Israel | Local

‘Israel’s Education Crisis’ to kick off Pozez series

Dan Ben-David

The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Shaol & Louis Pozez Memorial Lectureship Series with six lectures on “Israel: 20th Century Ideal to 21st Century Reality.”

“Since 1997 the Pozez families’ generosity has made this series one of the intellectual and social staples of the Tucson Jewish community,” says Ed Wright, director of the center.

The theme, he explains, is inspired by the fact that 2017-18 marks 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, 70 years since the founding of Israel and 50 years since the Six-Day War.

“This year’s speakers constitute a Who’s Who of internationally acclaimed leaders and academics who are especially well equipped to address this important Jewish and global theme,” says Wright, adding that over the years the free lecture series has gained a national and international reputation for its distinguished speakers.

The first lecture will be held on Monday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Dan Ben-David, Ph.D., of the Shoresh Institute at Tel Aviv University, will present “Israel’s Education Crisis: The Start-Up Nation’s Threat from Within.”

While Israel’s leading universities are excellent and its hi-tech sector is flourishing, the country has one of the lowest productivity levels and the highest poverty rates in the developed world. With roughly half of its children receiving a Third World education, says Ben-David, future economic stability is not a foregone conclusion.

Ben-David will highlight the economic impact of education and focus on a number of misconceptions about the state of education in Israel. He’ll assess the failings, achievements and future prospects of Israel’s educational system.

Additional lectures will be held Monday, Dec. 4, with Yael Aronoff of Michigan State University on “The Political Psychology of Israeli Prime Ministers”; Thursday, Jan. 18, with a fine arts symposium by pianist Carolyn Enger on “The Mischlinge Expose”; Monday, Jan. 29, to be announced; Monday, Feb. 12, with Shai Feldman of Brandeis University presenting “A Year into the Trump Presidency: The U.S. & the Middle East”; and Tuesday, March 13, with Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich of the Israel Institute on “Rabin’s Assassination: A Turning Point.”

All lectures will be held at 7 p.m. at the Tucson J with the exception of Jan. 18, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. at UA Crowder Hall. For more information, call 626-5758 or visit