CJC Student Spotlight: Marisa Morrison (SFS ’23)

It is time for the latest installment of the CJC’s Student Spotlight Series! This month’s spotlight is Marisa Morrison, a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service from Japan. Morrison serves as a teaching assistant for the course, “Nazi Camps and the Holocaust,” taught by the Center’s Associate Director, Professor Anna Sommer. Read our interview with her below to learn about her CJC and Georgetown experience!

Q: How were you introduced to the Center for Jewish Civilization (CJC) and why did you join? What your first ever CJC class?

A: During the fall semester of my freshman year, I took Professor Jacques Berlinerblau’s proseminar, “Fictions and Politics of International Relations.” The class allowed me to meet some of my best friends from the SFS and it has been one of my favorite courses thus far. The discussion-based class kept me on my toes and forced me to think critically about my thought-provoking readings. Professor Berlinerblau encouraged us to join the Center––after seeing how welcoming everyone was, I decided to join!

Last semester, I took “Introduction to Jewish Civilization” (a core CJC course) with Professor Benjamin Haddad. It was a great class that taught me the history of Jewish civilization and politics. It also introduced me to very interesting thinkers.

 

Q: Could you explain what some of your research and academic interests are and how you have furthered developed them as a CJC student?

A: This past summer, I was able to conduct research for the Center’s Associate Director, Professor Anna Sommer. Professor Sommer explores the question of whether women Holocaust survivors had agency after liberation. My work involved listening to and reading testimonies of women who survived the Holocaust. I have learned so much from their stories and have been able to study the Holocaust through a new lens. As for my own research interests, I am interested in learning about how different social contexts and conditions breed international order. I am specifically interested in understanding this issue through a gendered perspective. My research has allowed me to take a deep dive into individual women’s experiences and understand their macro impact on society.

 

Q: What did the research and administrative work you completed for the Center during the summer entail? What was your biggest takeaway from the experience? Feel free to also let us know if you engaged in other summer activities.

A: By now, you know that my work with Professor Sommer largely involved reading through, watching, and listening to testimonies from women who survived the Holocaust. These women started families and immigrated to the United States. Many of them felt very grateful that the U.S. provided them with a home after they had been persecuted in their own homes. But these women also recounted many difficult circumstances, such as having to balance their family lives and jobs, experiencing depression and PTSD, and not being able to talk about their past to their families. One thing that struck me was that some women gradually lost their faith, while others had their faith reaffirmed. This project really opened my eyes to the many facets of their experiences and helped me understand the importance of listening to individual narratives in order to truly comprehend the impact of a tragedy or conflict.

Over the summer, I also conducted research for Professor Michael Green, who is the Director of the Asian Studies Program. Specifically, I studied contemporary Japanese domestic and foreign policy using Japanese and English sources. This experience led me to examine and understand some of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies, including “Womenomics,” among other reforms.

 

Q: Are you continuing this work during the Fall 2020 semester? If so, what are you working on now?

A: Currently, I serve as Professor Sommer’s teaching assistant for her course, “Nazi Camps and the Holocaust.” I am also picking up my research again!

 

Q: Although it is only your sophomore year at Georgetown, can you describe how the CJC has impacted your time on the Hilltop?

A: I did not get the chance to spend enough time at the CJC before being sent home because of the pandemic. However, the Center has been really helpful in offering me support, guidance, and opportunities like working with Professor Sommer. I am looking forward to spending more time at the Center when we’re allowed back on campus!

 

Q: What have been some of your favorite moments while an SFS student? Have there been any major highlights  thus far?

A: One of my favorite memories is attending the SFS Centennial Gala. I happened to win a ticket through a lottery, and it was such an amazing night. It was incredible to listen to speakers like former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former President Bill Clinton, and to performances by Yo-Yo Ma and other musicians.

 

Q: How have you been making the most of our online environment this semester? 

A: I am really just taking this semester and trying to focus on myself. Sometimes it is easy to get overwhelmed and constantly being on my computer kind of sucks. So, I am trying to focus on going outside to exercise and doing things other than schoolwork!

 

Q: What are some other clubs or activities you are involved in at Georgetown?

A: I write for the Indo-Asia-Pacific section and the Compass Futures section of the Caravel. I really enjoy this because I get to learn more about the region and about developments in science and technology. I am also on the executive board of What’s A Hoya. Currently, we are working on creating an accessible and engaging platform for new students to learn more about Georgetown and the resources it has to offer.

Introducing our 2020-2021 Andrew H. Siegal Professor in American Middle Eastern Foreign Policy

The Center for Jewish Civilization is excited to announce that our own Ambassador Dennis Ross is the 2020-2021 Andrew H. Siegal Professor in American Middle Eastern Foreign Policy. The annual professorship and lectureship is made possible by the support of Mr. Michael Deutsch (COL ' 88, L ' 92; partner with and co-founder of Singer Deutsch LLP) and his family. It was established in honor of Michael's late friend, Andrew Siegal, a philanthropist who lived in the United States and Israel. It is guided by Siegal's hopeful vision for the Middle East.  The Siegal professorship allows thought leaders to work closely with CJC students and faculty. Past fellows have included Professors Elliot Abrams, Tamara Cofman Wittes, and Danielle Pletka. This semester, Ambassador Dennis Ross continued to teach his celebrated course, "History of Peace-Making in the Middle East," as Siegal Professor. The course places the Arab-Israeli conflict in a historic context. Next semester, Ambassador Ross will teach his other hallmark course, "Statecraft and Negotiation," which analyzes American foreign policy within the framework of of statecraft. The importance of the professorship in cultivating ties between the Center's students and community members is not lost on Ambassador Ross, who stated that it  "has been responsible for the rich engagement between thought leaders and students for years." Ross continued, "the Center for Jewish Civilization's first Andrew H. Siegal Professor was U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliot Abrams, followed by Tamara Coffman Wittes of The Brookings Institute, and Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute. I am pleased to follow them as the 2020-2021 fellow and professor. Through my courses, I have been able to share my experience as a diplomat who is extensively involved in the Middle East peace process with students. Crucially, I have learned from their insights in the process, as well."  Ambassador Dennis Ross serves as the counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is a Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. For over twelve years, he played a leading role in shaping the U.S.'s involvement in the Middle East peace process, dealing directly with the parties as the U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. For two years, he served as special assistant to President Obama and as National Security Council senior director for the Central Region. For one year, he served as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Before his time as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, Ambassador Ross served as director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff in the first Bush administration. In the past, he played a prominent role in U.S. policy towards the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the 1991 Gulf War coalition. Additionally, he served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff and deputy director of the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment during the Reagan administration. Ambassador Ross graduated from UCLA, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on Soviet decision-making. He served as executive director of the Berkeley-Stanford program on Soviet International Behavior, received UCLA's highest medal, and has been named UCLA alumnus of the year.  Ambassador Ross has authored five books on the peace process, the Middle East, and international relations. His most recent publication, co-written with David Makovsky, was published in September 2019 and is titled Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel's Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny. The book profiles four Israeli prime ministers and their historic choices. It explores the lessons from those decisions and assesses whether they can provide a guide to dealing with the fateful choice that Israel's leaders must soon confront or by default become a binational state. His previous publications include Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2015), which was awarded the 2015 National Jewish Book Award for history. He also co-authored Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East (Viking, 2009) with Mr. Makovsky. An earlier study, The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004), offers comprehensive analytical and personal insight into the Middle East peace process. He also received critical acclaim for his 2007 publication Statecraft, And How to Restore America's Standing in the World (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007), which the New York Times praised as "important and illuminating." Ambassador Ross will offer the 2021 Andrew H. Siegel Memorial Lecture in American Middle Eastern Foreign Policy. Stay tuned for the Center's announcement of the event's topic!

The Center for Jewish Civilization is excited to announce that our own Ambassador Dennis Ross is the 2020-2021 Andrew H. Siegal Professor in American Middle Eastern Foreign Policy. The annual professorship and lectureship is made possible by the support of Mr. Michael Deutsch (COL ‘ 88, L ‘ 92; partner with and co-founder of Singer Deutsch LLP) and his family. It was established in honor of Deutsch’s late friend, Andrew Siegal, a philanthropist who lived in the United States and Israel. It is guided by Siegal’s hopeful vision for the Middle East. 

The Siegal professorship allows thought leaders to work closely with CJC students and faculty. Past fellows have included Professors Elliot Abrams, Tamara Cofman Wittes, and Danielle Pletka. This semester, Ambassador Dennis Ross continued to teach his celebrated course“History of Peace-Making in the Middle East,” as Siegal Professor. The course places the Arab-Israeli conflict in a historic context. Next semester, Ambassador Ross will teach his other hallmark course, “Statecraft and Negotiation,” which analyzes American foreign policy toward the Middle East within the framework of of statecraft.

The importance of the professorship in cultivating ties between the Center’s students and community members is not lost on Ambassador Ross, who stated that it  “has been responsible for the rich engagement between thought leaders and students for years.” Ross continued, “the Center for Jewish Civilization’s first Andrew H. Siegal Professor was U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliot Abrams, followed by Tamara Coffman Wittes of The Brookings Institute, and Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute. I am pleased to follow them as the 2020-2021 fellow and professor. Through my courses, I have been able to share my experience as a diplomat who is extensively involved in the Middle East peace process with students. Crucially, I have learned from their insights in the process, as well.” 

Ambassador Dennis Ross serves as the counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is a Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. For over twelve years, he played a leading role in shaping the U.S.’s involvement in the Middle East peace process, dealing directly with the parties as the U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. For two years, he served as special assistant to President Obama and as National Security Council senior director for the Central Region. For one year, he served as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Before his time as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, Ambassador Ross served as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in the first Bush administration. In the past, he played a prominent role in U.S. policy towards the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the 1991 Gulf War coalition. Additionally, he served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff and deputy director of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment during the Reagan administration.

Ambassador Ross graduated from UCLA, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on Soviet decision-making. He served as executive director of the Berkeley-Stanford program on Soviet International Behavior, received UCLA’s highest medal, and has been named UCLA alumnus of the year. 

Ambassador Ross has authored five books on the peace process, the Middle East, and international relations. His most recent publication, co-written with David Makovsky, was published in September 2019 and is titled Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny. The book profiles four Israeli prime ministers and their historic choices. It explores the lessons from those decisions and assesses whether they can provide a guide to dealing with the fateful choice that Israel’s leaders must soon confront or by default become a binational state. His previous publications include Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2015), which was awarded the 2015 National Jewish Book Award for history. He also co-authored Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East (Viking, 2009) with Mr. Makovsky. An earlier study, The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004), offers comprehensive analytical and personal insight into the Middle East peace process. He also received critical acclaim for his 2007 publication Statecraft, And How to Restore America’s Standing in the World (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007), which the New York Times praised as “important and illuminating.”

Ambassador Ross will offer the 2021 Andrew H. Siegal Memorial Lecture in American Middle Eastern Foreign Policy. Stay tuned for the Center’s announcement of the event’s topic!

Ambassador Dennis Ross, 2020-2021 Andrew H. Siegal Professor in American Middle Eastern Foreign Policy.
Ambassador Dennis Ross, 2020-2021 Andrew H. Siegal Professor in American Middle Eastern Foreign Policy.

Take a Look at our Upcoming Hal Israel Endowed Lectures in Jewish-Catholic Relations

Take a Look at our Upcoming Hal Israel Endowed Lectures in Jewish-Catholic Relations! The Center for Jewish Civilization invites you to Rabbi Abraham Skorka's virtual lecture, “Jewish-Catholic Faith Traditions and Interfaith Dialogue,” and Dr. Suzanne Brown-Fleming’s “The Church is Not Afraid of History: the Opening of the Vatican Archives, 1939-1958.” RSVP to the lectures by visiting the links on our website!

The Center for Jewish Civilization invites you to Rabbi Abraham Skorka’s virtual lecture, “Jewish-Catholic Faith Traditions and Interfaith Dialogue.” RSVP to the lecture here!

Our virtual lecture with Rabbi Skorka will be accessible to all viewers via Zoom. RSVP required. Only those who register will receive the Zoom link to access the lecture. Zoom invitations will be emailed to all those who RSVP. 

About the Event

The Hal Israel Endowed Lecture in Jewish-Catholic Relations is named in memory of Hal Israel (C’92) and seeks to facilitate dialogue and strengthen ties between Jews and Catholics. It explores the many ways in which members of these two faiths continue to replace ancient prejudices with cooperation and understanding in today’s world.

Rabbi Skorka will describe the founding of both faiths, their encounters and clashes throughout history, and the dialogical relation that developed during the last 50 years.

About the Speaker

Rabbi Abraham Skorka was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has a PhD in Chemistry from The University of Buenos Aires. Rabbi Skorka graduated from Midrahsa HaIvrit and the Latin-American Rabbinical Seminary. Presently, he is a University Professor at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and works closely with its Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations. His many publications include On Heaven and Earth, which he co-wrote with Pope Francis (then the Archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal Bergoglio).

This event will be recorded. By joining this event you consent to Georgetown University using video and photos of you taken during the event in its social media and promotional materials. For all other accommodation requests, please email bhm29@georgetown.edu by October 7. A good-faith effort will be made to fulfill requests after October 7.


The Center for Jewish Civilization invites you to Dr. Suzanne Brown-Fleming’s virtual lecture, “’The Church is Not Afraid of History:’ The Opening of the Vatican Archives.” RSVP to the lecture here!

Our virtual lecture with Dr. Brown-Fleming will be accessible to all viewers via Zoom. RSVP required. Only those who register will receive the Zoom link to access the lecture. Zoom invitations will be emailed to all those who RSVP. 

About the Event

The Hal Israel Endowed Lecture in Jewish-Catholic Relations is named in memory of Hal Israel (C’92) and seeks to facilitate dialogue and strengthen ties between Jews and Catholics. It explores the many ways in which members of these two faiths continue to replace ancient prejudices with cooperation and understanding in today’s world.

In March 2019, when Pope Francis opened the archives for the pontificate of Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), His Holiness marked this momentous occasion with the phrase “the Church is not afraid of history.” The archives opened to researchers in March 2020 for only four days before the COVID pandemic required closing them. Since their reopening in June, the international research community has begun their work in one of the most consequential archives for study of the Holocaust in our lifetime. Dr. Brown-Fleming will reflect on key questions about the Holocaust the archives could help answer and the meaning of this research for Jewish-Christian relations going forward.

About the Speaker

Dr. Brown-Fleming is the Director of International Academic Programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Dr. Brown-Fleming’s work has been featured in the Catholic News Service (CNS), Catholic News Agency (CNA), and The Catholic Virginian. She has appeared on Cable News Network (CNN), EWTN Global Catholic Television Network, and several documentaries, including Holy Silence (2019).

This event will be recorded. By joining this event you consent to Georgetown University using video and photos of you taken during the event in its social media and promotional materials. For all other accommodation requests, please email bhm29@georgetown.edu by October 31. A good-faith effort will be made to fulfill requests after October 31.

RSVP: “Reconciling Free Speech & Safety In An Era of Antisemitism & Extremism”

RSVP to the CJC’s “Reconciling Free Speech & Safety In An Era of Antisemitism & Extremism" by visiting the “Event’s” section of our page and clicking the Eventbrite link, at cjcsigner2020.eventbrite.com!

The Center for Jewish Civilization invites you to Dr. Michael Signer’s virtual lecture, “Reconciling Free Speech & Safety In An Era of Antisemitism & Extremism.” RSVP to the lecture here!

Our virtual lecture with Dr. Signer will be accessible to all viewers via Zoom. Zoom invitations will be emailed to all those who RSVP. 

This online event will take place on October 13, from 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM.

About the Event

RSVP required. Only those who register will receive the Zoom link to access the lecture.

Dr. Michael Signer, the author of Cry Havoc: Charlottesville And American Democracy Under Siege, was mayor during the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally. In his presentation, Signer will place the events of that fateful weekend in the larger context of the polarization and disruption that continues to affect America today. A political philosopher and attorney, Signer examines such pressing issues as how we can reconcile free speech with the need for public order as well as maintain the values of pragmatism, compromise, and even simple respect in a time of intensifying extremes on the right and left.

About the Speaker:

For over twenty years, Michael Signer has worked to strengthen democracy – as a public servant, advocate, attorney, executive, and author.

Signer served as the mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, from 2016–2018 during the Unite the Right rally of 2017. The Washington Post wrote that he was “one of Trump’s strongest critics.” Afterward, he founded and chaired Communities Overcoming Extremism: the After Charlottesville Project, a bipartisan coalition including the Anti-Defamation League, the Ford Foundation, the Charles Koch Institute, the Fetzer Institute, and New America. National Public Radio featured Signer ’s work “sharing painful lessons from the fight against hate.”

***This event will be recorded. By joining this event you consent to Georgetown University using video and photos of you taken during the event in its social media and promotional materials. For all other accommodation requests, please email bhm29@georgetown.edu by October 6. A good-faith effort will be made to fulfill requests after October 6.

CJC Student Spotlight: Samuel Gang (SFS ’21)

The CJC's Latest Student Spotlight is Samuel Gang (SFS '21).

The Center for Jewish Civilization is pleased to announce the latest installment of its Student Spotlight Series. This month’s spotlight is Samuel Gang, a senior in the School of Foreign Service from Bethlehem. Gang majors in International Politics and minors in both Arabic and Jewish Civilization. At the CJC, Gang developed his interests in counterterrorism and political and religious extremism. Read our interview with him below to learn about his experiences as a CJCer and on the Hilltop.

Q: How and why did you join the CJC?

A: I first learned about the CJC during orientation, week when I briefly stopped by a CJC event. I conversed with Professor Jacques Berlinerblau and mentioned that I was interested in the politics of the Middle East. He convinced me to come to other CJC events and consider a certificate. I realized that many of the courses offered by the Center align with my regional interest and count towards my major, International Politics. I also wanted to learn about the region through a multidisciplinary approach and differing viewpoints.

 

Q: What was your first CJC class?

A: I actually took three CJC classes during the first semester I decided to pursue a certificate, which were “Re-examining the Middle East Crisis through Literature and Film,”  “Israel and Arab Spring,” and “Intro to Jewish Civilization.”

 

Q: Have you had an extensive experience abroad? If so, how has it informed your studies and time at the CJC?

A: Although I lived in the Middle East before starting my undergraduate studies at Georgetown, I was always interested in learning more about the region by approaching it through different perspectives and disciplines. The CJC was the perfect place to explore my interest since its courses and programming approach the Middle East in more than just a political lens. In many of the classes, I was happy to contribute to class discussions about events that I have personally experienced.

 

Q: What are some of your research and academic interests? How have you developed them as a CJC student?

A: I had my regional interests before coming to the CJC. Though I had the opportunity to explore classes about counterterrorism and both political and religious extremism as a student in the Center. This led me to intern for the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where I spent time translating and analyzing extremist groups’ literature and videos from Syria. I am particularly interested in researching about Huras al-Din, an AQ affiliate based in Idlib. My other interests include the Israel and Gulf relationship, particularly in light of the growing Iranian influence in the region.

 

Q: What has been your favorite CJC class thus far?

A: My favorite class was “Re-examining the Middle East Crisis through Literature and Film” with Professor Meital Orr. I took it during the second semester of freshman year. I enjoyed the class because it offered us a background to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a humanities-oriented framework, as opposed to just a political lens. In fact, my main takeaway from the class was that Israeli and Palestinian literature and symbolism allows us to see connections between people that might not be readily apparent in politics and a conflict setting.

 

Q: Can you tell us a little about the research and administrative work you completed for the CJC during the summer? Did you have other work experiences last summer?

A:   I assisted Director Bruce Hoffman with administrative work by organizing class materials. Additionally, I worked as an intern for an Australian strategic consultancy firm called Arcana Partners, researching how disasters and emergencies play into “accelerationism” and the narrative of extremist groups.

 

Q: Have you had a very memorable CJC experience thus far? How has the CJC informed your time at Georgetown?

A: The CJC introduced me to some of my favorite classes and mentors, including professors and students. The Center has  offered me the most supportive community, one that regularly checks in with me and discusses internship and career opportunities. When I had to undergo emergency surgery earlier in the summer, the staff and students were very concerned and supported me through phone calls and by sending me wonderful books to read!

 

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your Master’s program? Additionally, what are some of your professional goals for the future?

A: Currently, I am pursuing an M.A. in Security Studies through an accelerated degree program. I plan to concentrate on terrorism and substate violence. As a Korean citizen, I have to serve in the military and hope to be part of the Korea UNIFIL mission in Lebanon or anywhere else in the region where I can use my language skills. Afterward, I hope to pursue a career at a think tank or the United Nations.

 

Q: What do you look forward to during your last year on the Hilltop? How have you been making the most of our online environment?

A: Last semester, I came to Sydney, Australia as a study abroad student and lived at St. Paul’s residential college at the University of Sydney. I decided to continue to live here until the end of the year and take Georgetown classes virtually. I have been able to take advantage of experiencing college life both in Sydney and Georgetown. While participating in many of the webinars hosted by Georgetown and think tanks in DC, I am also able to physically partake in many events–both academic and athletic– while being in Australia. I look forward to further engaging with my peers and friends at my Master’s program if we return to campus next semester.

 

Q: What are some other clubs you’re involved in and activities you engage in at Georgetown?

A: I have been involved as the treasurer of the GU Arab Society and directed many MUN committees through the International Relations Club.

Don’t Forget: RSVP to our Fall Events!

RSVP to the CJC’s Fall events, including “Israeli-Emirati Normalization and its Implications for the Middle East” and “From Checkpoint to Waze: Israel as a Cyber Tiger!”

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Israeli-Emirati Normalization and its Implications for the Middle East
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Online Lecture
Zoom Invitations Will Be Sent to All RSVPs

RSVP Here

About the Event:

Join Ambassador Dennis Ross, a veteran negotiator and expert on Israeli-Arab relations, as he sheds light on the announcement that Israel and the United Arab Emirates will normalize relations. Amb. Ross will illuminate the origins of the historic announcement, discuss its implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and explore its ramifications for the wider region.

About the Speaker:

Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is also Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. For more than twelve years, Ambassador Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process, dealing directly with the parties as the U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He served two years as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Ambassador Ross’s book, Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny (PublicAffairs, 2019), was co-written with his colleague David Makovsky and published in September 2019. The work profiles four Israeli prime ministers who made historic choices and explores their decisions to see if they can provide a guide to dealing with the fateful choice that Israel’s leaders must soon confront or by default become a binational state.

Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at cjcinfo@georgetown.edu. We will try to meet these accommodation requests to the best of our ability.
 

Thank you for your interest in “Israeli-Emirati Normalization and its Implications for the Middle East.” Please note that the CJC reserves the right to cancel this virtual lecture in the event of any major changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We prioritize the health of our audience foremost, and hope that this online event will foster a sense of community as we transition to a virtual learning environment. 

 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

From Checkpoint to Waze: Israel as a Cyber Tiger

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Online Lecture
Zoom Invitations Will Be Sent to All RSVPs

A new Eventbrite link will be distributed within the next few days!

About the Event

Join the Center for Jewish Civilization for its first event of the semester! Professor Eviatar Matania will discuss current threats in cyberspace; elections in the cyber age, the risk to critical infrastructures; power, supremacy and deterrence in the cyber world; Israel as a cyber nation; and the strategic cyber alliance between the US and Israel.

About the Speaker

Professor Eviatar Matania is a professor at the School of Political Sciences, Government and International Affairs at Tel Aviv University, where he heads the MA program of Security Studies and the MA program of cyber politics and government. Matania is also an Adjunct Professor at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, where he convenes the Cyber Module. Matania was the founding head and former Director General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) in the Israeli Prime Minister office, where he reported directly to the Prime Minister, and was responsible for Israel’s overall cyber strategy, policy and its implementation to defend the Israeli civilian sector. On 31 December 2017 he completed his six-year term.

During the last two years Matania has been co-heading the Smart Systems (AI) National Initiative to recommend the PM and the government about a national plan to promote Israel as a global power in AI. Matania has been a thought leader in policies of technologies, from both national and organizational perspectives, cyber strategies and national security issues, participating in the foremost international fora, and engaged by leading global companies and global VCs, by top league universities (Harvard Kennedy School, Columbia, George Washington University), as well as by top government officials and formal committees (such as the US Senate Committees and Sub-Committee and the Israeli National Security Advisor).

Matania is a graduate of the Israeli military-academic prestigious Talpiot Program and he holds a B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics (honors, Hebrew University of Jerusalem), a M.Sc. in Mathematics with an expertise in Game Theory (honors, Tel Aviv University), and a Ph.D. in Judgment and Decision Making (Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

 

Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at cjcinfo@georgetown.edu. We will try to meet these accommodation requests to the best of our ability.
 

Thank you for your interest in “From Checkpoint to WazeIsrael as a Cyber Tiger.” Please note that the CJC reserves the right to cancel this virtual lecture in the event of any major changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We prioritize the health of our audience foremost, and hope that this online event will foster a sense of community as we transition to a virtual learning environment. 

RSVP to “From Checkpoint to Waze: Israel as a Cyber Tiger”

RSVP to "From Checkpoint to Waze: Israel as a Cyber Tiger," with Professor Eviatar Matania!

The Center for Jewish Civilization invites you to Professor Eviatar Matania’s virtual lecture, “From Checkpoint to Waze: Israel as a Cyber Tiger.” A new Eventbrite link will be distributed within the next few days! 

Professor Eviatar Matania’s virtual lecture will take place on Tuesday, October 6, at 12 PM. It will only be accessible to all viewers via Zoom. Zoom invitations will only be emailed to all those who RSVP. 

About the event:

Join the Center for Jewish Civilization for its first event of the semester! Professor Eviatar Matania will discuss current threats in cyberspace; elections in the cyber age, the risk to critical infrastructures; power, supremacy and deterrence in the cyber world; Israel as a cyber nation; and the strategic cyber alliance between the US and Israel.

About the Speaker

Professor Eviatar Matania is a professor at the School of Political Sciences, Government and International Affairs at Tel Aviv University, where he heads the MA program of Security Studies and the MA program of cyber politics and government. Matania is also an Adjunct Professor at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, where he convenes the Cyber Module. Matania was the founding head and former Director General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) in the Israeli Prime Minister office, where he reported directly to the Prime Minister, and was responsible for Israel’s overall cyber strategy, policy and its implementation to defend the Israeli civilian sector. On 31 December 2017 he completed his six-year term.

During the last two years Matania has been co-heading the Smart Systems (AI) National Initiative to recommend the PM and the government about a national plan to promote Israel as a global power in AI. Matania has been a thought leader in policies of technologies, from both national and organizational perspectives, cyber strategies and national security issues, participating in the foremost international fora, and engaged by leading global companies and global VCs, by top league universities (Harvard Kennedy School, Columbia, George Washington University), as well as by top government officials and formal committees (such as the US Senate Committees and Sub-Committee and the Israeli National Security Advisor).

Matania is a graduate of the Israeli military-academic prestigious Talpiot Program and he holds a B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics (honors, Hebrew University of Jerusalem), a M.Sc. in Mathematics with an expertise in Game Theory (honors, Tel Aviv University), and a Ph.D. in Judgment and Decision Making (Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at cjcinfo@georgetown.edu. We will try to meet these accommodation requests to the best of our ability. 

Thank you for your interest in “From Checkpoint to Waze: Israel as a Cyber Tiger.” Please note that the CJC reserves the right to cancel this virtual lecture in the event of any major changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We prioritize the health of our audience foremost, and hope that this online event will foster a sense of community as we transition to a virtual learning environment. 

CJC Student Spotlight: Liam Scott (SFS ’23)

The CJC's latest Student Spotlight is Liam Scott (SFS '23).

The Center for Jewish Civilization reintroduced its Student Spotlight Series to showcase the diversity and wide-ranging accomplishments of its students. This month’s spotlight is Liam Scott, a rising sophomore from Connecticut in the School of Foreign Service. This year, Scott plans on declaring his major in International Politics. His engagement with the Center has been guided by his longtime academic and research interests in both genocide and Holocaust studies. At the CJC, Scott serves as a research assistant for Father Desbois and Professor Andrej Umansky, each of whom engage in groundbreaking forensic research on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. Read our interview with him below to learn about his research interests and experience on the Hilltop.

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Q: Could you tell me about how you joined the CJC? 

A: I went to a CJC event early in the fall semester and found it really interesting. I got an email from the CJC after the event that encouraged student attendees to get involved with the Center, so I reached out to Brittany Fried to inquire about any opportunities related to Holocaust and genocide studies research, which is a topic that I have been passionate about for a couple years now. Brittany helped put me in touch with Dr. Umansky and Father Desbois, and I have been a research assistant ever since! I was looking for a place where I could pursue my passion for genocide studies, and I found that with the CJC.

 

Q: What was your first CJC class?

A: I will be taking Holocaust by Bullets as my first CJC class this fall.

 

Q: When did you develop your research and academic interests in genocide and hate studies?

A: My interest in genocide studies began in high school. I went on a school trip to Cambodia the summer after my junior year. While there, we learned about the Cambodian genocide, and I was struck by how little I knew about not only the Cambodian genocide, but also genocide more broadly. So during my senior year, I engaged in an Independent Study with a teacher, through which we designed the course Genocide: Media, Remembrance, and the International Community. The course is now taught at my high school. I also engaged in an interview project with genocide survivors and descendants of genocide survivors toward the end of my senior year. These experiences were indelibly transformative and impactful. They were formative in sparking my interest in human rights and genocide studies.

 

Q: You have been so helpful to the Center this summer. Can you tell us a little about what you have been working on for the CJC the past few months?

A: I have been helping Dr. Umansky acquire primary sources regarding the Holocaust from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. I’m grateful that I have had the opportunity to continue this work throughout the summer, and I’m happy that I am able to contribute, even in a small way, to research on a topic that I am passionate about.

 

Q: What new insights have you gained through your research?

A: My research for CJC faculty has led to new ways of thinking about the Holocaust that I otherwise may never have been exposed to. My experience as a research assistant has only further cemented my belief in the urgency of Holocaust research. The Holocaust is, after all, what led Raphael Lemkin to coin the term “genocide” and work to mark it as an international crime under the Genocide Convention. It is to this end that I believe we cannot fully understand genocide at large without studying the Holocaust and its implications for international human rights law.

 

Q: If you have been engaging in any other research or professional activities this summer, what have they been?

A: I have also been doing remote internships with Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, The Uyghur Human Rights Project, and the Embassy of Timor-Leste in Washington, D.C.

 

Q: Have you had a very memorable CJC experience thus far? How has the CJC informed your time at Georgetown?

A: Many moments come to mind, but perhaps more broadly I think of the many events that the CJC holds—both formal events with academics and practitioners and informal social events. The educational events are always interesting and thought-provoking, and the CJC community is always very friendly and welcoming. I think that being passionate about Holocaust and genocide studies is not overwhelmingly popular, so I have appreciated meeting people with similar interests through the CJC. I was looking for a place where I could pursue genocide studies, which I found, but I also found a network of friendly, caring, and helpful individuals.

 

Q: What are some of your professional goals for the future? What do you look forward to during your next few years on the Hilltop?

A: During my career, I hope to engage in a mixture of journalism, international human rights law, and diplomacy. Presently, I’m most looking forward to just returning to campus—hopefully it is safe to do so sometime soon. I am also looking forward to engaging in more research related to the Holocaust with the CJC and growing as both a student and person.

 

Q: What are some other clubs you’re involved in and activities you engage in at Georgetown?

A: I am an Editorial Assistant for the Society and Culture section of The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, I write for the Features section of The Hoya, and I am on the club equestrian team.

Take a Look at the CJC’s Fall 1-Credit Course Offerings!

The Center for Jewish Civilization is pleased to announce its lineup of Fall 2020 (virtual) one-credit courses! For a look at our complete Fall 2020 course offerings, visit this link.

Bringing Nazis to Justice, JCIV 025

Professor Andrej Umansky

Saturdays: Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31

11:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Course Description

After the Nuremberg trials, Germany and other countries brought Nazis to justice for Holocaust-related crimes. These trials ran over decades, with varying degrees of success. State interests, legal issues and public opinion were some of the many hurdles to justice. The most recent trial against a Nazi criminal ended in July 2020: Bruno Dey, a guard at the concentration camp of Stutthof in Poland, was found guilty of complicity in the murder of more than 5,000 prisoners. Dey was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Why do these trials still take place? Why are they taking place only now, almost 80 years after the fact? We will approach these questions and others during the class through analysis of trial material, historical backgrounds and geopolitics. This 1-credit course runs from 11:00am -1:30pm EST on 5 consecutive Saturdays: October 3, October 10, October 17, October 24, and October 31, 2020.

 

Israeli National Security Decision Making, JCIV 279

Professor Sarah Fainberg

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays: Nov. 16 – Nov. 20

11:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Course Description

This modular course provides a hands-on insight into Israel’s national security challenges, dilemmas, strategies, policymaking, and implementation in an increasingly turbulent and volatile Middle East. Together we shall explore the unique conditions that have framed Israel’s national security decision-making including Regional and Great Power dynamics, the weight of the intelligence agencies and of the military vs. the relative weakness of the civilian national security organs, and the limitations resulting from the proportional electoral system. We shall also examine rising variables in Israel’s national security thinking and strategy including, among others, information warfare and societal resilience. The course includes four lectures and a wrap-up wargaming session: 1) Israel’s Emerging Threats in the Regional and Global Arenas 2) Adapting Israel’s National Security Doctrine 3) Israel’ Decision-Making in Practice: Structure, Mechanisms, and Power Struggles 4) Case Study Analysis: The Israeli-Russian Tango in Syria and Beyond 5) Wargaming Session. Students will participate in the wargame simulation by playing the moves and countermoves of Israel’s national security stakeholders. Students shall be trained to formulate security assessments, generate policy-oriented solutions, and examine their policy objectives and unexpected outcomes. This course is designed to improve decision-making skills across a wide range of policy areas and empower students and young professionals in the foreign policy and national security realms. This is a non-standard class. Dr. Fainberg’s 1-credit course meets from November 16 – November 20.

 

To Pray or Not Pray? JCIV 017

Rabbi Rachel Garner

Tuesdays: Oct. 15 – Dec. 18, 10:00 AM – 10:55 AM

Saturdays: Nov. 14 & Dec. 5, 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Course Description

To Pray or Not to Pray? Judaism as a Civilization Is Judaism a religion or an ethnicity? Do Jews believe in the Afterlife? My grandmother never went to synagogue, so why did she care if I married a Jew? What does it mean to sit shiva? This broad exploration of Judaism will take as a point of departure the notion that Judaism is neither a religion nor an ethnicity but instead a civilization. It will have two central foci. First, we’ll explore what it means to define Judaism as a civilization. Second, we’ll take a deep dive into the religious dimension of the Jewish Civilization as we study the core religious ideas and practices that animate, shape and reshape Jewish life. Students with all levels of background are welcome. The intention is that this course will have something for everyone. For those entirely new to the subject, it should serve as an accessible introduction to Judaism. For those with more familiarity with the subject (on any level of depth), this course aims to shed new light on the existing ways one thinks about and understands Judaism. Rabbi Rachel Gartner’s 1-credit course meets from October 15 – December 18, 2020.

The Off Season: CJC Student Summers

The Center for Jewish Civilization is pleased to present the second installment of "The Off Season." Historically, the CJC has offered guidance on the application process for internships, research positions, fellowships, and jobs. We asked a handful of students what they are up to during this extraordinary summer. Despite unusual circumstances, some of our CJCers have managed to continue their research work and intern remotely.

The Center for Jewish Civilization is pleased to present the second installment of “The Off Season.” Historically, the CJC has offered guidance on the application process for internships, research positions, fellowships, and jobs. We asked a handful of students what they are up to during this extraordinary summer. Despite unusual circumstances, some of our CJCers have managed to continue their research work and intern remotely. Here is what they had to report!

Maddox Angerhofer

“This summer, I am studying Persian intensively through a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, while working on a few research projects.  In June, along with my 3 coauthors, I was invited to present research from a Spring Centennial Lab with Professor Dan Byman on national security and social media.  We presented at the U.S. Army Futures Command Information Warfare Conference.  A write up can be found on the U.S. Army website and a recording of the web conference is available on YouTube. Additionally, I am continuing to assist CJC Professor Moran Stern with his research on Palestinian domestic politics.”

Maddox Angerhofer is a rising junior in the School of Foreign Service from Durham, New Hampshire. She majors in International Politics with a concentration in security. Additionally, she minors in Persian and pursuing a certificate in Jewish Civilization.

Matthew Davis 

“This summer, I am taking a philosophy class about the TV show BoJack Horseman, as well as interning with Congressman Jim Cooper who represents Tennessee’s Fifth District. Throughout my internship, I am learning about how Congress is adapting during the pandemic. Additionally, I am expanding my knowledge on issues including systemic racism, economic inequality, and voter suppression in Tennessee.”

Matthew Davis

Matthew Davis is a rising junior in the School of Foreign Service from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Davis majors in Regional and Comparative Studies.

Tara Maloney

“This summer I am working as a research assistant for Dr. Elizabeth Grimm Arsenault (of Georgetown University) and Dr. Tricia Bacon (of American University). We are in the process of writing a book on leadership, decapitation, and the transfer of authority in terrorist organizations. The particular focus of the book is on how leaders of terrorist groups affect the organizational culture and structure, and when a change in leadership occurs, how that transition changes both the new leadership and the makeup of the group. Over the summer, I have been working on researching and writing the empirical case study on al-Qaida in Iraq and, subsequently, the Islamic State of Iraq. The case study explores AQI/ISI as a highly institutionalized group which also existed in an extremely high counterterrorism pressure environment, and under the command of a charismatic and hands-on leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.”

Tara Maloney

Tara Maloney is a rising senior in the School of Foreign Service from Madison, Connecticut. Maloney majors in International Politics with a concentration in security studies. 

Cheyenne Martin

“This summer I am managing social media and doing logistics and research work for a non-profit global classical music organization called Lyrica Classic. I’m also volunteering to help transcribe and translate documents from the Smithsonian and National Archive online. Additionally, I am participating in an entrepreneurship fellowship where I’m creating a podcast on my own. On the podcast I discuss the more taboo topics of YouTube with some of the creators on the site. When I am not doing volunteer work or podcasting, I am completing preliminary research for my history thesis about the musical response to the massive right wing movement during the Thatcher era.”

Cheyenne Martin

Cheyenne Martin is a rising senior in the College from Santa Fe, Tennessee. Martin majors in History and is pursuing a minor in both Government and Jewish Civilization. 

Ria Pradhan

“This summer, I have spent my time taking classes, doing research, and interning at the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition as a Research and Advocacy Intern. In my role at the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, I advocate to increase the supply of housing to combat the Bay Area’s regional affordability and displacement crisis.

As a Georgetown University research assistant, I am working with the CJC’s Professor Jacques Berlinerblau on various endeavors relating to secularism. I am also working with Professors Berlinerblau and Shareen Joshi of the Asian Studies Department, on a project about judicial systems and social justice in India. I hope to apply the skills I have gained this summer to my passion for development economics in South Asia.”

Ria Pradhan

Ria Pradhan is a rising sophomore in the School of Foreign Service from the San Francisco Bay Area, and plans to major in International Political Economy. 

Thank you for sharing, CJCers! For more updates on our students and programming this summer, be sure to regularly visit our website, follow us on Twitter, and on Instagram.