In September 2017, the European Association of Israel Studies held its sixth annual conference in the beautiful city of Wroclaw, Poland. Hosted by the University of Wroclaw, the conference included 33 panels and round tables discussing a variety of topics, from Israeli literature and culture, to bi-lateral relations and identity politics. The conference attracted 180 attendees, including the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in Poland and leading academics from over 20 institutions.

The conference began with the opening ceremony in the architecturally inspiring Oratorium Marianum. Guests were welcomed by Dr. Alan Craig, Chair of the EAIS, Prof. dr hab Adam Jezierski, University of Wrocław Rector, Prof. dr hab Robert Wiszniowski, Social Sciences Faculty Dean, and Dr. Cezary Przybylski, Lower Silesia Marshal.The keynote address was delivered by Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich, President of the Israel Institute. We would like to thank the Israel Institute for its kind support of the conference.

Days two and three of the conference were spent in the Social Sciences faculty of the university, where panelists discussed a number of topics from bi-lateral relations and zionism, to gender and cultural identities. There were a mix of junior and senior scholars present, as well as academics from a variety of different fields of study, and our evening events allowed everyone to socialise and network in an informal environment.

During the conference, we held two plenary sessions: The Trajectory of Israeli Democracy with Prof. Ruth Gavison and Prof. Sammy Smooha; and The Role of Courts in a Democracy, with Prof. Ruth Gavison and Dr. Alan Craig. Both sessions were intellectually stimulating, and even got a bit heated! You can see the first plenary session via YouTube.

The conference closed with a screening of the documentary ‘The Ancestral Sin’, and a Q&A with one of the film’s creators, renown journalist Doron Galezar. Again, this session was enormously engaging and well received.

The EAIS would like to thank all of our panellists, speakers and attendees for joining us for the conference. We were honoured to have so many people join us, and I hope that you found it as beneficial as we did.

If you would like to know more about the impact of the conference, and receive updates on next year’s conference, please join our e-mailing list.