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2021 Undergraduate Scholars Conference in Israel Studies

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The UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies hosted its third annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference in Israel Studies. Highlights video above.

The Undergraduate Scholars Conference in Israel Studies was held virtually June 15, 2021 and connected outstanding scholars from universities in nine time zones, seven countries, and four continents. The conference brought together students whose cutting edge research pushes the frontiers of studies in Israeli culture, diplomacy, society, and politics.

Students were given up to 12 minutes of time to present their work, and participate in a moderated Q&A with their peers. Award prizes were given to the best paper, and the runner-up. Recorded video of the conference is below.

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Professor Dov Waxman, director of the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies



Panel: Fighting for Representation: Schisms and Trends in Israeli Politics
Moderator: Dr. Liron Lavi

Israeli Identity and Mizrahi Integration
Leah Adoni, Concordia University (Canada)

The Rise of the Extremism: A Case Study of Israel, the U.S. and Europe
Jessica Brouard, UCLA

Why do the Ashkenazim still Represent the Mizrahim in Israel?
Chloe Levian, UCLA

Bader-Ofer Method, Knesset Coalitions, and Israel’s Elections
Joseph Rosenbaum, Emory University


Panel: Literature and Culture: Finding and Defining Identity through Creation and Translation 
Moderator: Dr. Nili Alon Amit

Redefining the “Levantine” in Modern Israeli Literature
Jessica Binks, University of Cambridge (U.K) – "Best Paper Award"

American Jewish Identity in the Great Depression Era through Discourse on Israel
Danila Golubev, Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia)

Israeli Dance and Generational Trauma
Sabrina Alcala-Soleno, University of Texas El Paso

Found in Translation: Nationalism and Cultural Repertoires of Loyalty in Translation Discourse
Ohad Zeltzer-Zubida, Tel Aviv University (Israel)


Panel: Israeli Diplomacy in the MENA: Past, Present, and Future 
Moderator: Dr. Scott Abramson

Cold Peace Vs. Warm Peace: The Abraham Accords Compared to Previous Arab-Israeli Treaties
Jake Rosenfield, University of Kansas

Diplomatic Relations between Morocco and Israel: An Unavowable Tie?
Sabrina Barré, Sciences Po Paris (France) and UCLA exchange student – Runner-up, "Best Paper Award"

Regional History of MENA from 1978 and Its Influence on Israel-Egyptian-US Peace Talks
Kane Carlile, Liverpool John Moores University (U.K.)

Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
David Muchnikoff, Sonoma State University

Bridging the Divide: Challenging the Narrative of Polarization over Israel/Palestine on Social Media
Natalia Ureña-Tregillis, UCLA


Panel: Israeli Society: Between Rhetoric and Reality
Moderator: Avery Weinman

The Ultra-Orthodox Case Against Zionism: Probing the Jewish Legal Viewpoint
Aviv Assayag, UCLA

Expectations and Experience of Women in the Labor Zionist Movement
Jonah Kaufman-Cohen, American University

Druze Women and Gender in Israel: Literature Review and Future Trajectories
Miles Luce, University of Kansas

Description of a Struggle: Hannah Arendt on Zionism
Edward Mullaem, UC San Diego

Indian Jewish Diaspora in Israel
Mauli Tiwari, Rashtriya Raksha University (India)


Panel: The Conflict Over Israel-Palestine: On the Ground and in the Imaginary
Moderator: Professor Dov Waxman

Separation Barrier: Resolution or Evolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Frontier?
Robyn Bardmesser, Cornell University

Imagining Justice in Israel and Palestine: Transitional Justice Proposals and Possibilities
Tyler Durbin, Western Washington University

Peace Education among Israeli Jews and Arabs: The Challenges of Curriculum Design and Teaching at the Hagar School of Beersheba
Andrew Vandenbussche, University of Pennsylvania

Conflict, Apartheid: The Battle over Headlines in Israel and Palestine
Elsa Wefes-Potter, University of Pennsylvania


Closing Remarks and Award Presentation
Professor Dov Waxman, director of the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies