The Gilo Center for Citizenship, Democracy & Civic Education
After founding and directing the Gilo Center for six years (2001 – 2007), I moved on to do other things. The Center was eventually "frozen" in 2011. That means that it exits on paper (and in boxes stored in HU storage room), but is not active.
I have no idea if we'll renew and re-open the Center. I'll contemplate that option during my 2013-2014 sabbatical. In the meantime you can get a sense of what the Center did during its heyday by perusing its (frozen) website.
I am engaged in a study called The Hebrew Political Mind (the name is inspired by George Lakoff's book, The Political Mind). I am mapping contemporary Hebrew political concepts and examining their relations to Biblical and traditional Hebrew sources. The goal of the study is to examine relations and tensions between various layers of Hebrew and to then analyze the impact of these tensions on Israeli political culture. I use in this work a variety of methods in conceptual analysis and cognitive linguistics.
I've just completed writing a chapter for a book about language ethics, edited by Yael Peled and Daniel Weinstock (both at McGill University). I hope that Yael and Daniel will succeed in their goal of establishing language ethics as a new field of research. I'll certainly continue to support this endeavor.
I am also working on an edited volume of original research conducted by research students and colleagues in the field of Jewish and Hebrew Political Thought. I'm doing this with Dudi Feuchtwanger.
Israeli Government & Culture
My concern with citizenship and civic culture continues to guide my choices within this field of research and activism. I've recently completed a draft of a comprehensive review of research and policy related to teaching civics in Israel's school system. It will be published by the Israeli Political Science Association, who has sent it out to members of the association for comments and critiques. Its' primary thrust is a call to Israeli government to assume responsibility for a national policy regarding civic education. I include a series of policy recommendations, aimed at deepening a shared civic consciousness among members of our civic polity: Jews and non-Jews, religious and non-religious.
Civics & Civic Education
In coming months I hope to complete a theoretical overview of the pluri-cultural high school civics program that I developed and implemented at the Gilo Center. This study will complement an evaluation of the program conducted by Linda Yaakov and Yuval Piorko, and will be published by The Jerusalem Van Leer Institute.