The onset of each new academic year or course provides teachers and students with broad opportunities for learning. In the midst of this pandemic, unique challenges present themselves. Instructors and students are meeting virtually. Shuttered libraries mean greater reliance on scouring the internet for reliable sources and relevant readings. In this access-restricted environment, assembling sources for research on Israel might seem insurmountable. To ease the beginning, we have provided an array of bibliographies to start you on your way. These collections may be especially helpful if you are starting down a new topical path and perhaps engaging in deep research for the first time.
As we created our website, both educators and students asked us to assemble resources and bibliographies that would assist them in launching their research on modern Israel. In 2015, we started collecting the best scholarly and analytical sources about different aspects of modern Israel. Then we put them in three separate containers on the website: Bibliographies, Curated Readings, and Contemporary Readings. Refined further by student requests, we developed more than two dozen themes that present and analyze a wide variety of Israel’s complex and evolving story. In order to focusing more specifically on certain topics of interest, we created curated lists. (Iran, Oslo, Covid 19, modern Arab world). We included an annotated bibliography of the best books written on Zionism and Israel over the last half century. Since 2015, in our ongoing effort to help our users remain current with contemporary issues, we assemble monthly-recommended readings, all on-line accessible, and available if you wish via monthly subscription. Our priorities have not wavered: aggregating the best available source materials in English, useful for entry-level students and professional scholars alike. In early September 2020, we fully revised the research bibliographies—offering the updated versions to you for entry or deeper probing into your Israel research inquiries.
Each theme contains a bibliography of articles and books, a series of source documents pertaining to that theme in Israel’s history, suggested videos, maps, and other relevant items found elsewhere on the website. The bibliographic recommendations are of the highest scholarly integrity, and serve as a trustworthy place to begin your research project or query. When starting your research, we suggest finding a recently published article in a key journal in the field or discipline of inquiry, and then scour that author’s footnotes for the most recent references to articles associated with that topic. Frequently the first three or four paragraphs of an article provide useful context for the article’s direction and a beginning understanding the topic that awaits you. CIE assembled these thematic bibliographies by reviewing more than three dozen scholarly journals. We also culled entries from bibliographies found in previously published scholarly books, each considered seminal works on Zionism and Israel. Items noted in the CIE bibliographies are generally available through university and sometimes public libraries, and often on-line, but they can be costly purchases. When used in concert with CIE’s online Documents and Sources collection, Contemporary Readings and Curated Reading lists, researchers will find these bibliographies to be helpful foundations for launching the research.
Michele Freesman, September 2020