Speakers Bureau


AEN National Speakers Bureau 2020-21

Due to COVID-19, AEN’s National Speakers Bureau is going virtual during the 2020-21 academic year! The speakers below will be available for online talks and presentations through AEN member invitations, with their $1,000 honoraria provided by AEN. The format of events with speakers may vary, ranging from talks open to the general campus community, to more interactive presentations to individual classes, seminars, or other small group settings, to some combination thereof. We encourage AEN members to draw on the expertise of these AEN speakers!

AEN members who seek to sponsor virtual panels of speakers – that is, two or more speakers – should contact Miriam Elman. AEN is willing to sponsor a few such panels, contingent on costs and speaker availability.

To apply to host a speaker, please fill out an application. Availability will vary by speaker and dates. Once your application is approved, please contact the speaker directly to arrange and finalize the details of his/ her visit.

Junior Faculty Speakers Bureau (JFSB): AEN is cognizant of the many challenges facing junior faculty members, some of which have only intensified in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and aware of the important professional benefits that AEN can provide to this segment of our membership. It is with these opportunities in mind that we envision a particular emphasis on junior faculty in 2020-21.

One such opportunity is the Junior Faculty Speakers Bureau (JFSB), which will function alongside our current speakers bureau. Upon the request of AEN members, members of the JFSB will be available to provide virtual talks and presentations to classes, seminars, and other campus audiences on topics such as contemporary antisemitism, Jewish-Christian relations, US-Israel relations, the impact of study abroad in Israel, and more. If you would like to host a speaker from the JFSB, please email AEN’s Senior Associate for Membership Spencer Kent at

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, AEN funding may not be used in connection with any in-person activity, event or gathering, until further notice.


List of Speakers

  • Yaron Ayalon, Director of the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program and Associate Professor of Jewish and Middle Eastern Studies, College of Charleston

    Yaron Ayalon is Director of the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program and Associate Professor of Jewish and Middle Eastern Studies, College of Charleston. He is a historian of the Middle East, Ottoman Empire, and Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews. He is the author of Natural Disasters in the Ottoman Empire: Plague, Famine, and Other Misfortunes (2014) and is completing a book on The Jews of the Ottoman Empire. He has taught the history and politics of the Middle East, Israel, and the Arab-Israeli conflict for more than a decade.

    “The Arab-Israeli Conflict and the BDS Movement”
    “History and Politics of Israel”
    “Sephardic Jews in the Diaspora and Israel”

  • Corinne E. Blackmer, Director of Jewish Studies, Southern Connecticut University

    Corinne Blackmer is Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies at Southern Connecticut State University, where she also directs the Jewish Studies Program. She recently completed a manuscript, Queering Anti-Zionism: LGBT Academic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Activism, and is now editing (with Andy Pessin), Poisoning the Wells: Antisemitism in Contemporary Culture, Politics, and Education.

    “Pinkwashing and Antisemitism in the LGBT Movement”
    “Antisemitism and LGBT Intersectionality Theory”
    “How the Jewish Queer Left Becomes Anti-Zionist: The Example of Judith Butler”

  • Gabriel Brahm, Professor of English, Northern Michigan University;

    Gabriel Noah Brahm is currently Professor of English at Northern Michigan University and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Haifa’s Herzl Institute. He is co-editor (with Cary Nelson) of The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel and has been a Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Visiting Researcher at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies. In Summer 2018, he was an eye-witness to the robust debates about Israel’s new “nation-state law” as these unfolded in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv after the controversial bill’s passage.

    “Understanding Israel’s New Nation-State Law: How Significant is It Really?”
    “Jew-Hatred and the Jewish State: Is the Movement to Boycott Israel Antisemitic?”
    “The Theory of Antisemitism: Postmodernism, Intersectionality, and the Jews”

  • Donna Robinson Divine, Morningstar Family Professor Emerita of Jewish Studies, Professor Emerita of Government, Smith College

    Donna Robinson Divine is Professor Emerita of Jewish Studies and of Government at Smith College. She is author of Politics and Society in Ottoman Palestine: The Arab Struggle for Survival and Power; Postcolonial Theory and The Arab-Israeli Conflict, and most recently Exiled in the Homeland: Zionism and the Return to Mandate Palestine. She is a Smith honored teacher for her excellence in teaching and is President of the Israel Studies Association.

    “Israel at 70: Blessing or Curse?”
    “Religion and Politics in Israel”
    “Israel in a Changing Middle East”

  • Alan Dowty, Professor Emeritus of PLS, University of Notre Dame

    Alan Dowty is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, former President of the Israel Studies Association, and an expert on Israel, Arab-Israeli issues, and Middle East politics. He is author of The Jewish State: A Century Later and of Israel/Palestine, now in its third edition. He has recently finished a volume on Jews and Arabs in Ottoman Palestine.

    “The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”
    “The Fourth Stage of the Arab Israel Conflict: Since the Turn of the Century”
    “The Iran Nuclear Deal and Israel”

  • Samuel Edelman, Director: Teaching the Shoah in Higher Education Project; Academic Fellow of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies and Teaching Israel Studies and Zionism, University of Miami; Executive Director, Academic Council for Israel

    Samuel Edelman served as the first executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He is one of the founding faculty members and executive director of the Academic Council for Israel, and an Academic Fellow and a professor of Israel Studies and Zionism at the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic at the University of Miami. Edelman is currently completing a new book entitled the Age of Hate with his wife and colleague, Professor Carol Edelman.

    “New Left, Old Right and Islamic Anti-Semitism Meet”
    “When Failure Succeeds: The Real Goal of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Groups against Israel”
    “Israel at 70: The Good, the Bad, the Future”
    “New Alliances: Israel, China, India”
    “Trump and Putin in the Middle East”

  • Rachel Fish, Executive Director, Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism

    Dr. Rachel Fish is founding Executive Director of the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism. Previously, she was the Senior Advisor and Resident Scholar of Jewish/Israel Philanthropy at the Paul E. Singer Foundation in New York City. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University. She completed her doctoral degree in 2013 in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies department at Brandeis University, where she researched the history of the idea of bi-nationalism and alternative visions for constructing the State of Israel. She has taught at Brandeis, Harvard, UMass Amherst and Tzion and Me’ah, Adult Jewish Education programs. In 2015 she held the Rohr Visiting Professorship at Harvard University, where she lectured on modern Israel and received the Derek Bok Certificate of Teaching Excellence. She is co-editor, with Ilan Troen, of the book Essential Israel: Essays for the Twenty-First Century.

    “Imagining Possibilities for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: One State, Two State, Bi-national State?”
    “The Two-State Paradigm: Israel in the Context of the Middle East”
    “The Cacophany of Zionisms”
    “Higher Education and the Discourse about Israel”

  • Janet Freedman, Resident Scholar, Brandeis Women’s Studies

    Janet Freedman is a Resident Scholar at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center. She previously served as Dean of Library Services and Professor of Education and Women’s Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, where she was also an active participant in and volunteer co-director of the Center for Jewish Culture.

    “Feminism and Zionism: Incompatible? Says Who?
    “Talking About Israel: The Words to Say It, The Ways to Do It”
    “Addressing Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in BDS Campaigns”

  • Oren Gross, Irving Younger Professor of Law, University of Minnesota

    Oren Gross is Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota and an internationally recognized expert in international law and national security law as well as on the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He has taught in law schools in several countries, published in top law journals, published prize-winning books, esp. Law and Emergency Powers in Times of Crisis (2006) and earned teaching excellence awards. He has expertise in the economic aspects of Israel-Palestine relations and served as legal adviser to an Israeli delegation that negotiated an agreement with the Palestinian Authority concerning an economic component of a permanent status agreement.

    “Free Speech on Campus: A View from the Trenches”
    “Legal Aspects of Israel’s War on Terror”
    “BDS on Campus and in Professional Associations”
    “The Legal Status of Jerusalem”
    “Is There a Right of Return?”
    “Legal Aspects of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”

  • Joel Hass, Professor of Mathematics, University of California-Davis

    Joel Hass is Professor and Chair of Mathematics at UC-Davis, a member of UC Davis Faculty for Israel, in which he has advised changing leadership at Davis on issues of BDS and antisemitism, and the leader of the Davis Faculty Cooperative Israeli Research Project, an initiative aimed at supporting start-up American-Israel research cooperation. Joel is available to speak in science and math settings on the variety of ways STEM faculty can get more involved with joint research partnerships and similar initiatives, and the ways these can get funded, working with a number of organizations supporting Israeli-American cooperation.

  • Ron Hassner, Professor of International Relations, Diller Family Chair in Israel Studies, UC-Berkeley

    Ron Hassner is Associate Professor of International Relations and the Diller Family Chair of Israel Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, and a scholar of religion and international conflict. He is a distinguished teacher, recognized by UC-Berkeley, the American Political Science Association, and students for teaching excellence. Hassner is the author of War on Sacred Grounds and Religion on the Battlefield, and, with Isaac Svenson, edited the four-volume collection Religion and International Relations.

    “History of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount”
    “Antisemitism: Roots and Current Trends”
    “Religion and War”

  • Gunther Jikeli, Justin M. Druck Family Scholar at the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, Indiana University

    Gunther Jikeli is Associate Professor and the Justin Druck Family Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Indiana University. He is the author of European Muslim Antisemitism and is a leading authority on antisemitism in Europe.

    “Antisemitism in Europe (especially in France, Germany, and/or in radical Muslim communities)”
    “Online Antisemitism”

  • Doron Kalir, Clinical Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland-State University

    Doron Kalir is a Clinical Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland-State University. He runs the Appellate Practice Clinic and teaches, among others, courses in Contracts, Professional Responsibility, and Federal Courts. Born and raised in Israel, Doron served in a special unit with the IDF, where he fought in the first “Intifada,” among others. Following his service, he attended law school at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he graduated summa cum laude. He then clerked for the former Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court (Hon. Miriam Naor), and then sat for the bar. Serving all three branches of Israeli Government, Professor Kalir also successfully argued several cases before the Israeli Supreme Court. In 1998 he arrived at Columbia Law School, where he first studied for the Master’s program in law, and then taught that program for two years. He then practiced law in one of New York’s largest law firms (Skadden, Arps) for several years before moving to Cleveland. A frequent lecturer to both academic and popular audiences, Professor Kalir mostly discusses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, current issues in Israel, and philosophical aspects of the Jewish religion.

    “BDS 2.0: A More Nuanced Look at a Very Crude Phenomenon ”
    “Israel Today: A Political & Legal Analysis”
    “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Personal View”

  • Neil Kressel, Professor of Social Psychology, William Paterson University

    Neil J. Kressel, a social psychologist, has spent more than three decades studying antisemitism, religious extremism, and political psychology. He heads the Honors Program in the Social Sciences at William Paterson University. Kressel’s published books include The Sons of Pigs and Apes: Muslim Antisemitism and the Conspiracy of Silence, and Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror.

    “Why the Anti-Racist Community Downplays and Ignores Contemporary Antisemitism”
    “America, the Jews, Israel, and Antisemitism: What the Polls Tell Us”
    “Does Islam Fuel Antisemitism? Sorting Out the Complexities”

  • Jonathan Marks, Professor of Political Philosophy, Ursinus College

    Jonathan Marks is Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Politics at Ursinus College, where he is a leading scholar on the thought of Jean Jacques Rousseau. He writes regularly on BDS on campus and in professional academic associations for Commentary magazine.

    “Socrates at the Center: Liberal Education Confronts BDS” (What means can one deploy in dealing with BDS and related phenomena consistent with the missions of colleges and universities devoted to liberal education?)
    “A Torrent of Angry and Malignant Passions Will Be Let Loose: Political Controversy in the Academy” (The tension between the needs of activists and the needs of teachers and students)

  • Cary Nelson, Jubilee Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    Cary Nelson is the Jubilee Professor Emeritus of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Active in opposing BDS since 2007, he is the author or editor of more than 30 books, including No University is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom; The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel (with Gabriel Brahm); and Dreams Deferred: A Concise Guide to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Movement to Boycott Israel. A remarkable new book is in manuscript and focuses on the scholarly layer of BDS and professors and others who engage in Israel Denial. He is the former president of the American Association of University Professors and a recognized authority on academic freedom.

    “Is there Still Hope for a Two-State Solution?”
    “How Does the BDS Movement Undermine the Search for Peace?”
    “The BDS Threat to Academic Freedom, Civility, and Peace”
    “Israel Denial: The Uses of Scholarship to Delegitimize Israel”

  • Andrew Pessin, Professor of Philosophy, Connecticut College

    Andrew Pessin is Professor of Philosophy and of Jewish Studies at Connecticut College, and Campus Bureau Editor for the Algemeiner. He is co-editor (with Doron S. Ben-Atar) of Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS (Indiana, 2018) and has had much experience with campus anti-Zionism and antisemitism.

    “The State of the Campus: Anti-Zionism on American Campuses”
    “Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism”
    “The Meanings of Zionism”

  • Elie Rekhess, Crown Visiting Chair in Middle East Studies, Northwestern University

    Elie Rekhess is the Crown Visiting Chair in Middle East Studies in the Department of History, and in the Crown Family Jewish Studies Center at Northwestern University. He is a leading authority on Arabs in Israel. His books include Arabs in Israel: Between Communism and Arab Nationalism, and (forthcoming) The Islamic Movement in Israel. His article “Arab Minority in Israel: Reconsidering the 1948 Paradigm” appears in Israel Studies 19:2 (Summer 2014). Rekhess served as advisor to Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak.

    “Israel’s Arab Minority”
    “Israel’s Arab Christian Community”
    “Political Islam: Hamas and Islamic Jihad”

  • Michael Aaron Rockland, Professor of American Studies, Rutgers University

    Michael Aaron Rockland is Professor of American Studies at Rutgers, a department he founded, and one of four faculty who brought action against the American Studies Association after it was manipulated to vote for BDS. Earlier, before his academic career, Rockland was in the diplomatic service in Argentina and Spain. He is the author of many books, including the distinctive Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike, and has won a number of Rutgers and American Studies teaching excellence awards, including the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching (1991); The Warren Susman Memorial Award (1997); the Mary C. Turpie National American Studies Association Award for Teaching Excellence (1997); Rutgers College Teacher of the Year (1978); and the Rutgers University Scholar-Teacher Award (2003). You can read more about Rockland at his website:

    “Fighting the Conspiracy Behind the American Studies Association B.D.S. Resolution”
    “Why It’s Become Fashionable in Left Wing Circles To Denounce Israel”
    “Why is the New Antisemitism something Coming from the Left, and what is its Content?”

  • Jonathan Skolnick, Director of Jewish Studies, University Massachusetts-Amherst

    Jonathan Skolnik is Associate Professor of German at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; a member of the faculty in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, History, and Film Studies; and interim Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies. He is a scholar of German Jewish writings and in Jewish Pasts, German Fictions, argued that Jews embraced German culture as a reinvention of Jewish identity and historical memory. Skolnick also teaches about Zionism and Modern Nationalism and works on Terrorism Narratives. He will speak about teaching Jewish Studies in the era of BDS, and about dealing with support for BDS in student unions.

    “Zionism and Modern Nationalism”
    “Responding to BDS on Campus”
    “Contemporary Antisemitism”

  • Kevin Wagner, Professor of Political Science, Florida Atlantic University

    Kevin Wagner is the chair and director of graduate studies in political science at Florida Atlantic University. He is the author of Rebooting American Politics: The Internet Revolution (2011), and of Tweeting: The Social Media Revolution in American Politics (2013) and has done work on the internet and the Arab Spring in the Middle East.

    “Election Demographics: Understanding the Importance of the Jewish Vote”
    “Technology and Uprisings: How the Internet is Remaking the Middle East”

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