THE BEN HALPERN AWARD FOR BEST DISSERTATION IN ISRAEL STUDIES

The Association for Israel Studies awards the Ben Halpern Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in Israel Studies (broadly defined) approved during the 2021 calendar year. This award honors the memory of Ben Halpern (1912-1990), a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Israel Studies and the author of the influential book, The Idea of the Jewish State. An inspiring teacher at Brandeis University, Ben Halpern left a powerful and distinctive intellectual legacy including a commitment to the rigorous academic study of Israeli society.

Details about next year’s awards are yet to be announced. 


Past Winners of the Halpern Award:

2022

Caroline Kahlenberg (Harvard University), for “How Locals Became Settlers: Mizrahi Jews and Bodily Capital in Palestine, 1908-1948”.

2021

Lindsey Pullum (Indiana University), for “Faithful/Traitor: Violence, Nationalism, and Performances of Druze Belonging”.

Erez Maggor (New York University), for “Politics of Innovation: The Entrepreneurial State and the Making of Israel’s ‘Start-Up Nation”.

2020

Masua Sagiv (Tel Aviv University), for “A Time to Rend, and a Time to Sew: Halachic Feminism in Israel Between Law and Society”.

The dissertation awarded an “Honorable Mention” is by Irit Carmon Popper (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology), “Art as Preservation: Intervention in sites-in-conflict, Israel 1948-2008”.

2019

Elizabeth Imber (Johns Hopkins University), for “Jewish Political Lives in the British Empire: Zionism, Nationalism, and Imperialism in Palestine, India, and South Africa, 1917-1939”.

2018  

Talia Diskin (Tel-Aviv University), “A Law of Our Own: Legal and Moral Values in Children and Youth Periodicals in the State of Israel, 1948-1958”.

2017 (co-winners)

 Irit Katz (University of Cambridge), for “The Common Camp: Temporary Settlements as a Spatio-political Instrument in Israel-Palestine”.

Judah Troen (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “This is what is done abroad: Model Others and the Construction of National Identity in the Parliamentary Discourse of Israel”.

2016

Aviad Moreno (Ben-Gurion University), for: “Ethnicity in Motion: Social Networks in the Emigration of Jews from Northern Morocco to Venezuela and Israel, 1860-2010”. 

2015

Tamar Novick (University of Pennsylvania), for “Milk & Honey: Technologies of Plenty in the Making of a Holy Land, 1890-1965”.

2014

Nitzan Rothem (the Hebrew University of Jerusalem), for “The Domestication of Suicide Through Solidarity and Responsibility: Suicide of Soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces as Portrayed in Psychology, Law, and Modern Hebrew Literature.”

2013

Tamar Kaminsky (Bar Ilan University), for “Women of Ein Harod as a Determining Factor of a New and Ever-Changing Society: 1921-1948”

2012

Rafi Nets-Zehngut, for “Fixation and Change of the Israeli Official Memory (1949-2004) Regarding the Causes for the Palestinian Exodus during the 1948 War”

2011

Hanna Shemesh, for “The Shaping of Memory in History Textbooks in the Arab Sector in Israel (1948-2000)”

2010

Michal Shaul, for “Holocaust Survivors And Holocaust Memory In The Rehabilitation Of Ashkenazi Haredi Society In The Yishuv And The State Of Israel, 1945-1961”

2009

Tali Kristal, for “Labor’s Share of National Income and the Diversification in Sources of Income among Wage and Salary Workers”

Ceren Belge, for “Whose Law?: Clans, Honor Killings, and State-Minority Relations in Turkey and Israel”

2008

Ilana Szobel, ’Not with My Feet on the Ground:’ Poetics of Estrangement, Subversion, and Witnessing in the Oeuvre of Dalia Ravikovitch. Submitted to the New York University.

2007

Sharon Asiskovitch, L’daber b’kama kolot, litsod b’kama shvilim: politika birokratit v’tmurot b’mediniut haravaha hayisraelit, 1985-2002 [Speaking with Different Voices, Walking Along Several Paths: Bureaucratic Politics and Changes in the Israeli Welfare State, 1985-2002]. Submitted to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

2004-2005 (biannual award)

Shira Robinson, Occupied Citizens in a Liberal State: Palestinians under Military Rule and the Colonial Formation of Israeli Society, 1948-1966. Submitted to Stanford University.

2002-2003 (biannual award) co-winners

Sharon Kangisser Cohen, Finding Their Voices: The Life Stories of Child Survivors of the Holocaust in Israel. Submitted to Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

-Oren Meyers, Israeli Journalists as an Interpretive Memory Community. Submitted to University of Pennsylvania.

2000-2001 (biannual award)

Sharon Lang, Shaking Hands with the Enemy: The Quest for Honor among Israeli-Palestinian Men. Submitted to Harvard University.

1998-1999 (biannual award)

Eli Avraham

1996-1997 (biannual award)

Adriana Kemp

1994-1995 (biannual award)Sara Helman, Hasiruv l’sharet b’tsava k’nisayon l’hagdara mehudeshet shel ezrahut (Conscientious Objection to Military Service as an Attempt to Change the Contents of Citizenship). Submitted to Hebrew University of Jerusalem.