Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin after receiving UCLA Israel Studies Award recently. He is flanked Sharon Nazarian, co-founder, UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Soraya Nazarian, Nazarian Center, co-founder, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block & Professor Dov Waxman, director of the Nazarian Center, photo by Todd Cheney


LOS ANGELES -- The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies presented its UCLA Israel Studies Award to the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin. The award was presented by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block during an evening ceremony at the Chancellor’s residence on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. The chancellor was joined in the award presentation by Soraya Nazarian and Sharon Nazarian, chair of the center’s Advisory Board.

“UCLA is proud to have numerous relationships with Israeli educational and cultural institutions and we are honored to have President Rivlin visit our campus,” Chancellor Block said. “I am especially proud that the Nazarian Center is a vital presence at UCLA helping us all understand the depth and complexity of Israel’s history, society and culture.”

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, center, after receiving the UCLA Israel Studies Award in a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. He is joined by Sharon Nazarian, the co-founder of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and chair of its Advisory Board, left, Soraya Nazarian, Nazarian Center co-founder, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, and Professor Dov Waxman, director of the Nazarian Center and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies at UCLA.

The UCLA Israel Studies Award recognizes individuals of extraordinary character and merit in their chosen fields, whether in academia, public service, business or the arts, who have contributed to a greater understanding of Israel and have made outstanding contributions to Israeli society or culture. The award was conferred on President Rivlin in recognition of his courageous leadership celebrating the mosaic of Israeli society and promoting the values of coexistence, tolerance, equality and civility. The UCLA Israel Studies Award has only been presented two times before, to the former Chief Justice of Israel's Supreme Court Aharon Barak (in 2007) and to Israeli author Amos Oz (in 2015).

"In a period when Israeli society is facing numerous challenges and Israeli democracy is under stress, President Rivlin is the leading voice in Israel calling for shared citizenship, social inclusion, civil discourse and respect for democratic norms," said Professor Dov Waxman, director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies at UCLA.

Rivlin was elected the 10th president of the State of Israel on June 10, 2014, after having served as speaker of the Knesset and as a cabinet minister. He was first elected to the Knesset in 1988 and served seven parliamentary terms. Rivlin was twice elected as speaker of the Knesset, serving from 2003 to 2006, and again from 2009 to 2013. He served as minister of communications from 2001 to 2003. A lawyer by training, he was born in Jerusalem into the extended Rivlin family, established in Jerusalem since 1809.

The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies promotes the study of modern Israel at UCLA and beyond. The center sponsors courses for UCLA students, supports research in the academic field of Israel Studies, and organizes frequent public programs, including conferences, lectures, discussions, performances, films and exhibits. The center also hosts visiting academics, and bring leading scholars, policymakers and artists to UCLA. Located in Los Angeles, which boasts the second-largest Jewish and Israeli communities in the United States, the Nazarian Center was established in 2010 as the first full-fledged Israel Studies center on the West Coast. Since then, the center has become an internationally known source of expertise and education about Israel and an intellectually vibrant home for Israel Studies at UCLA.



LOS ANGELES -- A “Dream Team” from the Orthodox Israel Coalition (slate #4) for the ongoing World Zionist Congress election was out in full force in was out in full force in Los Angeles last week, recruiting voters and supporters at: the Young Israel of Century City, Mogen David, Beth Jacob, Yavneh, Shalhevet, YULA Boys, YULA Girls, NCSY LA, JLIC LA, OU LA and others.

The Orthodox Israel Coalition (OIC) is broad-based group of nine major religious Zionist and modern-Orthodox organizations that have represented Orthodoxy in the World Zionist Congress for over 100 years. It includes the Religious Zionists of America-Mizrachi, AMIT, the Orthodox Union, Yeshiva University, Touro College, Bnei Akiva, Torah MiTzion, National Council of Young Israel, and the Rabbinical Council of America.

The election outcome will help determine what percentage of the $1 billion which the OIC would like to see allocated towards Orthodox-affiliated day schools, yeshivot, seminaries, and other gap year programs, summer camps, and shuls, and for recruiting and training shlichim (emissaries) and bnot Sherut (young Israeli women performing national service) to American communities.

The American delegation election for the World Zionist Congress opened on Tuesday, January 21st and will remain open through March 11th. Any Jew who will turn 18 by June 30th, 2020, is a permanent resident of the United States, and does not vote in Israel, is eligible to vote.  The elected congress will convene in Israel in October, and the group will appoint the senior leadership of four Israeli national institutions that, between them, allocate the $1 billion/annually to Jewish educational and communal causes around the world.


LOS ANGELES – UCLA’s Leve Center Faculty will spotlight Michael Rothberg's “The Implicated Subject.”  Professor Michael Rothberg and the 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies at UCLA will present his critically-acclaimed new book, The Implicated Subject, which offers a new theory of political responsibility that moves beyond familiar categories of victim, perpetrator, and bystander.

By interrogating diverse sites of public memory through a comparative, transnational frame, he shows how confronting our own implication in difficult histories can lead to new forms of internationalism and long-distance solidarity.
The book talk is co-sponsored by the UCLA Dept. of English and Comparative Literature, the Luskin Center for Public History and Policy, the Dept. of History, the Dept. of Germanic Languages and the 1939 Society.

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         29 Shevat-5 Adar, 5780                               Feb. 24-March 1, 2020 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES -- 630th Web Ed.



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