down, I'm an Arab"

5:30 pm: Panel discussion featuring:
Mira Awad
Steven Dinero
Sayid Kashua

6:00 pm: Screening of "Invisibles"

RSVP for this event at: rsvp.taub@nyu.edu

November 17, 2014


14A Washington Mews, 1st Floor

The World Jewish Congress during the Holocaust: Between Restraint and Activism

Professor Zohar Segev, University of Haifa


November 24, 2014


53 Washington Square South, 1st Floor

Israel as Western and Non-Western

Professor Sammy Smooha, University of Haifa

Dr. Sammy Smooha is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Haifa. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and President of the Israeli Sociological Society and won the 2008 Israel Prize for Sociology. Dr. Smooha studies Israeli society, with a focus on intergroup relations, in a comparative perspective. He has authored the books Israel: Pluralism and Conflict, Arabs and Jews in Israel, The Fate of Ethnic Democracy in Post-Communist Europe, and Still Playing by the Rules: Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel.

December 1, 2014


53 Washington Square South, Screening Room

The Warm Sand of the Coast of Tantura: History and Memory in Israel after 1948

Professor Alon Confino, University of Virginia


December 4, 2014

12:30pm - 2pm

14A Washington Mews, 1st Floor

Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel's Liberal Settler State

Following the 1948 war and the creation of the state of Israel, Palestinian Arabs comprised just fifteen percent of the population but held a much larger portion of its territory. Offered immediate suffrage rights and, in time, citizenship status, they nonetheless found their movement, employment, and civil rights restricted by a draconian military government put in place to facilitate the colonization of their lands. Citizen Strangers traces how Jewish leaders struggled to advance their historic settler project while forced by new international human rights norms to share political power with the very people they sought to uproot.

Professor Shira Robinson, George Washington  University

Discussion moderated by Dr. Leena Dallasheh, Rice University

Past Speakers Programs