Who We Are
Our Core Components
Established in 2009, The Natan & Hannah Schwalb Center for Israel & Jewish studies’ mission is to create, coordinate, and promote an interdisciplinary program focusing on teaching and scholarship in Jewish and Israeli history, politics, culture and society. Our primary goal is to expand knowledge about Judaism and Israel, both on university campus and in the broader Nebraska community, and we seek to promote and facilitate collaborative scholarship (teaching and research) with academic institutions in Israel.
We strive towards our mission with the following Core Components:
The UNO Department of Religious Studies currently offers eleven Jewish/Israeli courses, while the Department of History offers six such courses. The Center will provide funding to greatly expand these course offerings with the goal of creating a minor in Israel and/or Jewish Studies for UNO students. Potential new courses may include:
- History of Modern Israel
- Modern Jewish Thought
- Zionism and the Founding of Israel
- Religion and Politics in the Middle East
- Government and Politics of Israel
- Israel and the Holocaust
- Israeli-Arab Conflict
- Israeli Literature and Culture
Funding for a permanent Israel and Jewish studies professor on the UNO campus will ensure the continued growth and development of course offerings, lectures and expertise.
Visiting Scholar The Schwalb Center strives to be a bridge from UNO and the Nebraska Community to knowledge about Israel and Judaism. One of the ways in which we do this is by inviting Israeli scholars from a wide variety of disciplines to become visiting professors at UNO. These scholars offer courses to students and community members through UNO’s Audit and Passport program. These courses in turn engage and expose the audience to a deeper and broader understanding of Israel and Judaism.
Analysis and Communication
The Center for Israel and Jewish Studies will provide continuing expertise to interpret world events as they impact Jews, Israel, the Middle East, and the world through press releases and speaking engagements.
The Center for Israel and Jewish Studies will coordinate the annual Rabbi Sidney H. Brooks Lecture Series held at UNO. The Center will sponsor the Phil and Ruth Sokolof endowed lecture series in Israel and Jewish Studies. It will also sponsor other community lectures by renowned experts.
Student Travel Scholarships
The Center for Israel and Jewish Studies will offer scholarships for students, creating unforgettable learning opportunities for UNO students.
Israel Travel Grants
Funding for faculty members will establish academic ties with Israeli universities and research institutions, and provide opportunities to deliver papers, lectures and presentations in Israel.
The UNO faculty will be responsible for the academic program of the Center. In addition, a board of interested individuals from the Jewish and general communities will give advice and recommendations; will coordinate activities with the Center’s Partners and other communal institutions; and will seek support, both financial and general, for the operations and growth of the Center. In order to assure the development of the Center, endowed funds are being established at both the University of Nebraska Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation.
Our Campus. Otherwise Known as Omaha.
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