Regional Representative 2015-2019

Yaron 2014b

Dr. Yaron J. Balslev
Department of Geography and Human Environment
Faculty of Exact Sciences
Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040



Israeli Forum for Environmental History

Environmental history is an emerging field in Israel. The Israeli Forum for Environmental History (IFEH) was founded on July 2013. The Forum includes over 100 scholars from 5 universities and other academic institutes. IFEH brings together young and senior researchers from different disciplines such as Middle Eastern history, European history, legal history, historical geography, architecture and more. By conducting interdisciplinary discussions on environmental issues in different historical periods and places, we hope to enrich our research, challenge our way of thought and create new collaborations. By doing so, we aim to create an academic community in Israel for environmental historians. IFEH is hosted by the Porter School of Environmental Studies and Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies at Tel Aviv University.



IFEH members in the ESEH Conference, Zagreb 2017

What do we do?

  • Monthly meetings: The forum holds a monthly meeting, where we focus on different issues of environmental history. The meeting includes reading list, presentation and a vivid discussion.
  • Annual conference: The IFEH lead force in organizing the Annual Israeli conference of Environmental History.
  • Environmental History updates: Additionally the mailing list is used for updates of EH publications and conferences.


IFEH organizing committee:

Dr. Yaron J. Balslev, Department of Geography and Human Environment, Tel Aviv University,

Prof. Miri Shefer-Mossensohn, Faculty of Humanities, Head of the Department of Middle Eastern and African History, Tel Aviv University,

Dr. David Schorr, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University,



IFEH English leaflet     IFEH Hebrew leaflet

*print as A5 document


* To join the sessions or our email list, please contact

Current Activities

Fifth annual conference on environmental history in Israel

21 January 2019, The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History at Tel Aviv University

Conference program (English/Hebrew):

Call for papers (English): CfP_The Israeli Forum for Environmental History__21-1-19

Call for Papers (Hebrew): קול קורא כנס היסטוריה סביבתית 21.1.2019

Deadline for abstract submission: 11 November 2018

Language of the conference: English/Hebrew

Conference Committee 2019: Omer Aloni, Yaron Balslev, Dafna Langgut, Nurit Kirsh, David Schorr, Miri Shefer-Mossensohn, and Dan Tamir


Monthly Sessions

* All sessions take place at Tel Aviv University, Thursdays 4-6 pm.

** All sessions take place in Hebrew.


1 November 2018

The Landfill of Tel-Aviv in 1938: a micro history of Mandatory Palestine (Dr. Yaron Balslev, Tel Aviv University)


11 December 2018

The Impact of Environmental Pollution on Ethnic Unrest in Xinjiang: A Uyghur Perspective (Dr. Nimrod Baranovitch, Haifa University)


3 January 2019

Mushāʿ in the Levant: from discussion on land redistribution to discussion of land use by societies (Dr. Amos Nadan, Tel Aviv University)


Workshop on the environmental history of capitalism:

3 March 2019

4 April 2019

16 May 2019


13 June 2019

End of the year excursion: Ashkelon National Park

Ancient Ashkelon an a historical water park (Dr. Avi Sasson, Ashkelon Academic College, and Dr. Eyal Mitrani, National Park Authority)


Prize for the best EH article:

CFP: Prize for the best EH article 2017 – Hebrew

Deadline for submitting an article: 1 September 2017

Language of the article: English/Hebrew

Eligibility for the prize: Israeli scholars

Prise Committee 2017: Miri Shefer-Mossensohn, Haim Goren, Alon Tal


Past Activities

Academic year 2017-2018

2 November 2017

How did a mountainous agrarian society exist without terraces? The beginning of terrace development in the mountains of Jerusalem (Dr. Yuval Gadot, Tel Aviv University)


7 December 2017

The development of environmental-climatic planning in ancient Greece and Rome and its influence on the Land of Israel: from theory to practice (Prof. Oded Potchter, Beit Berl Academic College and Tel Aviv University)


7 December 2017

The coping of Mameluke society and regime in Bilad al-Sham with harsh climate conditions (Prof. Yehoshua Frenkel, Haifa University)


31 January 2018

Mid-year Excursion: Settlement, water, and space in ever changing geopolitical conditions in Baqa al-Gharbiyye area (Mr. Roy Marom and Dr. Orli Sela)


8 March 2018

Underground forests: landscape, imagination and science in industrial Britain (Ms. Naomi Yuval Nae, Hebrew University in Jerusalem)


3 May 2018

Animals as an economic concept in the Age of Enlightenment (Dr. Natan Wolloch, Tel Aviv University)

Planet of the Apes: How and why did the legal status of apes change during the 20th Century (Dr. Shira Shemueli, Tel Aviv University)


7 June 2018

The jug and the girl: water ownership rights during the early days of Zionist settlement (Dr. Orli Sela, Tel Aviv University)


14 June 2018

End of year excursion: Sources of the Yarkon River National Park and the Jerusalem water plant (Dr. Assaf Selzer, Haifa University, and Dr. Eyal Mitrani, National Parks Authority)



Academic year 2016-2017


3 November 2016

Between theology and science: Arab-Persian knowledge on the natural world in Imperial China (Dr. Dror Weil, Tel Aviv University)


1 December 2016

Nature-Park-City: Environmental and planning histories of the Yarkon Park in the 20th Century (Dr. Shirili Gilad, Technion)


5 January 2017

Technology acclimatizing in the Nature: Visual images of trains, rail roads and train stations as natural phenomena in 19th Century Germany (Dr. Zef Segal, Hebrew University in Jerusalem/The Open University)


6 April 2017

The Department of Landscape Improvement and the Nature and Parks Authority as landscape and cultural designers in Israel (Dr. Eyal Mitrani, Israel Nature and Parks Authority)


11 May 2017

Technology and environmental history: GIS* applications as a tool for past landscapes reconstruction from historical maps (Prof. Noam Levin, Hebrew University in Jerusalem)

* GIS – Geographic Information Systems


22 June 2017

The great orchard of Jaffa and well-houses* in the modern era (Dr. Avi Sason, Ashkelon Academic College)

* Well-houses – Biara in Arabic


22 June 2017

Field trip: Abu Kabir and its environments, between urban and agricultural landscape (Dr. Avi Sason, Ashkelon Academic College)


Fourth annual conference on environmental history in Israel: October 2017

Conference program (English/Hebrew): 4th Annual Israeli Conference on Envi. History__Program

Call for papers (English): CFP- Israeli Conference on Environmental History 2017

Call for Papers (Hebrew): Hebrew CFP- Israeli Conference on Environmental History 2017

Deadline for abstract submission: 2 April 2017

Language of the conference: English/Hebrew

Conference Committee 2017: Maya Duany (Tel-Hay College)  David Schorr (Tel Aviv University), Dan Tamir (Ben Gurion University), Nurit Kirsh (Open University), Avivit Agam-Dali.


Academic year 2015-2016

5 November 2015:

Wood and ancient shipbuilding—Dendroarchaeology of sunken ships and dendrohistory of the galea kadirga in Istanbul (Prof. Nili Liphschitz, Tel Aviv University)


3 December 2015:

The human as a force of nature: The shaping of landscape by past human activity—key points in the Paleo-Anthropocene in Israel (Dr. Oren Ackermann, Ashkelon College and Bar-Ilan University)


7 January 2016: 

The Zionist-botany connection: Otto Warburg in Palestine, 1900-1930 (Ms. Dana von Suffrin, LMU, Munich)

Comment: Dr. Ran Aharonson (Hebrew University in Jerusalem)

*Session in English


3 March 2016:

“Bad Water”: Environmental contexts of accusations of well poisonings in 14th-century Europe (Mr. Tzafrir Barzilay, Columbia University, New-York)


7 April 2016:

Back to the League of Nations: A reappraisal of the environmental regime: 1919-1946 (Mr. Omer Aloni, Tel Aviv University)


5 May 2016: 

How the landscape in Israel changed from nature to culture in the last half century (Prof. Tal Alon-Mozes, Technion- Israel Institute of Technology)


2 June 2016: 

An end-of-year tour: Environmental history in Tel Aviv-Jaffa (Mr. Yaron Balslev, Tel Aviv University)


Third annual conference on environmental history in Israel: October 2016

The Third annual conference was held in Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem, on October 27th 2016.

The conference included 5 sessions of 11 presentations, and a panel on natural museums, natural collections and environmental education.

Conference program (Hebrew): Israeli conference of environmental history 2016

Conference Committee 2016: Yaron Balslev (Tel Aviv University), Eran Feitelson (Hebrew University in Jerusalem), Galia Hasharoni (Haifa University), Rakefet Sela-Sheffy (Tel Aviv University), Assaf Selzer (Haifa University).


Academic year 2014-2015

3 November 2014:

Von Mülinen and Mount Carmel in 1908 (Prof. Yossi Ben-Artzi)


11 December 2014:

The Transfer and Structuring of the Holy Land in Germany (Prof. Haim Goren)


19 January 2015:

Lake Huleh as an Site for Environmental History Research (Dr. Maya Duany)


26 March 2015:

Local Nature Conservation Initiatives in Israel’s Pre- and Early Statehood Period (Prof. Rakefet Sela-Sheffy and Mr. Roi Marom)

5 May 2015:

Animals and Emotions in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (Mr. Ido Ben Ami)


18 June 2015: 

Urban Nature – The Relationship between Nature and City in Modern Western Thought (Ms. Galit Samuel)


Second annual conference on environmental history in Israel: October 2015

The Second annual conference was held in Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem, on October 8th 2015.

The conference included 5 sessions of 12 presentations.

Conference program (Hebrew): Israeli conference of environmental history 2015

Conference Committee 2015: Dan Tamir (Arava Institute), Assaf Selzer (Haifa University), Tal Alon-Moses (Technion),Tamar Novik (Tel Aviv University).


Academic year 2013-2014

30 October 2013:

“What is environmental history?” (Dr. Miri Shefer-Mossensohn)


20 November 2013:

Species introductions and animal history in Israel (Dr. Dan Tamir and Ms. Tamar Novick)


18 December 2013:

Climate change in the Middle East during the 11th-12th centuries (Prof. Roni Ellenblum)


15 January 2014:

Urban environmental history under the British mandate of Palestine (Mr. Yaron Balslev)


26 March 2014:

Law and environmental history (Dr. David Schorr)


23 April 2014:

Spatial carrying capacity (Prof. Alon Tal)


21 May 2014:

Muslim and Ottoman urban environment (Dr. Miri Shefer-Mossensohn)


First annual conference on environmental history in Israel: October 2014

The first annual conference on environmental history in Israel was held in Jerusalem on October 21st 2014.

The conference included 7 sessions of 24 presentations, and a panel on environmental history research in Israel.

Conference program (Hebrew): Israeli conference of environmental history 2014

Conference Committee 2015: Yaron Balslev (Tel Aviv University), Maya Duany (Yad Ben Zvi), Assaf Selzer (Haifa University), Dan Tamir (Arava Institute), Miri Shefer-Mossenshon (Tel Aviv University), David Schorr (Tel Aviv University).


Blog in Blog: There are no posts that match the selection criteria.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email