Dr. Yochi Fischer is the deputy director of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute; a senior research fellow; the director of the Sacredness, Religion, and Secularization Theme; the director of the Intellectual Journeys project; and the co-director of the Intellectual Incubator for Documentary Filmmaking.
Fischer’s PhD dissertation, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, addressed the social and cultural history in the early modern period. Her research interests include religion, secularization, and secularism today and in historical and comparative perspectives; contemporary historical methodology and thinking; memory and the formation of religious and political identities; and the connection between research and creativity. Her current research deals with processes of secularization and religionization in various societies. In 2015, a book she edited, Secularization and Secularism: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, was published by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Hakibbutz Hameuchad.
Fischer is the academic director of research projects at the Institute that deal with questions of secularization and sacredness, history and memory, and creativity and research. Previously, she headed the National Initiative for Strengthening the Humanities in Israeli Society. As part of this initiative she introduced the Van Leer Prize for Excellence in the Humanities for high school students, and she is in charge of the prize to this day.