Call for Applications – Due Friday, April 21, 2017

2017 Leffell Seminar on The Impact of Israel upon American Jewry

August 7-9, 2017

How has Israel shaped the culture, religious expression, political and organizational life, and self-understanding of American Jews between 1948 and the present? This subject will be explored at a three-day seminar sponsored by The Lisa and Michael Leffell Foundation, August 7-9, 2017 in White Plains, New York. Facilitated by senior academic faculty and leading opinion-makers, the seminar invites applicants from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds in the humanities and social sciences.  All transportation and lodging expenses will be provided by the Foundation. Seminar presenters will receive a $2,500 stipend for their participation.

Early and mid-career academics, advanced graduate students, and thought leaders are invited to submit an application by April 21, 2017 with notification of acceptance to write a paper for the seminar by May 12, 2017. Applicants for consideration should submit a two-page resume that includes personal contact information, education, degrees earned, publications, and names with contact information of two persons who can directly reflect on a candidate’s past performance and future promise. Each applicant must submit an 800 word essay explaining how their scholarly or professional interests directly intersect with the seminar’s theme. Applications should be sent electronically to Ms. Stacey Popovsky, Executive Director, Lisa and Michael Leffell Foundation at You may also contact Ms. Popovsky with questions at (646) 532-2445,

Candidates accepted for participation in the seminar will be asked to write an original 12-15 page paper on a topic related to the seminar’s theme due no later than June 30, 2017. If selected, we urge our seminar presenters not to submit a revised chapter or article previously published, but instead offer a fresh view of a distinctly new topic. Seminar presenters will be eligible to apply for subsequent research support to expand the scope of their seminar presentations for possible publication.

Special attention will be given to candidates whose work focuses on one of the following topics, although all proposals will be considered:

Economics, trade and entrepreneurship; hard sciences/research and innovation; women’s rights; LGBT rights; medical practice; Judaism practiced; Israel in the liturgy and synagogue; the impact of Israel on Haredim in the U.S; Jewish political power, law and judicial decisions; civil liberties and national security; developments in American military and police preparedness; Americans who served in the IDF and then returned to the U.S; Israel’s impact as a unifying and/or divisive factor in Jewish communal life, including federations, synagogues, and other organizations; engagement in American Jewish organizational life; curriculum in Jewish day schools and supplemental schools; Hebrew teaching in America.

Lisa and Michael Leffell

Ken Stein, Emory University, and Center for Israel Education, Consultant to the Foundation

Jack Wertheimer, Jewish Theological Seminary, Consultant to the Foundation