Dr. Yoav Fromer
Since the Center's initial founding in 2018, the United States has, to put it mildly, provided no shortage of interesting and timely research topics to pursue: The Trump Presidency and its shifting foreign policy in the Middle East, the 2020 election mayhem and the inauguration of President Joe Biden, Covid-19 and its devastating impact on American society, rising inequality and a crisis in Capitalism, The Black Lives Matter and Me-Too movements, immigration and Constitutional debates, as well as Antisemitism and the resurgence of rightwing populist violence.
Looking back with great pride at what we have accomplished so far, I can honestly say that we did not miss a beat. Under the guidance of the Center's stellar steering committee and with the unwavering support of our partners at the Fulbright Program and the United States Embassy in Israel, the Center was able to address these recent developments – and more – in a variety of interesting and creative ways. These included promoting interdisciplinary research projects, seminars and publications, hosting renown scholars and public figures from the United States, organizing countless events (academic and public), and funding the pioneering research of talented graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Law.
Despite the challenges of Covid-19 and campus closures, we have adapted our activities accordingly and continued full steam ahead via zoom and online platforms. In doing so, we not only engaged closely with faculty, students and researchers, but also with high-school teachers, policymakers, diplomats, journalists and the wider Israeli public that has demonstrated time and again a keen interest in American society.
One notable accomplishment of which we are especially proud is the burgeoning community of scholars and students that we have been able to bring together. For many years, a multitude of successful Israeli-based scholars, teachers, researchers and students of the United States have operated independently, each in their own fields and institutions. By providing them a platform for collaboration and discourse where they can share research and engage in vibrant debate, the Center has essentially offered Americanists in Israel something they have never enjoyed: an intellectual home.
We look forward with great hope and optimism toward expanding the conversation, fostering innovative research, and nurturing a community of scholars in Israel dedicated to exploring the American experience.