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UC Berkeley to expand Jewish, Israel studies

BERKELEY, CALIF. (JTA) – The law school at the University of California, Berkeley is expanding its Jewish and Israel studies offerings with the launch of a new institute.

The Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law, Economy and Society, funded by a $750,000 seed gift from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, is an interdisciplinary initiative including faculty and student research, new course offerings, speakers and symposia, and collaboration with Israeli universities and academics. It will offer separate programs in Jewish law, and in Israeli law, economy and society.  

Christopher Edley, dean of the law school, said in a news release that the institute “builds on the law school’s historic strengths in religious law. It also capitalizes on our cross-disciplinary and comparative approach to law and society and our longstanding collaborations with Israeli scholars and academic institutions.”

One of the institute’s upcoming projects will be the university’s first campus-wide conference on Israel as a high-tech nation, proposed as an annual event.  

A formal launch event featuring former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner as keynote speaker is planned for April 6.

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