The publications of the Van Leer Institute Press encompass a wide range of areas of knowledge in the humanities and social sciences and reflect the topics of research at the Institute over the years. The types of series include research series, academic books and nonfiction, policy studies, position papers, and annual research reports. Nearly all the publications are the fruits of research conducted at the Institute.
Theory in Context, the scientific series of the Van Leer Institute Press, was established in 1995. The books in this series are fully referenced studies (monographs or collections of articles). The vast majority of the books in this series are the outcome of research conducted at the institute.
The Theory and Criticism in Context series was established in 2005 to address cultural and social topics. A monograph series and the journal Theory and Criticism were founded by Prof. Yehouda Shenhav-Shahrabani, the journal’s founding editor.
From time to time the Van Leer Institute Press publishes books in English with the aim of making ideas that have developed at the Institute accessible to an audience that does not read Hebrew. Over the years, several books in other languages (Spanish, German, and French) have appeared.
The Connections series presents multidisciplinary theories concerning various topics and proposes new directions for thinking about ideas and conceptualizations and for observing cultural and social phenomena. The books in this series are based on lectures delivered by their authors at the Institute and are aimed at the educated public.
The Maktoob مكتوب series turns a spotlight on contemporary Arabic literature, both poetry and prose. The series is the product of the only project in Israel today that translates works of Arabic culture and literature into Hebrew and makes them accessible to the Israeli reader. The project is the initiative of translators and scholars of Arabic, both Jews and Palestinians, and it is the product of the Translators Forum, which was established at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute in 2014. The series editor is Prof. Yehouda Shenhav-Shahrabani. The deputy editors are Dr. Yonatan Mendel and Eyad Barghuthy; Media and copyrights is Kifah Abdul Halim; The editorial coordinator is Hanan Saadi.
Arab Society in Israel: Population, Society, Economy is a statistical project—creating a database to enable deeper understanding of Arab society in Israel and of processes of change in it—to serve scholars, planners, and decision makers. As part of this 2005–2018 project, nine volumes were published, in both print and digital form. Their data collections and the interpretations they offer are accessible to all. Together, the volumes in this series provide a broad view of Arab society in Israel over time.
The Manarat center, established at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute in 2015, has thus far published reports on knowledge of Arabic among Jews in Israel and the place and status of Arabic in Israel’s education system and in Israeli academe. The center also publishes the digital magazine Manbar—A Platform for Discussion and Research about Jews and Palestinians in Israel, which appears in Arabic and Hebrew.
The Institute for Israeli Arab Studies, which functioned at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, published a wide variety of prose and nonfiction dealing with the Palestinians in Israel and various contexts of their lives, including the political, social, cultural, and spatial contexts. Some of the books were originally written in Hebrew and some have been translated from Arabic.
WIPS was established at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute at the end of 2009, with the support of the Dafna [Izraeli] Fund. It is committed to the idea of gender mainstreaming as an overall strategy for promoting the democratic and civil status of women in various groups. The center publishes an annual Gender Index and other research works.
The Center for Social Justice and Democracy in Memory of Yaacov Chazan at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, which was established jointly with the kibbutz movement’s Yaacov Chazan Memorial Fund, operated at the Institute between 2007 and 2018. The center strove to connect theoretical discussion and academic activity with social action and influencing decision makers. The center dealt with three main topics: privatization, regulation, and shared governance. The products of these studies appeared in books, position papers, policy documents and recommendations, and practical guides.
The Economics and Society program, which took place at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute between 2005 and 2018, aimed to identify the widening gaps in Israeli society, analyze them, and propose practical steps for narrowing them. Another goal was to create tools that would enable the public to participate in the socioeconomic discourse and would influence policy concerning key issues in Israel. Several series of studies and position papers were published as part of the program.
Policy studies and position papers: The studies focused on topics that were highly influential in shaping the economy and society in Israel. Research teams addressed key issues and considered the preferred alternatives on the basis of data and customary methodology in economics. The policy studies proposed ways of promoting policy that was based on the good of the maximum number of citizens and the increase of equality in society. The studies were geared to a professional audience, but an attempt was made to make the discussion accessible to the public.
Disputes in Economics: Economic issues are often of great public interest, but the public lacks general knowledge of economics, both theoretical and empirical. The Disputes in Economics series, based on a series of lectures delivered at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute in 2006–2007 and in 2011, presents in as balanced a manner as possible the considerations for and against a given policy, with the aim of helping the public form an educated opinion based on a broader acquaintance with the range of possibilities. The booklets in the Disputes in Economics series were written by experts in clear and accessible language and they are intended for anyone interested in the key issues shaping the economy and society in Israel.
Economics and Society Bulletin: The bulletin provided a unique platform for discourse on economics and society in Israel. The bulletin included articles, essays, and book reviews, all focusing on the complex relations between society, the economy, and the state, as well as articles engaging critically with economic thought. The bulletin presented high-quality academic studies in clear language that was accessible to the public. The aim was to open and democratize discussion of social and economic topics.
Between 1998 and 2009, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute published a series of booklets that were the outcome of symposia at the Institute on various topics of public concern. The symposia, and the booklets that ensued, engaged with civic, social, and political topics, such as religion and state, the military, and society and law.
The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute has a continuing commitment to fostering an egalitarian and high-quality education system that promotes the values of democracy. In recent years the Institute’s activity in the field of education has included a focus on developing materials for teaching civics, formulating a core curriculum for all pupils in the education system, making higher education accessible to Arab society, fostering reading in early childhood in Arab society, and analyzing privatization trends in the education system.
Over the years, the Institute’s many publications have included a large number of books on Jewish culture and thought. The books, in a variety of disciplines, deal with a broad range of topics related to Jewish identity and culture, including sociology, study of Halacha, Jewish thought, Jewish history, and streams within Judaism.