Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

ISIME announces interim director

The Institute for the Study of Israel in the Middle East (ISIME) at the University of Denver has named Deborah Schlueter its interim director.

ISIME, a part of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, is dedicated to promoting peace in Israel and providing educational and interfaith programming to college students.

“I am honored to work with the board and lead ISIME,” Schlueter says. “My support for the Israeli people and the existence of the state of Israel, as well as my deep concern for all the people in the region, will be guiding principles for me and for ISIME. We will focus on building bridges of understanding.”

Schleuter takes over for former director Shaul Gabbay, who served in the position for 10 years. Gabbay plans to continue as a professor and senior scholar at the University of Denver and ISIME.

“As I leave, I would like to offer my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have inspired me and supported the work of this institute,” Gabbay said in a letter to ISIME friends and donors. “It has been my privilege to walk with you throughout this remarkable journey.”

Schlueter has worked for ISIME for seven years and currently serves as director of the Student Interfaith Peace Program, a leadership program initiated by ISIME that engages local Jewish, Muslim and Christian teens and builds connections with teens in the Middle East.

Schlueter also taught cultural diversity and conflict resolution skills in business, government and academic settings for a decade before joining ISIME.

“We are very excited that Debbie is joining us as interim director because she is a long-time friend of the institute and was our first choice to lead the transition process,” says Bob Loup, ISIME board chair and co-founder. “We are grateful to Shaul for his many years of service. He remains a friend to the institute and a personal friend of mine.”

Loup expects an exciting year for ISIME. One of Schlueter’s first assignments is to develop a comprehensive programming schedule.

The institute hopes to name a permanent director by the beginning of 2011.

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