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Explore the culture and life of Israel beyond the polemics and politics.

You’re PRO-ISRAEL? It’s time to KNOW ISRAEL!

We welcome you back to our VBS College of Jewish Studies -- offering university-level learning without texts, term papers or fraternities!

Generously sponsored by Lill and Jess Beim

This year, we will encounter Israel. PRO-ISRAEL? KNOW ISRAEL! 

Too often, we focus only on "the conflict," Israel's politics and Israel's struggle for existence. But there is so much more to Israel. Israel has its own culture, expressed in literature, music, art, film, food. Israel has a rhythm of life that is unique. This year, our VBS College of Jewish Studies will meet the culture of Israel and all its fullness. 


View Session Recordings

View ALL Recordings

You can find all recent session recordings in this Google Drive. Feel free to watch and download to keep for later.  New sessions will be uploaded after the live class, and will automatically appear. 

"New Year, New Jew: Trends in Israeli Culture"

Professor Melissa Weininger
CSUN

January 19, 2022

"Arts and Entertainment: A Window into the Evolution of Israeli Culture"

Tchelet Semel
Director of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles

January 26, 2022

The Rise of the Overlooked: Israeli Art Now" Session 1 of 2

Sagi Refael
Art Historian, Curator and Advisor, Founder of IAILA - Israeli Art in Los Angeles

February 2, 2022

The Rise of the Overlooked: Israeli Art Now" Session 2 of 2

Sagi Refael
Art Historian, Curator and Advisor, Founder of IAILA - Israeli Art in Los Angeles

February 9, 2022

"The Israeli Soul As Reflected Through Music" Session 1 of 2

Danny Maseng
Israeli born performer, actor, singer and song-writer

February 16, 2022

"The Israeli Soul As Reflected Through Music" Session 2 of 2

Danny Maseng
Israeli born performer, actor, singer and song-writer

February 23, 2022

"Zionism: The Rebirth of Jewish Culture"

Rabbi Ed Feinstein
Senior Rabbi, Valley Beth Shalom

March 2, 2022

"Old Jew, New Jew, Israeli Jew: Three Generations of Israeli Jewish Culture"

Rabbi Mishael Zion
Shalom Hartman Institute

March 23, 2022

"How Hebrew Literature Gave Birth to the State of Israel"

Ethan Pack, Ph.D, Research Fellow and Lecturer, Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, UCLA 

March 30, 2022

Watch Here


Resources

Novels & Poetry

Music

Makom, New Israeli Playlist, Israeli Playlist

Click on any song. Then click on the text guide for a translation of the lyrics and background on the song. 

Food

Yotam Ottelenghi & Sami Tamimi, Jerusalem

Much more than a cookbook! A tour of the cultures and traditions of Jerusalem.

Mon, July 4 2022 5 Tammuz 5782