The Albert and Liese Eckstein Scholar-in-Residence program is made possible through an endowment established by the late Dr. Albert and Mrs. Liese Eckstein, with additional contributions from the Eckstein family and Friends of Jewish Studies. The program features annual lectures by experts - professors, authors, and others - in the field of Jewish Studies.


2013 Albert & Liese Eckstein Scholar-in-Residence

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Can Israel be Both a Democratic and Jewish State?

Zvi Gitelman, University of Michigan
February 25, 2013 | 7 p.m. | Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center | 122 East Culver Street, Phoenix
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Prime Minister Netanyahu demands the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state and outgoing Foreign Minister Lieberman wants Israeli Arabs to take a loyalty oath. With 1.25 million Arab citizens and several hundred thousand other non-Jews, can Israel claim to be both a democracy, meaning all citizens are equal, and a “Jewish state”—a state for and by Jews? Does Israel treat its Arab minority as equal citizens? If not, can it claim to be a democracy? On the other hand, if there is no distinction between Jews and others, in what sense would Israel be a “Jewish” state?


Dr. Zvi GitelmanDr. Zvi Gitelman is Preston R. Tisch Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He received his doctorate at Columbia University, and his current research focuses on ethnicity and politics, especially in former Communist countries, Israeli politics, East European politics, and Jewish political thought and behavior. Gitelman's most recent book is Jewish Identities in Postcommunist Russia and Ukraine: An Uncertain Ethnicity (2012). He is currently working on a project on ethnic relations in the Soviet armed forces during the war and Soviet policy regarding the Holocaust, based on hundreds of oral testimonies of Soviet Jewish veterans of World War Two, and on Soviet archives.


Directions and Map
The Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center is located east of the Burton Barr Phoenix Public Library.
Take 2nd Street south from McDowell.