Natan Sharansky has dedicated his life to the Jewish People. As a dissident in the Soviet Union, Natan fought for the freedom of Jews to leave the Soviet Union and spent 9 years in Soviet prisons for it. On his release from the Soviet Union, due, in part to the hard work of the Worldwide Jewish Community, Natan made Aliyah to Israel eventually spending another nine years in Israeli politics, with the goal of helping his fellow Soviet Jews make a new life in Israel. After leaving politics, Natan became the head of the Jewish Agency a position he held for another 9 years. Natan is the author of four books and has received many awards and accolades over the years including the Congressional Medal of Freedom, and the 2020 Genesis Prize.
Dr. Charles Asher Small is the founding Director and President of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP). He is also the Director of the ISGAP-Woolf Institute Fellowship Training Programme in Critical Contemporary Antisemitism Studies, Woolf Institute, Cambridge, UK; and was an Academic Visitor, St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. He is also the Goldman Fellow, Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy, and a Senior Research Fellow, Moshe Dayan Centre for Middle East and African Studies, Tel Aviv University. Previously, he was the Koret Distinguished Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Charles received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, McGill University, Montreal; M.Sc. in Urban Development Planning in Economics, Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London; and a Doctorate of Philosophy (D.Phil), St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. Charles completed post-doctorate research at the Groupement de recherche ethnicité et société, Université de Montréal. He was the VATAT Research Fellow, (Ministry of Higher Education), Ben Gurion University, Beersheva, and taught in departments of sociology and geography at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London; Tel Aviv University; and the Institute of Urban Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
Charles convened groundbreaking academic seminar series in the emerging field of contemporary antisemitism studies at Columbia University, Fordham University, Harvard University, McGill University, National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, Kyiv, Sapienza University, Rome, the Sorbonne and the CNRS, Paris, Stanford University, University of Miami, Yale University, as well as an academic training programme for professors at Pembrook College, Hertford College, St. John’s College, and St. Antony’s College, Oxford University.
Charles was the founding Director of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), the first interdisciplinary research center on antisemitism at a North American university. At Yale he taught in the Political Science Department and the Program on Ethics, Politics and Economics, and ran a post-doctorate and graduate studies fellowship program at YIISA. He was an Associate Professor and the Director of Urban Studies at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU), and an Assistant Professor at Tel Aviv University in the Department of Geography. He lectured internationally and worked as a consultant and policy advisor in North America, Europe, Southern Africa, and the Middle East. Charles specializes in social and cultural theory, globalization and national identity, sociocultural policy, social movements, and racism(s) – including antisemitism(s).
Charles is the author of books and articles including the six Volume “Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity” (Brill and ISGAP); “The Yale Papers: Antisemitism in Comparative Perspective”, ISGAP (2015); “Antisemitism in Comparative Perspective: Volume Two”, ISGAP (2016); “The ISGAP Papers: Antisemitism in Comparative Perspective: Volume Three”, ISGAP (2018) and “Social Theory – a Historical Analysis of Canadian Socio-cultural Policies Race and the Other”, Eleven International Publishers (2013); Charles is committed to creating scholarly programming and research on contemporary antisemitism at top tier universities internationally, and establishing contemporary antisemitism studies as a recognized academic discipline. Charles is currently leading an international research project on the impact of soft power and undocumented funding on Higher Education as it pertains to antisemitism.
Fentahun Assefa-Dawit, Director of Operations, ISGAP
Fentahun Assefa-Dawit has been appointed Director of Operations to expand research initiatives and partnerships with the African Union, universities and research centres in Morocco, Rwanda, and South Africa. Fentahun has been fully engaged in community service, advocacy and leadership development. He has managed two Jewish Agency absorption centres and was responsible for the oversight of more than a thousand new immigrants from Ethiopia. His work included the protection of the immigrants during the harrowing days of the second Lebanon War in 2006. Fentahun also served as Executive Director of Tebeka, an advocacy organization for justice and equality for Ethiopians living in Israel.
Professor William Kolbrener, Director of Academic Development, ISGAP
Professor William Kolbrener is currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. An expert on the English Renaissance, Kolbrener has written books on John Milton and Mary Astell. He has also written Open Minded Torah: Of Irony, Fundamentalism, and Love, as well as The Last Rabbi, Joseph Soloveitchik and Talmudic Tradition. His work Literature and the Sacred: God and Reading in a Time of Pandemic is forthcoming.
Sima Vaknin-Gil, Strategic Advisor, ISGAP
Sima Vaknin-Gil is a a Strategic Advisor at ISGAP. She is engaged in several initiatives fighting against global antisemitism, one of which is the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), of which she is a member of the founding team. Sima served as the Director General of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, of the State of Israel, during which she formulated the strategic campaign against the delegitimization and BDS of Israel. Sima has a distinguished career in the IDF as a former Intelligence Officer in the Israeli Air Force, and the Chief Censor of the State of Israel.
Dr. Robert Hassan, Director, ISGAP Italy
Robert Hassan is the Director of ISGAP-Italy, where he runs the seminar on critical studies of contemporary forms of antisemitism at Sapienza University in Rome. He holds a Law Degree from Sapienza University, where he specialized in Comparative Constitutional Law. Dr. Hassan is an entrepreneur in the field of strategies and communication. With more than 15 years of experience in managing complex projects with organizations, he has achieved much success with the media in Italy.
ISGAP-Oxford Civil Servants ProgrammeDr. Ahmed Shaheed assumed his mandate as United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief on 1 November 2016. Mr. Shaheed is Deputy Director of the Essex Human Rights Centre. He was the first Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran since the termination of the previous Commission on Human Rights mandate in 2002. A career diplomat, he has twice held the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives. He led Maldives’ efforts to embrace international human rights standards between 2003 and 2011. In 2015, Mr. Shaheed won the UN Foundation Leo Nevas Human Rights (Global Leadership) Award. In 2010, he was granted a Presidential Medal of Gratitude by Albania and in 2009, he was recognized as the Muslim Democrat of the Year by the Centre for the Study of Islam and Democracy.
Dr. Lev Topor, ISGAP Visiting Scholar in Critical Antisemitism Studies, Discrimination and Human Rights, Woolf Institute, Cambridge
Lev Topor is currently an ISGAP Visiting Scholar at the Woolf Institute where he focuses on Critical Antisemitism Studies, Discrimination and Human Rights. Lev Topor is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Cyber Law and Policy (CCLP) in the University of Haifa and a visiting Research Fellow at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem (Summer 2022).
Lev is the co-author (with Jonathan Fox) of Why Do People Discriminate Jews?, an innovative and ground-breaking book published by Oxford University Press in 2021 that combines traditional theories on antisemitism with empirical evidence from 76 countries to explain the reasons that drive discrimination against Jews. Lev is an interdisciplinary researcher that studies antisemitism alongside cyber-related topics like international cyber policies and anonymous communications.
Lev is frequently invited to lecture about his study of racism and extremism on the Dark Web. Lev is the recipient of the 2019 Robert Wistrich annual award from the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA) and the recipient of the honorary award from the Association of Civil-Military Studies in Israel for his research about the Dark Web.
- Fox, Jonathan and Lev Topor. Why Do People Discriminate Against Jews? Oxford University Press, 2021.
- Topor, Lev. “The Covert War: From BDS to De-legitimization to Antisemitism.” Israel Affairs 27, no. 1 (2021): 166-180.
- Topor, Lev and Alexander Tabachnik. “Russian Cyber Information Warfare: International Distribution and Domestic Control.” Journal of Advanced Military Studies 12, no. 1 (2021): 112-127.
- Topor, Lev. “Dark Hatred: Antisemitism on the Dark Web.” Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism 2 (2019): 25-42.
- Topor, Lev. “Dark and Deep Webs – Liberty or Abuse.” International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism (IJCWT) 9, no. 2 (2019): 1-14.
- Topor, Lev. “Explanations of Antisemitism in the British Postcolonial Left.” Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism 1, no. 2 (2018): 1-14.
Dr. Chloe Yale Pinto, ISGAP Visiting Scholar in Critical Antisemitism Studies, Discrimination and Human Rights, Woolf Institute, Cambridge
Chloe Yale Pinto is currently an ISGAP Visiting Scholar in Critical Antisemitism Studies, Discrimination and Human Rights at the Woolf Institute. Her work investigates the interplay between textual antisemitism and literary theory, researching how the plasticity of anti-Jewish prejudice informs and infects the meaning of words.
Chloe is a final year PhD Candidate in English (Criticism and Culture) at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research focuses on the relationship between artwork and antisemitism in Ezra Pound’s work and thought, and lies at the intersection between the politics of exclusion and the interplay between text, ideology and image. She previously co-convened Cambridge’s Theory, Criticism and Culture seminar series and currently supervises undergraduate and postgraduate work on poetry, film and literary theory.
Before beginning at Cambridge she graduated at Valedictorian from the New College of the Humanities where she was awarded the Sir Charles Harris Prize for achieving the highest degree results for the University of London English BA worldwide. Following this, she completed the MSt in Literature (1900-The Present Day) at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford (Distinction). Chloe is a Research Fellow at ISGAP and has been invited to lecture on numerous topics relating to contemporary antisemitism and literature.
Larissa Ruthman, Chief Administrator, ISGAP Israel
Larrisa Ruthman is based in Jerusalem, where she manages ISGAP Israel’s activities. She is also the personal assistant to the Chair of ISGAP, Natan Sharansky. Larissa earned her Bachelors Degree in Public Administration and Policy at Beit Berl University in Israel.
Daphne Klajman, Research and Programming Coordinator, ISGAP
Daphne Klajman holds a Masters’s Degree in Conflict Studies and Diplomacy from Reichmann University, Herzliya, Israel. She joined ISGAP in 2020, after completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Religious Studies at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada. During the four years of her degree, Daphne sat in the Academic Senate of her University as an elected member of the Student Government where she advocated for student rights. She was also a Hasbara Fellow, and an intern for the Atlantic Jewish Council. Prior to working full-time at ISGAP, Daphne completed an internship at United Nations Watch.
Elshaday Abraham, Research and Programming Coordinator, ISGAP
Elshaday Abraham joined ISGAP following the completion of the MPA Public Administration and Management program at University College London. She completed her BA in International Affairs at the University of Virginia. Prior to her time at ISGAP, Elshaday served as a Program Manager for a USAID-funded project on global health in Washington D.C. She also served the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as a Protection Intern in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Elshaday drives the publication and programming efforts at ISGAP.
CO-CHAIRS OF INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC BOARD OF ADVISORS
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC BOARD OF ADVISORS
Professor Irving Abella, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; York University, Toronto
Professor Sylvia Barack Fishman, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; Joseph and Esther Foster Professor Emerita of Judaic Studies, Brandeis University, Boston
Professor Ellen Cannon, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago
Professor Brahm Canzer, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; Professor of Business and Strategic Marketing, Concordia University, Montreal
Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; Chair, Politics Department, Founder and Director of the Middle East Study Group (MESG), University of Hull, England
Professor Amy Elman, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; Weber Professor in Social Science, University of Kalamazoo
Professor Boaz Ganor, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya
Professor Joël Kotek, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; Free University of Brussels (ULB) and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris
Professor Dan Michman, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan; and Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
Professor Cary Nelson, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; Professor Emeritus, Department of English, University of Illinois
Professor David Patterson, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; Hillel A. Feinberg Chair in Holocaust Studies, University of Texas at Dallas
Chloe Pinto, Research Fellow, ISGAP; PhD Candidate, English Faculty, Cambridge University, England
Dr. Robert Satloff, Senior Research Fellow, ISGAP; Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Washington, D.C.
INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC BOARD OF ADVISORS
Professor Sunni Ali, Northeastern Illinois University
Professor Eli Avraham, University of Haifa, Israel
Dr. Matthias Jakob Becker, Moses Mendelssohn Center, Potsdam University, Germany
Professor Ansel Brown, North Carolina Central University School of Law
Professor Giuseppe Cecere, University of Bologna, Italy
Dr. Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D, City University of New York (retired)
Hon. Professor Irwin Cotler, MP, McGill University
Dr. Shalem Coulibaly, Ouagadougou University, Burkina Faso
Dr. Arnold Dashefsky, University of Connecticut
Professor R. Amy Elman, Kalamazoo College, Michigan
Mandisa Fatyela, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr. Raphael Fischler, Universite de Montreal.
Professor Mark Gelber, Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheva
Pedro J. Gonzalez, University of Texas at Dallas
Professor Marlene Grossman, Vanier College, Montreal
Professor Hu Hao, Henan University, China
Dr. Paul Iganski, Lancaster University, Lancaster
Joseph Joffe, Publisher and Editor Die Ziet, Hamburg
Professor Barry Kosmin, Trinity College, Hartford
Professor Benny Morris, Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheeva
Professor Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago
Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, Washington D.C.
Professor Antony Polonsky, Brandeis University, Waltham; U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C.
Professor Uzi Rabi, Dayan Centre, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Professor Dan Rybicky, Columbia College Chicago
Professor Michael Safier, University College, London
Professor Victor J. Seidler, Goldsmiths College, London
Professor Milton Shain, University of Cape Town
Professor Yossi Shain, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.; Tel Aviv University, Israel
Professor John Solomos, University of Warwick, England
Professor Robert Sternberg, Cornell University, New York
Dr. Michael Tal, Associate Professor, Yale University
Dr. Nachama Tec, University of Connecticut, Storrs
Professor Shmuel Trigano, Paris X, Nanterre University
Professor Gil Troy, McGill University, Montreal
Professor Irena Veisaite, Open Society Institute; Vilnius University
Professor Morton Weinfeld, McGill University, Montreal
Albert van Wijngaarden, OP Jindal Global University, India
Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann, The University of Adelaide, Australia