Abie Troen, Karpf and Hahn Peace Prize Winner

November 21st, 2013

Congratulations to Abie Troen, one of our Karpf and Hahn Peace Prize Winners! Here’s some info on him and his project.

Abie Troen, Film Major, Class of ’14, from Jerusalem, Israel.

In his project, Abie will be going to Kenya to hold a screening of the short documentary films that he is creating for the Kenyan Street Vendor’s Alliance. At the screening, he plans to invite supporters, donors, but also the street vendors who are all the stars/protagonists of the films. He hopes this will project will highlight the struggles of the street vendors who are members of the alliance, the men and women pursuing social justice and the coexistence between different groups on Kenyan city streets.


Russia’s Arctic Oil Rig

November 18th, 2013

The Russian government and the Greenpeace organization are arguing over the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Arctic. The rig is owned by Gazprom, a Russian state-owned company. The base of the rig is so heavy that it cannot be moved, and it sits about 20 meters (66 feet) deep on a seabed.

The issue with the rig is not its structure. Instead, it is the possibility of a spill in the Arctic waters. Campaigners say that “the nature here is unique,” as the animals, such as polar bears, walruses, and narwhals, have nowhere else to go if there is a spill. The arctic ocean has two narrow entrances to the remaining oceans: one by Iceland and the other by Alaska. Therefore, there is little mixing with other seas, causing oil spills to stay in the Arctic. Also, an oil spill would be catastrophic because of the low temperatures in the north. In tropical waters, oil becomes absorbed readily by bacteria and other microorganisms. These microorganisms do not live in cold waters, so the oil would stay in the Arctic for about 100 years. Companies also do not have the technology to collect spilled oil under ice.

Gazprom claims that they have extremely safe measures intact. The rig is in shallow water, enabling the wellhead to be inside the rig. There is also a cut-off system  that offloads the oil into tanks. There are detections on the tanks to detect movement, and if there is too much movement by a factor such as ice, oil stops flowing. The company also claims that they could clean up a spill under the ice by using icebreakers. Two icebreakers are near the rig, which would enable skimmers to enter the water and clean oil if needed.

The safety measurements are not enough for Greenpeace activists, who repeatedly attempt to climb the rig in protest. By climbing the rig, the activists are creating risk to the rig’s possibility of spilling. Workers have even started to spray the rig with fire hoses while the activists attempt to climb up, but the activists claim that the use of inflatable boats and lightweight ropes deters them from being a threat.

This year, when 30 Greenpeace activists attempted to climb the rig, the FSB, Russia’s federal security service, pulled the activists off, pointed guns at them, and opened fire onto the water. The activists are now in jail with charges of “piracy as part of an organized group.” The Netherlands, where the Greenpeace ship that went to the Arctic is registered, is currently challenging the arrests with an argument of the “Convention of the Law of the Sea.”

View the full article here.

Russia Oil Rig

The Black-Jew Dialogues

November 14th, 2013

The Black-Jew Dialogues is coming to Brandeis!

What’s so funny about two US American marginalized groups that have slavery, the KKK, and chicken livers in common?

That’s what you’ll find out in this extraordinary two-actor play on the history and absurdity of prejudice and racism and the power of tough conversations that push us closer to coexistence. The Black-Jew Dialogues combines fast-paced sketches, improvisations, multi-media, puppets and a game show to create a show that has gained praise across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. at universities, high schools, synagogues, and theaters.

Where: Lown Auditorium

When: November 14, 9:30 PM

Entrance is FREE!

View the trailer here. Hope to see you there!


Brandeis Institute for International Judges, 2013

September 30th, 2013

Sixteen judges from thirteen international courts and tribunals attended the ninth Brandeis Institute for International Judges (BIIJ) in Sweden in July 2013. The institute was organized in partnership with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and the Lund University Faculty of Law. Attached is more information about the Institute.

Three undergraduate interns from Brandeis University provided support throughout the Institute: Rida Abu Rass ’14, Anastasia Austin ’14 and Alex Glomset ’14. Their thoughts are expressed here.



Karpf and Hahn Peace Prize

September 25th, 2013

Would you like to receive up to $3500 to work on a peace-related project? If so, please apply for the Karpf and Hahn Peace Awards. Deadline for application is on October 25th.

Please visit our website for more information.


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Compassionate Listening Workshop with Yael Petretti

September 16th, 2013

This event is required for Professor Fellman’s classes but all are welcome to attend.

Shwartz Auditorium, Sunday September 22nd, 8:30am-4pm

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9/11 Remembrance Event

September 10th, 2013

The Interfaith Chaplaincy invites the Brandeis community to join them this Wednesday at noon at the Peace Memorial near Usdan Student Center to join in a brief remembrance of the events of 9/11.


“Deconstructing War, Building Peace” course this semester!

September 6th, 2013

fellmanIt’s no surprise that Professor Gordie Fellman’s classes are adored by Brandeis students. TIME magazine wrote an article about America’s most sought after undergraduate courses, and ”Deconstructing War, Building Peace” is one of them!


To read the full article please visit:


Student wins ASA award

June 27th, 2013

Andrea Verdeja ’14, a Politics major at Brandeis University, was selected as the recipient of the prestigious Elise Boulding Award from the American Sociological Association, the highest Sociology professional association in the country. Verdeja, a Roosevelt Fellow, wrote the award-winning paper for the fellowship course on identity issues amongst Palestinians. Her essay was named ” “The Merging of Times: Refugee Identity within the West Bank,” and Professor Gordie Fellman recommended that she applied to the prize due to the paper’s outstanding quality. Prof. Fellman also won an award from ASA a few years ago for his distinguished scholarship. Verdeja was not only commended on the excellent quality of her writing, but was also invited to attend the ASA meetings  that will take place in New York City this August in order to receive her award in person and meet the committee that selected her. We’re very proud of Andrea for nationally representing Brandeis University and for all of her accomplishments!




PAX Graduation Reception

April 26th, 2013

PAX minor? Class of 2013? Then don’t forget to attend this year’s PAX RECEPTION! Your faculty will be there and they are looking forward to saying their farewells and meeting your families. This year’s reception will be held from 2:00 to 3:3opm, Friday, May 17th at Rapaporte Treasure Hall (at the Library). See you there, and get ready for your big day!