Israels: Grasping the Multitudes of Israel

The State of Israel, as a case study, can be characterized along two axes: The vertical one is time, from ancient history to current times. The horizontal one is a microcosm of regional and global major issues: religion and state relations, liberal democracy versus conservative values, majority- minority relations, immigrant and indigenous populations, economic disparity, inequality, and the collapse of traditional state institutions.

In each weekly session, the students and the instructor will visit a new topic regarding the Israeli reality. Each topic will be handled through the vertical and horizontal accesses mentioned above. The instructor will guide the students to look into the deep historic roots of the issues, and will then deconstruct the topics both in their significance within the heterogeneous Israeli society and as part of a larger global phenomenon. The instructor will cover major issues and will not shy away from
the more controversial and current topics such as Israeli politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The course aims on an interactive model despite its “online nature”. The instructor will share an overview and materials with the students. Students will usually be invited to a proactively share their views and discuss these in the group. These might include presumable theories of using science to “solve political challenges”, current newspaper articles on as well as videos and music recordings.


Course Schedule

Program Date: October 15 - November 19, 2023

Students will meet online on Sundays, time 10:00am - 11:30am (Eastern Standard Time) with additional asynchronous time requirements of 1hr+ per week.

Academic Director

Avraham (Avrum) Burg

Avraham (Avrum) Burg is an Adjunct Faculty at the University of Notre Dame at the Jerusalem Global Gateway at Tantur, as well as a former Speaker of the Israeli Parliament and a reputable international public intellectual and writer. Thinker, writer and peace activist, Burg began his political career in the movement against the Lebanon War. He continued on to a long political career where he served in a variety of public positions including in the Knesset as a member of the Labor Party, Speaker of the Knesset, and Chairman of the Jewish Agency. He is the author of several books including, God is Back, The Holocaust is Over; We Must Rise from its Ashes, Avishag, and Very Near to You. He writes articles on current affairs that are published in major newspapers around the world. In addition to lecturing at UNDT, Burg is a faculty member at NYU Abu Dhabi and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.