• Home
  • History, Politics, and Society in Israel

History, Politics, and Society in Israel

History, Politics, and Society in Israel
The Israel Studies’ new summer program is a two to three-week experience that focuses on examining Israel’s history, politics, and society.
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Nazareth and Kinneret, Israel
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
Jewish Studies
Program Type: 
Open to non-KU Students
Faculty Led
  • Gain an in-depth perspective of Israel’s complex politics and society through site visits, interacting with locals, and listening to expert guest speakers.
  • Explore the beautiful and historical cities in Israel and visit some of the world’s most famous sites like The Old City of Jerusalem, the Gates of Jaffa, Sea of Galilee and the hanging gardens of Haifa.
  • Conduct your own research on significant topics focusing on Israel while gaining new research skills.
Program Summary: 

The Israel Studies’ new summer program is a two to three-week experience that focuses on Israel’s history, politics, and society. Through intense academic exploration, co-curricular activities, and excursions, participants will investigate modern Israel from a comparative perspective. This program will present Israel’s multicultural present while providing a global perspective on the Middle-East, as well as Jewish life, and Jewish-Arab relations. Explore the cultural richness, history, and beauty of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa Nazareth and Kinneret. This traveling and research program will allow students to gain an entirely new and in-depth understanding of Israel and the Middle East with KU professor Rami Zeedan.


The two-week travel program will start with students flying into Tel Aviv and immediately venturing to explore the epicenter of three major religions, Jerusalem. After spending two days exploring Jerusalem, students will then travel to Tel Aviv to see immerse themselves in the cosmopolitan and eclectic city.  After a few days in Tel Aviv, students will then travel North to Haifa stopping at interesting place along the way. In Haifa, you will visit the Bahá’í Gardens and the German colony. You will also visit Daliya al Karmel and the Druze religious site. Students will also visit the city of Nazareth and Basilica of the Annunciation. Students staying on for the second portion of the 3 week program will spend a few more days in Haifa and then travel to the sea of Galilee and the Kinneret area. Students will then have the opportunity to take part in the AIS conference and complete their individual fieldwork.

The dates of the program are June 9th- June 27th for both programs or June 9th- June 21st for the first program only.

Academic Information: 

JWSH 395/600: Modern Israel: History, Politics, and Society in Contexts (3 academic credit hours) The course examines the development of Israeli society and politics from 1948 until today. We will discuss many aspects regarding the evolution of modern Israel. Topics will include: mass immigration; relations between Arabs and Jews, between Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews, and between secular and religious communities; relations between Israel and diaspora Jewish communities; government and political parties; the role of the army in the Israeli society; wars vs peace talks; the Israeli economy; technology and the “start-up nation.” The course examines political issues in dispute, such as the settlements in the West-Bank, relations with Arab countries, and the peace process with the Palestinians. The course will conclude with a discussion of current issues in Israel, which by nature will be different from year to year. Co-curricular events and excursions, as well as local visiting speakers, will complement the academic program and introduce many of the social cleavages of Israel including Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze. Excursions will be in many Israeli cities/towns, such as Haifa, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Daliyat al-Karmel, and Isfiya.

JWSH 695: Applied Research Methods in Israel Studies: Field Research towards undergraduate research paper or graduate thesis research (3 academic credit hours) The course will provide students on state of the art approaches and methods of social sciences and humanities in research in the field of Israel Studies from various disciplinary perspectives. Students will be introduced to different topics, sites, and sources that can be subject to their field research such as archives, libraries, and galleries. Students will learn the methods and experience them on the field through assignments. Students will have the time to start conducting their own field research while having the ability to discuss on-site difficulties with the instructor. Such field research may be conducted towards undergraduate research paper or a graduate thesis research. Every other year, students will have the opportunity to participate in the AIS annual conference (the Association for Israel Studies conference gathers 300-400 scholars each year) as part of the program.


Students will be housed in Hotels in close proximity to local attractions in each city. Students can expect to room with 1 or 2 other students.

Life Abroad: 

Along with the planned itinerary and site visits, students will also have two free days to explore sites of their interest that can include Masada, the Dead Sea, and Ein Geidi to name a few. 


The program is open to all KU students (and also for non-KU students) both undergraduates and graduates. Summer Study Abroad in Israel may be of particular interest to those studying politics, history, international relations, sociology, anthropology, religion, Middle-Eastern studies, Islamic studies, Arabic, and Hebrew.

Further Reading: 


Dr. Rami Zeedan is a political scientist and historian of modern Israel. Born in Daliat al-Carmel, he holds a PhD (2013) in Israel Studies from the University of Haifa, in cooperation with the Political Science Department there. His research looks at the history of modern Israel, Israeli politics, Middle-Eastern politics, ethnic politics, urban affairs and local governments, and public opinion.


Deadlines Extended for Spring 2020 & Winter Break 2020 Programs !
List of Programs (PDF)

Study Abroad Information Center

Walk-in advising
Monday - Friday. 9AM - 5 PM
Lippincott Hall, Room 105
1410 Jayhawk Boulevard
Contact: studyabroad@ku.edu

Study Abroad Financial Advising
Financial Aid and Scholarship Info Session
Wednesday, 4:00 pm &
Thursday, 2:00 pm
105 Lippincott Hall


Follow KU Study Abroad


Jayhawks Abroad Blog

Study Abroad Events
IIE Generation Study Abroad Partner

9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
The Office of Study Abroad and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times