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Home >> ACADEMICS >> Faculty
The following is a partial list of current MAMES instructors:

Research: Modern Shi'i history; Palestinian politics and Arab discourses
Bio:  Meir Litvak (Ph.D, Harvard 1991). Associate Professor at the Department of Middle Eastern History, Director of the Alliance Center for Iranian Studies and Senior Research Fellow at the Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University. Author of Shi`i Scholars of Nineteenth Century Iraq: The `Ulama’ of  Najaf and Karbala’ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998);  Co-author with Moshe Aharonov, Iran: From a Persian Empire to an Islamic Revolution (Ra'anana: Open University of Israel, 2014, in Hebrew).

His most recent book, coauthored with Esther Webman, From Empathy to Denial: Arabic Responses to the Holocaust (London: Hurst Publishers Co and New York: Columbia University Press, 2009) won the The Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy Book Award for  2010.

He has also edited six books and published articles on modern Shi`i and Iranian history as well as on Islamist movements and Palestinian nationalism. 

Bruce Maddy-Weitzman

Research: Contemporary Middle Eastern history; inter-Arab relations; the modern Maghreb
Bio: Dr. Maddy-Weitzman recently delivered the following papers:
"Arabization and its Discontents: The Rise of the Amazigh Movement in North Africa", at the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, annual conference, November 3-5, 2011, Washington, D.C; 
"The Arab Spring:  Lessons and Implications," Malta Seminar, Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC), University of Malta, November 11-14";
Abdelkrim and the Amazigh Movement:  The Search for a Usable Past," Middle East Studies Association, annual conference, December 1-4, 2011, Washington, DC.
He was the keynote speaker at the Foreign Policy Research Institute,  colloquium on contemporary North Africa, November 30, 2011, Washington, DC, where he spoke on "Contemporary Challenges Facing North Africa.
He also spoke on "The Berber Factor in the Algerian Spring", at a colloquium, A View of Algeria and its Jews: 50 Years Since Algerian Independence, held at Yad Ben Zvi, Jerusalem, February 23, 2012. 
His book review, Berbers and Others, Beyond Tribe and Nation in the Maghrib Katherine E. Hoffman and Susan Gilson Miller (eds.), was published by H-Africa, H-Net Reviews. June, 2011.
Throughout the year, Dr. Maddy-Weitzman publishes a monthly "Mideast Monitor" column in The Jerusalem Report. He is also editor of “Middle East News Brief” and “Tel Aviv Notes,” the Center’s updates on Middle East developments. He recently published a review of Being Arab: Arabism and the Politics of Recognition, Christopher Wise and Paul James, editors. (North Carlton, Australia: Arena Publications, 2010), in Journal of Intercultural Studies.

Paul Rivlin
The Middle East economy and its historical development
Bio: Paul Rivlin is an economist and senior research fellow. He studied at Cambridge, London and Harvard Universities and is the author of five books: The Dynamics of Economic Policy Making in Egypt; The Israeli Economy; Economic Policy and Performance in the Arab World; Arab Economies in the Twenty First Century and The Israeli Economy from the Founding of the State to the Twenty-First Century as well as monographs, papers, reports and contributions to books on economic development in the Middle East, international energy markets, defense and trade economics. He has taught courses on Middle East economics at London and Ben Gurion Universities and has been a visiting professor at Emory University.
Dr. Rivlin co-authors and edits Iqtisadi, the Center's monthly publication on the Middle East Economy, available in Hebrew and English.

Asher Susser

The history and politics of Jordan and the Palestinians; religion and sate in the Middle East; Arab-Israeli issues
Bio: Prof. Susser, PhD (Tel Aviv University, 1986), is a Senior Research Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies and former Director of the Center (1989-1995, 2001-2007). Prof. Susser teaches in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University and in 2006 he received the Faculty of Humanities outstanding teacher's award.
Prof. Susser spent the 2009-10 academic year on Sabbatical at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University as the Senior Fellow on the Myra and Robert Kraft Chair in Arab Politics. In August 2009 he spoke at a Crown Center Symposium on What's Up in the Middle East? where he discussed the prospects of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In October he participated in another Crown Center symposium on Middle East Politics: Present and Future where he addressed "Regional Dimensions: The Middle East in Context." In February 2010 Prof. Susser lectured on "Fault Lines—Israel, Jordan, Palestine" at an international conference on Promoting State-Building, Managing Fault Lines, held in Jerusalem jointly by the South African-based Brenthurst Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. He also participated in the follow up conference held at Tswalu in South Africa in May. In February he delivered a lecture on "Israel, Iran, and the Arabs: The Middle East of the 21st Century," in the Shaol Pozez Memorial Lectureship, under the auspices of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies of the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Prof. Susser published a monograph on The Rise of Hamas and the Crisis of Secularism in the Arab World, in the Essay Series of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies and reviews in scholarly journals on George Gilder's The Israel Test, Rich Cohen's Israel is Real, and on Curtis Ryan's Inter-Arab Alliances: Regime Security and Jordanian Foreign Policy.

Brandon Friedman

Research: Arab-Iranian relations; contemporary political history of the Persian/Arabian Gulf; poitical biography
Bio: Brandon Friedman ( is a research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. He is also the managing editor of the Dayan Center's journal, Bustan: The Middle East Book Review.

Brandon works on the political history of the Persian Gulf/Arabian Peninsula.  His PhD focused on the political relations between the rulers of the Persian Gulf littoral during the period of British military withdrawal from the region (1968 to 1971). Brandon also researches and writes about the nexus between strategy, nuclear proliferation, and deterrence in the Middle East.
Brandon delivered a public lecture entitled "Muscle Flexing, Quiet Diplomacy, and Iran's Nuclear Program," at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 27 February 2012.
Brandon was also a participant and discussant in the 2012 Herzliya Conference, Round Table Session: "Strategy and Deterrence in the Arab and Muslim World," at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya on 1 February 2012.

Rachel Kantz Feder

Modern Shi'i thought, history, and politics; Iraqi history and politics; political Islam; intellectual history
Bio: Rachel Kantz Feder, MA (Tel Aviv University), is a doctoral candidate at Tel Aviv University's Graduate School of History in Middle Eastern and African Studies.
Rachel Kantz Feder delivered a lecture, “Shi‘is as a Factor in the Construction of Peace and State-building in post-Saddam Iraq: Stabilizing and Destabilizing Trends and Forces,” in November 2010 at an international conference, Peace Operations and State Building:  International Initiatives and Local Perceptions and Responses,convened by Sciences-Po and Tel Aviv University. Throughout 2010 she presented papers on various aspects of Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr’s intellectual and political activism in Iraq. She delivered lectures at the international conference, Where
Intellectuals? Culture,
 East, convened by the Center for Advanced Studies of the Arab World, the University of Edinburgh, Scotland; at the international conference, The Shi‘a: Theology, Law and Culture, convened by the Center for Iranian Studies of Tel Aviv University and The Nehemia Levtzion Center for Islamic Studies of Hebrew University, and at the 34th annual conference of Middle East & Islamic Studies Association of Israel.

Micha'el Tanchum 
Research: Religion, Identity, and Governance in Contemporary Muslim Societies; Islamist and Jihadist Movements; Islamic Discourses on Democracy and Civil Society; Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa; Religious Nationalism; Religious-based Terrorism; Religion, Public Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution; Islamic Mysticism.
Bio:  Dr. Tanchum (Ph.d. Harvard) is a fellow at the Hebrew University's Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace where he was awarded a grant for the completion of his book on Islamist movements and their effects on the democratic development of five of the largest Muslim-majority societies in the world: Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, and Turkey. Dr. Tanchum's article "The Constitutional Consequences of the Failure of Intra-Religious Accommodation in Pakistan: Implications for Religious Liberty in a Religious Nationalist State,"
appears in the  the Journal of Law, Religion, and State 2:1 (May, 2013). He has also contributed a chapter to the book The Nation State and Religion: The Resurgence of Faith (Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2013) entitled "Sunni Sectarian Agitation as Means of Contesting the Nation-State in Pakistan: Implications for Islam and Liberal Democracy."  His  chapter  "On the Legal and Constitution Establishment of Islamist Extremism in Indonesia: Implications for Human Rights and Civil Society in Emerging Muslim Democracies," will be appearing in a book on Religion and Human Rights in late 2013. Other articles by Dr. Tanchum include: "Al-Qa'ida's West African Advance: Nigeria's Boko Haram, Mali's Touareg, and the Spread of Salafi Jihadism," Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs VI:2 (May 2012) and "Al-Qa'ida's New West African Map: Ancar Dine, Boko Haram and Jihadism in hte Trans-Sahara," Tel Aviv NotesVol 6., No. 3.  Dr. Tanchum also teaches about Islam, law, and state in the Middle East and Asia
at the Tel Aviv University School of Law.

Uriya Shavit
Arab discourses on democracy; Muslim minorities in the West
Bio: Uriya Shavit received a two-year research grant from the Israel Science Foundation for his project on "The Religious Law of Muslim Minorities: The Struggle for Hegemony in an Evolving Field of Jurisprudence." He also received a research grant from Tel Aviv University's Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Studies for a study on: "Israel as a Role Model in the Eyes of Arab Oppositionists: The Other Face of the Significant Other." Shavit was also the recipient of a grant from Jerusalem's Van Leer Institute for establishing a research group on "Theology and Migration between Tradition, Modernity and Post Modernity" (with Prof. Galia Sabar).

Shavit served as a scientific advisor for the political art exhibition, "Westend," at Jersualem's Museum on the Seam.  In December 2010, he addressed the annual conference of Israeli ambassadors in Jerusalem on Islam in Europe. Throughout the year, he  briefed several European parliamentary delegations, and lectured at conferences and workshops, including "Islamist Theorizing on Muslim Participation in Western Electoral Systems," given at a conference, "Muslims and Political Participation in Europe," organized by the Centre for European Islamic Thought, Copenhagen University, and the EurIslam Network, University of Strasbourg, in October 2010; and "Islamist Concepts of Israel," given at the conference, "Religious Beliefs and the Jewish-Arab Conflict," organized by The Jewish-Arab Center at the University of Haifa in April 2011.  

Shavit's edited volume, The Decline of the West, the Rise of Islam: Studies on Civilizational Discourse, was published by Hakibutz Hamehuhad (Hebrew). He published a number of articles, including "Sports in Contemporary Islamic Law" (with Ofir Winter), in the spring 2011 issue of Islamic Law and Society; "Germany and its Muslim Minority," in the spring 2011 issue of Zmanim (Hebrew), and "Warum sind sie so: Die Ideologie islamischer Fundamentalisten," in Thomas Kunze and Wolfgand Maier (eds.), Einundzwanzig: Jahrundertchanchen – Jahrundertgefahren.  

Elisheva Machlis
Iraq; Shi'i reformism; modern trends in Islam; new media and social networks in the Middle East
Bio: Dr. Elisheva Machlis has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and an MA from Tel Aviv University. She recently concluded a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in the Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University. During her fellowship, she studied the modern trends within Shi‘i thought beginning in the first half of the twentieth century, looking into the unique scholarship produced in the Shi‘i Arab world and its relationship with Islamic revolutionary thought in Iran. She has also researched general trends within modern Islamic thought and the relationship between globalization and culture in the contemporary Muslim world.  

Dr. Machlis's publications include:
Shi‘i Sectarianism in the Middle East: Modernisation and the Quest for Islamic Universalism, book proposal accepted for publication, I.B Tauris, London.
“Ali Shari'ati and the Notion of Tawhid: Re-exploring the Question of God's Unity”, Die Welt des Islams, conditional acceptance
“The Cross-Sectarian Call for Islam: A Sample of Shi'a Reformist Thought”, Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies, 2:2 (2009), 195-219.
“A Shi'a Debate on Arabism: The Emergence of a Multiple Communal Membership”, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, forthcoming.
"השיעה בעולם המודרני: בין זהות כיתתית לאידאל של אסלאם אוניברסלי ונאור", היסטוריה 27 (כסלו, תשע"ב), 29-60.

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