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Study Abroad - Israel 2014*

Spend two weeks in Israel and earn two credits

Wintersession

Orientation: December 22, 2014

Wintersession Trip: December 22, 2014 - December 31, 2014

"Comparative Law: Gender in U.S., Israeli, and Jewish Law"
Haim Striks School of Law, Rishon LeZion, Israel

Program Director and Faculty: Professor Jennifer Levi
Israeli Experts: Frances Raday, Zvi Triger

Note: Deadline for applications is October 1, 2014

Brochure (PDF2013)
Application (PDF)
Program details

Learn about a dynamic area of law from the experts who are shaping it. 

Spend two weeks over winter break taking a two-credit course studying contemporary Israeli, American, and Jewish gender law. Classes are held at the Haim Striks School of Law, Rishon LeZion, Israel. Stay on the beach in nearby Tel Aviv. All classes are taught in English. 

About the course

This course will focus on three contemporary examples of challenges to gender segregation—at worship spaces, on public buses, and in restrooms. Students will examine, compare, and explore the basic principles of gender, discrimination, equality, and justice across three different legal regimes. They will focus on the structure of these legal systems that support and sometimes conflict with principles of equality, nondiscrimination, and pluralism.

Over the past two decades, Israel’s civil courts have faced the question of how enforced sex-segregation at worship spaces can be reconciled with commitments to equality in civil law, as well as to Israel’s structure as a pluralistic Jewish state. U.S. state courts have wrestled with the question of how the authorization of sex-segregation in the context of restrooms can be squared with equality commitments to transgender youth and adults. 

Students will examine the underlying legal doctrines and broad policies that are at the heart of these issues and legal cases. Focus will be on constitutional, statutory, and regulatory laws, as well as on the body of law and writings that support the principles of equality, nondiscrimination, and respect for pluralism behind the doctrine.

The course will also include:

  • field trips to local legal institutions, including the Israeli Supreme Court and the Knesset, Israel’s lawmaking body
  • interviews with or guest lectures by local judges and legislators 

 Other information:

  • Classes will be conducted in English.
  • The course is worth two credits (acceptance of credit or grade is subject to determination by the student’s home school).
  • The course size is limited to 25 law students; anyone who has completed the first year of law school is eligible to take the class. Admissions consideration will be given to strong undergraduate students who can demonstrate readiness to take an upper-level law school class.

Applications from schools other than Western New England University are welcomed. 

Current Situation

We are acutely aware of the ongoing hostilities in Israel and Gaza and are hopeful about a swift, peaceful resolution of the current conflict. The safety of our students is our highest priority.  This program will not run if the United States Department of State warns against travel to Israel.  If this program is cancelled, students who have made tuition, registration, or application payments toward it will get full refunds.  We strongly encourage students to get travel insurance to ensure that they are similarly insured against travel-related losses due to safety-related changes in the academic program. 

Evaluation

  • Evaluation for the course will be on a pass/fail basis.
  • Students will be evaluated based on their performance on an exam as well as on reflection papers that they submit throughout the duration of the course. 
  • Class attendance is mandatory.
  • Students will be expected to meet with the professor on a regular basis for support and evaluation of the progress.

Schedule 

The class will meet daily Sunday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 1:00 p.m. Required field trips may also be scheduled outside of this time.

Academic Facilities

Classes will be held in the seminar rooms and lecture halls of the Haim Striks Law School. These modern facilities provide ample seating, proper writing surfaces, sufficient lighting, and adequate soundproofing. All of Haim Striks’ classroom facilities support current technology, including wireless free Internet, projection capabilities, etc. Students will need to provide their own power adaptors.

Library and Internet resources will be available to students as if they were full-time students at Haim Striks. The law school has a comprehensive law library with extensive Israeli and international sources of law and commentary. Haim Striks is also affiliated with the College of Management Academic Studies, which has its own extensive library collection. Online legal and non-legal databases will also be available.

Faculty

Jennifer Levi, Program Director
Jennifer Levi, professor at the Western New England University School of Law in Springfield, MA, has dedicated her career to fighting for the rights of women, children, the poor, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered clients. Most recently, Professor Levi was Senior Staff Attorney for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders in Boston. Prior to that, she was a Visiting Professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, worked as an Associate Attorney for two Chicago law firms, and clerked in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston.

Professor Levi served as cocounsel for the seven same-sex couples who sued the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for denying them the right to obtain marriage licenses in Goodridge et al v. the Department of Public Health. The appeal led to the landmark Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that stated it was unconstitutional for the Commonwealth to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry.

Professor Levi teaches courses on gender, sexuality, and the law, including alternative reproductive technologies, constitutional law, family law, gender and the law, and sexual orientation, gender identity and the law. She has been integral to the creation and administration of the Western New England University School of Law’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies. She received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and a B.A. from Wellesley College.

Frances Raday
Frances Raday is Professor of Law and head of Graduate Programs at Haim Striks School of Law in Rishon LeZion, Israel, where she also directs the Concord Center for Integration of International Law in Israel. She is also Professor Emerita of the Elias Lieberman Chair in Labour Law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Professor Raday is a Mandate Holder of the UN Human Rights Council in the Working Group on Discrimination against Women; she was previously an Expert Member of the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. She is Chair of Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Advisory Council; she was the founding chair of the Israel Women's Network Legal Center.

Professor Raday has acted as legal counsel in precedent setting human rights cases in Israel’s Supreme Court, including employees' rights in transfer of enterprises, inventors' rights to patents, freedom of association and collective bargaining, Palestinian employees' class action for full National Insurance rights, women’s constitutional rights to equality in religious ritual at public sites (Women of the Wall) and sex discrimination in retirement age.

She has been a visiting professor at Oxford University, University of Copenhagen, University of Tulane, University of Southern California, University of East Africa, Dar-A Salaam; and held a research appointment at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. The author of numerous academic books and articles on human rights, labour law, and feminist legal theory, her many awards and honors include an honorary professorship from University College London and honorary doctorate from the University of Copenhagen. She holds an LL.D. from the Hebrew University and an LL.B. from the London School of Economics.

Zvi Triger
Zvi Triger is vice dean of Haim Striks School of Law in Rishon LeZion, Israel. His main research and teaching fields are contracts law, family law, the interrelations between sexuality, law and society, legal feminism, queer theory, and law and theater. Dr. Triger practiced law at Brian Cave Robinson Silverman LLP in New York. In addition to his extensive academic publications, Dr. Triger has recently published two books: a novel, In Case of Emergency, and, with Amalia Rosenblum, Speechless: How contemporary Israeli Culture is Reflected in Language. He received his LL.B. from Tel Aviv University and his LL.M. and J.S.D. from New York University.

About

Harold Grinspoon Foundation Grants

Jewish students from western Massachusetts or the southern Vermont counties of Windham or Bennington may qualify for a grant to supplement the program's tuition. Learn more at the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

For More Information

Professor Jennifer Levi

Western New England University School of Law
Office of Admissions - Israel Program
1215 Wilbraham Rd.
Springfield, MA 01119-2684

toll free: 1-800-782-6665
local: 1-413-782-1406
fax: 1-413-796-2067
email: IsraelProgram@law.wne.edu

Brochure (PDF2013)
Program details

*This program is approved by the ABA.

Application (PDF)
Study Abroad in Israel (main page)
Program Details:

State Department Travel Information
Israeli student visa information

Important Dates

October 1, 2014: Application due
October 15, 2014: First deposit due (including notification of interest in housing and daily transportation)
December 1, 2014: Final fees due
December Wintersession: Classes begin

For More Information

Professor Jennifer Levi

Western New England University School of Law
Office of Admissions - Israel Program
1215 Wilbraham Rd.
Springfield, MA 01119-2684

toll free: 1-800-782-6665
local: 1-413-782-1406
fax: 1-413-796-2067
IsraelProgram@law.wne.edu

*This program is approved by the ABA.