The following foundations,
individuals, and agencies
have given generously:
Paul & Sheri Robbins
Eda & Joseph Pell
San José State University
Jewish Studies Program
Victoria G. Harrison, Ph.D., Coordinator
- Donny Inbar, Director of Arts and Culture at the Israel Center of the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and an instructor for the Jewish Studies Program at San José State University, gave a Shabbat talk at Hillel of Silicon Valley on April 26, 2013, at 7:00pm. His topic was “How Did the Accordion and the Electric Guitar Make Peace? - The History of Cultural Feuds in Israel, from Hora to Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
- In January 2013, Jonathan Sarna (Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and Chief Historian of the new National Museum of American Jewish History) delivered the annual Robert Levinson Memorial Lecture on the topic of “The Origins of American Jewish Politics: General Grant and the Jews in 1868." You may listen to the lecture here.
Over the years we have learned from a wide range of speakers on Jewish and Israeli history, politics, literature, film, even food.
- In October 2012, we dedicated a Jewish Studies Program Collection within the Cultural Heritage Collections of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Read more about the Jewish Studies Library Dedication.
- Jews, Food and Sustainability: In collaboration with faculty from the Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging Dept., Hillel of Silicon Valley, and Chai House, and in consultation with the Silicon Valley JCRC and the Addison Penzak JCC Center for Life and Learning, we offered the university and the general community a series of programs focusing on sustenance and food sustainability. (2011–2012)
- Stephen Kinsey, chair of the Commission for the Preservation of Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries, discussed the Gold-Rush era's Jewish landmarks in California.
- Rabbi Mary Zamore, member of Hazon's Jewish Food Educator Network, offered a historic Jewish approach to eating, discussing the Jewish values that shape our food ethics.
- Yaakov Katz, military correspondent and defense analyst for the Jerusalem Post, discussed “Israel's Security Needs in a Changing Middle East.”
- Efraim Inbar, Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and the Director of its Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, presented a talk on “Israel, Turkey, and Beyond.”
- Chief Political Correspondent and Analyst for the Jerusalem Post, Gil Hoffman, discussed “Politics & Plutonium: An Israeli Insider 's Look at the Quest to Prevent a Nuclear Iran.”
- Award winning Israeli political scientist Guy Ben Porat, addressing “Globalization, Peace and Discontent: Farewell to the New Middle East?”
- Avi Melamed, Senior Advisor on Jerusalemite Arab Affairs to then Mayors Teddy Kollek and Ehud Olmert and founder of IDAN, a non-profit grassroots initiative encouraging and empowering educators in Israeli society, offered a geostrategic analysis of the Middle East.
- Ron Leshem, award-winning novelist, journalist, Israeli TV station director, and Academy Award Nominee, discussed his Oscar-nominated film Beaufort, prior to its screening at Cinequest.
- Amos Guiora, Director of the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy, addressed “A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Counterterrorism.”
- In collaboration with the American Library Association, NextBook, and the Los Altos, Sunnyvale, and San José public libraries, Victoria Harrison and SJSU English professor David Mesher, and several other guest speakers led the popular Jewish literature series “Let's Talk About It,” exploring a wide range of topics, including, most recently, Jewish graphic novels. (2006–09)
- Working closely with Hillel of Silicon Valley, SJSU devoted two weeks to the study of global terrorism. Featured were Diane Covert's photo exhibition, “Inside Terrorism: An X-ray Project” and a talk by Judea Pearl, father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, speaking on “Fighting the Ideology of Terrorism.” (2007)
- Collaborating with Hillel of Silicon Valley, we offered the campus community a week of programming on the Holocaust and other Genocides. The program received a $25,000 gift from the Jewish Family and Children's Services' Zisovich Award for Holocaust Education, which enabled us to learn from Lani Silver, Jonathan Roth, and many others. (2007)