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Research Fellow

Dr. Tomer Persico is a research fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute. He was the Koret Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies at U.C. Berkeley, where he was also a Senior Research Scholar in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Dr. Persico is a social activist advocating for freedom of religion in Israel. A leading thinker about secularization, Jewish Renewal and forms of contemporary spirituality, Persico writes the most popular blog in Hebrew on these subjects and has published articles in the Washington Post and Haaretz (English) as well as numerous other Israeli newspapers and periodicals.

He is a Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and formerly taught in the department of Comparative Religion at Tel Aviv University.

Read this interview with Dr. Persico about his work. He is also the author of The Jewish Meditative Tradition (Hebrew , Tel Aviv University Press, 2016), a critically acclaimed book about the cultural history of Jewish meditation. His second book, about the way the idea of the Image of God influenced modern Western civilization, will be published this summer by Yedioth books.

Mar 4, 2024

Exploring what it means for Jews to be American and investigating the nature of our civic obligations to others.

Tomer Persico


Nov 20, 2023

"Antisemitism has mutated once again."

Oct 20, 2023

It’s difficult for educated middle-class westerners, to get into the mind of religious fundamentalists.

Mar 22, 2023

Protestors are out in the streets because they feel that the delicate balance that was part of the social contract in the state has been broken.

Mar 12, 2023

Israel's Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, known for his extremist views and literal interpretation of the Bible, visits Washington.

Jan 17, 2023

Israel's Jewish fundamentalists hold an unprecedented level of power in the new government. What does that mean for Israeli democracy and the U.S.-Israel relationship?

Dec 13, 2022

Antisemitism is becoming normalized in the United States at a frighteningly swift pace.

Nov 6, 2022

Fifth time's the charm.

Aug 30, 2022

Has the avowed Kahanist ‘become more moderate’? Judge for yourself

Jul 12, 2022

Examining the biblical verses whose conflicting interpretations led to the splitting of paths between these traditions.

Mar 2, 2022

Putin isn’t offering an ideology different from that of the West. He isn’t offering any ideology at all.

Jul 29, 2021

Instead of being grateful, Israeli anti-vaxxers have subject us to a loud protest, an unwillingness to accept any sanctions against them, even if it means endangering others.

May 13, 2021

As an Israeli, the events of the last few days in Lod, Jaffa, Acre and other mixed cities are much more worrying than another round against Hamas, however horrendous.

Apr 14, 2021

Three Israelis living in North America offer their ideas about what it means to celebrate and commemorate Israel from afar.

Oct 29, 2020

Tomer Persico leads a conversation with Masua Sagiv and Shraga Bar-On on what American democracy looks like from the Israeli point of view.

Jul 16, 2020

Every work of art is about symbolism, but “Hamilton” takes this a step beyond. As an Israeli, I had to wonder what this myth-telling meant to me.

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The End of Policy Substance in Israel Politics