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About the Center

Center for Israel Studies

Mission Statement

The Center for Israel Studies supports research, conferences, publications, museum exhibitions, public programs and educational opportunities that enhance awareness and study of Israel in all of its complexities. In its short history, the center has already become a national and an international model for engagement of the political, social, scientific, economic, historical, religious and cultural significance of Israel in the world community.

  • Yosef Blau, RIETS 
  • Selma Botman, Provost, History
  • Shalom Carmy, Jewish Thought
  • Zafrira Lidovsky-Cohen, Hebrew
  • Jill Katz, Archaeology
  • Aaron Koller, Bible
  • David Lavinsky, English
  • Ronnie Perelis, Jewish History
  • Shay Pilnik, Holocaust Studies
  • Jacob Wisse, Art History
  • Steven Fine, Director, Jewish History
  • Joshua Karlip, Associate Director, Jewish History

Steven Fine, Director, YU Center for Israel Studies & YU Israelite Samaritans Project 

Steven Fine

Steven Fine is the Dean Pinkhos Churgin Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, and director of the YU Center for Israel Studies and the YU Israelite Samaritans Project.   A cultural historian of ancient Judaism, Fine’s most recent book is: The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel (Harvard University Press, 2016). His Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World: Toward a New Jewish Archaeology (Cambridge, 2005, second edition 2010) received the 2009 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award of the Association for Jewish Studies. Fine is a founding editor of IMAGES: A Journal for the Study of Jewish Art and Visual Culture.  His exhibition catalog, The Arch of Titus: From Jerusalem to Rome and Back was published by Brill in 2021. Fine’s exhibition, The Samaritans: A Biblical People will open at the Museum of the Bible in Fall, 2022.

Joshua Karlip, Associate Director, YU Center for Israel Studies

Jushua Karlip

Joshua M. Karlip is Associate Director of the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies and Herbert S. and Naomi Denenberg Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, where he has taught in Yeshiva College, Stern College the Bernard Revel Graduate School and in the Emile and Jennie Fish Center of Holocaust Studies.  His publications to date include the critically acclaimed, The Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism in Eastern Europe, published by Harvard University Press in 2013; and his forthcoming, Oyfn Sheydveg [At the Crossroads]: Jewish Intellectuals and the Crisis of 1939 (Brill, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2021)   Karlip’s current book project, Rabbis in the Land of Atheism: The Struggle to Save Judaism in the Soviet Union, recently won two prestigious grants from Moscow: the SEFER Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization Book Grant and the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center Research Grant.  


Ranana Dine

Ranana DineRanana Dine is the managing editor of Images: A Journal of Jewish Art and Visual Culture, now housed at CJS and Israel-related content sponsored by the Leon Charney Legacy Fund.  Ranana is doctoral student in religious ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Her research, teaching, and writing focuses on topics ranging from Jewish medical ethics, the relationship of Judaism and the visual arts, and comparative Jewish-Christian thought.


David Selis

David Selis

David Selis is the Leon Charney Doctoral Fellow at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies of Yeshiva University, and Assistant Curator of The Samaritans: A Biblical People, a traveling exhibition organized by the YU Center for Israel Studies. His research focuses on the history of the Hebrew book and modern Jewish cultural history.



Baruch-Lev Kelman

Baruch-Lev Kelman

Baruch-Lev Kelman is the Glatt Research Associate at the Center for Israel Studies and is pursuing his M.A. at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. His research focuses on early modern Jewish perceptions of Classical History. 




Jacob Karp

Jacob KarpJacob Karp is the Leon Chaney Undergraduate Research Associate at the Center for Israel Studies and is pursuing his B.A. in History and Economics. His interest include early 20th century American Jewish economic history.

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