Brandeis University is developing a center for Middle Eastern studies that will include Israel and the history of Zionism as a legitimate part of the region, something the schoolís president said has never before been done.
In delivering the Sanford Solender Lecture at UJA-Federation, Jehuda Reinharz said he would like to see other "first-rate, scholarly focused, balanced Middle East centers around the country. … Many of the dozens of centers for Middle Eastern studies in America are in sorry shape. They are controlled by ideologically motivated forces or individuals, and very often produce biased and shoddy scholarship."
Reinharz said also that efforts must be made to consider how to improve the "dismal" coverage of Israel by the media. He noted that Brandeis started a summer program five years ago to train Jewish and non-Jewish journalists to be more knowledgeable about issues relating to Judaism and Israel.