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European Studies Lab:

Our Researchers

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Dr. Sarah Abu-Kaf

Dr Sarah Abu-Kaf is a senior lecturer in Cross-Cultural Psychology and the chairman of the Conflict Management and Resolution Program of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology at BGU and completed her post-doctoral studies in the Department of Anthropology of Harvard University. Her work focuses on different sources of stress, coping resources and strategies, conflict management strategies, and different idioms of distress among people from different cultural backgrounds in the Israeli society. Recently, she extended her research interest in mental health issues among Syrian refugees in Greece.

She has received several awards and fellowships, in 2011, she was a Fulbright-Rabin Post-Doctoral Scholar, and she received the Maof Fellowship for Outstanding Arab Lecturers in 2013. In 2013 Abu-kaf was selected to be included in the The Marker" list of forty most promising young people in Israel.  In 2014, Abu-Kaf was named to the Women in Science Hall of Fame by the US Department of State, as one of a group of 11 women from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In 2016, Abu-Kaf has also won the Israeli Council for Higher Education Award in the Young Researcher category. As well as, In 2018 she was selected as one of the 50 most influential women in Israel (Forbes Power Women) by Forbes Israel magazine.
By working at the margins between theory, research, and practice, she contributes to both the understanding of mental health problems and the development of culturally competent interventions. Dr. Abu-Kaf has been appointed to the public committee that oversees the expansion of the “Health Services Basket” for 2015 and is a board member of the Association for Multicultural Psychology and plays a leadership role in developing programs in culturally competent clinical psychology. Based on her research among Bedouin society in Southern Israel, she initiated an intervention program to
address academic stress and dropout rates among Bedouin students in institutions of higher learning. 


Prof. Gal Ariely

Gal Ariely is professor at the Department of Politics & Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Employing cross-national analysis and experimental survey research Ariely examine political attitudes and national identity. In addition, his research addresses methodological questions of measurements across different contexts. Gal has authored or co-authored several articles that were published in Political Studies, Nations and Nationalism, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies as well as other journals. He's currently studying how national days affect national identity and the Israeli regime.


Prof. Nir Avieli

Nir Avieli is an associate professor of anthropology and the chair of the department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben Gurion University, Israel. Former president of the Israeli Anthropological Association, Nir has been conducting
ethnographic fieldwork in the central Vietnamese town of Hoi An since 1998. His book: Rice Talks: Food and  Community in a Vietnamese Town (2012, Indiana University Press) is a culinary ethnography of Hoi An. Nir returns regularly to Hoi An for ethnographic research and writes on processes of social change in the contexts of post-socialism, tourism, modernization and global warming. Nir conducted further ethnographic research in Thailand, India, Singapore and Israel. His book: "Food and Power in Israel" (University of California Press 2018) was based on multi-sited ethnographic research conducted in Israel since the late 1990's. Currently he is completing an ethnographic study titled  Food for the Body and Soul; on the vegan soul food of the African Hebrew Israelite Community, and preparing a new research project on Leisure in Greece.

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Dr. Nir Barak

Nir Barak joined the Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in 2020. His fields of research are urban politics, environmental politics, and political theory. Barak’s current research focuses on the relationship between city-zenship (urban citizenship) and national citizenship in light of cities’ rising power in national and global politics, and growing instances of cities’ demand for more political autonomy vis-à-vis the state. Barak doctoral research (Hebrew University, 2018) focused on social and political aspects of urban sustainability. Before Joining Ben Gurion University, Nir was a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University (2017-18) and a Postdoc Research Fellow at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (2018-20).


Prof. Guy Beiner

Guy Beiner is a professor of modern history at Ben-Gurion-University of the Negev, who specialises in the study of remembering and forgetting in the late-modern era. His books on Ireland –  Remembering the Year of the French: Irish Folk History and Social Memory (University of Wisconsin Press) and Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster (Oxford University Press) – won multiple awards. He is currently editing a collection of essays titled “Re-Awakenings: The Forgotten and Unforgotten Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919” (to be published in 2021 by Oxford University Press). Other areas of research interest pertaining to European Studies include the history of terrorism, oral history, antiquarianism, the fin de siècle, and cultural nationalism.

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Prof. Guy Ben-Porat

Guy Ben-Porat is a professor of political sciences and international relations his current research engages with religion and politics, citizenship and policing. He is the author of Global Liberalism, Local  Populism: Peace and Conflict in Israel/Palestine and Northern Ireland (Syracuse University Press); Between State and Synagogue: the Secularization of Contemporary Israel (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and co-author of Policing Citizens: Minority Policy in Israel (Cambridge University Press, 2019).


Prof. Orna Braun-Lewensohn 

Orna Braun-Lewensohn is a Full Professor and the head of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel).  She serves also as a faculty at the ‘‘Conflict Resolution and Conflict Management’’ Program.

She received her Ph.D. at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussels in 2007. Her major research interests include mental health outcomes and coping during or following stressful events.

The focus of her research is personal as well as communal coping resources in different cultural groups. Her theoretical perspective is the salutogenic model of Antonovsky and the coping theory of Lazarus & Folkman. She is considered an expert in this field. In recent years, she studied the ways of coping of Syrian refugees in refugee camps in Greece. This research has yielded several papers:  

In recent years she was funded by: Ministry of Science and Technology; The Israel National Institute for Health; Israeli Science Foundation (ISF); Israeli Democracy Institute; Joint Tevet; Ministry of Internal Security; Peres Center for Peace etc. 

She publishes extensively in journals such as: Current Psychiatry Reports, Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, Community Mental Health Journal, Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Positive Psychology, Social Indicators Research etc. 

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Prof. Jackie Feldman

Jackie Feldman is an associate professor of anthropology and head of the Rabb Center for Holocaust Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He is also an associated professor with IDEMEC, CNRS/Université Aix-Marseille and has taught at the University of Tübingen and at the University of Antwerp. His research interests are pilgrimage and tourism, anthropology of religion, Holocaust memory, ethnographic writing and anthropology of museums. He has published two books: Above the Death-pits, beneath the Flag: Youth Voyages to Holocaust Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity (Berghahn, 2008),  and A Jewish Guide in the Holy Land: How Christian Pilgrims Made Me Israeli (University of Indiana, 2016). His current research project is "Memorial, museum, smartphone: Transmitting Holocaust memory in a digital generation". One of the aims of the project is understanding how selfies and digital and social media effect changes in social solidarity and in hierarchies of authorized knowledge in visits to Holocaust sites. 


Ms. Eliza Frenkel 

Eliza Frenkel is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University, Israel. Her research deals with the commemoration of Soviet terror in Post-Soviet Russia, focusing on the case of the “Last Known Address” project in Saint Petersburg. She is also interested in material culture of post-soviet objects, and the diffusion of cultural forms of commemoration from Western to Eastern Europe. She published her article that deals with tour guiding in Yad Vashem museum as part of an Israeli – German fellowship in studying the Holocaust memory today. 

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Prof. Ruth Ginio

Ruth Ginio is associate professor at the department of History in Ben Gurion University of the Negev. One of her current research projects is murder investigations in French West Africa. The other is the Jeandet Affair in Senegal at the late 19th century. She is the author of two books: The French Army and Its African Soldiers: The Years of  ecolonization (Nebraska University Press, 2017) and French Colonialism Unmasked: The Vichy Years in French West Africa (Nebraska University Press, 2006). She had published numerous articles and book chapters and edited two volumes: With Efrat Ben Ze'ev and Jay Winter, Shadows of War: A History of Silence in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. With Pal Ahluwalia and Louise Bethlehem, Violence and Non-Violence: African Perspectives. London and New-York: Routledge, 2007.

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Dr. Yifat Gutman

Yifat Gutman is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research in New York (2012). Her research focuses on memory activism and political change in and after ethnonational conflict. She took a comparative perspective to studying the implementation of the global reconciliation paradigm by local and grassroots memory activists in Poland, Israel, and the Czech Sudetenland since 2000. She also examines memory laws in Europe and beyond, as well as alternative memorial ceremonies in Israel of the last decade. She is the author of “Memory Activism: Reimagining the Past for the Future in Israel-Palestine” (Vanderbilt University Press, 2017) and co-editor of the volume “Memory and the Future: Transnational politics, ethics and society” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

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Mr.Tal Hasdai-Rippa

Tal Hasdai-Rippa is a Ph.D. candidate and a teaching assistant at the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His research focuses on the public celebrations of 'Europe Day' in Georgia and Ukraine as part of a wider discussion on the 'soft power' of the European Union in third countries. Tal coordinated four international research projects on a variety of topics, such as the European Higher Education Area, the Easter-Mediterranean and collective memory and activism in conflict and post-conflict zones.

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Dr. Nathan Marcus

Nathan Marcus is a historian of Modern Europe at the Department of General History. He earned his PhD from New York University and his B.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research and teaching focus on European financial history, the 20 th century histories of Switzerland and Austria and the history of the Cold War.

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Dr. Jennifer Oser 

Jennifer Oser is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and a Senior Researcher for the Centre for Citizenship and Democracy at the University of Leuven (Belgium). Oser completed her Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel and has conducted research as a Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard University and at the University of Pennsylvania. Oser’s research agenda focuses on the relationships between public opinion, political participation, and policy outcomes. The geographic scope of this research is broadly comparative, with a specialized focus on political processes in the United States, Israel, and Europe. 


Prof. Sharon Pardo

Prof. Sharon Pardo (Ph.D., Ghent University, Faculty of Political and Social Studies) is a Jean Monnet Chair ad personam in European Studies in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU).

Pardo is the Chairperson of The Simone Veil Research Centre for Contemporary European Studies – The National Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at BGU, a Centre which he chaired also between the years 2005 to 2017.

He is the co-editor of Europe and the World book series by Lexington Books. Prof. Pardo served as the Chairperson of the Department of Politics and Government at BGU between the years 2016-2018, and is currently serving as a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE), University of Canterbury, New Zealand, a Member of the Academic Council of the European Association of Israel Studies (EAIS), a Member of the Board of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR) and of the Israeli Association of International Studies (IAIS) and a Member of the Israel Bar Association. His research interests focus on the legal and political dimensions of European Union foreign and security policy. Prof. Pardo also has a significant interest in the development of the Euro-Mediterranean region, in Israeli-European Union relations and in the Israeli-Canadian relationship. He has published widely on these issues. 


Dr. Halleli Pinson

Halleli Pinson (BA, TAU; MPhil, PhD, Cambridge University) is a senior lecturer at the Department of Education at Ben-Gurion University. Pinson is a political sociologist of education, she has published extensively on citizenship education in conflict-ridden societies, and education and forced migration, especially on educational policies and school practices in relation to the integration of asylum-seeking children. She is the co-author of Education, Asylum and the 'Non-Citizen' Child, and a co-editor of Citizenship, Education and Social Conflict. She is currently the president of the Israeli Comparative Education Society and a member of the UNESCO-UCLA network of Global Citizenship Education. She is also a member of the editorial boards of the BJSE and Race Ethnicity and Education. 


Dr. Eliezer Papo

Dr. Eliezer Papo is senior lecturer at the Hebrew Literature Department at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, a Chairman of the Moshe David Gaon Center for Ladino Culture at the same University and the chief-editor of El Prezente – Journal for Sephardic Studies (scientific journal published by the Gaon Center), he serves also as the President of Sefarad – Society for Sephardic Studies, an international professional association of scientist in the field of Sephardic studies, as a Member of the Israeli National Academy for Ladino and as a representative of the Israeli Academia in the Council of the National Authority for Ladino Culture (where he is also a member of the executive board).


Dr. Papo’s research centers on Hebrew/Jewish oral literatures, with specialization in the field of Sephardic literatures (oral and written, rabbinic and secular). His book And Thou Shall Jest with Your Son: Judeo-Spanish Parodies on the Passover Haggadah, received the prestigious Ben-Tzvi award. Dr. Papo published around 50 articles, in 10 different languages, about different aspects of Sephardic culture and literature, as well as four works of fiction — one in Ladino and three in Serbo-Croatian. He is presently conducting a research project sponsored by the Israel Science Foundation entitled: Annotated Edition of the Ladino Text of Mecam Locez, accompanied by Transcription, a New Hebrew Translation and Introductory Research.


Prof. Renée Poznanski 

Renée Poznanski is Professor emerita in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University – a department she has created and headed during several years and former head of the Simone Veil Research Institute for Contemporary European Studies.

She has published extensively on Jews in France during World War II: her research examines their daily lives, relations between Jews and non-Jews, Rescue and Resistance of the Jews and the impact of memory on the historiography of this period. Her book The Jews in France during the World War II, (University Press of New England, 2001; published originally in French) has been awarded the Jacob Buchman Prize for the Memory of the Holocaust and a French enlarged version been recently reedited by the CNRS Editions. Her book on The Propaganda of the Resistance and the Persecution of the Jews, (in French, Fayard, 2008; forthcoming in Hebrew) has been awarded the 2009 Henri Hertz prize by the Chancellerie des Universités de Paris. She has been a fellow at The Remarque Institute (NYU), the Center for Advanced Studies (US Holocaust Memorial Museum, DC), Sciences Po (Paris), the EHESS (Paris) and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Harvard University). Her last book (with Denis Peschanski) focuses on the Drancy internment camp (Drancy, un camp en France, Paris: Fayard). She is presently writing a book on the Resistance of the Jews in France during the Second World War.

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Dr. Yuval Reinfeld

PhD student in the Simone Veil Research Centre for Contemporary European Studies at BGU. main areas International relation research, European Union studies and international law.  The research study deals with the concept of the "technical normative power," which focused on later stages in theorizing the 'Normative Power Europe' - an influential concept that shaped the understanding of the EU's international identity and reached decades. The research aims to understand the EU concerning its normative formulations and projections to its citizens and internationally.  The research positions the argument within an interdisciplinary paradigm, combining insights from international relations studies, EU foreign policy studies, Normative Power Europe scholarship, and EU Law studies by examining EU foreign policies and the court of justice case laws. The researcher deals with enforcing and implementing norms through EU regulations in the foreign are

The researcher holds an LLM in law with a specialization in business law. And an LLB in law and a BA in business administration with a specialization in finance.


Dr. Gai Roufe

Gai Roufe teaches in the inter-university program of African studies at the Ben Gurion University, the Open University and Tel Aviv University. He teaches courses focusing on pre-colonial and colonial African history and the transatlantic slave trade. He studies the history of Shona political and cultural systems in Zimbabwe and Mozambique between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries using Portuguese documentation.


Dr. Tehila Sade

Tehila Sade earned her Ph.D. in Visual arts at the Department of the Arts at the BenGurion University of the Negev. Her study examined the socio-political and cultural contributions of contemporary artworks that address the memory of Poland’s Jews, produced by Polish artists since the beginning of the 21st century. The local contexts are examined through her research on broader frameworks, and further explore the reworking of memory, history, and trauma drawing on the theoretical and critical discourse of East-European and Global art, as well as other disciplines, such as Memory Culture, and Trauma Theory. Her study has been awarded the Esther and Sidney Rabb Center for Holocaust and Revival Studies prize (2017). As an art scholar, her research and teaching focus on analyzing the capacity of visual art to stimulate a rethinking of national identity, national narratives, and collective memory, shape or reshape political and cultural consciousness, and effect a social change. Since 2021, she is co-editor of Mabatim: Journal of Visual Culture and a member of the Esther and Sidney Rabb Center for Holocaust and Revival Studies Scholars Forum.


Mr. Gal Sofer

Gal Sofer is a MD/Ph.D. candidate in the department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University, Azrieli fellow and an intern in Soroka Hospital. His work, under the supervision of Prof. Yuval Harari and Prof. Boaz Huss, focuses on demonic magic from late middle ages to the modern period, with a particular focus on Solomonic magic and its reception. His MA thesis dealt with Hebrew versions of Liber Bileth (a fifteenth-century manual for summoning the demon Bileth), and he is currently pursuing research on Kabbalah and magic in Renaissance Italy, through study of multilingual sources.

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Dr. Noam Tirosh

Noam Tirosh, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His award-winning research focuses on the relationship between memory and media and their relation with democracy, justice, and human rights. He is the author of a score of journal articles and book chapters covering topics ranging from the European Right to be Forgotten to the memory rights of the Palestinian minority in Israel, refugees and asylum seekers, and Jews deported from Arab countries. He is the recipient of the 2017 outstanding book of the year award of the Israel Communication Association for his book (Written together with Prof. Amit Schejter): A Justice-Based Approach for New Media Policy: in the Paths of Righteousness.


Dr. Hila Zahavi

Hila Zahavi is a graduate of the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and CSEPS, receiving her PhD in August 2018. Her research dealt with the Bologna Process as part of the European Union's External Action set of interests. Hila holds a Bachelor’s (summa cumme laude) and Master’s degrees in Politics and Governement from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In addition to her studies, Hila served in various functions at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Hila has worked as the Tempus Corinthiam project coordinator at the Centre of International Academic Affairs at the university. Since 2012, Hila also worked as a project coordinator of the Bologna Training Center (BTC). Hila is currently the Director of the Simone Veil Centre.

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