Language of Instruction:
Master of Arts
Academia, community and religious leadership
Two years (four semesters)
August (Summer Ulpan, optional) or October (degree program); check the academic calendar
Bachelor’s degree in humanities, academic background in Jewish Studies is an advantage
April 29, 2021; late applications reviewed on a case-by-case basis, until September 12, 2021.
Why M.A. in Jewish Studies?
- Gain an in-depth understanding of Jewish civilization and culture from ancient times to the present.
- Learn with top researchers and build a solid base for further academic study in the field.
- Live in Jerusalem, a city steeped in more than 3,000 years of Jewish history and home to dozens of religious sites, libraries, archives, museums, research institutes and nonprofit organizations.
The program will expand your knowledge of Jewish history, literature, philosophy and culture, and enhance your language, research and writing skills. You’ll enjoy an intimate learning environment with small classes taught by experts in the field.
The flexible nature of the program, which includes a large number of elective credits, allows students to design a program of study most suited to their specific interests in the field of Jewish Studies. In addition, the program provides students with grounding in Modern Hebrew as well as the opportunity to immerse themselves in a Hebrew-speaking environment.
The program is divided into two main periods: Ancient to Early Medieval, and Late Medieval to Modern.
The program consists of required and elective courses taken over two academic years (four semesters in total). While you will take courses from all time periods (Ancient, Medieval and Modern), you will be required to specialize in one period.
Elective course offerings include cross-listed courses from our M.A. in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, M.A. in Israel Studies, and M.A. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. Students will also take elective courses taught in English at the various departments of the Hebrew University’s Faculty of the Humanities. Students with a high enough level of Modern Hebrew may take courses taught in Hebrew as well.
The program consists of 36 credits
Information about the M.A. in Jewish Studies starts on page 20 of the above catalog. Please note that the M.A. program is subject to change. The information provided in the catalog will help you get a sense of the structure of the program and kinds of courses we offer, but changes are made from year to year.
Modern Hebrew Requirement
You will be required to pass Level Gimel (fourth level, lower intermediate) in order to complete the degree. Each level can be completed over the course of one semester or Summer Ulpan session, with the exception of Level Aleph (first level). For some students, level Aleph requires two semesters to complete, depending on their Modern Hebrew background. You can learn more about our Hebrew levels here.
Modern Hebrew courses taken to fulfill the above requirement do not count as credits towards the M.A. degree.
While it is not required, we strongly encourage you to attend the Summer Ulpan (intensive Hebrew language training) prior to the start of the program. This is particularly if you have little or no prior knowledge of Modern Hebrew.
You are also encouraged to obtain at least Level Gimel in Modern Hebrew by the end of your first year of studies, if possible, so that you will be able to read Hebrew texts and join graduate-level courses taught in Hebrew at the Faculty of the Humanities in your second year of the M.A. program.
Enrollment in the Summer Ulpan is not included in the M.A. tuition and involves payment of an extra fee.
Additional Language Courses
You may choose to study an additional language in place of some of your elective course credits, provided that you receive approval from your academic advisor. Please note that some language courses may not be included in the M.A. tuition and involve payment of an extra fee.
Languages Offered at the Rothberg International School:
The above courses are taught in English. If you have a high enough level of Hebrew proficiency, you can request to take additional languages, such as French and German, taught in Hebrew at the Faculty of the Humanities. Enrollment in such courses is contingent upon the approval of your academic advisor.
At least two of the papers you submit for your courses will be counted as seminar papers. Seminar papers are required in order to graduate but do not count towards the program’s credit requirements.
As a student in the program, you are not required to write a thesis.
Optional Extended Thesis Year
If you wish to write a thesis, you may do so by enrolling at the Hebrew University for an additional year (or more) as a special research student of the Faculty of the Humanities. All of the M.A. in Jewish Studies program requirements must be completed before the Faculty of the Humanities will admit special research students for the coming year.
You must select an academic department through which to continue your studies and find a thesis advisor. You may inquire about writing a thesis in the following departments of the Faculty of the Humanities:
- Jewish Thought
- Comparative Religion
You should obtain up-to-date information from the department you select concerning the conditions and prerequisites for writing a thesis. You may be required to take additional courses in preparation for drafting your thesis during the extended year, as per the policy of your host department. During your extended year, you will be required to complete all levels of Modern Hebrew (through Level Vav).
For information about admission procedures for special research students, please contact the Division of Graduate Studies.
+ Faculty & Research
M.A. in Jewish Studies courses are taught by experts in a range of disciplines, from history to languages to philosophy to religious studies. The head of the program, Dr. Ronnie Goldstein, specializes in the history of Biblical literature and its historical context, cultural interactions between Biblical and ancient Near Eastern literature, and Biblical historiography, prophecy, and the history of Biblical traditions.
Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies
The M.A. in Jewish Studies is offered in conjunction with the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies, a hub of research since 1924. The Mandel Institute is responsible for overseeing all teaching departments and research centers devoted to the pursuit of Jewish studies at the Hebrew University. Among the wide variety of journals and periodicals the Institute runs is the flagship journal, Tarbiz, currently in its 74th year of continuous publication.
Research Institutes & Libraries
The Mandel Institute is affiliated with over 20 smaller research institutes, among them the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Center aims to stimulate and foster research on the scrolls, particularly the task of integrating the new information gained from the scrolls into the body of knowledge about Jewish history and religion in the Second Temple period. This work affects areas such as Biblical studies, Jewish literature and thought on the Second Temple Period, early Christianity and the New Testament, the study of early rabbinic Judaism, and more.
Other Jewish Studies research centers at the Hebrew University include:
- The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
- The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism
- The Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center for the Study of German-Jewish Cultural History, Thought and Literature
- The Jewish Music Research Centre
Students also benefit from Hebrew University’s academic resources, such as the National Library of Israel, which sits on the Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram.
Graduates of the M.A. in Jewish Studies are well positioned for careers in academia or religious leadership.
Click here to see what our alumni from recent years have been doing.
+ Student Life
Extracurricular Activities & Student Support
We offer a rich extracurricular activities program, which includes tours, cultural and social events, lectures and more. We support you throughout your stay with us so that Jerusalem becomes your home away from home. Learn more about student life.
+ Dates & Deadlines
- Early admissions: November 22, 2020 – January 5, 2021
- Regular admissions: January 6 – April 29, 2021
- Late applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, until September 12, 2021.
Applicants will receive an email from the Graduate Office with a student number, personal code, and link to upload the required supplementary documents within about 3 days of applying to a program.
Applicants will receive an admission decision within about 3 weeks of applying to a program and submitting all of the required supplementary documents. Admissions decisions are sent via email.
Early Admissions Tuition Payment and Scholarship
- A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to students who apply to the program by January 5, 2021, are accepted, pay $1,500 towards their tuition by February 5, 2021, and pay the remainder of their tuition by April 7, 2021.
- An additional $250 scholarship will be awarded to students who apply to the program by January 5, 2021, are accepted, and pay their tuition in full by February 5, 2021 (total scholarship amount of $1,250).
All students must pay $1,500 towards their tuition by May 13, 2021, and must pay the remainder of their tuition by June 10, 2021.
Regular Admissions Tuition Payment and Scholarship
- A $200 scholarship will be awarded to students who apply to the program by April 29, 2021, are accepted, and pay tuition in full by May 13, 2021.
All students must pay $1,500 towards their tuition by May 13, 2021, and must pay the remainder of their tuition by June 10, 2021.
Applicants who complete their tuition payment and then decide to cancel their enrollment in the program before October 10, 2021 will receive a full refund, but will be charged a $500 withdrawal fee. Applicants who are forced to cancel their enrollment in the program due to COVID will receive a full refund and will not be charged a withdrawal fee.
Arrive on campus by: Approximately one week before your program starts; specific dates will be sent to accepted students via email.
Summer Ulpan (optional intensive Hebrew language course): August-September, 2021; check the academic calendar for exact dates.
Program length: Two years (four semesters); October, 2021 – June, 2023; check the academic calendar for exact dates. Students who wish to prolong their studies may enroll as M.A. Extended Year Students for an additional fee.
+ Costs & Scholarships
For financial information, see Tuition & Fees for Graduate Students.
Students enrolled in M.A. programs are eligible to receive health insurance for the duration of their program at no extra cost. Students who will be arriving early or departing late may purchase extended health insurance. See Health and Safety for more information.
The Summer Ulpan (an intensive Modern Hebrew course) is optional. Tuition for international students is US$ 2,455. Tuition for Israeli citizens is NIS 7,770. Housing is available for the Summer Ulpan for an additional fee of US$ 1,470. See Summer Ulpan Programs for more information.
Fees & Refunds
For a complete explanation of fees and refunds, see Tuition & Fees for Graduate Students.
A number of scholarships, based on merit or demonstrated need, are available. See Scholarships and Financial Aid for more information.
To be eligible for acceptance, you must have the following:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education recognized by the Hebrew University.
- Minimum B average (85/100 or equivalent).
- Demonstrated knowledge of English.
In addition to your online application, you will be required to submit the following documents:
- Academic Records: Applicants must submit transcripts and diplomas from all prior academic degrees.
- Proof of English Proficiency: A TOEFL exam score of 80 or above, IELTS exam score of 6 or above, Amir exam score of 220 or above, or Amiram exam score of 120 or above. *
- A CV and Statement of Purpose
- Two Academic Recommendations
- Photocopy of your Passport ID page
- A Medical Form and Disclaimer Form(US citizens only)- both forms may be downloaded from the application website.
All documents may be uploaded to your application directly or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org as email attachments.
* If you have completed a degree at a university at which English is the sole language of instruction, or if you have completed a degree in English Language and Literature, you can request an exemption. You must submit documentation from your university verifying English as the language of instruction. Exemption is not automatic and is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for Accepted Students page.
Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants to M.A. Programs page.
We’re happy you’ve chosen to apply to Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School. See our application guidelines and apply online now.
Questions about the Curriculum
Email Dr. Ronnie Goldstein
Academic Head of the M.A. in Jewish Studies
Questions about Admission, Housing, and Other Practical Matters
Email the Division of Graduate Studies
Call us: +972 2 588 3184