Participating Scholars & Artists

Nelly Agassi, Works in performance, installation, video, textile and paper. Her artwork addresses the idea of the body and notion of intimacy within the public space in relation to architecture. She currently lives and works in Chicago.

Gannit Ankori, Professor of art history and theory, Chair in Israeli art, The Department of Fine Arts and  Schusterman Center for Israel Studies; Faculty Curator at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University.

Sharon Aronson-Lehavi, Professor of theatre and performance studies, Tel Aviv University, Academic Director of the University Theatre, Berkeley Institute Visiting Professor, 2013-2014.

Yair Dalal, Composer, violinist, oudist, singer, teacher; contributing to the global world music scene and representing and fusing Israeli, Jewish, and Middle Eastern musical cultures.

Eran Hadas, Poet, programmer and new media artist, who specializes in art and technology, Schusterman Visiting Artist, Spring 2017, CalTech.

Raafat Hattab, Visual and video artist, and member of organization alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian society. His art is his means for dealing with multiple identity formations within the context of his everyday life as a queer Palestinian living in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

Nitzan Lederman, Dancer with c.a.t.a.m.o.n , dance teacher, and independent choreographer. Her works include “Heart Matters,” “Blue,” and “Mrs. Paul Catch.” She is looking for physical research that is usually honest and specific, till it can be released and allow energy and content to flow and pass through the body.

Ibrahim Miari, Actor, playwright, Sufi dancer, and lecturer in Hebrew and Arabic. His one-man play, In Between, explores his own mixed Jewish/Palestinian identity.

Mordechai (Motti) Regev, Cultural sociologist. He has worked primarily on popular music and is now focusing on cultural cosmopolitanism. He is a Professor of Sociology at The Open University, Israel, Berkeley Institute Visiting Scholar, Spring 2017,

Elad Schechter, Artistic director and choreographer of dance troupe c.a.t.a.m.o.n; Jerusalem-based dance troupe contributing to dialogue and diversity of Jerusalem through the human body. Alongside his artistic work, Elad is developing Jerusalem based projects that aim to develop dance, art and culture scene in the city.

Emil Ben Shimon, Director and writer. The Women’s Balcony, his first feature film, was nominated for five Israeli Academy Awards.

Eyal Weiser, Playwright and director of Israeli independent theatre and performance. His recent works — including “Mein Jerusalem,””This is the Land,” “Nystagmus,” and “How’s the Beast?” — engage with the perception of reality and the politics of truth.

Iris Zaki, Documentary filmmaker, her films have screened at more than 100 festivals and universities all over the world.  In 2013 she commenced a practice-based PhD which explores her own innovative documentary filmmaking technique, focusing on closed communities.



Ben Brinner, UC Berkeley professor, Department of Music and Faculty Director of the Center for Jewish Studies. He has taught ethnomusicology courses and co-directed UC Berkeley’s Javanese music performing ensemble Gamelan Sari Raras since 1989.

Noam Gil, Playwright and the Helen Diller Postdoctoral Fellow in The Center for Jewish Studies. His areas of specialization include Post-War and 21st Century Jewish American Literature, 20th century American theater and Drama, and Jews in Popular Culture.

Ken Goldberg, Artist and professor of engineering at UC Berkeley. He is Founding Director of Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium. His artwork explores the intersection of the digital and the natural world.

Merav Singer, Lecturer in music at UC Berkeley. Her research has focused on intersections of gender, ethnicity, and religion in Israeli popular music.

Francesco Spagnolo, Multidisciplinary scholar focusing on Jewish studies, music and digital media, the Curator of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Department of Music at UC Berkeley, as well as a host for the cultural programs of Italian National Radio in Rome.

Ilana Szobel, Associate Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature with expertise in gender and trauma studies, disability studies, and Israeli film, Brandeis University, Berkeley Institute Visiting Professor, 2016-2017.