The Leonard Davis Institute of International Relations was established in 1972 at the Hebrew University, thanks to the generosity of the American philanthropist whose name it bears. Located in the Truman building on the Mount Scopus Campus of the Hebrew University, the Institute is surrounded by evocative vistas. Westward are the domes and spires of the Old City of Jerusalem; to the east, visible on a clear day, are the Dead Sea and the Mountains of Moab; and to the south are the tower of the Augusta Victoria hospice and the Mount of Olives.
Our identity and mission spring from our position of privilege and responsibility in one of the most fascinating historical cities in the world, the site of holy places cherished by the three monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Two thousand years after the destruction of the Temple of Herod by the Roman legions, Jerusalem is the capital of the reborn State of Israel, as well as its seat of government.
Since its inception, the Leonard Davis Institute has provided a nonpartisan and independent platform for research, education, and discussion on issues of international relations in general and Israel’s diplomacy and foreign policy in particular. Small countries are inevitably engrossed in parochial issues. But in an age of globalization and interdependence, our aim has been to broaden the horizons of the Israeli public to encompass the realities of international affairs beyond Israel’s borders.
The Institute has three broad aims when planning its programs:
To promote research in international relations theory, adopting a broad perspective that draws on a variety of disciplines.
To present the universal themes of international politics to the Israeli public, thereby enhancing the national discourse on these matters.
To put the Institute’s expertise and consulting capability at the service of national institutions conducting the security and foreign affairs of Israel.