Visiting Professors

Ulrike Wiethaus
Professor of Philosophy
Wake Forest University

As a Lady Davis Fellow, I worked in Jerusalem for six months in the spring of 2001.  My husband and I took time off during holidays to travel and hike in Israel.  Our greatest shock was to recognize that despite all the hype on American television and to some degree in American newspapers, daily life in Israel was very much like daily life in North Carolina; going to work, meeting with friends, attending art events, paying bills and buying groceries.  It was a great pleasure to see how  well Hebrew University is prepared for exchange scholars, and how smoothly my family's transition into the routines of daily life happened precisely because of the immensely thoughtful hospitality of the Lady Davis Fellowship Administration and of the Office of International Affairs at Hebrew University.  I am  determined to return to Israel as soon as I will be able to, and recommend the fellowship Program wholeheartedly. I truly miss the intellectual stimulation of the many conversations with my colleagues at Hebrew University, the University's intensely cosmopolitan atmosphere, and the profoundly moving and rich intersection of cultures and histories in Jerusalem.  But most of all, we miss the warmth and hospitality of the freinds we made during our stay.

Steven Dubin
Professor of Sociology
Columbia University

It's hard for me to believe that this time last year, between September and December of 2001, I was living in Jerusalem - and what a positive experience it was.  Professionally, I met a number of new colleagues with whom I continue to correspond via email, and my work on collective memory and memorialization has been enriched both by my experiences within the very lively intellectuall milieu at Hebrew U, and by living in Israel.

Personally, it was a very memorable experience.  By living near the city center for four months, I feel that I really entered into the rhythm of daily life in Jerusalem.  I felt amazingly secure during my stay, especially having just experienced the events of September 11 back in NYC, where I live.  One of the most important things I learned is that there is a huge gap between the media's depiction of Israel, and what the day-to-day experience of being there actually is like.  While I exercised caution, to be sure, I found that my daily round was not that much different than it is here at home.

I am deeply appreciative for the Trust's support in enabling me to come to Israel -- my first visit, I might add, but hopefully not my last.

Anne Bayefsky
Professor of Law
York University

I was at the Law Faculty at the Hebrew University under the auspices of the Lady Davis Fellowship from the end of June until the end of August 2002.  During this time I lived in Jerusalem close to the center of town.  I found my time there to be extremely rewarding from many different perspectives.  My colleagues at the Hebrew Unviersity were consistently helpful in all aspects of my research, from computer access, to the ability to present findings in the setting of a faculty seminar, to the regular exchange of ideas.  Needless to say, the University, and the Law Facutly in particular, were very affected by the August Bombing, which will leave permanent emotional wounds.  At the same time, the community of scholars and administrative staff is extremely warm, positive, constructive and supportive.  Any visiting scholar would find it a first-class environment in which to work.  With repect to life beyond the University, daily life flourishes regardless of the reality of the threat from those who seek to harm the country and its inhabitants.  A close-knit sense of support and common ethical purpose among people everywhere permits a visitor and his or her family to gain a strong appreciation for the people, cultural life, and the sense of history that continues to abound with vitality even in these difficult times.

Professor Jay Quade
Dept. of Geosciences
The University of Arizona

Dear Lady Davis Foundation,                                                        

During 2016-2017 I spent four months at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with the support of a Lady Davis Fellowship.  I was hosted by Dr. Yehouda Enzel, Dr. Ari Matmon, and many others in the Institute of Earth Sciences on the Givat Ram campus.  I wanted to write this letter first convey my sincere thanks to the Lady Davis Foundation and to Mark Sopher for the opportunity to come to Israel and conduct geologic research alongside my Israeli colleagues.  Second, I wanted to describe my experience here in Israel, because it was something truly exceptional, and I want to encourage others in the most enthusiastic terms to apply for the Lady Davis Fellowship in order to experience Israel and Israeli science.

My four months in Israel was among the most impactful and enjoyable experiences of my entire career.  My colleagues and their students at Institute of Earth Sciences were incredibly welcoming, and organized a wonderful educational experience for me both in the classroom and in the field.  While at the Institute I helped organize and run a seminar on climate and paleoclimate in the Sahara, alongside Drs. Ori Adam and Yehouda Enzel.  The interest level from students and colleagues was very high, and it was the engagement of the students that made the seminar a complete success in my view. I was especially impressed by the maturity, training, and general “can-do” attitude of the students.  In addition to classroom activities, I went on at least eight (I lost exact count) departmental fieldtrips to various parts of Israel to learn about the local geology.  I came away from all this with specific plans to return to Israel for further work on scientific projects, and to host Israeli colleagues and students in the USA.

On a personal note, I would like to say that I have had many experiences in foreign countries during my career, but I have never experienced anything quite like Israel.  My wife joined me for the entire four months, and I think that her experience was more amazing than mine, if that is possible.  We were overwhelmed by the warmth of the Israel people, not by just our immediate friends but a very broad network of acquaintances.  Israelis have a jois-de-vivre, an intensity for life, friendship, and profession that really touched and changed both my wife and I.  We will never forget our experience in Israel and are eager to return very soon.