Brandeis University’s Summer Institute for Israel Studies: The First Four Years

Publication Date: July 2008

Publisher: Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Author(s): Annette Koren

Research Area: Education

Keywords: Israel Experience; Higher Education; Program Evaluation

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The Brandeis University Summer Institute for Israel Studies (SIIS) has as its goal “normalizing” Israel studies within the academy—making the study of Israel a part of the curriculum of higher education. It prepares established faculty members to teach about Israel within the frameworks of their own disciplines. To date, the Institute has educated five cohorts of over 100 members, all of whom participated in intensive two-week sessions at Brandeis University, completed syllabi, and almost all went to Israel on a study tour. Fellows from the first four cohorts, 2004-2007, responded to this independent survey and described their courses, their impressions of the impact of SIIS on their teaching and professional development, their reactions to post Institute programming, and their needs for the future. The data indicate the growing presence of education about Israel on college campuses and the enthusiasm of Institute fellows for the program.