One of the Academy's conference rooms (photo: Israel Academy)
Pursuant to its statutory role of advising the government on activity pertaining to scientific research and planning of national importance, the Academy periodically appoints committees to examine various fields. The committees submit their conclusions and recommendations to the Academy’s Council.
The Committee on Holocaust Studies at Universities in Israel
The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities has formed a committee to examine the field of Holocaust Studies at universities in Israel. Prof. Nili Cohen, the president of the Academy, appointed Prof. Israel Bartal to chair the committee. The other members are: Prof. Shlomo Avineri, Prof. Yehuda Bauer, Prof. Havi Ben-Sasson Dreifuss, Prof. Shulamit Volkov and Prof. Dina Porat.
The committee plans to study the state of Holocaust Studies at the universities, to compare the situation with that in other countries and to prepare a report with recommendations for improvement.
The Committee on Religious Studies at Universities in Israel
The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities formed a committee in 2015 to examine the field of Religious Studies at universities in Israel. Prof. Yosef Kaplan, head of the Humanities Division, appointed Prof. Guy G. Stroumsa to chair the committee. The other members were: Prof. Gideon Bohak of Tel Aviv University, Dr. Jonathan Ben-Dov of the University of Haifa, Prof. Maren Niehoff of the Hebrew University, Prof. Adam Silverstein of Bar-Ilan University, Prof. Nurit Stadler of the Hebrew University, and Academy Member Prof. Shaul Shaked of the Hebrew University. Mr. Omer Michaelis, a doctoral student in Jewish Philosophy, was appointed as a research assistant.
The committee was impressed by the abundance and quality of scholarship at the universities in Israel in many aspects of Religious Studies. Israeli research in Religious Studies has received global recognition and esteem for its quality and quantity, and a significant share of the Israel Science Foundation’s research grants are awarded for scholarly work in this field. Nonetheless, the universities have yet to take full advantage of the potential of this research and have not brought Israel to the forefront of Religious Studies. In its recommendations, the committee proposed several ways to improve the situation.