In a dedicated effort to foster open and thoughtful dialogue on the Middle East conflict, and to cultivate meaningful understanding, WPI proudly presents a three-part series titled,

Bridging Perspectives: Understanding the Roots of Antisemitism and the Middle East Conflict

This series aims to provide a platform for informed discussions, explore historical and contemporary facets, and facilitate empathetic, respectful dialogue within our community.

To attend any or all the series, RSVP by clicking HERE.

Antisemitism: Past and Present

(Faculty and Staff Event) 
Date & Time: Monday, January 22 (1:00pm -2:30 pm) 
Location: Unity Hall, Room 405

This session offers staff and faculty an opportunity to explore the subject of antisemitism. Led by Roger Gottlieb, William B. Smith Professor at WPI, prolific author and expert on religion and morality, participants will delve into the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of antisemitism. The goal is to deepen understanding and provide practical insights on recognizing and resisting antisemitism in various contexts. This session is in collaboration with Eli Cohn-Postell, Director of Organizational Development for Project Shema, an organization that trains and supports the Jewish community and allies to understand and address contemporary antisemitism, with an emphasis on how anti-Jewish ideas can emerge in discourse around Israel and Palestine.

Fostering Conversations about the Middle East: Understanding Conflict and Peace

(Faculty and Staff Event) 
Date & Time: Monday, January 29 (1:00 -2:30 pm) 
Location: Rubin Campus Center, Odeum A

In this faculty and staff session, join us for an exploration into the multifaceted landscape of the Middle East conflict. Professor Kristen Williams, political scientist and foreign policy scholar from Clark University, and Arava Institute Academic Program Director, Cathie Granit will share some basic history, geography of the region (past and present), and discuss issues with monolithic stereotypes. We will explore misconceptions and shed light on the diverse fears experienced by the Israeli, Jewish, Palestinian, Muslim, Bedouin, Druid, and Arabic communities.

This conversation goes beyond surface-level discussions, offering participants an understanding of what it is like to live in the Middle East. Gain insights into the realities faced by the region's residents and discover how the Arava Institute works for peace through its environmental initiatives.

Reasons for Hope: An Interactive Workshop

(Full Community Event) 
Date & Time: Monday, February 12 (3:00 pm-5:00 pm) 
Location: Odeum A&B

Embark on a journey of hope with us as we invite you to a community-wide presentation and workshop at WPI. Featuring two inspiring individuals—Guy Ben-Aharon, the Executive Director and Founder of The Jar, an Israeli man, and Dr. Eman Ansari, a Palestinian woman. These friends will not only share the beauty and challenges of their unique friendship but also present their ideas for a path forward.

This event goes beyond dialogue; it is a beacon of hope, centering on perspectives that inspire unity and understanding. We aim to foster a sense of shared purpose, emphasizing the power of connection in overcoming challenges. Join us for an uplifting and transformative experience that transcends boundaries and brings our WPI community together. Lunch will be provided.

To attend any or all the series, RSVP by clicking HERE.

For more information, please reach out to Corey Denenberg Dehner, Associate Professor of Teaching at or Bwann Gwann, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at

Special thanks to the Planning Committee:

Corey Denenberg Dehner, JD, PhD, Planning Committee Chair 
Associate Professor of Teaching 
The Global School

Rev. Kalvin Cummings 
Assistant Director, Religion and Spiritual Life 
Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education

Roger Gottlieb, PhD 
William B. Smith Professor 
Division of Humanities & Arts

Bwann Gwann, MBA 
Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging 
Division of Talent and Inclusion

Tony Laing, PhD 
Assistant Vice President, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging 
Division of Talent and Inclusion

Emily Perlow, PhD 
Dean of Students 
Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services

Mimi Sheller, PhD 
Dean of The Global School

Ingrid Shockey, PhD 
Teaching Assistant Professor 
The Global School

Lauren Turner, PhD 
Sr. Vice President, Talent and Inclusion/ Chief Diversity Officer 
Division of Talent and Inclusion

We also express our gratitude to the following WPI sponsors for their support of the "Bridging Perspectives: Understanding the Roots of Antisemitism and the Middle East Conflict" series:

  • Collaborations for a Better World 
  • College Democratics
  • Division of Talent and Inclusion 
  • Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management  
  • Provost's Office 
  • The Global School