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Center for Israel Studies

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Join CIS for Today’s Conference on Expatriate Israeli Community

Updated: Jan 27, 2019

Announcement by Bruce Pearson


Authors, scholars, diplomats and historians will gather at American University on Sunday and Monday, October 28-29, for a public conference focused on the Israeli Diaspora Past and Present. Sponsored by AU’s Center for Israel Studies (CIS), the conference aims to explore the phenomenon of Israelis who live permanently abroad and those who plan to return to Israel.


“Israel was founded with the mission of “ingathering of the exiles” – bringing the Jews back to their historic homeland. While in 1948 less than ten percent of the Jewish population lived in the Jewish state, sixty-six years later almost every second Jew calls Israel home. This is a remarkable achievement, which only few Zionists predicted half a century ago,” says CIS. What was also unforeseen, however, is the fact that today there exists a large Israeli diaspora all over the world,” continues CIS, “The expatriate Israeli community numbers today anywhere between half a million and one million people. Some of them live permanently abroad, while others plan to return to Israel.”


Conference presenters include Shira Ruderman, Executive Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation; Michael Brenner, Director of the AU Center for Israel Studies; Lilach Lev-Ari, author of The American Dream––For Men Only?: Gender, Immigration and the Assimilation of Israelis in the United States; and Uzi Rebhan, Shlomo Argov Chair in Israel-Diaspora Relations, along with a number of scholars in the field of Israeli Diaspora studies.

Five discussion panels will focus on “Preserving Israeliness in the Next Generation of Israeli-Americans,” “A Century of Emigration,” “Israelis in the United States,” “Israelis Around the World,” and “Israeli Writers in the United States.”


This year marks the 21st anniversary for CIS, which was created to study, examine, and interpret the rich landscape of Israel as a nation and a people.


The two-day conference is open to the public (reservations requested) and free. It will take place at American University's East Campus Constitution Hall, 3501 Nebraska Avenue NW. Parking available under the building. The complete schedule and reservation information is available at on the CIS website.


PHOTOS AND INTERVIEWS UPON REQUEST

Contact: Laura Cutler cutler@american.edu, 202-885-3780