Courses, Workshops, and Seminars

Scholars as Bridge Builders offers a range of programs, including courses, workshops, and seminars. Typically, these academic engagements take place during the winter breaks. Since its inception, the Program ran three 4-day crash courses on Israel Studies far in collaboration with Brandeis University’s Schusterman Center for Israel Studies; one 4-day Seminar was held in Jerusalem in collaboration with the Hebrew University and focused on issues of Urban Justice in Jerusalem and in NYC and was participated by FEP alumni and Israeli Scholars; and lastly a 5-day workshop dealing with Diversity and Inclusion Policies was held in NYC in collaboration with Israeli Hope in Academia, the Israeli President Rivlin’s flagship initiative “Israeli Hope” and with the City University of New York.

Please click below for a further description of each.

For more information contact, our team.


Collaborative Workshop Exploring Diversity and Inclusion Policies and Practices between Israel and NYC Campuses, February 23-27, 2020

A partnership between the JCRC-NY Faculty Engagement Program, Israeli President Rivlin’s flagship initiative “Israeli Hope” and City University of New York

Summary of Activities

You can see the full workshop itinerary here.

As part of its ongoing alumni engagement activities, JCRC-NY’s Scholars as Bridge Builders held an exciting, stimulating and thought-provoking 5-day collaborative workshop in New York City in February of 2020. The workshop focused on exploring diversity, equity, inclusion policies and practices within Israeli and New York City universities and colleges. Throughout the various sessions, participants compared and contrasted case studies involving minority groups, gentrification, second-language students, and shared best practices between Israel and NYC institutions of higher education. Discussions included issues of compliance, developing inclusive structures, and promoting cultural competency among faculty and administration. The workshop highlighted Ultra-orthodox Jewish students and the various mechanisms that allow for their participation in higher education (private and public). This issue is particularly relevant to many Israeli diversity officers, and NYC offers a unique example of the tensions that exist and a potential opportunity to learn about possible solutions.

Alongside professional discussions, the group toured three boroughs of the city (Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Brooklyn, and Queens), visited various local campuses, met with counterparts and experts (academic, public officials, and administrators), and participated in hands-on training sessions. Please see below the agenda and program bio booklet, which provides further descriptions of the Israeli Hope in Academia program, JCRC-NY’s Faculty Engagement Program, and the bios of the Israeli and American participants.

Two major institutions partnered with JCRC-NY’s Scholars as Bridge Builders to facilitate the workshop – President Rivlin’s Flagship Initiative “Israeli Hope” and the CUNY Central Office. Many present and future alumni took part in the planning process, facilitated sessions and participated in the workshop. A total of over 80 people participated in the workshop, out of which 17 were Israeli academic and administrative faculty members from various Israeli higher education institutions, 28 were NYC based participants from the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity realm throughout CUNY, ten participants were clergy or faith based student leaders (Hillel, Orthodox and Reform Jewish groups, and a representative from the campus’s Muslim Student Association), and the remaining were guests from various institutions. Overall, 22 were study tour alumni.

The workshop is part of an ongoing collaboration between IHA and JCRC-NY, that started with a study exchange during Scholars as Bridge Builders’ study tour to Israel.  Alumni led parts of the workshop, giving lectures, providing training, and sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Please find here an elaboration on Israeli Hope in Academia and on JCRC-NY’s Scholars as Bridge Builders and the bios of Israeli and American participants.

For more information, contact our team.

Scholars as Bridge Builders: NYC and Jerusalem Exploring Practices and Policies of Urban Justice

In January 2019 we held our first workshop in Jerusalem, collaborating and partnering with the Hebrew University, particularly the Urban Clinic. This workshop focused on policies of Urban Justice, and consisted of two days of intensive knowledge-sharing, and two days of touring Israel. The participants were limited to Scholars as Bridge Builders alumni, and each participant had to pay for their own flight to Israel, typically coming from their university’s travel funds, while JCRC-NY and the Hebrew University covered all ground costs.

During the workshop days, there were multiple sessions discussing the cross-section between society, politics, and space. Additionally, the participants had time to meet one-on-one with their Israeli counterparts to provide and gain guidance and insight.

The group then toured Jericho (the most ancient city of the world), the Golan Heights, Nazareth, and Haifa (including meetings at Haifa University).

You can see the full workshop itinerary here.


For more information, contact our team.

Crash Course on Israel Studies

Scholars as Bridge Builders offers a four-day Crash Course on Israel Studies for faculty members each winter recess. The course is geared towards faculty who want to increase their capacity to discuss, research, and teach about Israel. Throughout the course, participating faculty meet with leading scholars for sessions on various issues related to Israel and the greater Jewish world. Participants are able to meet colleagues from their city who are dealing with similar topics and challenges on their respective campuses and in their classrooms. Participants receive an academic certificate at the end of the course and have reported that the course will not only directly influence their teachings, but will also influence their research agendas as well. Thus far, we have held three four-day academic “crash courses” on Israel Studies during academic winter break sessions. These were attended by 45 professors.

The course is a collaboration with the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University.

Past Speakers: Ilan Troen, David Ellenson, Michael S. Miller, Rachel Fish, Peter Beinart, Yehuda Mirsky, Ilana Szobel, Steven Bayme, Jonathan Gribetz, Thair Abu Rass, J.J. Goldberg, Lior Lehrs, Shahar Sadeh, Mikhal Dekel, Hussein Ibish, Shimon Dotan and Shai Feldman.


Past Course Programs, Israel: Balance and Complexity

January 2018

January 2017

January 2016


    • There was just so much that I was able to take away. I gained knowledge, awareness of many debates, a keener understanding of different subject positions and biases.”
    • One of the most rewarding things about the seminar was the friends I made — probably the most genuine intellectual collegiate relationships in the last 20 years at CUNY”
    • “The program encouraged me to pursue a visiting professorship or some sort of academic exchange connected to Israel. Also, I will undoubtedly incorporate some of what I have learned into my courses. . . My university has mostly anti-Israel academics. I have frequently been called upon to defend Israel. This course strengthened my ability to perform that role . . “

For more information, contact our team.