In May 2020, AEN launched a new interactive webinar series. The webinar series features leading scholars, experts, and practitioners on issues related to AEN’s mission, including countering Israel delegitimization and antisemitism on campus, supporting academic freedom and free speech, and promoting rigorous discussion of contemporary Israel.
AEN hosted a webinar featuring Dr. Joseph I. Castro, current President of California State University, Fresno, and incoming Chancellor of the CSU System. During this event and the Q and A which followed, President Castro discussed how COVID-19 has impacted college and university campuses – academically, financially, and socially; the potential opportunities for innovation and inclusivity which may result from COVID-era shifts; and his views on diversity, inclusion, and the role of ethnic studies on college and university campuses.
AEN hosted a webinar featuring Cherryl Smith, Professor Emerita of English at California State University- Sacramento. Smith discussed her new book Framing Israel: A Personal Tour of Media and Campus Rhetoric. AEN member Amy Elman, Professor of Political Science at Kalamazoo College, moderated the discussion.
AEN hosted a webinar featuring Avi Avital, a neuroscientist at the Technion in Haifa. Avital discussed the successes – and failures – in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic on the part of the Israeli government and medical institutions, as well as various sectors of Israeli society. AEN member Gary Grossman, Professor of Animal Ecology at the University of Georgia, moderated the discussion.
AEN’s third webinar featured Matti Friedman, the prominent Israeli journalist and author. Friedman discussed how Israel’s Mizrahi population (Jews from Arab countries and their descendants) has shaped and shifted Israeli politics, culture, and society, and how to integrate these narratives into on-campus discussions.
This webinar featured a panel of experts who shared multiple perspectives on the utility and impact of the recent Executive Order: Joe Cohn, Legislative and Policy Director for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Alyza D. Lewin, President and General Counsel at the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, and Benjamin Ryberg, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Research at The Lawfare Project. The webinar recording includes the opening and closing remarks of the panelists (breakout sessions were off the record and not recorded).
AEN’s inaugural webinar featured Gil Troy, Professor of History at McGill University and author of The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland – Then, Now, Tomorrow. Troy described how the ideas and concepts discussed in his book could serve as catalysts for rigorous, proactive discussions about Zionism and Israel which counter the one-sided narrative often heard on many campuses.