Serling Visiting Israeli Scholars

Dr. Alon Tal will be a 2016 Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar at MSU for Fall 2016.

Dr. Tal’s courses are:

  • MC 335 – Israeli Politics Society and Culture
  • MC 390 – Special Topics: Environmentalism in Israel
  • MC 391 Climate Change and Public Policy

Alon TalDr. Alon Tal’s career has been a balance between academia and public interest advocacy. He was most recently a visiting professor on sabbatical at the Stanford University Center for Conservation Biology. He is on the faculty at Ben Gurion University. Alon has held faculty appointments at Tel Aviv and Hebrew Universities in Israel, and was a visiting professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Between 1990 and 1998 he was an adjunct faculty member at Harvard University.

Dr. Tal was the founding director of Adam Teva V’din, the Israel Union for Environmental Defense from 1990–1997, a leading public interest law group. He was also chairman of Life and Environment, an umbrella group for eighty environmental organizations in Israel from 1998–2003.

In 1996, Dr. Tal founded the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a graduate studies center in which Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian students join environmentalists from around the world in an advanced interdisciplinary research program. He served as chairman of the committee for sustainable development and is a still a member of the international board of the Jewish National Fund (KKL). Dr. Tal represents Israel’s Foreign Ministry at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. He is also co-chair of Israel’s Green Party.

Most recently, he established the Tal Fund—a new grassroots ecological initiative in Israel in conjunction with the Jewish National Fund. Dr. Tal has published dozens of academic and popular articles. His most recent books are All the Trees of the Forest, Water Wisdom, Speaking of Earth, and Before Pollution in a Promised Land.

Dr. Tal has received degrees in political science and economics from the University of North Carolina, and a degree in law from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He received his Masters and Doctoral degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health in Environmental Health Policy.

Yuval BenzimanDr. Yuval Benziman will be a 2016 Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar at MSU from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016.

Dr. Benziman’s courses are:

  • MC 112 – Identity and Community
  • MC 335 – Israeli Politics Society and Culture
  • MC 390 – Special Topics: Environmentalism in Israel
  • MC 391 – Conflict and Peace Negotiations: Theory and Practice in the Israel-Palestinian
  • MC 492 – Israel’s Foreign Policy

Yuval Benziman is an Israel Institute and Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar who is a visiting professor of Israeli studies and conflict research. His main fields of research are track two negotiations, the “new war” characteristics and the representation of conflict in culture (mainly films) in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  His publications in 2014 were in Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict; Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology; and Peace & Conflict Studies. He is currently writing two papers: one on Israel’s society understanding of the war in Gaza of 2014 and the other on self-censorship of Israeli artists. Yuval is a visiting professor of the Israel Institute in MSU, and teaches in the Conflict Resolution Program of the Tel-Aviv University, and in the Lauder School of Government Diplomacy and Strategy of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.