Academic Year 2018–19
About Hilda B. Silverman
Hilda Silverman was an internationally known peace and human rights activist whose work on Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation was seminal and inspirational. A brilliant analyst, she worked for 25 years to articulate a just resolution of the conflict that would bring peace and dignity to both Israelis and Palestinians. A graduate of Radcliffe College (1960, BA, Social Relations), Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (1962, MEd), and Bryn Mawr College (1978, MA, Social Work), Hilda was appointed the Peace Fellow at the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College in 1991, the first individual to be given the award for research on the Middle East.
Between 1992 and 1994, Hilda was an Associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, where she continued her research and completed a video project based on her Bunting project. During that time Hilda also was a Visiting Lecturer at Tufts University where she taught a course entitled, “In their own words: Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” in which she conveyed the histories of both peoples and used biographies to promote empathy for both. Her extensive and diverse experience in academic research, social advocacy, and community education particularly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, continued until her untimely death at the age of 69 in May 2008.
It is in honor of Hilda’s profound contributions and luminous spirit that her friends and associates raised the funds to establish The Hilda B. Silverman Memorial Lecture at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. The lectureship will be held annually and will be broadly defined, inviting scholars from the following areas of research and inquiry that were important to Hilda and the focus of her life’s work: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli studies, Palestinian and Arab studies, and Holocaust studies.