Monday, October 30th


The Land of Hope and Fear: Israel’s Battle for its Inner Soul — Book Talk with New York Times Correspondent Isabel Kershner

Please join us for a talk with New York Times journalist Isabel Kershner in conversation with Stanford professor and journalist Janine Zacharia. They will be discussing Kershner’s new book, The Land of Hope and Fear: Israel’s Battle for its Inner Soul as a lens into many of the pressing issues in Israel’s current social and political crisis. In the book, we meet Israelis: Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, Eastern and Western, liberals and zealots—plagued by perennial conflict and existential threats. In moving narratives and with on-the-ground reporting, Isabel Kershner reveals the core of what holds Israel together and the forces that threaten its future through the lens of real people, laying bare the question Who is an Israeli? Kershner and Zacharia will explore the ways in which the country has both exceeded and failed the ideals and expectations of its founders.

Isabel Kershner is a correspondent in Jerusalem for The New York Times covering Israeli and Palestinian politics and society, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and diplomatic efforts to resolve it.

Since joining The Times’s Jerusalem bureau in 2007 she has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, the failed efforts at peacemaking and the often fraught, internal divisions and culture wars that shape the lives of Israelis and Palestinians. These include the struggles over the land in the West Bank; the Palestinian political schism; and Israel’s religious battles within itself and the Jewish world, including the case of a gutsy octogenarian woman who sued El Al, Israel’s national airline, to establish new, non-discriminatory guidelines for seat switching to accommodate ultra-Orthodox male passengers.

A fluent Hebrew speaker with working Arabic, she has been reporting on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide since 1990, previously working for The Jerusalem Report magazine. She is the author of “The Land of Hope and Fear: Israel’s Battle for its Inner Soul” and “Barrier: The Seam of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Born and raised in Manchester, England, she graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Oriental Studies.

Contact Info: Alexa Kennard, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, alexakennard@berkeley.edu.


Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies


Bancroft Hotel

Get directions to Bancroft Hotel


RSVP at https://events.berkeley.edu/hdi/event/212307-the-land-of-hope-and-fear-israels-battle-for-its


This is a FREE event.
Tax-deductible donations from the J-School community help make this possible.

No tickets required


Lia Swindle