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RESEARCH

THE TAPLIN PROJECTS

The following projects have received their initial funding from the Sol Taplin Foundation. They are under the direction of Prof. Eugene Rothman, a Visiting Scholar from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Rothman is assisted in these projects by Mitch Dabach.

People-to-People Peace Projects
  1. Peace Education for Palestinian and Israeli Youth

    This project involves the design, development, piloting, evaluation and delivery of an educational program intended to enable Palestinian and Israeli youth, ages 17 to 20, to be aware of how the other perceives events, history, processes and developments, especially what constitutes “hot button” issues for the other, particularly within the context of Arab-Israeli relations. Such awareness and sensitivity, it is hoped, will lead eventually to better mutual understanding and, ultimately, rapprochement. It will be carried out in collaboration with American, international, Israeli and Palestinian agencies and relevant institutions.

  2. Cross-Cultural Awareness for Israeli Jewish and Arab Youth
  3. This is an adaptation of the above project - Peace Education for Israeli and Palestinian Youth - and focuses on the need for cross-cultural awareness between young Israeli Jews and Arabs. It will be developed as a pilot and delivered in conjunction with local non-governmental organizations working in this area in mixed towns, such as Lod, Ramleh and Nazareth as well as academic institutions such as Haifa University’s Center for Peace Education and its Jewish-Arab Center and Tel Aviv University’s Konrad Adenauer Center for Jewish-Arab Cooperation.

  4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Program for Palestinian and Israeli Youth
  5. This program focuses on the efforts of the Israeli Trauma Coalition led by the Latner Center for Trauma at Herzog Hospital and their Palestinian counterparts, such as the Gaza City Mental Health Program, to bridge the divisions between Israelis and Palestinians by working together to treat those most vulnerable and affected by the conflict - the region’s youth. The first stage of this program and the building of initial bridges was a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian experts that recently took place in Cyprus.

  6. Health Initiatives for Peace  emphasizes the lessons learned from one of the few areas
  7. in which there has been continuing collaboration between Israeli and Palestinian experts – even at the height of the Intifada, and builds on these experiences to create a continuing dialogue that will bring Palestinians and Israelis to closer cooperation in other areas. Such collaboration already exists in the field of epidemiology and can be broadened to include other areas of cooperation that build critical bridges between people. Preliminary discussions have been held about jointly sponsored projects in this area with UM Provost Dr. Luis Glaser, UM Vice Provost Dr. Steven Ullmann, Dr. Sanford Kuvin of Palm Beach, representing the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and representatives of the Department of Epidemiology at UM’s School of Medicine.

 

Economic/Environmental/Infrastructure Development Projects

  1. Dead Sea Reclamation Project
  2. The objective of the Dead Sea Reclamation Project is to contribute to the peace process through the initiation of a program that will involve Israeli and Jordanian partners (with the possibility of eventually adding Palestinian partners) under international funding and supervision to work towards the reclamation of the rapidly shrinking Dead Sea. It is intended to prevent the further deterioration of the Dead Sea and to preserve its unique ecology through options such as a Red Sea-Dead Sea canal that would raise the water level of the Dead Sea. In collaboration with international and regional agencies, this project will provide part of the conceptual infrastructure and scientific research framework for such work. The University of Miami’s Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is a unique, internationally renowned research resource for this project.

  3. Aqaba and Persian Gulf-to-Mediterranean Land Bridge Project
  4. This project involves the research, design and implementation of an inter-modal (sea/land/rail/sea) land bridge between the Jordanian port of Aqaba and Israel’s Mediterranean coast. This project will enhance relations between Israel and Jordan, encourage regional cooperation and promote regional economic integration. It is being carried out as part of an international consortium involving leading public and private sector figures in Israel, Jordan and the Persian Gulf.

Exploration of the Holy Land by U.S. Naval Lieutenant William Francis Lynch/ History of the River Jordan-In 1848, Lt. Lynch and a dozen members of his crew conducted an extensive and comprehensive scientific survey of the River Jordan and the Dead Sea commissioned by the U.S. government. Dr. Haim Shaked has located at the U.S. National Archives Lynch’s unpublished handwritten correspondence, logbooks and reports to the Secretary of the Navy. He intends to add his commentary and print the documents as a monograph.

A much more ambitious proposed study, related to the Lynch Expedition, could later result in a book/documentary charting the historical role of the Jordan River from antiquity to the present day, similar to a “biography” in its presentation.

1948 Project - to comprehensively examine the events/people involved in the creation of the State of Israel; specifically focusing on American individuals, private organizations, and U.S.governmental figures. Special reference will be made to their memoirs, private papers, and other official and non – official documents/collections on the subject.

The following two projects will be pursued in collaboration with the Inter Disciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel, where Dr. Haim Shaked is affiliated):

Mediterranean Jewish Diaspora – to conduct research and related academic programming about the various deeply rooted communities in the region (Southern Europe/Balkans, North Africa, and Sephardim) in the 20th Century. In particular, to examine how their separate identities and histories were reflected in, and affected by their common geographic location.

EU-Israel Forum - to study the growing bilateral scientific, research, cultural, economic and political ties between the two entities, in the context of the Middle East peace process and the EU initiated Barcelona Process with the 27 nations bordering on the Mediterranean Sea region. Other relevant areas of study relate to the proposals for developing a ‘Med./Red/Dead Sea’ Canal and the sharing the Mount Hermon watershed resources. Dr. Shaked will be working with Dr. Uzi Arad of the IDC on this project.

Jewish World - CCJS will address various relevant topics including: “Diaspora as Israel’s Strategic Depth”; creating the Jewish equivalent of the Aspen Institute think tank. In cooperation with Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, CCJS plans to also focus on “The Ten Events/Decisions That Changed Jewish Future/Destiny” and “The Codification of Jewish Ethics”.

Cuban Jewry – (The following project is intended to be a collaborative effort between CCJS and the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies at the School of International Studies):

To analyze the different successive waves of immigration to Cuba, and their late remigration to Florida, other U.S. states and Israel. The proposed result of the study will be to produce a documentary film chronicling the history of the community and its evolution under changing political conditions and regimes.

Fostering Peace Between Israelis/Palestinians: (CCJS plans to make this a five year project named in honor of the donors):

Some potentially productive topics include: utilization of water resources shared between the two parties and Jordan; encouraging broader economic cooperation; diminishing harmful stereotypes and other forms of incitement in the educational systems and news media; examining the “state of the art” in the field of Arab/Jewish relations and recommending/identifying new areas requiring redress. A particular area of national priority is increasing water resources and efficiency, including desalination and importation. It also is the key field in which Israelis/Palestinians have a common interest for mutual survival.

CCJS would also like to expand several existing projects that were formerly conducted by the undergraduate Judaic Studies Program at UM: the “Florida Jewish Demography” study and annual report; the ”Jewish Life in Florida” activities.

In addition, the innovative field of Distance Learning will be examined in terms of its relevance to contemporary Judaic studies.

 


The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies
University of Miami
PO 248161, 5202 University Drive, Merrick 105 Coral Gables, FL 33124-2018
Tel: (305) 284-6882 Fax: (305) 284-5274 Email: ccjs@miami.edu
Map and Directions to the Miller Center

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