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 the 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.

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

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

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

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


20. März 2019.  Prof. Haim Harari: „Education in the Age of Knowledge-Lessons from Israel”

The internationally known physicist and former president of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rechovot (Israel), Haim Harari was invited to give a lecture as part of the Lecture Series 2019 of the Center for Israel Studies Vienna at the University of Vienna. The lecture, entitled „Education in the Age of Knowledge-Lessons from Israel” was a plea not only for education but also an appeal for recognizing the value of education much beyond the stereotype of gaining knowledge only. Not only emphasizing science and technology but also the humanities and art Prof. Harari made a clear recommendation for an interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary approach towards education. His main message was: we have to speak three languages: our mother tongue, the global language (at the moment English) and the language of mathematics. Moving beyond the classical discourse on education, Harari underlined that education as an investment, encouraging decision-makers to generate a setting where education is of highest priority. This investment is needed for intellectual quality as well as for ensuring democracy. We were most grateful that Ambassador of Israel h.E. Talya Lador-Fresher and the incoming designated Ambassador of Austria to Israel h.E. Dr. Hannah Liko were present at this very remarkable evening.

 CV of Prof. Dr. Haim Harari 

Introduction: Susi Shaked, President of the Center for Israel Studies Vienna
Welcome: Ambassador Dr. Eva Nowotny, Chair of the Board of the University of Vienna


28. Jänner 2019.  Mag. Wolfgang Sotill: „Vom Mangel zum Überfluss : Wasser in Israel“
(in Kooperation mit der Österreichisch-Israelischen Gesellschaft)

Nach dem Katastrophenjahr 2008 hat Israel radikal umgedacht und verlässt sich in seinem Wassermanagement seither nicht mehr auf die Natur. An Beispielen von Reisfeldern in der Wüste erläutert uns Wolfgang Sotill den technologischen Fortschritt dieses an Erfindungen
reichen Landes.
Mag. Wolfgang Sotill studierte katholische Theologie in Graz und Jerusalem und unternimmt
jedes Jahr zahlreiche Bildungs- und Forschungsreisen nach Israel. Derzeit ist er Mitarbeiter der
Kleinen Zeitung in Graz und Landwirt. Er schreibt regelmäßig Beiträge für die Zeitschrift der Österreichisch-Israelischen Gesellschaft Shalom.

20. November 2018. „The Arab Donor Project. A Decade of Experience“, Dr. Amal Bishara, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem.

Dr. Amal Bishara received her PhD degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
After a postdoctoral training in the US she started working at the Tissue Typing Unit, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem. Since1993 she held the position as Laboratory Supervisor; from 2007 until 2018 she worked at Hadassah Registry as Primary Coordinator. Her research projects are mainly on the topics of Bone Marrow/ Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation (BM/PBSCT); tests to choose the best donor; cells involved in graft versus host disease which is the most frequent complication post BM/PBSCT; involvement of HLA and other genetic systems such receptors expressed on NK cells, in the post-transplantation complications, investigation of the interaction between primary fibroblast cultures and natural killer (NK) cells from stem cell transplants with and without graft versus host disease (GVHD) as well as immunology of solid organ transplantation.
Dr. Bishara published 40 pear reviewed articles in the H&I and related topics. In addition, more than 75 abstracts were presented at national and international meetings. She is a member of the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, the European Federation of Immunology, the Israel Transplantation Society as well as the Israel Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Association. Her national and international positions include Member of the Israeli Ministry of Health committees for Lung, Heart and Kidney Transplantation, efi inspector since 2009, Commissioner for 08a efi region since 20014, and member of efi accreditation committee. In addition, she holds an Honorary Diploma from the European Board of Transplantation Immunology.
2008 she established with Prof. Chaim Brautbar and Dr. Shoshana Israel, the Arab Donor Registry that is part of the Hadassah Registry, responsible for all the activity of this outreached registry. She conducted interaction with the community, with the media, recruiting donors and so on. As of April 2018 this registry contains 37,000 Arab donors. For this activity, she was chosen as “Outstanding Women Scientist “ one of 13 women scientists in the Middle East by the Program of the environment, Science, Technology and Health regional office at the USA embassy in Amman and received a leadership award by the American National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) October 2013.

Introduction: Susi Shaked, Präsidentin Center for Israel Studies Vienna
Welcome: Ass. Prof. Dr. Gerda Leitner, MedUni Wien, Leiterin „Universitätsklinik für Blutgruppenserologie und Transfusionsmedizin“

Summary of The Arab Donor Project 2008-2018

22. Oktober 2018 „Israel – die ersten 70 Jahre“ Univ. Prof. (em.) Rolf Steininger (Universität Innsbruck)


Univ. Prof. (em.) Dr. Rolf Steininger, Studium der Geschichte und Anglistik in Marburg, Göttingen, München, Lancaster und Cardiff , 1971 Promotion und 1976 Habilitation an der Universität Hannover, dort bis 1983 Professor; von 1984 bis zur Emeritierung 2010 Leiter des Instituts für Zeitgeschichte der Universität Innsbruck, seit 2008 auch an der Freien Universität Bozen; seit 1989 Senior Fellow des Eisenhower Center for American History der University of New Orleans, seit 1995 Jean Monnet- Professor; Gastprofessuren in Tel AvivQueensland (Australien) und New Orleans, Gastwissenschaftler in Ho Chi Minh-Stadt (Saigon), Hanoi und Kapstadt; 2011 Tiroler Landespreis für Wissenschaft; zahlreiche Veröffentlichungen und preisgekrönte Hörfunk-, Film- und Fernsehdokumentationen zur Zeitgeschichte; mehr Informationen unter www.rolfsteininger.at

17. Mai 2018 “Tumbling Thoughts – Dealing with the Shoah as a Memory in Israel” Prof. Moshe Zimmermann (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
„Gedankliche Stolpersteine – Der Umgang mit der Shoah als Erinnerung in Israel“


Prof. Moshe Zimmermann was born in Jerusalem in 1943 and studied history and philosophy there. After gaining his doctorate on the Emancipation of the Jews in Hamburg in the 19th century, Zimmermann worked at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on setting up an Institute of German History. The Richard Koebner Institute of German History was founded in 1980; Prof. Zimmermann has been its director since 1986. The central topics of his work are the history of the German Jews and German-Jewish relations.  Prof. Zimmermann also worked at the University of Giessen: at the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) on Cultural Memories. Researchers from twelve disciplines of cultural studies examined the content and forms of cultural memories in their plurality, constructiveness and dynamics – from Antiquity until the 21st century.

10. April 2018 “Antisemitismus und Islamophobia” Prof. Helga Embacher  (University of Salzburg)


Prof. Helga Embacher ist Professorin am Fachbereich Geschichte an der Universität Salzburg mit den Forschungschwerpunkten Nationalsozialismus, Jüdische Geschichte, Emigration, Israel und Antisemitismus. Gastprofessorin an der University of Minnesota in Minneapolis und der PEN University in Philadelphia. Derzeit Leiterin des vom Jubiläumsfonds der österreichischen Nationalbank geförderten Forschungsprojekts: Diskurse zum Holocaustgedenken, Juden und Israel unter Muslimen im Kontext von Islamfeindlichkeit

15. März 2018 “Human Dignity in Judaism” Prof. Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth College)

Prof. Susannah Heschel is the Eli Black Professor and chair of the Jewish Studies Program at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus and The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany as well as numerous edited volumes, including Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism and Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust, and over 100 articles. She has been a visiting professor at several universities, including the University of Cape Town, Frankfurt, Edinburgh, and Princeton, and has held research grants from the Carnegie Foundation, the Ford Foundation, a Rockefeller fellowship at the National Humanities Center, and a yearlong fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and has been studying the history of European Jewish scholarship on Islam, and her first of two books on that topic will appear March 2018 under the title, Jüdischer Islam: Islam und jüdisch-deutsche Selbstbestimmung, and she also has an article on that topic, in English, in the Journal of Qur’anic Studies.

23. Jänner 2018 “Nanomaterials at Interfaces” Prof. Yuval Golan (University of Tel Aviv)


Prof. Yuval Golan obtained his PhD in Materials and Interfaces from the Weizmann Institute in 1996 and spent three years as a postgraduate researcher at the Materials Research Laboratory, University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1999 he joined the Department of Materials Engineering at Ben-Gurion University and in 2010 he was promoted to full professor and appointed as Director of the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at BGU. His research interests include surfactant-assisted synthesis of nanomaterials and chemical epitaxy of semiconductor thin films. Prof. Golan is an active researcher in the area of nanomaterials and thin films, has published over 120 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and supervised some 40 junior researchers (postdocs, MSc and PhD students). Since 2016 Prof. Golan is also Chairman of Graduate Studies in the Department of Materials Engineering and Chairman of the Synchrotron Committee of the Israeli Academy of Science.

See also: Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna

27. November 2017 „Turning Points in Israeli History: From the Balfour Declaration to the Camp David Accords“. Prof. Itamar Rabinovich (chair), Prof. Shlomo Ben-Ami, Prof. Ilan Troen

Amb. Prof. Itamar Rabinovich is founding President of the Israel Institute, a Distinguished Global Professor at New York University, and Non-Resident Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Center for Middle East Policy. He is Professor Emeritus of Middle Eastern History at Tel Aviv University and the University’s former President. Ambassador Rabinovich has been a member of the faculty of Tel Aviv University since 1971 and served as Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Director of the Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Dean of the Humanities, and Rector. From 1992-1996, he was Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and chief negotiator with Syria. Ambassador Rabinovich’s most recent books are The Lingering Conflict: Israel, The Arabs and the Middle East (2011) and The View from Damascus (2009). He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and a member of the Trilateral Commission. He earned a B.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an M.A. from Tel Aviv University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Prof. Shlomo Ben-Ami graduated from Tel Aviv University and St Antony’s College, Oxford. From the 1970s onwards he was a historian at Tel Aviv University, serving as head of the School of History from 1982 to 1986. 1999 he was appointed Minister of Internal Security and in addition in 2000 Foreign Minister. In 2002 he resigned from the Knesset. In 2006- 2010 Prof. Ben Ami served in the board of the International Crisis Group. He is now a member of the Crisis Group Senior Advisers. In 2009-2010 he was a member board of the Commission for Nuclear Non proliferation co-sponsored by the governments of Australia and Japan. Ben-Ami is currently Vice-President of the Toledo International Centre for Peace. His latest book is “Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli–Arab Tragedy” (published in Oxford, 2006)

Prof. Ilan Troen was born in Boston, educated at Brandeis, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the University of Chicago. Before moving to Israel​ in 1975 when he joined Ben-Gurion University, he was on the faculty of Missouri and Princeton. At the Ben-Gurion University he was the Lopin Professor of Modern History; Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; Director of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute and Archives in Sede Boker; and Director of the Kreitman Foundation Fellowships. At Ben-Gurion University he contributed to pioneering programs in Israel Studies and was the founding Editor of Israel Studies. He established the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.  He has authored or edited numerous books in American, Jewish and Israeli history.
He is co-author of the following publications: “Jews and Muslims in the Arab World; Haunted by Pasts Real and Imagined” Rowman and Littlefield, 2007; “Imagining Zion: Dreams, Designs, and Realities in a Century of Jewish Settlement” Yale University Press, 2003; “Divergent Jewish Cultures: America and Israel” Yale University Press, 2001.