2017 Western Jewish Studies Association Conference

WJSA Annual Conference
Claremont McKenna College
March 26-27, 2017

WJSA logo​This year’s conference will be held on the campus of Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, approximately 35 miles East of downtown Los Angeles. The conference will gather over 60 scholars from the United States and other countries presenting their research on a variety of topics within Jewish studies. The panels will feature talks on all aspects of Jewish studies, with several covering this year’s theme on Israel, then and now. The year 2017 marks the anniversary of several notable events in the history of Israel, including the centennial of the Balfour Declaration. Several of the panels will use this occasion to examine aspects of Israeli history and culture.

The keynote address on Sunday night will feature Professor Steven Spiegel, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Middle East Development at UCLA. Professor Spiegel is an expert in American foreign policy in the Middle East, and particularly Israel. He is the author of The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict: Making America's Middle East Policy, from Truman to Reagan(1985) and co-author of The Peace Puzzle: America's Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace from 1989-2011 (2013).

For the final session, Monday at lunch, we have the good fortune of hearing from and meeting with Ms. Dana Ivgy, actress and film maker, and star of the highly acclaimed film Zero Motivation, winner of six Ophir Awards (Israeli Film Academy), including best actress for Ms. Ivgy.

Conference Registration

WJSA members: $75
Non-WJSA members: $85
Students: $60

Registration fee includes lunch and dinner on Sunday and lunch on Monday. There will be vegetarian options at all meals. If you follow specific dietary practices, please notify Ms. Neela Silva (neela.silve@cmc.edu).

Presenters and chairs should notify Professor Gary Gilbert (ggilbert@cmc.edu) with any scheduling preferences. We will do our best to honor your preferences.

Hotel Information

A number of rooms have been set aside at a special rate of $125/night at the Doubletree Hotel in Claremont (555 W. Foothill Boulevard, Claremont; 909.626.2411). Rooms can be reserved on the hotel's website.

Travel Information

If you are flying to Southern California for the conference, we highly recommend using nearby Ontario International Airport (ONT). More information and directions for getting to the conference by air and by car are available online.

Conference Program


Campus Parking

Sunday, March 26: Parking for conference participants will be available on the west side of campus near Kravis Center (888 N. Columbia Avenue). Spaces are available on Columbia Avenue, Eighth Street, and Ninth Street. Please note that all parking spaces are available even if marked “reserved.” There is no ticketing unless you are parked in a red zone.

Monday, March 27: Parking for conference participants will be available on the east side of campus near Bauer Center (500 E. Ninth Street). The small and large Bauer Center parking lots will be available. Please note that all parking spaces are available even if marked “reserved.” There is no ticketing unless you are parked in a red zone.

Campus Map

Online map of Claremont McKenna College.


Religious Studies Department

Claremont McKenna College
850 Columbia Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711

Phone: (909) 607-3394
Fax: (909) 621-8419

Campus Location

Kravis Center, Lower Court
888 Columbia Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711