$$News and Reports$$

Jun. 19, 2014


Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will host the 30th Annual Conference of the Association for Israel Studies next week at Sede Boqer, running from Monday June 23 to Wednesday June 25, 2014. The international conference will feature panels of more than 400 scholars from around the world taking on the topic Israel: Leadership & Critical Decisions.

“In the spirit of David Ben-Gurion, this year’s Association for Israel Studies conference aims to interrogate the challenges that have faced Israeli leadership throughout the existence of the State. Hundreds of researchers at dozens of sessions will present findings concerning the questions regarding the uniqueness of the leadership experience in the cultural and social context of Israel. We are convinced that the atmosphere here will encourage fruitful, constructive, and pluralistic dialogue that will serve as an inspiration for future generations of Israeli leaders and scholars of Israel in this country and around the world,” says Dr. Paula Kabalo, Director of the Institute. 

In addition to the panels, there will be on site sessions in the Sede Boqer area on the afternoon of Tuesday June 24 (see below). 

The conference will address the issue of leadership in society from a broad range of political, cultural, religious, social, and economic perspectives. Among the themes to be addressed are: leadership that generates processes of nation-building and national revolution; leadership in times of institutionalization and conventionalization; leadership in the face of crises; political leaders and elite groups in Israeli society and the Jewish people; leadership of minorities in Israeli society; the differentiation and the relationship between leadership and management; the reciprocal relationships between political leaders and intellectual leaders; the mutual connections between political leaders and religious leaders; positive and negative expectations of the leadership among various groups and sectors in Israeli society.

On Monday evening June 23 at 6:00 PM the keynote address: 

Israel – Interrupted Democratic Development?

will be given by Prof. Itzhak Galnoor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Chazan Center for Social Justice and Democracy, The Van-Leer Institute

On Tuesday June 24, there will be two mini plenaries from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM:

Responding to the Boycott in Academia: A Conversation about BDS

Roundtable Chair: Ron Kiener, Trinity College

Rachel S. Harris, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ilan Troen, Brandeis University
Martin B. Shichtman, Eastern Michigan University
David Newman, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Roundtable on Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

Chair: Emanuel Adler, University of Toronto
Oded Haklai, Queen's University
Joel Migdal, University of Washington
Derek Penslar, University of Oxford
Anita Shapira, Tel Aviv University
Ari Shavit, Author and Journalist

Followed by on-site sessions in the Sede Boqer area: This Ramat Negev region of the Negev desert, which is now undergoing development and some dramatic changes, is an area with many fascinating archaeological sites, striking natural beauty, and a diverse social fabric—home to kibbutzim, development towns, unique communal settlements, and a significant Bedouin population. In the interest of taking advantage of these unique features of this year’s conference, the organizers have decided to devote one segment of the conference proceedings to five special sessions, each located in a setting representative of some of the themes of the session.

On Wednesday June 25, the final session at 2:00 PM will be: 

Israeli Leadership – Pathways and Goals  

Chair: Itamar Rabinovich, President, Israel Institute
Dan Meridor, former MK and Minister
Dalia Dorner, former Justice of the Supreme Court
Michael Biton, Mayor of Yerucham
On Site Sessions sponsored by KKL, History Research Institute for Zionism and Settlement

These will include:

  • A session devoted to education and society, located at the Ayalim student village in the community of Ashalim
  • A session on ethnicity and social equality, located in the town of Yerucham
  • A session on the Bedouin communities in Israel, located in the Bedouin tent community of Avdat
  • A session on history and development of kibbutz communities, located at the Kibbutz museum at Kibbutz Revivim
  • A session on David Ben-Gurion, located at the Ben-Gurion desert home at Kibbutz Sede Boqer

    Conference Brochure

    Conference Website