ISMI Staff

 

Eli Sperling - Israel Specialist and Assistant Project Coordinator

Eli Sperling began working at ISMI in November 2012. He has been actively engaged in issues relating to Israel and the greater Middle East since the beginning of his under-graduate education at Evergreen in Olympia, WA. After receiving his BA in Middle East studies and political economy in 2006 , he moved to Israel to pursue an MA in contemporary Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University. During his four and a half years in Tel Aviv, Eli worked as a research assistant to prominent Israeli scholar, Yosi Kostiner, worked with numerous political and humanitarian organizations, led groups of students and other international delegations around Israel and spent two years researching the social, political and economic conditions of the Sinai Bedouin living in Dahab, Egypt. He is a fluent Hebrew speaker who likewise reads Arabic and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, spending significant periods of time in Cairo and the Sinai Peninsula. Eli is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and working as an Israel specialist and project coordinator at Emory University's Institute for the Study of Modern Israel and Center for Israel Education.

Dr. Kenneth W. Stein - Director

Kenneth W. Stein is Professor of Contemporary Middle Eastern History and Israeli Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, where he has taught since 1977. His extensive curriculum vitae and scholarly publications can be found here. At Emory University, his honors include the highest awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching (1995), recognition for internationalizing the curriculum (2001), and lifelong exceptional mentor to students (2009).The Anti-Defamation League and the Israel on Campus Coalition awarded him the Ross Award in 2007 for his intellectual integrity in speaking out against the falsehoods in former President Jimmy Carter's 2006 book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. In 1998, he established the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel.

Rich Walter - Associate Director for Israel Education

Richard Walter has extensive experience increasing community involvement in Jewish formal and informal learning for a wide variety of age groups. Prior to joining ISMI in August 2012, he served as Director for Jewish Life and Learning at the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven, and Director of Education and Community Development at the Bureau of Jewish Education in Rhode Island. From 1997 to 2001 he taught in the Solomon Schechter School in Providence, Rhode Island. He was educated at Brandeis University where he received his BA and MA degrees focusing on Jewish history, Middle Eastern history, and Judaic Studies.

Heather Waters - Program Associate

Heather Waters has been with ISMI since its inception in 1998. Her organizational and managerial abilities have been the bedrock of ISMI's progress and successes over the last 19 years.

Jacob Zack - Academic Research Coordinator

Jacob Zack joined ISMI in September 2017. He received his BA in International Studies from Emory University (2015) with a focus on Conflict and Security in the Middle East. Jacob's extended research includes Sectarian Violence in the Lebanese Civil War and Public Goods Provision by Terrorist Groups. After graduation, Jacob worked as a Management Consulting Associate at PwC, where he advised technology companies on business transformation strategy. At ISMI, Jacob's focus is academic research and analysis related to the US-Israel relationship.