Samuel and Evelyn Linden Scholarship in Jewish Studies for the Study of Peace and Social Justice in the Middle East

February 1, 2018

The Jewish Studies Program at the University of Virginia is honored to offer the Samuel and Evelyn Linden Scholarships to allow both undergraduate and graduate students at the University to engage in advanced research, study, fieldwork, and project organization to help understand and promote dialogue, peace, and justice among Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinians. The mission of the scholarship is to nourish scholarly excellence combined with citizenship, social responsibility, and work towards intercultural understanding.

Successful applications will propose a course of study, a research project, or a creative program that is at home both inside and outside of academia, involves real-life communities, and exposes the applicant to rigorous learning as well as to human encounter.

Scholarships, which range from $3,000-$3,500, may be used towards study and research in any field, encouraging a wide range of methods and approaches.

Applicants to the Linden Scholarship must submit a current CV, a written proposal of no more than three pages explaining their project and its expected relevance for Jewish-Arab and Palestinian relations, and at least one letter of recommendation from an academic advisor who can speak to the scholarly merit of the project and the student’s ability to carry it out.

Applications and letters of recommendation are due February 1, 2018, and should be sent electronically to Gabriel Finder, Director of Jewish Studies, at

Recipients will be notified by March 1, 2018 and must apply for and secure exemption from the current State Department Travel Warning by March 15, 2018. Exemptions will be handled by the International Studies Office (ISO) at the University of Virginia.

Scholarships may be used for any part of the summer 2018 or the academic year 2018-2019. Recipients will be expected to present their research in a lecture at a special reception open to both academic and non-academic communities and to do outreach on their own to share their experiences in appropriate venues, such as high schools, synagogues, university Hillels, Muslim student organizations, or community centers of all faiths. Past and present recipients will form a cohort of young scholars engaging in scholarship and social responsibility.

Some projects that previous Linden scholars have undertaken include:
Working with Windows: Channels for Communication, which empowers Palestinian and Jewish
youth to work against discrimination by giving them skills needed to become activists in their
own communities. Another scholar observed and interviewed Jews and Arabs/Palestinians in
Israel to learn about their current perceptions of each other. She focused specifically on signs of
fear and lack of empathy that they exhibit toward each other, as well as points of commonality
and signs of understanding. A third created an after-school program for Arab students, and
toured the West Bank with “Breaking the Silence,” an organization of ex-Israeli soldiers who
publicize the treatment of Arabs in the West Bank. And another scholar volunteered in Project
Harmony Israel, an integrated Arab-Jewish English day camp for middle school children in
Jerusalem. She showed the campers how to build and tend a community garden. She also
facilitated educational programs about energy and global resources, food and health, and
caring for the camp and the earth.