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Government

Understanding Israel's political dynamics and governing structure exposes students to Israel's checks and balances and how they influence its decision-making mechanism.

Tour of the Knesset

Activity description:

Get a close look at the Knesset’s parliamentary work which impacts the lives of each and every Israeli citizen. Tour the compound and meet with a Knesset member to discuss current political issues (according to availability).

The Knesset, Israel’s parliament located in Jerusalem, is the supreme state body and the unicameral legislature of Israel. Its 120 elected members pass all of Israel’s laws, elect the president, approve the cabinet, and supervise the work of the government through various committees.

Low

Jerusalem

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Tour of the Supreme Court

Activity description:

Explore Jewish and Israeli judicial traditions at the Supreme Court building and meet (pending availability) with a present or former Supreme Court justice.

The Supreme Court in Jerusalem is the highest court in Israel and the final Court of Appeals. The court consists of 15 justices and two registrar and hears petitions against various governmental authorities as well as against rulings of appeals tribunals. The Supreme Court Building is one of the most iconic architectural landmarks in Israel, inspired by biblical metaphors and influenced by ideals of justice, truth, law, charity, and mercy. Its architecture expresses the connection and reciprocal relationship between the court and society and includes a combination of modern architecture and architectural references to typical buildings in Jerusalem throughout the ages.

Low

Jerusalem

Molad - Ido Dembin

Activity description:

Hear a lecture by Dembin on one of the following topics: 

  • The Dangers of the So-Called Status Quo in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 

  • The Two-State Solution and the Israeli Electorate 

  • The Two-State Solution: Dream or Reality? Between Myths and Narratives 

  • Security in a Two-State Reality 

  • Liberal Zionism: An Old-New Vision for the Future

 

Dembin is the executive director of Molad—the Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy, an independent, non-partisan Israeli think tank that works to reinvigorate Israeli public discourse by infusing it with liberal and democratic thought.  Prior to joining Molad, Dembin was the Israel Director at the New-York based nonprofit, iTrek, an advisor to the Israeli mission to the OECD, UNESCO, and the Council of Europe in Paris, and a lawyer and legal intern at Herzog, Fox & Neeman, and Orna Lin and Co. Dembin also holds a Master's degree in Human Rights from Columbia University, where he served as chief editor of RightsViews, the program's online magazine. He is the founder and chief editor of "Mr. Dembin Goes to Washington,” a U.S. politics and society blog, and has written for many Israeli outlets, including Ha’aretz, Walla, Saloona, and more. 

Dembin is the executive director of Molad—the Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy, an independent, non-partisan Israeli think tank that works to reinvigorate Israeli public discourse by infusing it with liberal and democratic thought.  Prior to joining Molad, Dembin was the Israel Director at the New-York based nonprofit, iTrek, an advisor to the Israeli mission to the OECD, UNESCO, and the Council of Europe in Paris, and a lawyer and legal intern at Herzog, Fox & Neeman, and Orna Lin and Co. Dembin also holds a Master's degree in Human Rights from Columbia University, where he served as chief editor of RightsViews, the program's online magazine. He is the founder and chief editor of "Mr. Dembin Goes to Washington,” a U.S. politics and society blog, and has written for many Israeli outlets, including Ha’aretz, Walla, Saloona, and more.

Medium

Jerusalem

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David Horovitz - Times of Israel

Activity description:

Hear a briefing on current events in Israel based on Horovitz’s behind-the-scenes experience and knowledge.

David Horovitz is the founding editor of the online newspaper The Times of Israel. He was previously the editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post and editor and publisher of the award-winning news magazine The Jerusalem Report. Horovitz has written from Israel for newspapers around the world, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Irish Times, and (London) Independent. He is a frequent interviewee on CNN, the BBC, Sky, Fox News, NPR, and other TV and radio stations. Horovitz lectures widely in Israel, the United States, and Europe on Israeli current affairs, regularly giving the introductory briefing on Israel to Congressional delegations brought to Israel. A graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he was profiled in the university’s 90th anniversary President’s Report, as the graduate who had most impacted Israel’s reality in the field of media, alongside Dorit Beinisch (judiciary), Yuval Steinitz (the legislature) and other Israeli luminaries. 

Medium

Jerusalem

Lobby 99

Activity description:

Meet with a member of Lobby 99 for a behind-the-scenes discussion about Israel's parliament. Get a fascinating look at the realities that make Israeli legislation tick, and discuss whether Israeli politics really serve the citizens of Israel.

Lobby 99 is a first-of-its-kind public lobby that aims to represent the “unrepresented 99%”. Through Lobby 99, thousands of Israelis have joined crowd-funded initiatives to send a representative to parliament to fight for the public interest on their behalf. With the support of the Israeli media and caring citizens, the lobby takes an active part in the Israeli law-making process and has achieved significant results in areas such as banking, transparency, corruption prevention, taxation, royalties on natural resources, and more.

Medium

Israel

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Tal Shalev

Activity description:

Listen to an in-depth first-hand overview of the complex political situation in Israel based on Tal Shalev’s experience as a top journalist in the field in Israel. Upon request, she can also cover the status of women in Israeli politics, and the unique impact Benjamin Netanyahu has had on Israeli politics. 

Tal Shalev is the chief political correspondent and analyst for Walla! News—one of Israel's largest websites that provides 24/7 independent breaking news and analysis. She covers Israel's Prime Minister, government, parliament, and political developments. Shalev has had an extremely varied and rich career in journalism spanning over a decade and a half, including as a news editor for Israel’s Ha'aretz daily newspaper and i24 News, and regularly appears on television and radio shows providing commentary and analysis.

Medium

Tel Aviv / Jerusalem

Prof. Reuven Hazan

Activity description:

Join Professor Reuven Hazan of the political science department at Hebrew University for an introduction to Israel's turbulent political scene where coalition governments and powerful ideological divisions are a fact of life.

Professor Reuven Hazan is a political scientist, diplomat, political affairs commentator, and former chair of the political science department at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Educated at The Hebrew University (BA) and Columbia University (MA, Ph.D.), he specializes in the historical and current analysis of democratic institutions in general, and Israeli institutions in particular.  Hazan has served as a leading consultant for several political parties in Israel and works with the nation’s foremost think tanks.  He served on the Presidential Commission on the Structure of Government in Israel and was in charge of the Israeli parliament’s committee reform project. He has been a commentator for CNN, FOX, BBC, CBC, and NPR and has been quoted in magazines such as Time and Newsweek and in newspapers across North America from the Los Angeles Times to the Wall Street Journal.  Hazan is a ninth-generation Israeli, born in Jerusalem. 

High

Jerusalem

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Prof. Udi Sommer

Activity description:

Sit down with Professor Sommer for an in-depth investigation of the Israeli political system, Israel’s relations with the US, and how they converge in the reality of the Middle East.

Udi Sommer is an associate professor at the School of Political Science, Government, and International Relations at Tel Aviv University. In the past, he co-chaired the Israeli Cyber Forum at Columbia University, while teaching political science at Columbia. His research focuses on comparative and American politics, politics of sexuality and gender, judicial politics, pandemics and politics, and cybersecurity, and he has written several books on topics such as reproductive and sexual minority rights. He regularly appears as an expert commentator for media outlets in Israel and abroad including Israeli TV Channels 11, 12 & 13, the Christian Science Monitor, and Haaretz.com (English). Prior to his academic career, he founded and managed several programs for underprivileged youth. He also has advanced training in clinical psychology and volunteers with individuals with disabilities.real estate transactions. He has a master's degree in public policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has served as the  Chairman of the Board of the Society for Economy and Insurance, a member of the board of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and chairman of FMA - Human Resources Development. He is also a mentor for new mayors and CEOs of local authorities. Revivi has six children with his wife, Lisa, and was chosen by The Jerusalem Post as one of the fifty people of the year in 2020. 

Low

Efrat / Jerusalem

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