Our Mission

The Israel Institute enhances knowledge about modern Israel through the expansion of accessible, innovative learning opportunities, on and beyond campus. The Institute's many programs and initiatives advance rigorous teaching, research, and discourse about modern Israel.

Our Team


From left to right: Noa Levanon Klein, Abby Bergren, Kerren Marcus, Ariel Ilan Roth, Itamar Rabinovich, Erika Falk, Jill Wyler, Marge Goldwater. Not pictured: Ilai Saltzman  

Our History

Our founding president, Ambassador (Ret.) Itamar Rabinovich, with the generous help of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, launched the Israel Institute in 2012 as an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to enhancing knowledge and study of modern Israel. The Institute is non-advocacy; it does not take policy positions. The Institute supports teaching, research, and scholarship of modern Israel through its programs, resources, and academic and community partnerships. "We are a compass and catalyst for Israel Studies," says Rabinovich. "We provide funding and structural opportunities for people and existing institutions interested in deepening the study of modern Israel." Based in Washington, D.C., the Institute also has offices in New York and Tel Aviv.

Our Leadership

The Israel Institute is led by its founding president, Ambassador (Ret.) Itamar Rabinovich. Rabinovich was Israel’s ambassador to the United States and chief negotiator with Syria from 1992 to 1996. He is a renowned scholar on the Middle East, former president of Tel Aviv University, and currently a Distinguished Global Professor at New York University.

What We Do

In pursuit of its mission, the Institute's diverse range of programs and initiatives supports the study of modern Israel at universities and other research and cultural institutions around the world:

  1. Campus Teaching and Artist Residency Programs increase the number, quality, and availability of classes about Israel by creating platforms for academics and artists to teach about Israel in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
  2. Academic Ecosystem Programs build up the field of Israel Studies, and foster its dynamism and durability, by providing resources for students, educators, researchers, and other scholars to support learning about modern Israel.
  3. Post-College Learning Initiatives generate and support opportunities for high-level learning and discourse about Israel after graduation.