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Y&S Nazarian Center prepares to bid farewell to Director Yoram Cohen, welcome new leader Dov Waxman

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Professor Dov Waxman, the new director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies

Professor Dov Waxman is set to take the helm at the UCLA Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies this January. He will succeed Professor Yoram Cohen, who has held the post since 2015.

"It has been an honor and pleasure to have served as director of the UCLA Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies these five years, and to have had the opportunity to work with outstanding leaders on our faculty and community advisory boards and dedicated staff." - Nazarian Center Director Yoram Cohen

Dec. 11, 2019 – While the UCLA Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies prepares for Winter Quarter 2020, it is also saying farewell to its director, Professor Yoram Cohen.  Cohen has served as director for the past five years and has also held The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies. Professor Dov Waxman will take up the director and chair positions as of Jan. 1, 2020.

Professor Waxman is currently the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies at Northeastern University, and a Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Israel Studies. He also directs Northeastern University’s Middle East Studies program and co-directs its Middle East Center. He is a frequent commentator in the broadcast media and the press, and he has lectured widely in the United States and abroad.

"It has been an honor and pleasure to have served as director of the UCLA Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies these five years, and to have had the opportunity to work with outstanding leaders on our faculty and community advisory boards and dedicated staff," said Professor Cohen. "Our work highlighted the tremendous impact the Center can have in promoting research, study, and understanding of contemporary Israel in all of its aspects – and I’m confident this impact will only grow stronger under Dov’s leadership."

Waxman is scheduled to speak Jan. 15th at a program sponsored by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center – "The ‘Religionization' of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." Waxman also will be the keynote speaker Jan. 9th at "American Jews, Israel and Anti-Semitism in the Trump Era," a Hillel at UCLA event co-sponsored by the Center. Details on both events can be found on the Nazarian Center’s website, and RSVP is requested.

Waxman’s research has focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict, Israeli foreign policy, U.S.-Israel relations, and Diaspora Jewry’s relationship with Israel. He is the author of numerous books, most recently The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2019). He also authored The Pursuit of Peace and the Crisis of Israeli Identity: Defending / Defining the Nation (Palgrave, 2006); Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within (with Ilan Peleg, Cambridge University Press, 2011); and Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel (Princeton University Press, 2016).

"I am excited that Professor Waxman will serve as the next director of the UCLA Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and will hold the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies," said Cindy Fan, UCLA vice provost for international studies and global engagement. "His unique combination of academic and research experiences that intersect with Israel studies and international affairs will help him lead the Nazarian Center into the future and build interdisciplinary collaborations across campus and within the International Institute. I am grateful to Professor Carol Bakhos, chair of the search committee for the Gilbert Chair, and to other members of the committee. I would also like to thank Professor Cohen for his vision and leadership of the Center over the past several years."

Professor Waxman previously taught at the City University of New York, Bowdoin College, and the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. He has also been a visiting fellow at Tel Aviv University, Bar-Ilan University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Oxford University. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University.

An internationally recognized scientist and expert in water technology, Professor Cohen helped advance the Center’s global leadership in Israel Studies, especially expanding its research and academic efforts around challenging sustainability issues. He helped bring together environmental experts and stakeholders for several major programs and conferences at UCLA in the past several years, including "Smart & Sustainable Cities" and "Water in the Middle East and Africa: A Nexus of Cooperation and Conflict."

 

Professor Yoram Cohen, director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies

A UCLA Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cohen is on the faculty of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, a UCLA Luskin Scholar, Director of UCLA Water Technology Research, and a member and Theme Leader at the UCLA Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology.

Professor Cohen plans to maintain his ties to the UCLA Nazarian Center, and will serve as a member of the Faculty Advisory Board for the Center.

The UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies promotes the study of the history, culture, and society of Israel. It sponsors courses for students of all backgrounds, conducts innovative research, and brings leading scholars, policymakers and artists to UCLA for public programs and performances. Originally founded in 2005 as the UCLA Israel Studies Program, the Nazarian Center was established in 2010 as the first full-fledged Israel Studies center on the West Coast and one of four in the nation that are named and endowed.