The Brandeis University Summer Institute for Israel Studies: An Evaluation

Publication Date: September 2004

Publisher: Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Author(s): Annette Koren

Research Area: Education

Keywords: Higher Education; Israel Experience; Program Evaluation

Type: Report


The Brandeis University Summer Institute for Israel Studies (SIIS) was established to redress the lack of knowledgeable and balanced teaching about Israel, with the long-term goal of fostering Israel studies in universities and colleges. The first step in realizing that vision was an intensive two-week seminar taught by leading Israel studies scholars, aimed to train faculty members for an academic mission. Seventeen participants were recruited for the inaugural seminar in the summer of 2004 from institutions of higher education across the United States, Canada, England, Brazil, and Turkey. This independent evaluation was conducted to determine the extent to which the Institute’s goals were successfully met and to help shape its future directions, assessing only the short-term outcomes of the seminar. Long-term impact will be studied in the second phase of the evaluation. Analyses of interview data and the syllabi produced by participants suggest a number of recommendations for future seminars.