Notre Dame launches Global Gateway in Jerusalem
Rachel O'Grady | Friday, March 18, 2016
Notre Dame International (NDI) launched a Global Gateway program in Jerusalem this spring in order to offer more opportunities in Israel for Notre Dame students, academic director for the program Robert Smith said.
“When Notre Dame International introduced the Gateway concept a few years ago, the plan was to begin establishing Gateways where the University already had a strong presence,” Smith said in an email. “Tantur Ecumenical Institute has been operating in Jerusalem, with strong Notre Dame support, since 1972. It made sense to establish a Gateway here. Not only is Jerusalem a World Heritage City with a role to play in relation to most global conversations about faith and politics, but we already had a strong presence here through Tantur.”
The new location provides a plethora of new experiences for interested students, Smith said.
“The Jerusalem Global Gateway provides an important location for research and collaboration for many aspects of the University of Notre Dame. I have received concurrent faculty appointments in the department of theology and the new Keough School of Global Affairs. Jerusalem is an ideal place to study the intersection of theology and global affairs, so I anticipate many programs with that sort of emphasis,” he said.
According to Smith, the program will encourage other members of the Notre Dame community in Jerusalem to host or attend additional conferences.
“I am eager to engage in conferences and symposia in Jerusalem that further enhance the already stellar reputation of the University of Notre Dame,” Smith said. “The Gateway is a place for collaboration; we intend to collaborate locally, regionally and globally on ways to address a wide variety of topics.
“Beyond study abroad opportunities, I look forward to working with professors, program directors and academic departments on campus to increase the number of students and researchers having meaningful experiences in Jerusalem. We have a long-standing partnership with the Kroc Institute and the Keough School [of Global Affairs] to utilize the services of the Gateway.”
According to the NDI brochure, the aims of the Global Gateway include “supporting undergraduate study and multidisciplinary scholarly engagement.”
“Jerusalem is a complex, multi-layered environment,” Smith said. “If you have a research interest or a more general interest in the intersections of religion, culture and politics, this might be a place you’ll want to visit. I look forward to hearing ideas from students, staff and faculty about how some time in Jerusalem would benefit research and learning goals.”
While the program formally launched in the spring, according to Smith, it is looking to expand over the next several semesters.
“Each Gateway has significant study abroad programs for undergraduate students. We currently have eight students in Jerusalem, taking classes at Tantur, Bethlehem University, Hebrew University and the Polis Institute for Language Studies. We anticipate significant growth in the Jerusalem program,” he said.
This summer, the Gateway will host two sessions for more than 30 students, Smith said. The Gateway will also serve as a site for International Summer Service Learning Programs (ISSLPs) for students pursuing service learning in a variety of contexts.
Smith said he is excited to be part of the NDI Global Gateway community.
“Each Gateway is a place for the people and programs of the University to encounter a significant global context, but we also function in ways that bring elements of our context into our universities. The process of internationalizing the University means that we build relationships around the world to significantly expand our academic horizons,” he said.