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Rothberg International School The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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One Year M.A. in Jewish Studies

offered in conjunction with the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies 



Program ID:


3 consecutive semesters

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Application Open: 

January 1 - May 15, 2017  (late applications accpted)

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Diploma Type: 

M.A. Degree

Tuition Fee: 


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Academic Head: Dr. Ronnie Goldstein 




Who is this program for? 


This program is designed for students who wish to study Jewish culture and sources from an interdisciplinary perspective, whether they are recent college graduates interested in the field of Jewish Studies or Ph.D. candidates who wish to enrich their knowledge, research skills and experience by studying at the Hebrew University while living in Jerusalem.


Students will enjoy a learning experience in small classes with experts in the field as well as access to the Hebrew University's academic resources, such as the National Library on the Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram.




A city sacred to Judaism, Jerusalem is a melding of past and present, of ancient roots and modern innovations. It is a city about which the Talmud says: “Of the ten measures of beauty allotted to the world, nine were given to Jerusalem.” From the hilltop of the Mount Scopus campus, through the windows of the classrooms and dormitories of the Hebrew University, the incredible panorama of Jerusalem unfolds. 


Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is well known for its many historical and holy sites and fascinating tourist attractions. In addition, this thriving metropolis is rich in art galleries and museums, theaters and concert halls, restaurants and cafes, pubs and dance clubs. Exciting festivals, exhibitions, international conferences, sports competitions and many other special events are held throughout the year. 


Duration of studies  3 consecutive semesters (autumn, spring and summer)



About the Program 


The program covers Jewish culture and history from its beginnings to Modern times, and is divided into two main periods: from Ancient to early Medieval times and from Medieval to Modern times. Courses are offered in textual studies, history, philosophy, and culture, and include study tours in Jerusalem (see sample of courses below). Language instruction is offered in Modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, Akkadian, Greek, and Literary and Colloquial Arabic. 


Courses from the M.A. program are also open to visiting students on a one year or semester basis. For information see Visiting Student  webpage.


Special track: Religious Studies

Students who choose to pursue this option will follow a core curriculum in Jewish Studies but focus a significant portion of their electives in Religious Studies courses.


Extracurricular Activities  

A rich extracurricular activities program is offered, including tours, cultural and social events, lectures and more. 



Course of Study  


The program consists of 40 credits over three consecutive semesters, including required and elective courses. Students are required to specialize in one period of study, but take courses in the other period as well.



Course List Sample: 


Required Courses 

·         Approaching Classical Jewish Texts: Ancient until Modern Times 

 Elective Courses (sample courses) 

·         The Rabbinic World View 

·         Trends in Medieval Kabbalah 

·         The Secrets of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed 

·         Eschatology in the Late Second Temple Period: Qumran, Nascent Christianity and   Beyond 

·         Crisis and Identity: Jewish Intellectuals in the Modern World         

·         Jerusalem in History, Art and Literature: Between Imagination and Reality 

·         The Origin of Modern Jewish Studies 

·         Einstein's Question: The Holocaust in History, Trauma and Culture 

·         Jews under the Habsburg Double Eagle 

·         Transformation of German Jewry


Religious Studies Courses 

  •  Current Trends in the Study of Religion
  • Issues in the Study of Judaism in the Second Temple Period
  • Jerusalem and the Temple in Early Christian and Jewish Literature
  • Eschatology in Late Second Temple Period: Qumran, Nascent Christianity and   Beyond
  • Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective

 * Program is subject to change


Students are encouraged to study an additional ancient language. Students who opt to do so will be able, in consultation with their advisor, to reduce the above credit load. 



Hebrew Requirements  Students will be expected to complete level Gimel by the end of their studies. 



Admission Requirements 


Qualified students with a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education are eligible for admission to the program. Admission is competitive and based on transcripts and letters of recommendation. Students must have:

  • at least a 3.2 ("B") grade-point average 
  • a relevant background in Jewish studies 
  • be prepared to enroll in at least level Gimel Hebrew at the beginning of their first semester of study. Students who have minimal or no knowledge of Hebrew (levels Aleph-Bet) will be required to attend the Summer Ulpan prior to their first and second year of the program. 

Knowledge of English: Applicants are required to submit official TOEFL, IELTS, or Amir scores. The minimum TOEFL score required is 89 on the internet-based test.  The minimum IELTS score is 7. The minimum Amir score is 220. 


Exempted from this requirement are applicants who have completed a full degree (a minimum of four years) taught solely in English at a recognized institution of higher education. Applicants who have completed a B.A. in English Language and Literature may request an exemption provided that they submit documentation from their university stating that the language of instruction is English. 


Note: Official documents or test results may be scanned and emailed to  official documents must be submitted upon arrival.



Students are expected to conclude all courses for credit with a grade based on an exam or a written paper. Two of these papers must be full-fledged seminar papers, one of which will be submitted during the first year of study. 


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