American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise / Jewish Virtual Library and the Israel Scholar Development Fund

AICE

Location: CHEVY CHASE , Maryland
Year founded: 1984

Description

The AMERICAN-ISRAELI COOPERATIVE ENTERPRISE (AICE) was established in 1993 to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship by emphasizing the fundamentals of the alliance — the values our nations share. Our three major projects are: The Jewish Virtual Library The Jewish Virtual Library is the most comprehensive online Jewish encyclopedia in the world, covering everything from anti-Semitism to Zionism. So far, nearly 30,000 entries and more than 6,000 photographs and maps have been integrated into the site. The Library averages more than 900,000 visitors per month from more than 200 countries/territories. The Israel Scholar Development Fund To address the critical need to develop new scholars and place established Israel scholars on campus, AICE has created the Israel Scholar Development Fund (ISDF) to promote Israel Studies. This fund identifies Israeli scholars who could be placed in visiting professorships. Offers universities grants to hire a visiting scholar. Offers awards to encourage students to pursue graduate degrees related to Israel. Strategically promotes Israel Studies by identifying institutions that can benefit the most from hosting Israeli scholars. Advises philanthropists on investing in Israel Studies programs. Highlights of our academic program’s accomplishments include: AICE has placed more than 100 Visiting Israeli Professors (VIPs) at 68 universities, including Berkeley, Stanford, Michigan, Yale and the US Naval Academy. We have also placed VIPs in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and law schools at UCLA, Stanford and Berkeley. On average, visiting Israel scholars teach at a top 50 school that has more than 2,000 Jewish students. One measure of the success of the VIPs is the number of professors who are asked to stay a second or even third year. AICE VIPs have introduced nearly 150 new Israel-related courses at the campuses where they were hosted and aught more than 9,000 students. Our VIPs are required to engage in public education, which has allowed them to reach more than 5,000 people at off-campus lectures. 64% of Jewish students in VIP classes, and 43% of non-Jews, planned to take courses on Israel during the next year, and 71% of Jewish students and 20% of non-Jews planned to travel to Israel in the next year. Thirteen AICE postdoctoral fellows have done research and teaching at 10 elite universities, including Harvard, Princeton and UCLA. AICE has supported 40 graduate students with our Israel Scholar Awards. Those who have completed their doctorates to date are teaching at places such as Oxford, MIT and Princeton. The ISDF has been a catalyst for the creation of new chairs, centers and visiting scholar programs at Berkeley, UCLA, American University, Ohio State, Maryland, Northeastern, Washington University and San Francisco State. New programs established as the direct or indirect result of AICE’s project represents new investments of more than $30 million in the field of Israel Studies. A three-year evaluation of the scholar program conducted by Brandeis University reported that “the program's success is evident in the enthusiasm of the VIPs' students, their department chairs, and university administrators. Other indicators of achievement include: the number of courses offered, the depth and breadth of the subject areas, the numbers of students enrolled, the number and variety of extracurricular activities on and off campus, and the large number of individuals reached by the work of the VIPs in the public arena.” The evaluator also noted the broader impact of the program: As a result of AICE initiatives, Israel has moved from its place as an isolated 'extra-curricular' topic into mainstream classrooms and core curricula. In addition, the way Israel is discussed on college campuses has shifted. AICE programs have succeeded in incorporating rigorous scholarship and debate into discussions on Israel that were previously dominated by polemical hyperbole. THE "DREAM TEAM" INITIATIVE During the December 2009 Global Forum on Combating Anti-Semitism, the task force co-chaired by Mitchell Bard concluded that students needed a central source of information and expertise to help them respond to the campaign to delegitimize Israel on campus. AICE assembled a “Dream Team” of key professionals, faculty, students and consultants to develop a “BDS Cookbook” of materials (stopbds.com), ideas and strategies to help students, faculty, administrators, trustees and community members to preempt and defeat BDS campaigns. AICE’s intelligence project investigates and monitors the activities of Israel’s detractors on campus and relays information to campus stakeholders.

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