ISMI Staff


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.


Heather Waters - Sr. Program Coordinator

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 23 years.


Dr. Scott Abramson - Israel Research Associate

Scott Abramson received his master's degree from Brandeis University's Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and his Ph.D. from UCLA's Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. He has held postdoctoral appointments at UCLA’s Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and at Northwestern University's Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies. At ISMI, he creates digital and curricular content for students of all ages and understandings. Scott is an integral teaching participant in ISMI's teen, young adult, and adult education programs.


Debbie L. Sasson - Project Management and Research

Debbie Sasson joined the ISMI staff in 2022 and oversees student internships and our teen leadership program. Her experience in Israel education spans two decades, writing curriculum and teaching in a variety of settings. She earned an MA in Teaching Secondary School Social Studies from Manhattanville College, and her undergraduate degree in International and Middle Eastern Studies at Emory University.