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Israeli Filmmakers Nir Bergman and David Ofek to Teach at SDSU This Fall

Israel InstituteAward-winning Israeli filmmakers Nir Bergman and David Ofek will serve as visiting lecturers at San Diego State University this fall.

Bergman and Ofek will be team-teaching at San Diego State from August 25 to December 18 through the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artists Program, which is bringing 13 prominent Israeli artists for residencies at top universities across the United States during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Bergman is the director, writer, and co-creator of the hit HBO TV series “In Treatment” starring Gabriel Byrne. Bergman’s college thesis film, “Sea Horses,” and feature film debut, “Broken Wings,” received numerous awards in Israel and Europe.

Ofek’s works incorporate elements of documentary and feature films. His documentary “No. 17 Is Anonymous,” featured in MoMA’s New Directors/New Films series, was screened in 80 international festivals. Other documentaries have tackled subjects from home hospice care to the Israeli songwriter Eli Mohar. His TV Series Bat Yam-New York and drama Home also won various awards in Israel and Europe.

The Visiting Israeli Artists program is an initiative of the Israel Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based academic institute that aims to enhance the study of modern Israel. The institute brings Israeli filmmakers, choreographers, musicians, writers and visual artists for residencies at top universities and other cultural organizations in North America.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation founded the program in 2008 to foster interactions between the artists and their communities, exposing a broader audience to contemporary Israeli culture.

“What makes the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist Program unique and so effective is that it allows members of the host community and the visiting artists to connect in a variety of settings, from formal to informal, over a significant period of time, rather than the more traditional one-off experience,” says Marge Goldwater, the program’s director.

Since the program launched, 68 residencies have featured 78 artists at colleges and universities across North America. The artists have included a recipient of The Israel Prize, Israel’s most prestigious award; an Emmy nominee; recipients of Israel’s highest literary awards, and many winners of Israeli Oscars.

“The Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artists program is the bridge between the Israel Institute’s academic and cultural programming. These visiting artists provide more than just classes that teach skills; these artists provide a window into the heart of Israel,” said Ariel Roth, the institute’s executive director. “Cultural education provides insights into the fabric of a society in a way that other courses cannot and the understanding of students in these classes is deeper and more enriched as a result.”

About The Israel Institute:

The Israel Institute works in partnership with leading academic, research and cultural institutions to enhance knowledge and study of modern Israel in the United States and around the world. Founded in 2012 as an independent, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, DC, the Institute supports scholarship, research and exchanges to build a multi-faceted field of Israel Studies and expand opportunities to explore the diversity and complexity of contemporary Israel.