New Israel Professorship in Communication Science at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Yossi David from Jerusalem will be the first Israel Professor at Mainz University

9 October 2018

At the beginning of the 2018/2019 winter semester, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is setting up an Israel Professorship at the Department of Communication. By sponsoring the professorship, the state government of Rhineland-Palatinate is making a tangible contribution to the academic dialog on the subject of Israel as well as providing a basis for facilitating the sharing of knowledge between the two countries. The new Israel Professorship in Communication Science will be held on a regular three-year cycle by an Israeli communication studies specialist, who will come to Mainz to undertake transnational research on political communication in Germany and Israel. The focus of research will be on how both societies view each other and the roles that media and public opinion play in the formation of those perceptions in Israel and Germany.

In addition to undertaking research and lecturing, the holder of the professorship will also participate in and support the activities of the former Israel Study Unit, in particular its student exchange program, as well as contribute to promoting the exchange of lecturers between Mainz and Israel. Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and its Department of Communication see this as a springboard that will help kick-start the formation and long-term establishment of a network of joint activities between Israeli universities and Mainz.

"In this way, we meet the idea that led to the formation of the Israel Professorship in the best way possible. By inviting Israeli scholars to JGU, the professorship will help strengthen the already close academic ties between Mainz and Israel – with a growing number of personal contacts," emphasized the JGU President Professor Georg Krausch.

Professor Gregor Daschmann, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Media, and Sports, under the aegis of whom the professorship was created, also highlighted the academic advantages: "Our Israeli colleagues are very highly regarded internationally in the field of communication studies. The JGU Department of Communication is thus proud to continually have one of them on the team. The Israel Professorship will allow us to optimally combine academic excellence with the aspect of Israeli-German friendship."

Dr. Yossi David of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem will be coming to Mainz University in the 2018/2019 winter semester as the first Israel Professor in Communication Science. David is 36 years of age, was born in Israel, and since 2011 has been lecturing and researching in the field of political communication and empirical methodologies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After graduation and military service, he studied at the Department of Communication and Journalism there. He wrote his Master's thesis on the topic of "Communication, involvement and climate of opinion in the 2011 Israeli social protest movement". His dissertation was entitled "Gendering Political Conflict: Gender Perceptions and Public Opinion in the Israel-Palestinian Conflict".

His research to date on public opinion in Israel has garnered Yossi David numerous awards and distinctions. His findings have shown that the dialog surrounding the conflict in the Middle East is much more diversified within the Israeli community than the external view in Germany might suggest. The research he is planning in Germany will build on that and compare and contrast the views in Israel itself with those in Germany.