28 January 2021. Web Forum with Dr Shelly Zer Zion
The Shtetl in the Eretz-Israeli Theatre of the 1930’s and the Performance of ethnic Zionism”

The Eastern European Jewish Shtetl was much more than a mere historical reality. Historians and literary scholars agree that “the Shtetl” was a metaphoric trope of Jewish imagination, an autonomous space that celebrated an imagined Jewish microcosm. The metaphoric image of the Jewish shtetl migrated to the Eretz-Israeli culture and occupied the stages of the Hebrew theatre of the 1930’s. It became a shared fictional location that appeared in many artistic and cultural performative events. In this lecture Prof. Zer-Zion explores how the theatrical events that re-enacted the landscapes of the shtetl constructed it as a location of boundary work that conceptualized it as a landscape of Jewish past while negotiating it with the Eretz-Israeli reality and desired future. She focuses on three case-studies. In the first case-study she investigates the tension between peoplehood and the formation of cultural hegemony. On the second case-study she discusses the temporal tension between past and present. The third case-study focuses on the spatial tension between a net of locations that constitute Jewish identity vs. the centrality of Eretz-Israel.
In cooperation with the University of Vienna.

Welcome: Dr Eleonore Lappin-Eppel, Center for Israel Studies Vienna

Moderator: Doz Dr Brigitte Dalinger, University of Vienna/ Department of Theatre, Film and Media Studies


15 December 2020.  A Chanukah Story: The Birth of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem

The Institute for Jewish Studies (IJS) of the Hebrew University was inaugurated at Chanukah time 1924.  It was intended to serve as a source of illumination to the scholarly world, as well as a harmonious meeting point of east and west. With its birth, Jewish studies in Jerusalem was born.
This talk will explore the arc of the IJS from its humble Chanukah origins to the present.

ZOOM lecture: please click here
(Youtube Channel Center for Israel Studies Vienna)

About the speaker:
Prof. Dr. David N. Myers is the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA, where he serves as the director of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy. He is the author or editor of fifteen books in the field of Jewish history, including a forthcoming book with Nomi Stolzenberg on the Satmar Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel, New York. Myers serves as President of the New Israel Fund.

Many thanks to the New Israel Fund Austria for the cooperation and to the University of Vienna Department of Contemporary History for the support.

25 November 2020. Jewish Agency and Austrian Culture in Nineteenth-Century Jerusalem

In 1856, the Lämel-School was set up in Jerusalem as the first modern Jewish school in the city. According to the wish of the donator Elise Herz-Lämel (1788-1868), it should provide modern education to citizens of the Habsburg Monarchy in the Holy City. Elise Herz-Lämel chose the well-known writer and secretary of Vienna’s Jewish community Ludwig August Frankl (1810-1894) to implement the project. Frankl thus embarked on a lengthy journey to the Middle East. An analysis of Frankl’s different missions serves to illustrate the ambivalent position of Jews – as the European Orientals – in the Orient as well as Jewish commitment to academic, social, and cultural projects of Austrian society before the era of legal emancipation.
ZOOM lecture: please click here
(Youtube Channel Center for Israel Studies Vienna)

About the speaker:
Dr Louise Hecht: historian; doctorate summa cum laude in Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, habilitation in Jewish cultural history at the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, research assistant at the University of Potsdam. Research focus: Central European Jewish history since the 18th century. Publications include Ein jüdischer Aufklärer in Böhmen (2008) and the edited volume Ludwig August Frankl (1810-1894): Eine jüdische Biographie zwischen Okzident und Orient (2016).

24 June 2020. Discourse of Suspicion: Unpacking the Debate between Zionism and Postcolonialism
Welcome: Professor Barbara Prainsack
Moderator: Dr Eleonore Lappin-Eppel, Vicepresident of the Center for Israel Studies ViennaZOOM lecture: please click here
Youtube Channel Center for Israel Studies Vienna


About the panelists:

Dr Dani Kranz: 2009 Ph.D. in Social Anthropology, University of St. Andrews in St Andrews. Director, Two Foxes Consulting, Germany; Senior Research Affiliate, Bergische University Wuppertal, Germany; External Research Affiliate, Zelikovitz Center for Jewish Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Publications: i.a. “Thinking Big: Classical Jewish Studies, Jewish Studies Past, Present, Presence and Israel Studies Thought Together, in Intersections of Jewish Studies and Israel Studies in the 21st Century”(eds.) Carsten Schapow and Klaus Hödl, 2019, and “Foreign Europeans in a Post-Colonial Context: The Entanglement of Inclusion and Exclusion on Macro-, Meso-, and Micro Levels of non-Jewish, Foreign Spouses and Partners of Israeli Jews in Israel” https://grenzenlos.hypotheses.org/93, 2015.

Prof Dr Natan Sznaider: 1992 PhD in Sociology from Columbia University in New York, USA; 1993 lecturer in Sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; 1994 Associate Professor of Sociology at the Academic College of Tel-Aviv; 1998–1999 Visiting Professor at the Institute for Sociology at the University of Munich. Currently Professor at the Academic College of Tel Aviv–Yaffo.
Publications: i.a. “Neuer Antisemitismus? Fortsetzung einer globalen Debatte” (ed. with Doron Rabinovici and Christian Heilbronn); edition suhrkamp, Berlin, 2019; “Herzl reloaded. Kein Märchen” with Doron Rabinovici, edition suhrkamp, Berlin, 2016. “The Holocaust and Memory in the Global Age” with Daniel Levy, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 2006. “Gesellschaften in Israel – Eine Einführung in zehn Bilder“, edition suhrkamp, Berlin, 2017.

28 January 2020.  Filmscreening ”Bureau 06: Architects of the Eichmann Trial”

Panel discussion with film director Yoav Halevy (Open Doors Films Israel), H.E. Ambassador Mordechai Rodgold, Dagi Knellessen (Junior Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute)and film expert Dr. Thomas Ballhausen.
Welcome: Dr. Monika Sommer, Director House of Austrian History

About the film: “…This is the dramatic story of Bureau 06, the team of police investigators formed for the sole purpose of investigating and preparing the grave charges brought by the Jewish people
against Adolf Eichmann, during the trial that took place in Jerusalem, 1961…”



14. November 2019. Amnon Rechter. Why Do Cities Kill Themselves?

Welcome: Marie-Therese Harnoncourt-Fuchs


Rechter Architects-A Story of Three Generations the oldest architectural firm in Israel
Our architectural practice was formed in the 20’s by Zeev Rechter returning from studies
in Paris and designing a series of buildings from housing in Tel Aviv to public building
like hotels in Herzelia and the Dead Sea and the Concert Hall in Jerusalem.
In 1949 his son, Yacov Rechter, joined the firm and together they collaborated on the
design of important public buildings like the “Mann Auditorium” in Tel Aviv, The
Resort Hotel in Nazareth and Law courts in Tel Aviv.
In 1960 after Zeev Rechter death Yacov Rechter continued to develop and design many
significant and versatile projects that included Hospitals, Hotels, University Projects,
Housing, Town Planning Schemes and other major projects like the Center for the
Performing Arts in Tel Aviv.
In 1973 Yacov Rechter won the Israel Prize for Architecture for the design of the
Hotel in Zichron Yacov.
In 1989 his son, Amnon Rechter, received the Architectural Association diploma and
the Royal Institute of British Architects Part II. From 1994 he is a partner in the firm.
After Yacov’s death in 2001, Amnon continued to design major projects in Israel and
abroad, in 2008 Amnon received the prestigious award “Most influential architect
in Israel” for a theatre project.
Today we continue to design major landmark projects, Auditoriums,
Hospitals, Law-Courts, Hotels and Civic Centers.
Rechter architects is widely regarded as one of the top firms in Israel.






23 October 2019.  Book Presentation:  “Jitzchak Rabin. Als Frieden noch möglich schien.” An evening event with the author Prof. Itamar Rabinovich in conversation with Dr. Doron Rabinovici

Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, a longtime advisor and friend of Jitzchak Rabin, authored the most recent biography of Jitzchak Rabin.
On the occasion of the publication of the German translated version we were pleased to set up an evening event in cooperation between The Friends of the Tel Aviv University Austria, the Diplomatic Academy Vienna and the Israel Institute Washington, DC. . Prof. Itamar Rabinovich in conversation with Dr. Doron Rabinovici at the Vienna School of International Studies  (the Diplomatic Academy Vienna)
Chair: DI Alexander Gertner (on behalf of Dr. Hannes Androsch, Honorary President of the Friends of the Tel Aviv University)
Welcome: Ambassador  Emil Brix, Director of the Vienna School of International Studies  (the Diplomatic Academy Vienna)

Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, President of the Israel Institute Washington DC and founding member of the Center for Israel Studies Vienna. Professor Emeritus of the Tel Aviv University, Global Professor at the New York University. Former President of the University of Tel Aviv. Ambassador of Israel to the US and Chiefnegotiator at the peace talks with Syria.

Dr. Doron Rabinovici, author and historian. Member of the Board of the Center for Israel Studies Vienna.  Member of the Board of the Grazer Autorinnen – Autorenversammlung and Speaker  Republikanischer Club – Neues Österreich gegen Antisemitismus, Rassismus, Homophobie und Rechtspopulismus.

 “Mr. Rabinovich, the distinguished Israeli scholar and diplomat . . . easily establishes that the prime minister was a man of great complexity. . . . Even the warm esteem in which he holds Rabin does not prevent Mr. Rabinovich–a scholar with an abiding commitment to historical accuracy–from presenting a portrait of his friend in full.”–Elliott Abrams, Wall Street Journal






25. September 2019. Dr. Hanno Loewy: Totem und Tabu Israel „ausstellen“ im Museum

Jüdische Museen in Europa machen zumeist einen Bogen um Israel. Allenfalls werden dann und wann israelische Künstlerinnen und Künstler ausgestellt, doch große thematische Ausstellungen bleiben bis heute eher eine Seltenheit.

Und wenn, dann sind Ausstellungen über Israel und Palästina immer wieder ein Politikum. Einerseits spiegelt sich darin die Polarisierung israelischer Innenpolitik – und die grundlegende innerjüdische Debatte um Diaspora und Nationalstaat. Doch seitdem rechtspopulistische Politiker in Europa und den Amerikas ihre Liebe zum „nationalen Projekt“ der Juden entdeckt haben, wird auch in der nichtjüdischen Öffentlichkeit das Bild Israels zum heiß umkämpften symbolischen Gelände – in dem es schon lange nicht mehr nur um traditionelle antisemitische Vorurteile geht. Seitdem der Islam als neues und zugleich traditionell aufgeladenes Feindbild in Europa entdeckt wird, ist der Staat Israel zum wohlfeilen Einsatz in den politischen Kontroversen der Gegenwart geworden: um ethnischen Nationalismus vs. offene Gesellschaft, um liberale vs. illiberale Demokratie, um die Rhetorik des christlich-jüdischen Abendland, die gegen Einwanderung und Asyl für Flüchtlinge in Stellung gebracht wird. Wenn jüdische Museen sich auf das Territorium dieses Minenfelds begeben, ist öffentlicher Streit nicht weit – und er kreist um viele Fragen zugleich: Wieviel Kritik an Israel ist „erlaubt“? Welche Aufgabe hat ein Museum? Und was überhaupt ist „jüdisch“ an einem „Jüdischen Museum“ das mit öffentlichen Mitteln betrieben wird und im öffentlichen Auftrag agiert?

Hanno Loewy, Direktor des Jüdischen Museums Hohenems, reflektiert am Beispiel einiger Ausstellungen und sich an ihnen entzündender Konflikte unterschiedliche Strategien der Annäherung an eine offenkundig umstrittene Materie.

Hanno Loewy, geb. 1961 in Frankfurt, Dr. phil. Film- und Literaturwissenschaftler. Von 1995 bis 2000 Gründungsdirektor des Fritz Bauer Instituts für Holocauststudien in Frankfurt, seit 2004 Direktor des Jüdischen Museum Hohenems. Zahlreiche Veröffentlichungen zur Jüdischen Geschichte und Gegenwart, zur Film- und Medientheorie, zur Fotogeschichte und zur Geschichte und Rezeption des Holocaust. Darunter: Holocaust: Grenzen des Verstehens (Reinbek 1992), Taxi nach Auschwitz (Berlin 2002), Béla Balázs: Märchen, Ritual und Film (Berlin 2003), Gerüchte über die Juden. Antisemitismus, Philosemitismus und aktuelle Verschwörungstheorien (Essen 2005), Hast Du meine Alpen gesehen? Eine jüdische Beziehungsgeschichte (mit Gerhard Milchram, Hohenems 2009), Jukebox. Jewkbox! Ein jüdisches Jahrhundert auf Schellack & Vinyl (Hohenems 2014)



2 June 2019.  Prof.  Anton Pelinka: “Israel: Demokratie aus der Vielfalt” – Festvortrag anlässlich des Jerusalemtages.

Prof.  Anton Pelinka was  full professor at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, from 1975 to 2006 and visiting professor at Harvard University (Schumpeter Fellow), Stanford University (Austrian Chair), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the University of New Orleans, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Institute for European Studies).
From 2006–2018 he was Professor of Nationalism Studies and Political Science at the Central European University in Budapest.  At the Spring Term 2019, he was teaching “Comparative European Politics” at the  European Forum, Center for Austrian Studies, at the Hebrew University.

His research fields include Comparative Politics and Democratic Theory. His immediate research focus will be on democracy and transnational politics. For the period of 2018 to 2023, he will be a member of the University Board of the University of Innsbruck.

Among his publications: Austria. Out of the Shadows of the Past (Boulder: Westview, 1998); The Politics of the Lesser Evil. Leadership, Democracy and Jaruzelski’s Poland (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1999); The Haider Phenomenon in Austria (ed.with Ruth Wodak; New Brunswick: Transaction, 2002); Democracy Indian Style. Subhas Chandra Bose and the Creation of India’s Political Culture (New Brunswick: Transaction, 2003).
Israel. Ausnahme- oder Normalstaat? (Wien: Braumüller Verlag, 2015)

Welcome: Peter Florianschütz, President of the Austrian-Israeli Society

This evening was organised
in cooperation with: :
The Austrian – Israeli Society

with the support of:
The Embassy of the State of Israel
KKL – Austria


29 April 2019.  Dr. Irit Dekel: New Approaches to Holocaust Memory

What ethic of remembrance is appropriate to the multilayered landscape of memory and its plurality?

How are Holocaust memories performed in contemporary Israel? How do they shape, and how are they shaped by, the institutions that are tasked with studying, preserving and presenting them? How are these reciprocal relations, reflect changing attitudes toward politics?   Finally, how do new studies of antisemitism, racism, and ethnic cleansing in the 20th century affect those memories and popular sentiments toward their possible change in the era after the survivors?  Dr. Dekel will discuss these questions and the centrality of Holocaust memory for understanding the access that majority and minority groups have to cultural capital as well as to citizenship.   She will focus on Israel and compare major cultural changes and currents to those in Germany and the United States.

Dr. Irit Dekel:  She received her PhD in Sociology from the New School for Social Research in 2008, MA in Sociology from the New School for Social Research; BA and MA in Sociology and Anthropology from Tel Aviv University. Dekel studies memory politics and diversity around Holocaust memory in Germany, the idea and experience of home and exile in Israel and Germany and debates in regard to religious, ethnic and cultural pluralism in Europe. Irit Dekel was  Visiting Professor for Israel Studies at University of Virginia  in 2016-17.  She teaches on Israeli politics and culture, Collective Memory, marginality and perceptions of home, migration and return in Israel.
Currently she is Senior Research Associate at the University of Jena, Germany.

Welcome: Dr. Eleonore Lappin-Eppel, Deputy President of the Board of the Center for Israel Studies

Dekel I. (2013) Mediation at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies Series, London.

See also: ORF.at: https://orf.at/stories/3120802/
and: WINA Magazin: https://www.wina-magazin.at/wir-erinnern-uns-ja-staendig/


This evening lecture was organised
in cooperation with: :
Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies at the University of Vienna (FSP: Diktaturen-Gewalt-Genozide)
The Austrian – Israeli Society

with the support of:
Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich
Nationalfonds der Republik Österreich für Opfer des Nationalsozialismus