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2017-18 Grant and Fellowship Recipients

Faculty Research Grants

Aomar Boum | Anthropology

Research Project Title: Hans: The Story of A German Jewish Refugee in North Africa during WWII

Project Description: The project is based on ten years of archival and ethnographic research in Israel, the United Stated and Morocco about German and French colonial policies in Morocco and is set against the backdrop of a recent growing debate within Israel about Jews of North African origins. It involves the production of a 40-50 page comic book depicting the story a German Jew, known as Hans, who survived the Nazi rule by escaping to France, participating in the Spanish Civil War, getting imprisoned in a forced labor camp in Algeria, and finally escaping and hiding in the house of a Moroccan Jewish family in Casablanca until American liberation of North Africa.

Graduate Student Research Fellowships

Scott Abramson | Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Research Project Title: Between the Jewish State and the Palestinian Cause: The Modern History of the Maronites of Israel

Project Description: The project is part of Abramson’s doctoral research which investigates the history of the Maronites of Israel, with special emphasis on the complexities—social, political, and sectarian—with which citizenship in the Jewish state has confronted them. Since 1948, Maronites have had to negotiate their membership in Israel’s body politic and manage their relations with various, often conflicting, domestic actors: the Israeli state, Jewish society, Arab Israelis, other Israeli Christians, and the Palestinians. Between the Maronites and Israel’s other communities there prevails a dialectic whereby a stance Maronites adopt on a certain issue can endear them to one community while alienating them from another. How the Maronites have met these challenges throughout 70 years of Israeli statehood is the substance of this work.

Yael Assor | Anthropology

Research Project Title: "Objective" Bureaucracy: Imaginaries of Accountability in the Everyday Enactment of an Israeli Medical Bureaucracy

Project Description: This cultural anthropology research examines how a central yet ambiguous ethical imperative for “objectivity” shape the work of one of Israel’s central medical policy-making mechanisms, the Israeli Medical Package Committee. The Committee meets annually to execute a complex biopolitical project of prioritizing which new medical treatments will gain state subsidy; a crucial aspect of Israel’s nationalized healthcare system. Since all of Israel’s governed population has life-and-death stakes in the Committee’s decisions, its work is carried out amidst intense pressures. In response to these pressures, both the Committee itself and Israeli public media stress the significance of performing the Committee’s decision-making process in an “objective” manner. The study seeks to illuminate how prominent ethical conceptions about appropriate governmental behavior held by the Israeli public affect the making of Israel’s national medical policy.

Janice Levi | History

Research Project Title: Whispers in the West: the Emergence of a Jewish community in Twentieth-Century Ghana

Project Description: This project examines the historical precedent behind the development of Jewish communities in Western Africa in the 20th century. Centering on the oral history of the House of Israel, a Jewish community that (re)emerged in western Ghana in 1976, the project analyzes how a Jewish iddentity was constructed through oral histories that relayed a Jewish heritage and ancestral practices associated with Jewish ritual, but also through encounters with normative Judaism in the 20th and 21st centuries. Further, the project examines the role of Israel in Ghana during the independence era and how these emerging populations may diversify Israeli society if ever included under the 1950 Law of Return.

Melina Melgoza | Education

Research Project Title: Nazi and Modern Propaganda: The Power of Media and the Importance of Critical Media Literacy in K-12 Education

Project Description: The purpose of this research is to use critical media literacy to understand how media, specifically Nazi propaganda, influenced and changed the perception of people in Germany during from 1933 to 1945. The research will be used to advance knowledge of the Israeli Jewish community and their society, history, and culture through critical media literacy in a secondary Social Studies classroom and support critical student analysis of current media being used to dehumanize communities in the 21st century, specifically Latin American immigrant groups. This research in Los Angeles, Germany, and Israel involves collecting archival information, primary and secondary testimony and oral histories from Holocaust survivors and families of survivors.

Conference Travel Grants

Yael Assor

  • Conference: American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting
  • Paper Title: Unemotional Bureaucracies and Medical Knowledge Production

Shaiel Ben Ephraim

  • Conference: International Studies Association Annual Convention
  • Paper Title: Signaling a Willingness to Settle: The Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories as a Bargaining Commitment Problem

  • Conference: Society for Historians of American Foreign Policy Annual Conference
  • Paper Title: “Therefore they shouldn’t exist”: The Carter Administration, the “Israel Lobby,” and the Sinai Settlements

  • Conference: Association for Israel Studies Annual Conference
  • Paper Title: “Therefore they shouldn’t exist”: The Carter Administration, the “Israel Lobby,” and the Sinai Settlements

Arnon Degani

  • Conference: Middle East Studies Association of America Annual Conference
  • Paper Title: Comrades, not Enemies? The Histadrut and its Palestinian-Arab Members, 1948-1967

Liron Lavi

  • Conference: Association for Israel Studies Annual Conference
  • Paper Title: Changing Times: Social Acceleration and Democratic Legitimacy in Israeli Electoral History

Simone Salmon

  • Conference: 12th Symposium of the International Council for Traditional Music, Mediterranean Music Studies
  • Paper Title: Nostalgia for a Life Unlived: Imagined Memory Through Sephardic Folksong

Mudie Glaser Scholarship

Study Abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

• Joyce Chang
Summer Session
• Danielle Lowder
Summer Session
• Justin Nemanpour

  • Winter/Spring Semester

Harry Sigman Scholarship

• Sebastian Feldman
  • Summer Session at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
• Amit Liran
  • Fall Semester at Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann Faculty of Law


2016-17 Grant and Fellowship Recipients