Orcid: 0000-0002-0666-0347​

Paula Kabalo is the former director of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In 2011–2017, she was the founding chair of the Woodman-Scheller Israel Studies International MA program. Since 2017, she has also been the founding head of the Azrieli Center for Israel Studies at the Institute, a complex of research hubs that aim to decode core themes related to the Israel phenomenon and the Zionist Idea. Paula was historical consultant for the Ben-Gurion: Epilogue documentary  and is a member of the steering committee of the Ben-Gurion Archives exhibition hall, under construction.

Her research focuses on the history of citizen associations and civil society in Israel and David Ben-Gurion's relations with various strata of society in Israel and the Jewish world. Kabalo mapped, reviewed, and illuminated the role of common people in central historical junctions. Her book Shurat Ha'Mitnadvim – The Story of a Civic Association (Am Oved and Tel Aviv University, 2007) is a case study for understanding the evolution of Israel's democracy. Her most recent book, Israeli Community Action: Living Through the War of Independence (Indiana University Press, 2020), portrays patterns of community resilience and self-help organizations during Israel's War of Independence.  In addition, she has published dozens of articles on the patterns and roles of civic associations in Israel's early history (pre- and post-1948), the history of Israel's youth, state–citizen relations in Israel, and David Ben-Gurion's leadership through the prism of  leader–follower theories (LMX and others). Currently, she is researching community organizations and local leadership in Israeli urban neighborhoods in an ISF grant project that focuses on neighborhood committees. 

During the academic years of 2007-2009, Kabalo served as a Schusterman visiting professor in Israel Studies at the Elie Wiesel center for Jewish Studies, Boston University; during the fall semester of 2001 she  was  Johns Hopkins Philanthropy Fellow at the JHU Center for Civil Society Studies.


Selected List Publications


Kabalo, Paula (2020). Israeli Community Action: Living Through the War of Independence. Indiana University Press.​

Kabalo, Paula,(2007). שורת המתנדבים – קורותיו של ארגון אזרחים Shurat Hamitnadvim: the Story  of a Civic Association, The Weizmann Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel at Tel Aviv University and Am Oved Publishing House, 303pp.


Kabalo, Paula, (2003). 'אזרחים מתבגרים: כינוס התלמידים בשיך מוניס – התנגשות, דיאלוג ומפגש''Teenage  Citizens: The youth  conference in Sheih Munis - Conflict, Dialogue & Meeting', Israel, Vol 4, pp. 123-154, (Hebrew).

Kabalo, Paula, (2006). 'Constructing Civil Society: Citizen Associations in Israel in the 1950s,' Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 35:2, pp. 161-182 (English)

Kabalo, Paula, (2008). 'Leadership Behind the Curtains: the Case of Israeli Women in 1948', Modern Judaism, Vol. 28, pp. 14-40 (English)

Kabalo, Paula, (2008).  'Mediating Between Citizens and a New State: the History of  Shurat Hamitnadvim', Israel Studies, 13:2, pp. 97-121 (English)

Kabalo, Paula, (2009). 'The Historical Dimension: Jewish Associations in Palestine and Israel 1880s – 1950', Journal of Civil Society, Vol 5: 1, 1-20 (English)

Kabalo, Paula (2009). 'A Fifth Nonprofit Regime? Revisiting the Social Origins Theory – The Case of Jewish Associational Life as a "New States" Model', Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Vol. 38:4, pp.  627-642 (English)

Kabalo, Paula, Katz, Hagai, (2014). 'Internally Displaced Persons Between Nonprofit and Government: Comparing Two Israeli Wars', Journal of Civil Society 10,3 273-293

Kabalo, Paula (2017 ). David Ben-Gurion's leadership as a ''two-way interaction process'', Leadership, Vol.13:3, pp. 320-342

Kabalo, Paula (2018). City With No Walls: David Ben-Gurion's Jerusalem Vision Post-June 1967. Modern Judaism. DOI: 10.1093