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Study Abroad–Israel & More

WINTER SESSION ISRAEL TRIP: DECEMBER 24, 2017 - JANUARY 2, 2018

Learn about a dynamic area of law from the experts who are shaping it. Spend two weeks over winter break taking a two-credit course studying contemporary Israeli, American, and Jewish gender law at the College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan. Stay on the beach in nearby Tel Aviv. All classes are taught in English.  

Course Information

All classes are held at the College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan, Israel. The course will focus on three contemporary examples of challenges to gender segregation—at worship spaces, on public buses, and in restrooms. Students will examine, compare, and explore the basic principles of gender, discrimination, equality, and justice across three different legal regimes. They will focus on the structure of these legal systems that support and sometimes conflict with principles of equality, nondiscrimination, and pluralism.

Over the past two decades, Israel’s civil courts have faced the question of how enforced sex-segregation at worship spaces can be reconciled with commitments to equality in civil law, as well as to Israel’s structure as a pluralistic Jewish state. U.S. state courts have wrestled with the question of how the authorization of sex-segregation in the context of restrooms can be squared with equality commitments to transgender youth and adults. 

Students will examine the underlying legal doctrines and broad policies that are at the heart of these issues and legal cases. Focus will be on constitutional, statutory, and regulatory laws, as well as on the body of law and writings that support the principles of equality, nondiscrimination, and respect for pluralism behind the doctrine.

The course will also include:

  • field trips to local legal institutions, including the Israeli Supreme Court and the Knesset, Israel’s lawmaking body
  • interviews with or guest lectures by local judges and legislators 

 Other information:

  • Classes will be conducted in English.
  • The course is worth two credits (acceptance of credit or grade is subject to determination by the student’s home school).
  • The course size is limited to 25 students​. Though we gear the course primarily to law students, we welcome applications from law students as well as graduate and undergraduate students from other disciplines who can demonstrate a record of academic success and an interest in the subject matter. 

Applications from schools other than Western New England University are welcomed. 

Dates to Remember

By October 20, 2017: Students complete and submit the program application. Admission is rolling and students will will receive a decision promptly upon submission.

After October 20, 2017: Students make their own arrangements for flights and housing.

By November 10, 2017: Students will submit a first deposit ($150) or proof of airline ticket purchase.

In December 2017: Students may prepare for upcoming travel by enrolling in the program's course page on TWEN to view assigned readings and other information.

By December 24: Students should arrive in Tel Aviv in time to attend the first class session in the morning of the 24th.

On or after January 2, 2018: Students travel home; those choosing the "take home" exam may travel on Jan. 2.

Application

Apply Now

Please download and complete an application. We encourage you to complete your application by October 20, 2017. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Applicants will be notified of their admission status by electronic mail. Please submit completed application to Program Director Jennifer Levi via email at jlevi@law.wne.edu, or by mail to Jennifer Levi, Western New England University School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield MA 01119.

Program Faculty

Faculty

Jennifer Levi, Program Director is a Professor of Law and has dedicated her career to fighting for the rights of women; children; the poor; and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered clients. Most recently, Professor Levi was Senior Staff Attorney for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders in Boston. Prior to that, she was a Visiting Professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, worked as an Associate Attorney for two Chicago law firms, and clerked in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston. Professor Levi served as Cocounsel for the seven same-sex couples who sued the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for denying them the right to obtain marriage licenses in Goodridge et al v. the Department of Public Health. The appeal led to the landmark Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that stated it was unconstitutional for the Commonwealth to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry. 

Frances Raday is Professor of Law and head of Graduate Programs at Haim Striks School of Law in Rishon LeZion, Israel, where she also directs the Concord Center for Integration of International Law in Israel. She is also Professor Emerita of the Elias Lieberman Chair in Labour Law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Professor Raday is a Mandate Holder of the UN Human Rights Council in the Working Group on Discrimination against Women; she was previously an Expert Member of the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. She is Chair of Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Advisory Council; she was the founding chair of the Israel Women's Network Legal Center.

Professor Raday has acted as legal counsel in precedent setting human rights cases in Israel’s Supreme Court, including employees' rights in transfer of enterprises, inventors' rights to patents, freedom of association and collective bargaining, Palestinian employees' class action for full National Insurance rights, women’s constitutional rights to equality in religious ritual at public sites (Women of the Wall) and sex discrimination in retirement age.

She has been a visiting professor at Oxford University, University of Copenhagen, University of Tulane, University of Southern California, University of East Africa, Dar-A Salaam; and held a research appointment at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. The author of numerous academic books and articles on human rights, labour law, and feminist legal theory, her many awards and honors include an honorary professorship from University College London and honorary doctorate from the University of Copenhagen. She holds an LL.D. from the Hebrew University and an LL.B. from the London School of Economics.

Avishalom Westreich is a Senior Lecturer (= American Associate Professor) at the Law School of the College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan, Israel, a Research Fellow at the Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, and (Fall 2016) a Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-Residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Brandeis University. He holds degrees in Hermeneutic Studies (M.A. Summa Cum Laude), Law (LL.B.), Talmud (B.A.), and Jewish History (B.A. Summa Cum Laude), and completed his PhD at Bar-Ilan University in the President's Program for Outstanding Doctoral Candidates (2007). Dr. Westreich's research deals primarily with the dramatic changes in the family during the second half of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries and the ways in which Jewish law decisors face new kinds of dilemmas. Read more.

Facilities

Classes will be held in the seminar rooms and lecture halls of the College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan. These modern facilities provide ample seating, proper writing surfaces, sufficient lighting, and adequate soundproofing. All of the classroom facilities support current technology, including wireless free Internet, projection capabilities, etc. Students will need to provide their own power adaptors.

Library and Internet resources will be available to students as if they were full-time students at the college. The law school has a comprehensive law library with extensive Israeli and international sources of law and commentary. 

Tuition and Fees

Course materials and admission and transportation to sponsored field trips are covered by tuition and fees.

Students will be responsible for travel to and from Israel, housing, daily transportation to and from Haim Striks School of Law, and personal expenses, which will include food and public transportation.

$2,630 - per student for the two credit hours available for the program

$200 - fees and materials   

$50 - opening dinner

$2,880 - total (airfare is not included)

Checks or money orders should be made payable to Western New England University School of Law.

Schedule

Sunday, December 24: Orientation and tour of the College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan, followed by a welcome dinner in Tel Aviv. 

Monday, December 25: Classes begin.  Today's lecture is "Fundamentals of Jewish Law"  by Professor Avishalom Westreich.

Tuesday, December 26: Local Israeli faculty will present an introduction to Israeli Law on matters relating to gender. 

Wednesday, December 27: Field trip to Jerusalem to visit the Western Wall and to meet with members of Women of the Wall.  We will also tour the Davidson archaeological site and meet with members of the Israel Religious Action Center, an NGO fighting for religious pluralism and challenging gender segregation.

Thursday, December 28: Professor Frances Raday will present a case study on the Women of the Wall, a group protesting gender segregation at the Jewish holy site.  

Friday, December 29: Professor Raday will present about cases involving women's religious head coverings.

Saturday, December 30 – no class; optional field trip to Masada and Dead Sea. 

Sunday, December 31:  Field trip to Jerusalem to tour the Israeli Supreme Court and Knesset (parliament).

Monday, January 1: Professor Jennifer Levi will present about cases challenging the U.S. legal system that involve tension between religious freedom and equality on the basis of gender and sexual orientation with emphasis on the Mastercake case pending at the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Tuesday, January 2:  Students will have an opportunity to prepare for and work on their final (take home) exam.  

This class will meet daily Sunday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 1:00 p.m.  Students should plan to arrive in Israel in time for orientation on Sunday, December 24 and plan not to leave earlier than 20:00 on January 1.   

Course Evaluation

  • Students will receive a letter grade based on their performance on the exam as well as on reflection papers that they submit throughout the duration of the course. 
  • Class attendance is mandatory.
  • Students will be expected to meet with the professor on a regular basis for support and evaluation of the progress.

Financial Aid

Many students finance their participation in the program with Direct PLUS loans from the Department of Education. Applications for Grad PLUS loans are available here.

For more information and assistance securing student loans, contact Western New England University's financial aid manager or the financial aid officer at your own institution.

Housing and Transportation

Students should make their own arrangements for housing in Tel Aviv; it is not included in the program tuition.  One popular and affordable option is the Hayarkon 48 Hostel, but students may instead stay in hotels or rental properties nearby.  We will use Hayarkon 48 as our meeting point for transportation to the College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan and field trips to Jersualem. Transportation will be by private bus, it is arranged by the program and is included in the program tuition. 

Policies

  • Nondiscrimination: Western New England University is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment. The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, genetics, or disability in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquires regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Executive Director of Human Resources, Western New England University, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA 01119-2684. Inquires concerning the application of nondiscrimination policies may also be referred to the Regional Director, Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, J.W. McCormack P.O.C.H., Room 222, Boston MA 02109-4557.

  • Disabilities: Facilities at the Haim Striks School of Law and Business and throughout Israel are accessible to many individuals with disabilities. Please notify the Program Director for any specific accommodations necessary for the student’s full enjoyment of the program and facilities. 

  • Refunds: Students who wish to withdraw from the program must notify the Program Director in writing as early as possible. Refunds will be paid within 20 days of withdrawal. Students who withdraw before the first day of the program, for any reason other than for changes made in the course offerings or for reasons relating to safety as determined by the U.S. State Department, may receive a 50 percent credit of charged tuition for a future wintersession program. Thereafter, refund for tuition is prorated on a daily basis after deduction of the 50 percent credit charged for tuition. After 50 percent of the program is completed, there is no tuition refund. Students who withdraw prior to the commencement of the program either because of significant changes in the course offering or based on a change in the U.S. State Department Travel Warning status will receive a full refund of all monies advanced to Western New England University within twenty (20) days after their withdrawal. If a student is permitted to withdraw for reasons relating to a warning issued by the Department of State during the course of the program, or if the program is terminated, that student will be refunded fees paid to Western New England University. 

  • Cancellation or other changes: The program could be canceled for insufficient enrollment or if, at the discretion of Western New England University School of Law, the program ought to be canceled for security-related concerns. If significant changes in the course offerings or other aspects of the program occur, those changes will be communicated promptly to any registrant who has paid a deposit or registered for the program and students will be permitted to withdraw. A full refund of all fees and tuition will paid within 20 days of withdrawal. In the event of cancellation, Western New England University School of Law will communicate directly with admitted students by phone or email as soon as possible following the cancellation determination. A full refund of all fees and tuition will paid within 20 days of cancellation. In addition, the program director will use best efforts to make arrangements for each enrolled student to attend a similar program, if available.

Summer Session

  • Summer Opportunities

    The School of Law provides maximum flexibility for students who desire to study abroad. We accept as transfer credit any course credits earned in an ABA-approved foreign study program. Before signing up for a study abroad program, however, students must meet with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to obtain permission to visit at the other school for the summer.

  • For detailed information about ABA Study Abroad opportunities, please visit the ABA study abroad site.
  • There are many brochures that can be viewed in the Career Services Office as well.