The State of the Archive: A Special Meeting with Dr. Yaacov Lozowick, Israel’s State Archivist



Please join the GW History and Judaic Studies Departments for a special meeting with Dr. Yaacov Lozowick, the outgoing Chief Archivist, Israel State Archive.

Dr. Lozowick oversees all of Israel’s official archives, including the State Archive (ISA) and the IDF Archive.  He is in charge of implementing the state’s declassification policies, and formally makes the final rulings on which documents will be open for the public and which not. In his capacity, as chief archivist he is also the one to close down the state archives reading room and move all activity online. During the last couple of years Lozowick stood at the center of a lively public debate in Israel, involving attempts to enhance transparency at the ISA, that were met with increasing restrictions on access to numerous sensitive documents. More recently, Lozowick announced he would leave his position and published a long, condemning report, stating that at present “Israel is not dealing with its archival material in a manner befitting a democracy.”

The aim of the meeting is to allow an open conversation between Dr. Lozowick and faculty and graduate students who study Israel/Palestine and the modern Middle East. Prof. Shay Hazkani, scholar of the 1948 War who serves as Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies at The University of Maryland, will serve as respondent.

The event will be held on 

Friday, March 2, 10.30am-12.00pm. (Followed by a provided lunch 12.00-12.30pm)

Kiev Collection Room, 7th Floor, Gelman Library*

Address: 2130 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20052.

(Foggy Bottom–GWU Station; BL, OR, SV lines).

*The event is open to the public, but all guests are requested to RSVP


Judaic Studies Program

The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences offers an interdisciplinary program in Judaic Studies leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The program, whose purview extends from the ancient Near East to modern-day America, showcases and interprets the artistic expression, history, languages, literatures, philosophy, politics, and religion of the Jews over time and place.

The advantages of electing to major or minor in Judaic Studies are many. Our interdisciplinary nature allows students to take courses with award-winning faculty from various departments, while our traditionally small size facilitates close interaction between students and professors and fosters a sense of community and belonging. In the past, Judaic Studies’ graduates have gone on to careers as doctors, lawyers, journalists of both traditional and emergent media as well as professors and business professionals. Outside the classroom, the Judaic Studies program regularly sponsors trips to the theatre and museums in addition to hosting lectures and performances by celebrated personalities in a wide range of fields. GW is also the home of the I. Edward Kiev Collection, a wide-ranging and diverse collection of Hebraica and Judaica that spans more than five centuries and includes rare books, periodicals, Jewish graphic art, manuscripts, and archival documents.

The Program in Judaic Studies also offers two new Masters of Arts degrees, one in Jewish Cultural Arts and the other, a cooperative venture with the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts. Both programs are designed to train the next generation of Jewish culture and arts professionals.     

The images on this website are drawn from GW's I. Edward Kiev Judaica Collection.

Meet the Director

Daniel Schwartz, the director of the Program in Judaic Studies, teaches and writes about modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history. His latest book, The First Modern Jew: Spinoza and the History of an Image, appeared in 2012. It was a co-winner of the American Academy for Jewish Research’s Salo W. Baron Prize for the best first book in Judaic studies and a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in History.