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About the Center


The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies promotes the study of modern Israel at UCLA and beyond. The center supports research in the academic field of Israel Studies, sponsors courses for UCLA students, hosts visiting academics, and organizes frequent public programs. Located in Los Angeles, which boasts the second-largest Jewish and Israeli communities in the United States, the Nazarian Center for Israel Studies was established in 2010 as the first full-fledged Israel Studies center on the West Coast. Since then, the center has become an internationally known source of expertise and education about Israel and an intellectually vibrant home for Israel Studies at UCLA.


Israel is a small country that looms large in public and academic discourse. The passions it evokes often present obstacles to nuanced analysis and civil discussion. Understanding the complexities of modern Israel requires knowledge from many academic disciplines, awareness of multiple viewpoints and narratives, and a willingness to engage in dialogue and discussion. Through a commitment to academic rigor, interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship, and a balanced and dispassionate approach, the Nazarian Center seeks to advance a deeper understanding of Israel's history, politics, society, and culture.


The center promotes engagement with Israel by UCLA students and faculty, and by members of the general public. We do not evaluate outside speakers, affiliated faculty members, students, or members of the general public with regard to their political beliefs, affiliations, or positions. The political positions of speakers, faculty members, students, and members of the general public are theirs alone and not those of the center.


The Nazarian Center was established with an endowment gift from the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation. The center and Israel Studies at UCLA have also benefited greatly from the support of other donors. In particular, the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation has endowed the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies.




Center Director

Dov  Waxman

Dov Waxman

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies