Course: PS 119- Politics and Human Rights in Israel Prof. Perez is a good professor, but I wouldn't rate him up there with the best. He's very knowledgeable about the subject (Israeli Politics), but can be somewhat hard to follow in lecture. He hardly ever writes anything on the board, speaks in an accident, doesn't post lecture slides online, and talks pretty fast. That being said, he makes himself available in office hours, and enjoys student participation. He has always been open to hearing students' opinions, even though he may not necessarily agree with you. The course itself was very reading-intensive. More so than any other class I've taken here. We were assigned about 60-100 pages of PDF reading each week, and an additional 120 pages or so for the midterm and paper. I found it impossible to do it all (the supplemental reading for the midterm/paper basically forces you to get behind on the normal assigned reading), and think I would have learned more had I had time to digest what I was reading rather than constantly struggling to do it all. I think this part of the class was kindof overkill, and something that Prof. Perez will hopefully improve in the future. That being said, the reading was usually at least moderately interesting, so it wasn't boring; just a lot in volume. Also, do not take this class if you don't think you can be awake enough to follow along at 8 am. For the aforementioned reasons, you really do have to pay attention in lecture, and he will call you out if you arrive late, leave early, or fall asleep. It has already happened 2 or 3 times this quarter. Lastly, I will warn future students that this class is pretty challenging if you don't know anything about Israeli politics. The country is very complex politically and religiously, something I underestimated coming into the class. I feel that I've learned a lot, and I'm happy I took the course. But, do not count on it being an easy A. Kudos to the student below me for earning an A+; based on my conversations with my classmates, that's a rarity in this course. In short: Take this class if only if you're truly interested in the subject. If you take it because you have a passion for learning about Israel, and think the benefits of doing so will outweigh an easy-A grade, take it. Professor Perez will show you an interesting side of democracy. If you're looking for an A without much work, definitely look elsewhere.
PS 169 and 119 courses are very demanding. Heavy amounts of textbook reading in addition to assigned articles. Class structure composed of a take home midterm, 8 page paper and an in class final exam. Course is a risk to your gpa but worth it if you really enjoy learning about Israeli society and identity. Make sure you speak up when you ask questions.
I put political science 191E with him but I took political science 119, 169, and 191D with him. Dr. Perez is one of a kind and the best professor I've had at UCLA. Yes, he might not supply you with printed notes (an outline would be nice though) but he is by far the clearest professor I've had in my UCLA career. Especially when speaking about political theory where things can get a bit confusing, he gives you a theory and lists (he says 1, 2, 3 etc) at each of the explanations and ALWAYS asks the class if they understand and if he can move on. In terms of clarity, you will never have a problem with him. Office hours- he has office hours and he communicates via email very fast (less than 24 hours and in depth). Unlike other professors I had that never responded to my emails, he will respond to each email you send. Many people assume that since he is Israeli he is going to be anti-Palestinian and radical- and I am glad that he is a true representative of the majority of Israeli, liberal and on the left. He does not mention any bias in his courses and always states facts and lets the students make their own opinion (although most of the time, except of the seminar, isn't really about making opinions). He criticizes Israel where he feels like it is appropriate and tries to answer hostile questions from anti-Israeli students with straight facts and nothing else. As a matter a fact, some students (Israeli and/or orthodox) actually dislike him for his very left ideology. Therefore, don't come into the class thinking you'll get a bias opinion. Grading- Perez is very fair. For 119 and 169 you have a midterm and a paper from weeks 5 to 7. You get the midterm first with about 5 articles that are not in the syllabus for the final (will not be included in the final exam). You read them, summarize them in like 4 pages or so, and write a 3-4 page essay (something of that sort). The same thing is with the paper, only it is a a page or two longer. In the end of the quarter you get a study guide for the final that you should cover WELL. I would recommend basing most of your information on the notes since Perez also talks about the specific readings in the notes. For 191D, you write a 20-25 page research paper on your topic (along with his counseling). Summary- great professor- TAKE HIM!