The nonprofit American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) has created the Israel Scholar Development Fund to address the serious shortage of faculty teaching courses related to Israel at American universities. One of our goals is to expand the number of course offerings related to Israel. A second goal is to normalize the study of Israel so that it is taught the way other area studies are instructed, rather than focus primarily on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Toward this end, AICE seeks candidates for the visiting scholar positions from a range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. A third goal is to encourage the creation of permanent positions in Israel Studies, Centers of Israel Studies and regular visiting Israeli scholars.
Each of these goals has been accomplished in the eight years we have managed the project. The number of courses related to Israel has expanded exponentially. By bringing faculty in fields as diverse as musicology, art history and psychology, AICE has exposed students to a broad array of perspectives. Finally, our visitors have made such a large impact on a number of campuses that they served as catalysts for chairs and/or centers at a number of institutions, including UCLA, Maryland, Berkeley, San Francisco State, Ohio State and American University.
AICE grants total $60,000 for salary, benefits and travel. We expect the university to cover any remaining costs, with a minimum investment of $15,000. Ideally, we would like to see the expense shared by the university and the community (through a local donor or institution) to demonstrate support for the project. AICE can assist in securing local support. The grants from the fund are for one year. There is a possibility, but no guarantee of renewal. Our general policy is to support a scholar and institution for no more than three years.
Over the last eight years of the program, AICE has supported more than 100 different professors at more than 50 universities. In 2012-13, the Fund will support 19 Schusterman Visiting Professors at universities where we believe they can have the most impact. In addition, AICE will be supporting a Richard & Rhoda Goldman Visiting Professor at Davis and a Lisa & Douglas Goldman Visiting Professor at Berkeley. AICE will also have a Meyerhoff Visiting Professor at San Diego State.
The ideal candidates from our perspective will have impeccable scholarly credentials. They should be excellent classroom teachers who are fluent in English. They should also be willing to be active on the campus and the community. We would like to see scholars who will, for instance, give public lectures and engage in policy debates in the media. Faculty will be expected to teach two courses per semester, one of which should be related to modern Israel. We will also expect the scholar to attend an orientation conference in the summer.
Each year, we invite Israeli scholars to apply for the program. They are screened by our Advisory Board of ten of the leading American and Israeli scholars in the field, as well as our past visiting Israeli professors to assess their academic qualifications and program fit. Qualified professors are then interviewed in Israel and AICE compiles a final list of professors we recommend. Typically, the list has 40 or more candidates from a range of fields. Schools may choose scholars from outside the list, but we ask that they consult with us first so we can be sure the proposed scholar fits the program requirements. AICE understands the academic requirements of the university and does not attach strings to the grant.
The current program is for full-year positions but we occasionally have funding for faculty to be in residence for a semester. AICE also has sponsored postdoctoral fellows. In 2012-13, AICE will sponsor nine Schusterman Postdoctoral Fellows at eight institutions. AICE also sponsors the Schusterman Scholar Awards to encourage aspiring scholars to complete doctorates in Israel-related fields.
For more information, please contact:
Mitchell G. Bard, Ph.D
Executive Director | American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise
2810 Blaine Dr. | Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Tel. 301-565-3918 | Fax. 301-587-9056