Debate and public speaking


An enrichment course within the FGS framework of Career Development of our students.
Sessions will be held during November 2018 – July 2019, Mondays 17:00 – 20:30,  in classrooms A, 1, 2, 4, 5 at the David Lopatie Hall for Graduate Studies (the home of the FGS).  


The main goal of the course is to provide instruction and practice in order to help participants develop important life skills. These include cognitive skills such as analytical thinking, critical thinking and logic; and rhetorical skills such as self-expression, use of language, message conveyance and presentation.

The secondary goal is to build a debate team that will represent Weizmann institute in the academic debating league, domestically and abroad.

Upon successful completion of this course, the participants should be able to:

Demonstrate the appropriate use of nonverbal delivery including vocalics, kinesics, eye contact and appearance.

Develop and demonstrate the process of effective public speaking by organizing, and delivering oral presentations and speeches on multiple topics.

Critically analyze and evaluate evidence and arguments made on various subjects in everyday life.

Explain and apply appropriate analytical concepts to various audiences.

Develop, organize and defend arguments for any topic in a limited amount of time.


Every meeting will include a short lesson, a British Parliamentary Debate and constructive feedback. Therefore, participants will be expected to attend most sessions (at least 11), and take an active part in all.


Alon Cohen is the director of the Cohen-Idov Center for Debate & Rhetoric, Alon has been coaching Israel's national debating high-school team, He's been coaching debate at universities and lecturing in organizations, NGO's and teaches seminars in the last six years. Former Debating champion in the Israel's national championship in Hebrew and English.

Stav Singer is the 2015 European Universities Debating Champion. She has won multiple competitions including Israel's national championship. In the last five years, Stav has been the project manager in The Cohen-Idov center, developing and leading multiple programs for high schools, universities and executive training. Moreover, Stav is a popular Debate coach and judge, regularly invited to adjudicate competitions and seminars abroad.      

Guest lecturers

Yoni Cohen-Idov is an Israeli-American debater, journalist, speaker and consultant. Cohen-Idov was the 2010 World Universities Debating Champion (ESL), 2009 European Universities Debating Championship Runner-Up (Main Category) And Top Speaker (ESL). In 2010, Cohen-Idov spearheaded a national initiative to promote debate education in Israel’s public schools, in collaboration with the ministry of education. The program aimed to promote critical thinking, civil discourse, tolerance and understanding in the country. Since 2012, Cohen-Idov has taught, trained and consulted organizations and individuals on message conveyance, adapting his debate-based methods to the business and public spheres. Cohen-Idov has worked with some notable Israeli and American politicians, as well as business figures and organizations.
Cohen-Idov is the founder of the Cohen-Idov Center for Debate and Rhetoric.

Maya Kindler is a senior debate coach and an acting instructor. Kinder has graduated the Nisan Nativ studio for acting with distinction. She has then developed her acting career performing in plays in Israel and abroad. As a debater, she has reached the finals of the Israeli national championship. In recent years, she has trained students, lawyers and adults in the art of public speaking.