Introducing our next director:
Prof. Alexander Kaye
Alexander Kaye
Please join us in congratulating Alexander Kaye as he takes over the helm of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, and Jonathan D. Sarna as he returns to teaching and research. We are pleased to share, in lightly adapted form, Brandeis University Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Carol A. Fierke's, announcement to the community:

We are delighted to announce that Alexander Kaye, associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, and the Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Chair of Israel Studies, will become the next director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. Founded in 2007, our Center seeks to advance knowledge and understanding of the modern State of Israel through teaching and scholarship spanning Israeli history, politics, culture, and society.

Professor Kaye will become director on January 1, 2023. He succeeds University Professor Jonathan D. Sarna, whose firm direction during the Covid crisis led to an expansion in the Center’s national and international reach. During this time the Center introduced remote and hybrid programs, hosted the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Seminar, welcomed for the first time participants from the “Abraham Accord” countries to the Center’s flagship Summer Institute for Israel Studies, and launched the online Research Guide to Israel Studies, the most comprehensive guide of its kind.

Professor Kaye was a Summer Institute for Israel Studies fellow in 2013. He joined the Brandeis University faculty in 2018 from The Ohio State University where, as assistant professor of history, he held the Saul and Sonia Schottenstein Chair in Israel Studies. He is a historian whose scholarship, which spans legal studies, religious studies and Israel Studies, draws on his training in the history of political thought and is complemented by expertise in rabbinical texts and legal theory. His first book, The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel (Oxford University Press, 2020), received the Salo Baron Prize for best first book in the field of Jewish Studies from the American Academy of Jewish Research, and the Yeshiva University Leon Charney Book Award in Israel Studies, and was a finalist for the Jordan Schnitzer Award in the category of Philosophy and Jewish Thought, and the Concordia University Library - Azrieli Institute Award for Best Book in Israel Studies. In 2021, he was co-recipient of the Association for Israel Studies’ Young Scholar Award; he currently serves as co-editor of The Journal of Israeli History: Politics, Society, Culture. A dedicated educator, gifted scholar, and innovative leader, we know he will lead the Center from strength to strength.

Please join us in congratulating Alexander Kaye as he prepares to assume stewardship of the Schusterman Center, and in thanking Jonathan D. Sarna for his exemplary leadership over recent years. 
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Schusterman Center for Israel Studies • Brandeis University
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