Amira Margalith Summer Internship at Tel Aviv University

What is the Amira Margalith Summer Research Internship at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University (AMSITAU)?

The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies has established a research assistance internship to honor the memory of Amira Margalith, who served as the Center administrator for more than two decades. It was Amira's good nature and helpfulness that made the work of the Center, its fellows, and its visitors so successful for many years. Through a competitive application process, the Dayan Center seeks to appoint one undergraduate or graduate intern for a semester from a European or North American college or university setting. Students who have a budding passion for Middle Eastern Studies, are interested in undertaking quality research under the direction of a Center member, and have a special linguistic and writing talents are encouraged to apply. An annual grant of $3000 will be given to the recipient to defray living expenses and transportation costs. The minimum period for the internship will be three months and include a minimum of 20 hours per week of work at Tel Aviv University or in a location designated by the supervising Dayan Center member.

What are the requirements and application process for an AMSITAU award?

Applicants for Margalith internship are expected to submit a 1,000 word essay about their career intentions and how the internship fits into those plans. Candidates for the internship should specify their areas of disciplinary interest. In addition, three letters of recommendation should be submitted on behalf of the student, with at least two of them from present or former teachers. Those letters should speak to the intellectual promise, research skills and experience, language abilities, writing talents, and other qualifications that reflect on the candidate's credentials. Letters should include mention of the candidates character, ability to work autonomously yet with guidance, commitment to a future academic or research position in Middle Eastern studies, and an estimate where the candidate ranks among former and present students of the same class cohort.

Applications will be accepted up to February 28 of each year, with decisions made by March 30. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. All applications should be submitted via email to or mail to Director, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel, 69978. Successful applicants will be informed by mail and e-mail, with initial disbursement of funds coming as a transportation reimbursement prior to the students arrival in Israel. 

Questions can be addressed to Heather Waters by e-mail at

How can I make a contribution to AMSITAU?

Initial funding for the internship was provided by Emory Professor Kenneth W. Stein who throughout his thirty year career benefited from the grace, diligence, and thoughtfulness emanating from Amira's dedication and friendship. Additional contributions to the internship honoring the memory of Amira Margalith may be made by contacting the Director of the Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University.

Recent AMSITAU Interns:
Ania Bessonov - Canada
Credentials: top marks in a M.Sc. Degree in Diplomacy and Security from Tel-Aviv University
Supervisors: Brandon Friedman and Nir Boms
Projects: Ania contributed directly to strengthening ties between Tel Aviv University and academic institutions in the Gulf States, and also helped coordinate Hiwar, a forum that brought together diplomats, journalists, and researchers throughout the MENA region for monthly talks on subjects related to political developments.

Due to COVID-19, there was no 2020 recipient.

Wasil Rezk - Egypt
Credentials: International European University, Madrid, BA International Relations
Supervisors: Mira Tsoreff and Paul Rivlin
Projects: Contemporary Egyptian writings; Egyptian gas exploration in the Mediterranean

Ariella Kahan - America
Credentials: Sophomore at Harvard College, Major in History
Supervisors: Brandon Friedman, Joel D. Parker
Projects: Research on Turkey which was published in an edition of T.A. Notes (very unusual for an undergraduate), News Brief, and a number of English language editing assignments

Jesse R. Weinberg - America
Credentials: Graduate with two MA degrees from Tufts and LSE
Supervisors: Uzi Rabi, Brandon Friedman, Joel D. Parker
Projects: Research on Qatar, help with our News Brief, our journal Bustan: The Middle East Book Review, and various assignments directly from Uzi Rabi

Natasha Spreadborough - United Kingdom
Credentials: Graduate of the MA in Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS, London
Supervisors: Ofra Bengio, Harel Chorev and Paul Rivlin
Projects: Research Assistant with Ofra Bengio; authoring publication, Beehive: Middle East Social Media, (Including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, EU-Israel relations, and the Syrian civil war)

Laura Jean Brantley - USA
Credentials: BA Political Science and Arabic Literature. UC SAn Bernardino; PhD Candidate, Claremont Graduate University
Supervisor: Bruce Maddyy-Weitzman, Paul Rivlin, Yoav Alon
Project: Gender and Sexuality issues in Morocco and other Maghreb states. 

Credentials: British Advanced Study
Lead Supervisor: Joel Parker
Project: Political Islam 

Zachary Fenster - USA
Credentials: Middlebury College, 2012 (Magna Cum Laude), where he studied Middle Eastern History and Arabic
Supervisor: Dr. Bruce Maddy-Weitzman
Project: Tracking relations between North African States and the Amazigh cultural movement

Mehmet Ekinci - Turkey
Credentials: BA in International Relations (magna cum laude), Bilent University, Turkey
(Turkish, Kurdish, English, Persian, basic Arab; previously held Israeli government schoalrships, working to MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Hebrew University or TA, expected 2013)
Supervisor: Ofra Bengio
Project: Turkish-Israeli relations in the shadow of the Arab Spring

Alexey Khelbnikov - Russia
Credentials: Doctoral candidate at Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Russia
Supervisor: Dr. Bruce Maddy-Weitzman
Project: Analyzing Syrian foreign policy and its influene on the region's processes and balance of power

Vladimir Troyansky - United Kingdom
Credentials: fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of St Andrews (Scotland), pursuing MA (Hons) in Arabic and International Relations
Supervisors: Eyal Zisser and Ofra Bengio
Project: Minorities in the Middle East with special emphasis on Syria and Iraq. He authored with Bengio a Tel Aviv Note on the Kurds in Syria and one of his own on Christians in Iraq

Tal Grebel - USA
Credentials:  Rutgers, rising junior, 3.89 GPA, fluent in French and Hebrew
Supervisors: Bruce Maddy-Weitzman and Ofra Bengio
Project: Comparing Kurdish and Berber minorities, with a focus on the role of their respective Diasporas
Saghi Sofinzon - USA
Credentials: Brandeis, rising junior, 3.83 GPA; fluent in French and Hebrew
Supervisor: Yehudit Ronen
Project: Issues dealing with migration from Africa to Europe

Conrad Rein - Germany
Credentials: Univ. of Leipzig - Master's student in African Studies, fluent in German and French
Supervisor: Bruce Maddy-Weitzman
Project: Berber identity
Jonathan Fluger - USA
Credentials: B.A Princeton University, fluent in Arabic
Supervisor: Joshua Teitelbaum
Project:  Saudi Arabian National Guard

Steven Schmid - Germany
Credentials: graduate student at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany), fluent in German and Arabic
Supervisor: Asher Susser
Projects: "Religion as aspect in the thought of four Arab nationalist ideologues: Jirji Zaydan, Zaki al-Arsuzi, Sati al-Husri and Constantine Zurayk;" Jordanian monarchy's attitude toward Palestinian territories as reflected in the Jordanian Press
Minda Arrow - USA
Credentials: B.A Princeton, working on M.A. in Islam and ME Studies, Hebrew University, fluent in Hebrew and Arabic
Supervisor: Asher Susser
Project: Trilateral Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian relationship