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Course content

The International Jewish Studies MA program in Jewish history, philosophy and thought. The course offers a comprehensive combination of Judaic studies that weaves together Biblical and Talmudic Studies, Jewish History, Philosophy, and Mysticism. The program’s focus extends from the Biblical to Modern era, and is taught by experts in the fields of Biblical studies, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Early and Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, early Modern and Modern Jewish History and Thought. Our parallel Hebrew-language program draws over two-hundred students annually and we are now happy to be able to offer it to students from around the world.

What you will study

The year-long program will be taught over three semesters and includes a final examination. The courses are split according to three chronological groups: the Biblical period, Antiquity (the Rabbinic period); and the Medieval to the Modern period. In order to obtain a master’s degree, the student will need to accumulate 36 credits over three consecutive semesters. The credits may be made up from any of the three groups of his/her choice and include the following fields of study:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Judaism in Antiquity
  • Talmud and Midrash
  • Jews and Christians, from Antiquity to Early Modernity
  • Medieval Jewish History
  • Jewish Philosophy
  • Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism
  • Early Modern Cultural History
  • Genizah Studies

For a full list of courses available please refer here


The English-language MA program is aimed at students who seek to deepen their knowledge of the Jewish tradition and its many facets, and for those who would like to gain a solid and broad foundation from which to continue with more specialized post-graduate studies in the field. Over the course of the program, students will also participate in several educational excursions, visiting some of Israel’s main historical sites.

Additionally, the program can be pursued for a semester for use as credit at students’ home universities. Those who wish may combine the program with language studies in Hebrew and Arabic.


The courses will be divided into three chronological cohorts: Biblical; Antiquity (Rabbinics); and Medieval through the Modern period. In order to obtain a Master degree, the student will need to accumulate 36 credits (usually in three semesters: Fall; Spring and Summer\or Fall).The student may choose to focus on one cohort (with, nevertheless, a few courses from other cohorts) or to divide his studies between the three.

Following are examples of the courses we propose for 2015-2016:

The biblical north:

a. Israel, Canaan, Philistia, under the Great Empires 1300-333 BCE

b. Prophets and Kings between North and South

c. The Dead Sea Scrolls in their Context

d. Archaeology and Urban Politics: Hazor, Dan, Meggido, Dor.

The Sages of the Galilee:

a. Sepphoris and Tiberias: Regional cultural productions, rivalries, and exchange.

b. From Midrash to the Genizah.

c. Eschatological expectations and apocalyptic literature in Byzantine Palestine.

d. Conversion in Rabbinic Literature: From the academies of Tiberias to the Rivers of Babylon

Medieval and Early Modern Safed and the region:

a. Saints and pilgrims of the middle ages.

b. Mysticism, Law and Renaissance in Safed at the 16th century.

c. Lurianic Kabbalah in depth.

d. Aggadic Midrash in the Cairo Genizah: From a Galilean Cradle to Mediterranean Spread.

e. The Land of Israel in Early Modern Jewish Thought and Philosophy.

Cross-chronological surveys:

a. Midrash in the making, From Qumran to the Modern Edition.

b. Apocalypse across the Ages: Armageddon and the Messiah from Mt. Arbel.

c. Field Course (a day excursion for each):1. Megido, Hazor and Dan; 2. Beit Sharim and Sepphoris; 3. Safed; 4. Haifa

For more information on courses available please refer here.


The faculty is made up of experienced teaching staff each specializing in fields that cover the Biblical, Antiquity, Medieval, Modern and Post Modern periods. For a full list of faculty and their fields please refer here.


Applicants for this program may be eligible for Masa scholarship. For more scholarship information please visit the Program's Scholarships page

For information on additional scholarship opportunities and financial aid please click here.

Qualified applicants from Asian countries are eligible for scholarships of up to $4,000 US. For more information on this scholarship please contact Dr. Micha Perry at %3e.

Visit the Jewish Studies - MA page on the University of Haifa website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Haifa

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