Dr. Alon Tal

Dr. Alon Tal is a Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar at James Madison College in MSU for the sixth time during the
Fall 2020 semester.

Dr. Alon Tal [Sc.D., Harvard University; Ll.B., Hebrew University] is the Chair of the Department of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University and founded the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a graduate studies center in which students join Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists to study common environmental challenges and solutions.

Dr. Tal served as the co-chair of Israel’s Green Party. He is also a founding member of the Blue & White party’s list of Knesset candidates, who actively participated in both 2019 campaigns.

He is the author of five books. The latest is The Land Is Full: Addressing Overpopulation in Israel, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2016.

During  Fall 2020 he taught two sections of MC335: Israeli Politics, Cultures, and Society.

Dr. Tal helped the Serling Institute organize the Lakes conference, Highlights From Sustainable Management Of Iconic Lakes: Lessons Learned From Lake Michigan and Lake Kinneret, September 14, 2016. He also organized a panel for the Israel at 70 Conference in September 17, 2018, Israel’s Remarkable Agricultural Experience: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

Dr. Harry Yuklea

Dr. Harry Yuklea [Ph.D., Hebrew University] is a Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar at the Eli Broad College of Business for for a third time in Fall 2020. He is on the International Advisory Board for the Eli Broad College of Business.

Dr. Yuklea is both an academic and practitioner and has been directly involved for the last 40 years in the remarkable build-up process of the Israeli high-tech sector. His career ranges from technology development and engineering to marketing, management, consulting and investment. He has held executive and board positions at a series of tech firms. He served as advisor to the Israeli National Economic Council, the Israel Innovation Authority and various international agencies. He recently co-founded Quantum China-Israel Investment Ltd., a Chinese firm specializing in creating Israel-China technology joint ventures. Harry holds a MSEE from Technical University Iasi (Romania), a MSM from Boston University and a PhD in Business Management from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He currently serves Israeli universities including the Hebrew University, the Technion, and Tel Aviv University. He has held visiting professorships at several foreign universities.

Dr. Yuklea teachs ESHP 190-005 and ESHP 190-003: The Art of Starting, about Israel as a unique outlier of a country and economy driven by innovation and entrepreneurial activity that has had a global impact from an extremely small geographic footprint. He also teaches FI 491-003: Economy and Finance of Innovation, at MSU.

Dr. Yuklea helped organize a panel on entrepreneurship at our Israel at 70 conference and participated in that panel.

Dr. Lihi Lahat


Dr. Lihi Lahat is teaching PLS 392: Public Administration, Public Policy and Policy Analysis: The Israeli Case, during the Fall 2019 semester for the Political Science Department. Dr. Lahat is being sponsored by the Israel Institute.

Lihi Lahat [Ph.D.Tel Aviv University] is a senior lecturer in the Department of Administration & Public Policy at Sapir Academic College. Her aricles have been published in journals such as Policy Sciences, Social Policy & Administration, International Review of Administrative Sciences and Poverty & Public Policy. Her areas of research are policymakers’ perceptions of poverty, the regulation of personal social services, the trust and well-being of public officials, uses of time and policy, and collaborative governance.

on November 12, 2019 Dr. Lahat lectured on “Time and Policy: Time Uses, Time Preferences and Policy Perceptions in Israel.” 

Dr. Yael Katzir

​Dr. Yael Katzir, Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar in 2012 and 2017, taught a cross-listed class for English, James Madison College, and the Film Studies Program: MC300: From Collective Identity to Personal Diversity: Israeli Documentary Filmmaking.

Dr. Katzir is an accomplished Israeli documentary filmmaker and former Head of the History Department and Lecturer at the Film Department of the Art School within Beit Berl Academic College.

Her films include Company Jasmine, a movie about women in the Israeli Defense Forces; Praying In Her Own Voice, about the Women of the Wall in Jerusalem; Violins in Wartime, about life in Israel during the Lebanon War; and Shores of Light, about the displaced persons camps in Southern Italy. Both Violins in Wartime and Shores of Light were shown as part of the annual Kessler film series at MSU. Her newest documentary, The Albanian Code, is about Jewish refugees who were saved in Albania during WWII. The documentary is being shown internationally at film festivals.

Dr. Katzir films have been screened in festivals around the globe, receiving several awards. She continues to be invited to sit on international film festival juries.

Dr. Yehotal Shapira

Yehotal Shapira [Ph.D., The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology] was a Fall 2016 Visiting Israeli Scholar. She was supported by the Serling Institute.

Dr. Shapira interests are architecture and the arts within cultural studies.

Dr. Shapira, a lecturer at Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, taught two courses at the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. She taught  RCAH395 The Mount and the City: Religion, Politics and Architecture in Jerusalem. The course examined the place of the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif in the complex, urban and multicultural environment of Jersusalem. The course analyzed the modern history and surrounding urban development of the Temple Mount and evaluated it as a focal point for conflict and contested perspectives. She also co-taught RCAH 320 Art and Public Life, about divided cities. 

Dr. Yuval Benziman

Dr. Yuval Benziman was a Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar at MSU from Fall 2015 through Fall 2016.

Dr. Benziman was also sponsored by the Israel Institute.Dr. Benziman taught:

  • MC 112 – Studying Conflict via Cultural Texts: The Israeli Case
  • MC 335 – Israeli Politics Society and Culture
  • MC 391 – Conflict and Peace Negotiations: Theory and Practice in the Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations
    MC 492 – Senior Seminar in International Relations: Israel’s Foreign Policy.

Dr. Yuval Benziman [Ph.D., Hebrew University] is Senior Faculty-Lecturer in the Conflict Research Management and Resolution Program, Hebrew University, Israel. 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.  In 2014, his articles were published in Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict; Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology; and Peace & Conflict Studies. While at MSU, he worked on two papers: one on Israeli society’s understanding of the war between Israel and Gaza in 2014 and the other on self-censorship of Israeli artists.

Dr. David Mendelsson

Dr. David Mendelsson was a Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar in MSU in Spring 2010 and in Spring 2014, where he taught Contemporary Israel at James Madison College.

David Mendelsson [Ph.D. Hebrew University] is the Director of Israel Studies at the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, and lectures at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University where he teaches History of the Modern State of Israel. His most recent book is Jewish Education in England, 1944–1988: Between Integration and Separation (Peter Lang, Oxford 2011).

Dr. Mendelsson was a Schusterman Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at the University of Southern California and at the Hebrew Union College–Los Angeles for 2010–2011. He has been a scholar-in-residence at Brandeis University and at Michigan State University, and teaches a course for the MSU Serling Institute Summer Program at Hebrew University.

Dr. Chen Bram

Dr. Chen Bram served as the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Scholar at Michigan State University in 2013-14, supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation and the Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar fund.

Chen Bram taught two courses at James Madison College in the fall semester: one on Israeli Society and Culture, the other on Jewish-Muslim Relations. He taught two sections of a methods course, Experiencing Field Research, in Spring 2014. He has also presented to Jewish Studies, Muslim Studies, and local institutions on his research discussing immigrant communities in Israel, Jews from the Caucasus, and Jewish-Muslim relations.

In Summer 2013 Dr. Bram led the Serling Institute Summer Study Abroad Program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

An anthropologist trained at the Hebrew University, Professor Bram was at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem and served as a research fellow at the Truman Institute at Hebrew University.  In 2012-13, he was the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Scholar at the University of Florida.

Chen Bram’s Ph.D. dissertation reflected “Caucasus Jews between Europe and Asia.” His research focuses on issues of diversity, multiculturalism, and ethnic relations in Israeli society as well as other societies.  He has conducted field research in Israel, the Caucasus region, Central Asia and New York.  He has studied and worked with Jews of the Caucasus, Soviet Jews in Israel, Bukhara Jews, and Mizrachi Jews in Israel.

At the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Professor Bram was a facilitator of the research projects on “Human Dignity in Israeli Society.” He co-edited the Institute publication, Human Dignity or Humiliation: The Tension of Human Dignity in Israel.

Guy Meirson

Guy Meirson was sponsored by the Serling Institute and  taught screenwriting for the English department during the Spring 2013 semester and participated in the Israeli Literature Symposium at MSU.

Guy Meirson (Film Studies, Department of Cinema and Television, Tel Aviv University) is a screenwriter and novelist. His first feature film as a writer, “One Small Step” (2003, Dir: Shahar Segal), established him as one of Israel’s most promising screenwriters. Since then he has collaborated with several directors, writing and co-writing for film and television. He also directed a 50 minute drama, “Itzik,” for cable TV. His film Rock the Casba (Dir: Yariv Horowitz, 2012) premiered in the Berlin Film Festival 2013. His second novel, “Nothing Happened” (2011), is published by Keter Books.

Meirson introduced the film Rock the Casba at a public screening at MSU and led a discussion after it.