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The Home of Academic Studies on Israel

Pedagogy in Israel Studies

Israel & the Campus: The Real Story Author: Mitchell Bard

The college campus has long been the one place where anti-Israel activity and anti-Semitism have been tolerated, and colleges remain shockingly ambivalent toward the complaints of students and others about the hostility expressed by students, faculty and visitors toward Jews and their homeland. Some have argued that there is a well-funded and organized network promoting the delegitimization of Israel.

The evidence we have found, however, is that this is not true. Unlike pro-Israel groups, most anti-Israel groups are student-led with little or no professional assistance. Still, at least one anti-Israel student group has a presence at approximately 330 universities out of roughly 4,000 in the U.S. By comparison, Hillel is on 363 campuses and 273 universities have a representative from at least one national pro-Israel organization.

Israel & the Liberal Arts: Notes from a Teaching Experience Author: Daniel Marom

What can the study of Israel contribute to learners who treat it as a villain or as a superhero in a global reality media program? What can it contribute to those who not only have not been to Israel, but have never left the confines of America? What is it about Israel that, when studied, can help engage such learners with deeper issues concerning their own everyday lives? What can they take from studying Israel that will enhance their thinking about anything and everything once they finish their academic studies? How can the study of Israel engage students with the world at large?

In order for Israel Studies to be equal to the complexities of their being taught in liberal arts programs, these and a host of similar questions need the attention of educational researchers and the results of their inquiries should be made available to the community of Israel scholars at large. I have developed over the years an instructional approach to the teaching of Israel, but now look to apply this approach with particular challenge of doing so in a liberal arts framework. This effort involved the careful design of the syllabi and pedagogy for the two courses according to my larger approach to the teaching of Israel, ongoing deliberation on and revision of the approach in the context of the implementation of the two courses, careful evaluation of and response to student work and keeping records of all the above. These elements are the basis upon which I now describe the outcomes of this curricular experiment.

Teaching Israel Studies in the Christian South Author: Sara Abosch

This paper details my experiences constructing and teaching Israel Studies courses to almost exclusively Protestant students at a mid-size, public, urban research university.

Teaching about Israel in the American South presents its own unique challenges and rewards. Many students arrive with a wealth of misperceptions and incomplete information about Israel, both ancient and modern. Students are graduates of public high schools, almost exclusively from the mid-South region, college juniors and seniors, overwhelmingly Protestant, and about 50% first generation college attendees. Many of the students who adhere to evangelical Protestantism tend to concentrate on 'scripture' and biblical command or exhortation as explanation for historical events and developments, particularly when these events involve the Jewish people. As I would learn, however, students religious interpretations were not relegated to the patriarchal and temple periods of Jewish history.

Teaching Israeli Studies at Periphery Institutions Author: Julia Lieberman

Teaching a course on Israeli Studies at a periphery institution like Saint Louis University differs in a number of ways from the other courses I teach. One positive difference is that students are for the most part very talented and have excellent reading and writing skills. But I also face challenges that I do not have in other courses, such as, that the students know nothing about Israel and there is a lack of materials available, such as a textbook to suit their specific needs. This lack of previous knowledge about Israel affects negatively in their participation in class, specially the first half the semester, when they are encountering topics they have never heard of before and they are shy and hesitant to say anything in class.