Bunny and Leo Horvitz Scholar-in-Residence Series

Reuven Hazan

Israel at 70: Democracy, Politics and Society
with Dr. Reuven Y. Hazan of The Hebrew University

February 11–25, 2018

The only democracy in the Middle East, Israel is looked upon with admiration and at the same time scrutinized relentlessly for the intricacies of its political system. As Israel approaches its 70th anniversary of modern statehood, with it comes an opportunity to reflect on its accomplishments and its challenges, as well as to raise some important questions about its future.

How well does Israeli democracy function? What are the dominant issues that drive its electoral campaigns? And are its democratic institutions in need of reform? These questions resonate across religious and political lines, and this series will help our Houston community engage in valuable discourse around the meaning of democracy in Israel.

RegistrationLectures  | Mini-Courses | Community Presentations | Schedule at a Glance | About the Program | About Dr. HazanBrochure 


Israeli Politics and Foreign Policy

Sunday, Feb 11 | 4:00 PM
Israel’s political focus on foreign and security issues is deeper than in any democracy. Where do Israel’s citizens stand today on this existential issue? How does public opinion in Israel influence its foreign policy? Can Israel still be described, as Kissinger once said, as a country with only a defense policy?

Political Representation in Israel

Monday, Feb 19 | 7:30 PM
Israel is often described as a microcosm of the main social tensions found in democracies across the globe. Among Israel’s parties we find representatives of both traditional and modern, religious and secular, socialist and capitalist, hawkish and dovish, and more. How do Israeli politicians manage these conflicts and maintain the democratic rules of the game?

Israeli Politics and Society at the Crossroads

Sunday, Feb 25 | 10:00 AM
Hosted by Marilyn Hassid and Marc A. Gessner
Israel’s core values include a volatile mix of both yearning for peace but also wanting to maintain as much of the land of Israel as possible. In recent years, as this stalemate continues, Israeli society has shifted, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets to protest socio-economic issues. Are Israeli politics and its vibrant civil society at odds?

Mini Courses

MINI COURSE 1A & 1B: Democracy and Politics in Israel
Feb 12 & 14 | 7:30 PM

MINI COURSE 2A & 2B: Religion and Politics in Israel
Feb 20 & 22 | 7:30 PM

Learn More



$10 Member | $15 Public (per event)
$36 Member | $54 Public (series pass)*
FREE for full time students with valid ID and full time Jewish professionals*

Register Online



*Please note that Series Passes do not cover the Yom Limmud Learning Session. A separate charge will apply. All programs take place at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC unless otherwise indicated.

About Dr. Hazan

Dr. Hazan is known throughout the world as one of the foremost experts on Israeli democracy and politics. He is a professor and past Chair of the Political Science Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Educated at the Hebrew University (B.A.) and Columbia University (M.A., Ph.D.), he has held academic appointments at the Hebrew University since 1995. He was Visiting Professor in the Government Department of Harvard University (2009-2010) and Visiting Associate Professor of Political Science at Emory University (2003-2004). He has been advisor to the Speaker of the Israeli parliament and for several Israeli political parties and thinktanks, a member of the Presidential Commission on the Structure of Government, and leader of the Israeli parliament’s Committees Reform Project.

Dr. Hazan was the recipient of the 2009-2010 Rector’s Prize for Research and Teaching, the highest honor bestowed upon academics at the Hebrew University. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Political Science Review, the Journal of Legislative Studies, and Party Politics. He is also known as a commentator for CNN, FOX, BBC, and NPR, in addition to being quoted frequently in Time, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal, among others.

For more information about Horvitz Scholar-in-Residence Series, please contact Nomi Barancik at or 713.595.8190.  

Join us for our Israel at 70 Community Wide Celebration on April 19.

This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Humanities Texas