On October 14–15, 2018, the international conference “Modern Israel: From State in Construction to State Facing Challenges,” dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, took place at Podol Inn in Kyiv. This conference became the very first academic event on modern Israel held in Ukraine. It was organized by the Ukrainian Association for Jewish Studies and supported by the Nadav Foundation, the European Association of Israel Studies, and the Masoret community of Conservative Judaism in Kyiv.
Fourteen scholars from eight countries (Canada, the UK, Israel, Germany, Poland, the USA, Sweden, and Ukraine) participated at the conference. They presented the lectures about the challenges of Jewish immigration and the integration of repatriates, the development of the relations between Israel and some European countries, the Zionist movement (including its Ukrainian roots) as a background of the creation of the Jewish state, as well as the religious and cultural life and the place of memories in the Israeli society.
The conference had two keynote speakers: Prof. Alan Craig from the University of Leeds, also a chairperson at the European Association of Israel Studies, and Prof. Yakov M. Rabkin of the Université de Montréal. Prof. Craig, the opening keynote, gave a lecture on the current challenges of Israel Studies, and Prof. Rabkin spoke on the impact of Zionism and Israel on Jewish diasporas.
Attended by the students and professors of local universities, the conference ended with the panel on the BDS movement and its threats for the State of Israel. The presentations given by Prof. Alan Craig (UK) and Prof. Corinne E. Blackmer (USA) followed by the discussion with Prof. Ze’ev Khanin (Israel) and other participants.
In the framework of the conference, the UAJS organized the Jewish Kyiv city tour for the participants, conducted by Oleksandra Uralova, the instructor of Yiddish at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
The conference program can be found here.
The photographs from the conference are published on the UAJS Facebook page.
Photo: Alex Berk