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Here you can find the latest updates on our activities, follow the projects developments, and check out our upcoming conferences, workshops and seminars

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We are proud to present our annual newsletter, where you can read about the project and our diverse and engaging activities. Enjoy! 

EXCELEM 2020 Newsletter

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Talk With H.E Leshno-Yaar, Ambassador of Israel to the EU and NATO

On the 27th of December, we had the honor of hosting H.E Aharon Leshno-Yaar, Ambassador of Israel to the European Union and NATO for a fascinating lecture.

May we continue sharing many thought-provoking talks and hold curious discussions in the future.

Academic delegation to Athens and joint Youth Forum

We at the Simone Veil Research Centre for Contemporary European Studies, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev did our post-Covid calculations and decided to execute our plan of an academic delegation from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to Athens, Greece as part of our joint Erasmus project with University of Piraeus.
We started our tour at the Acropolis that symbolizes among many things the roots and beginning of civilization. By visiting the archeological sites in Athens we were able to get a deeper understanding of Democracy and Philosophy.
During that week, we also visited the Greek parliament and met the Greek minister of economy, Mr. Staikouras and the deputy minister of climate change and natural disasters, Mr. Triantopoulos. They gave us an amazing lecture about the financial situation of Greece and the regional future when it comes to climate change.

We visited the European Parliament Liaison in Athens and were hosted by the spokesperson of the office, Dr. Haris Kountouros who talked with us about the role of the European Parliament in Europe and in Greece.
Our last but not least meeting was with the deputy of the Israeli ambassador to Greece, Mr. Tsach Saar who gave us the Israeli perspective of the relationship with Greece and in the whole region. Those open discussions allowed us to understand the importance of the regional and the Greek-Israeli relations.
Our next aspect in this week was a cultural one. We visited different neighborhoods that reflects different views, sounds and taste of Athens.

At the end of that week we had a mutual Youth Forum with as part of Exelem project
After a fully booked schedule we went through the week before in Athens with the Israeli students delegation, we continued to Nea Anchialos.
By the beautiful beach, we came up with unique workshops for the students to discuss the regional issues in order to create the regional future vision made by next generation!
We experienced so many things in that weekend, we explored the area and villages of Pillion, we enjoyed traditional Greek food and music in taverns and had a lot of Tsipouro!

It was a cultural, intellectual and wonderful weekend!
The bottom line of this delegation was to deepen our students knowledge about our Greek neighbors and to bring them together with the relations between those two political entities.

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Wrapping the ENP course experience

Event Marking 25 year anniversary for The Barcelona Process 

On Thursday the 26th of November, we will be marking the 25th anniversary of The Barcelona Process which laid the foundations for a new relationship between the EU and Eastern Mediterranean countries in the form of the Union for Mediterranean (UfM).

During the event, we will hear talks from Ambassador Sotirios Varouxakis former Greece Ambassador to The Barcelona Process, Ambassador Victor Harel former Israel Ambassador to Spain and Belgium and from Prof. Dimitris Xenakis from the University of Crete.

The event will be moderated by Dr Sara Kahn Nisser from The Open University of Israel and will be in cooperation with Piraeus University, TU Darmstadt and The Open University in Israel. 

For further details and registration please see link below:


EXCELEM Online Research Seminar Series

We had the pleasure of hosting Dr Aviv Gaon as part of the EXCELEM Online Research Seminar Series, for a thought-provoking talk about Technology and the Coronavirus. At first, Gaon explained the differences between Machine Learning and Deep Learning in AI (Artificial Intelligence), it's origins and important milestones. Later, we were familiarized with AI's future challenges and the legal and ethical issues it entails, such as private data access, manipulation and exploitation by different bodies. Finally, Gaon proceeded to demonstrate the ways we can use big data & AI in order to fight the spread of the Coronavirus and possibly even find a cure or a vaccine.

Thank you Aviv, we are looking forward to future cooperations with you!

We, across the Mediterranean Sea, are working on some new ideas following the restrictions of COVID-19.
Stay tuned for more activities and fascinating talks in the future!


"Next steps in European integration and Greece in the post-crisis era"

We would like to thank Dr Charalampos Chrysomallidis for the breathtaking online presentation he delivered as part of EXCELEM online research seminar series. The presentation, titled "Next steps in European integration and Greece in the post-crisis era" focused on the theoretical background on Economic Integration, peripheral Eu economies, the Eurozone as well as causes of the Greek crisis and the impact on the economy. finally, Dr Chrysomallidis displayed the next steps in European integration as a defining parameter for the Greek economy’s prospects in the future.

EXCELEM Online Seminar 

On the 21st of January, 2020, and as part of EXCELEM Online Seminars, we had the pleasure in hosting Mr Dror Markus, a PhD candidate at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Dror presented his captivating research titled: "Perfectly matched: How the synthesis of social science and artificial intelligence methodology highlight epistemological questions".

What began as a research project exploring the phenomena of altruism through the case study of the ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ – non-Jewish persons recognized by the State of Israel for their role in saving Jews during the Holocaust – ultimately thrust him into the exciting synthesis of data science and social science research. In this presentation, he shared this experience and contend that these cutting-edge techniques do not only provide innovative, ‘flashy’ research tools, but may even offer a new paradigm.
‘Machine’ and ‘deep learning’ highlight a number of epistemological issues that particularly appeal to scholars of critical theory and social sciences - be it the assumption of nonlinear models of social phenomena, the revision of the traditional distinction between qualitative and quantitative research approaches, or the question of what is the goal of scientific research (prediction vs causality). Additionally, Dror demonstrated several examples of how such critical examinations of this new frontier ultimately aid and direct advances within the field of data research as well.

We highly reccomend listening to this thought provoking talk in the attachment below, and thank Dror for familiarizing us with this new information.

Young Researchers Conference 2020

On Wednesday the 8th of January we held in participation with University of Piraeus and Haifa University, our annual Young Researchers Conference in the campus of BGU.  

The diverse panels offered interesting angles on various topics pertaining to European Studies and EU - Israel relations. We started with a panel about the different perspectives on Europen culture, followed by a panel on Security, Foreign Policy and Diplomacy. The third panel discussed the issues of the EU and its neighbours, the policies and processes. In the last panel, we heard captivating talks about Immigration and Labor Mobility.  

We'd like to thank the researchers, speakers, participants and guests that took part in the conference and are looking forward to our next event. 



EXCELEM 2019 Newsletter

We are proud to present our annual newsletter, where you can read about the project and our diverse and engaging activities. Enjoy! 

Young Researchers Conference 

Join us and the University of Haifa in our annual Young Researchers conference on the 8th of January 2020!

Attached below is a detailed call for papers of the conference, we would love to see you there.

You can find the application form here:…/1FAIpQLSc1bCpi5wrMAn2vZJ…/viewform

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Academic visit and lecture at Pireaus University- Prof. Orna Baron

On the 23rd of November, our colleague from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Prof. Orna Baron visited Pireaus University where she presented her study on Syrian refugees in Greece.

The aim of her study was to examine the way Syrian adolescent refugees cope with the harsh situation of fleeing from their homes. Prof. Baron explored which personal capital factors, sense of coherence (SOC), wishes and expectations, in addition to socio-demographic and situational factors, contribute to a variety of mental health and psychological problems, namely, internalizing and externalizing problems as well as posttraumatic stress symptoms.

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Ben-Gurion University students on a study tour to Athens and Piraeus

At the beginning of April a group of  B.A, M.A and Ph.D students from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev went to a study tour in Athens and Piraeus. The tour dealt with the contemporary political issues that occupying Greece: EU-Greece relations, Israel-Greece relations, economy and the debt crisis, the migrant and refugees crisis, political activism, civil society activism, religions relations and more.

During the visit the students had the opportunity to visit the Greek parliament, the Greek ministry of Migration DG (both thanks to the help of Dr. Foteini Asderaki). The Student also met the Israeli ambassador to Greece, H.E. Mrs. Irit- Ben Aba for an interesting discussion, and had a fruitful visit at the University of Piraeus. Another interesting and touching visit was the meeting with the Jewish community representatives at the local synagogue. Beside the official meetings the students met workers and volunteers of organization EARTH and heard about their great projects, visited a migrants camp, went to a guided tour following the political activism history of Athens and a guided tour and the activist neighborhood, Exarchia.

The students of course haven't miss the opportunity to visit the tourist attractions of Athens such as the Acropolis, Syntagma square, the Olympic stadium, the Olympic park of 2004, Omonia square, the churches of Athens, the old mosque and more.

The students also took an active part on the study tour when each one of them were responsible to guide the rest of the group on various activities and locations.

The students and the professors that accompanied the group mentioned that it was an interesting study tour, where they met Greece and Athens that they haven't knew before. A study tour that raising many interesting questions in many political and sociological issues.


On April 2nd, a group of  B.A, M.A and Ph.D students from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev visited their colleagues from The University of Piraeus. Most of the students gathered together in the event hall of the campus for a joint Seminar that was led by Dr. Foteini Asderaki (from the University of Piraeus) and Prof. Sharon Pardo (from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) that opened the day with a discussion about "The Main Challenges for Europe, Greece, Israel". The students enjoyed a fruitful meeting that included lectures of local professors, activists and students. The lectures topics was dealing with varied topics including: "Greece in the Middle of Disputes" (By Prof. Petros Liakouras), "The European Monetary Union and the Financial Crisis" (By Ast. Prof. George Galanos), "The Migration Crisis: The official program of child refugee education and examples of non-formal education actions" (By Mrs. Elena Karagianni), and "European Elections, Participation, Radicalization and Youth" (by Ms. Plessia Vasiliki, Mr. Sotiriou Sotirios and Mr. Stephanos Stagakis).

Meanwhile, in a Master students class from the political science department of the University of Piraeus, Professor Renee Poznanski held a lecture discussing the "Vichy France and the Jews: The Impact of Memory on Historiography".

The interesting and delightful was a great opportunity to meet students from both sides, and we are looking forward for our future meetings...


In the Beginning of November, our center's researchers from the Ben- Gurion University in the Negev and The University of Piraeus gathered together with colleagues and students from the University of Piraeus in the historic Laskaridou library for the launching of The Regional Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. During the ceremony, The Israeli ambassador in Greece H.E. Mrs. Irit- Ben Aba and The Ben Gurion Universty Rector, Prof. Chaim Hames, delivered important and exciting speeches. Prof. Aristotle Tziampiris and Prof. Sharon Pardo gave a review of the Israeli - Greek relations in addition to a review of the general region. Dr.  Foteini Asderaki and Dr. Hila Zahavi presented the structure of the project and the content related to it. As part of the new project, we will hold many activities for students and young researchers, in order to develop the European studies in the region and to strengthen the ties between The University of Piraeus and Ben- Gurion University and between Greece and Israel and will include: study tours, academic conferences and many more. More updates on the project activities will be provided soon!

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