Israeli Economist to Discuss Challenges in Higher Ed

Israeli Economist to Discuss Challenges in Higher Ed

TrajtenbergManuel Trajtenberg

Manuel Trajtenberg, one of Israel’s leading economists and a Northwestern University Visiting Scholar, will discuss academia’s role in promoting innovation and related issues during a joint event between the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) and the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies.

The colloquium, moderated by SESP professor Ofer Malamud, will be at 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 9 in Annenberg Hall, 2021 Campus Drive, Room 345.

Using Israel as a case study, Trajtenberg will discuss the unique but instructive aspects of the country’s diverse and geographically isolated higher education system, which is mostly financed by the government but affords institutions a high degree of autonomy.

“Israel is widely regarded as the Start-up Nation,” Trajtenberg said, referencing a book that looks at Israel’s economic success. “The very dynamism of Israel as an entrepreneurial society impinges on teaching in higher education, at a time when the traditional teaching modes are being challenged all over the world. What can we learn from Israeli institutions in that regard?”

Trajtenberg, professor of economics at Tel Aviv University since 1984, served as the chairman of Israel’s Higher Education System from 2009 to 2014.

Prior to his tenure as chairman, he established and served as inaugural head of the National Economic Council at the Prime Minister’s Office. He was appointed chairman of the Committee for Economic and Social Change following mass social protests in Israel in 2011.

Trajtenberg joined the Zionist Union list in December 2014 and was elected to the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) in 2015. Had his list won the elections, he was slated for Finance Minister. However, he left politics in 2017. In addition to his position at Northwestern, he has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Stanford.

While at Northwestern, Trajtenberg also will speak on "Israel at 70: Social Fissures, Shared Aspirations” at 4:30 p.m. on April 11 at the McCormick Foundation Center Auditorium, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston.

On April 18 he will present a lunchtime colloquium at the Kellogg Global Hub in Room 3301 titled “Israel’s Great Paradox: Strong Macro, Poor Micro.” The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Economics in Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences.

The partnership between SESP and the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies is the second event in an initiative to bring together departments and schools that have common research and teaching interests with Israeli counterparts.

Last year, the Crown Family Center sponsored an interdisciplinary symposium called “Regional Water Sustainability and Resilience” in Israel and the Middle East with the Northwestern Center for Water Research and the Buffett Institute for Global Studies.


By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 3/22/18