Michigan State University will host a two-day conference next month allowing for a multifaceted exploration of Israel as the country celebrates its 70th Independence Day.
“Israel at 70: Complexity, Challenge, and Creativity” — scheduled to take place on September 16-17 — will feature 40 scholars from MSU and more than a dozen American and Israeli schools, including Notre Dame University, University of Illinois, Johns Hopkins University, Syracuse University, University of Wisconsin, Smith College, Monmouth University, Lafayette College, and Kalamazoo College.
Roundtable and panel discussions will center on topics including Israeli society and culture, US-Israel relations, boundaries of Israel criticism, Israeli-Palestinian peace lessons and prospects, and Israeli innovation in agriculture, medicine, and business.
Conference organizer Yael Aronoff — director of MSU’s Jewish Studies program and chair of its Israel Studies department — told The Algemeiner on Friday that while the school has hosted prior conferences on Israeli literature and environmental management, this gathering will be the largest.
She expressed hope that it will result in “intellectually stimulating discussions about the complexity of Israel,” including within the university and broader community, as well as “interactions that may lead to future research collaboration between Israeli and American scholars, and MSU and Israeli universities and institutions.”
The conference has received “tremendous support,” Aronoff added, including in the form of sponsorship by 13 different MSU colleges, departments, and programs.
Attendance is free and open to the public, and more than 100 guests representing “a real mix of students, faculty, and community members” have already signed-up, she noted.