Erica Weiss



I am a cultural anthropologist researching the ways people navigate the ethical dilemmas they encounter during their everyday lives and with people who are different than themselves.  

I am originally from New Paltz, New York.  I did my Ph.D. in Anthropology at Princeton University (2011). I joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University in the fall of 2013.  I do my research in Israel and Palestine, using ethnographic methods.

I live in Caesarea with my husband, Michael, and our three children, Jordan, Boaz, and Adar.





Peace and Inter-Religious Coexistence- I am interested in how people think about and imagine peace.  I am particularly interested in the ways that people who are far from the professional spheres of peace and reconciliation think about peace.  I am interested in understanding the ways secular and religious groups think about peace differently and through different traditions.

Ethics and Ideas of Justice– My research involves a non-normative examination of the way people understand their ethical obligations.  In my previous research, I looked at the way Israeli soldiers struggle to reconcile the responsibility they feel towards Palestinians and the responsibility they feel towards other Israelis.  In my new research I am asking how people understand coexistence through the lens of faith.  I ask how religious study and prayer inform people about their ethical responsibilities to their neighbor, and how they come to understand who falls under this category of care.

I am interested how political ideology effects people’s understanding of community and responsibilities to the state and to one another.  Israel has both liberal and non-liberal components both within the legal and political structure and within the Israeli population.  This diversity means many ethical models coexist and compete in public and private.  I am very interested in tracing these influences in my work.

Democracy- I am interested in the ways different groups imagine the public sphere.  How people think about topics like religion and state, community, public discourse, and civic conflict resolution through their different traditions and beliefs are of particular interest.  



Current Collaborations: 

Carole McGranahan, “Rethinking Disciplinary Ethics in Anthropology” and editing essay collection
“Rethinking Pseudonyms in Anthropology” in American Ethnologist, University of Colorado,
United States
Nissim Mizrachi, The Perception of Tolerance in Israeli Society, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Yifat Biton, Building a Research Driven Model for Conflict Resolution, Bridging Insights, Israel
Gili Re’i and Eilon Schwartz, Expanding the Imagination of Peace, Van Leer Institute, Israel


I am a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University.