Yoram Bilu was Visiting Professor in Israel Studies at the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2012. He served as a professor of psychology and sociology and anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem until his retirement last year. Focusing on Israeli society and Jewish traditional culture, his research interests include the anthropology of religion, culture and mental health, the sanctification of space in Israel, and Maghrebi Jewish culture. Bilu served as the chair of the department of psychology (1992-94) and the head of the Authority for Doctoral Students, both at the Hebrew University, and as the president of the Israeli Anthropological Association (1989-91). He has been a visiting professor at several American universities, including the University of California, San Diego, Brandeis University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. His most recent book is “The Saints’ Impresarios: Dreamers, Healers, and Holy Men in Israel’s Urban Periphery.”
The Israel Studies visiting professorship is supported by the Israel Studies Project of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. The project, titled “Culture and Religion in the Twenty-First Century: New Perspectives from Israel,” brings visiting Israeli scholars for individual quarter-long visits over a four-year period.