Innovation Excellence

First Public Humanities Conference raises issues such as relevance and creativity and their importance to vital aspects of life in Israel
The first Public Humanities Conference, a joint venture of Fulbright Israel and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design took place in Jerusalem on May 17, attended by 180 people, including Fulbright fellows and alumni, academics, and representatives of cultural and academic institutions as well as participants from government and the third sector. They discussed relevance, creativity, and the humanities, and their importance to civil, cultural, economic, and academic life in Israel.
U.S. Ambassador Thomas Nides opened the event, together with the president of Bezalel, Professor Adi Stern.
During her opening lecture, guest speaker, Nina Simon discussed relevant art pertaining to museums and other public institutions.
The day continued with additional lectures and workshops, that linked theory and academic skills to practice and between creativity and humanities to technology and economics.
Fulbright's 20th Pre-Departure Orientation for Israeli fellows held - to prepare them and their families for their upcoming journey to the U.S.
In May, Fulbright's 20th Pre-Departure Orientation was held for Israeli fellows leaving for the U.S. this year.
The PDO incorporates extensive and rich content in order to fully prepare fellows and their families for their upcoming Fulbright experience.
In addition, it is an opportunity for the fellows to interact and network with each other and with alumni from the Fulbright community, who came to share their knowledge.
Nina Simon
Nina Simon gives inspirational talk on being relevant, at the joint Fulbright Israel and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Public Humanities Conference
Nina Simon described as a “museum visionary” opened the first Public Humanities Conference, initiated by Fulbright Israel and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem in May, Being relevant, she said, is the key to success. It starts by asking who are the audiences or the communities I really care about and what do they value. Because, she said, we can’t say “we exist for everyone,” if the people coming in the door do not look like everyone in our community.

Nina discussed relevant art pertaining to museums and other public institutions and how, as the Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, she led an institutional turnaround based on grassroots community participation. The participants were particularly moved by Nina’s account of her project working with foster children, who were paired up with artists for a year, so as to present their personal stories through exhibits. The children initiated, curated, developed and guided the exhibition that, as stated by one of the children, was about, from and for them. This was the most viewed exhibition ever seen at the museum and each of the children established long-lasting ties with other community members.

Nina has spent over twenty years as an exhibit designer, museum director, nonprofit CEO, mentor and advocate for community participation in the arts and is also the author of several books.
ETA-ELF enrichment seminar - sharing experiences in teaching English in Israel
Fulbright Israel held an ETA-ELF enrichment seminar. It was a wonderful opportunity to bring together both our U.S. English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Fellows and English Language Fellows (ELF) allowing them to share experiences, successes, and challenges in teaching English in Israel.

Our ETA fellow, Willow Green, lead a "connecting movement and language" session and the American Center held a session on dealing with different opinions and experiences in the classroom. Participants also discussed and practiced ways to not only convey the English language to their students, but also to create a more immersive experience in doing so. The seminar was held in collaboration with the American Center in Jerusalem.
Paul Sharp
What is the relationship between our ability to plan and our ability to worry? Can computers solve any problem?
Can computers solve any problem? What can we understand about a society based on how its violence is perceived? And what can be concluded about the architecture of Late Antique Ashkelon when looking at and analyzing findings from the local antique bath?
Twelve U.S. Fulbright Israel postdoctoral fellows convened for a day at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. The fellows presented their research plan and answered their peers' questions. Academic connections between fellows in different disciplines were created and strengthened. The enlightening presentations included how applying the tools of theoretical physics help to understand complex biological systems, analyzing cultural texts to understand national perception of violence, and using 'computational psychology' to ask questions about various behaviors.
Photo by Neri Leder
American high school teachers participate in Israel's Fulbright-Hays program
The Fulbright-Hays program, attended by 14 American high school teachers, recently concluded in Israel. The month-long program exposed them to the diverse factions in Israeli society, including its many cultures, religions and factions. They met with peers, experts who work with children in differing capacities and with Fulbright Alumni and learned of the country’s history via workshops and tours. At the end of the month, each teacher presented a project based on what they had learned.
US orientation
New U.S. fellows participate in Fulbright welcome Orientation
This year's Orientation saw the arrival of 27 American fellows to Israel. The overnight event focused on water and its mythical, religious, political, economic, cultural and esthetic meanings. The orientation began at the Nahum Gutman Museum. The group then went up north via Caesarea, Wadi Ayun and Agmon Hula, till the border with Lebanon and Syria. Through travel they not only learned about Israel, but also traced water spots, looked at art and nature, and listened to stories about water as a motif and as a natural resource.
Lili Foggle Zoom seminar
What to expect in academic job interviews? How to make sure you are professional, authentic, likable, demonstrate your experience, accomplishments, and good fit for the position and the institution, while giving solid examples?
Fulbright U.S. Postdoc fellows recently participated in an extensive workshop, presented by Lili Foggle, who taught specific skills and strategies on how to successfully communicate a postdoc’s unique value during job interviews, at all stages of the interview process.