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Hebrew Language and Culture (MA)

Course Description

How should we read the ‘oral' rabbinic corpus or approach a medieval manuscript? What is theory and how do we apply it to Jewish studies? How does the Hebrew-Yiddish diglossia function in the Jewish polysystem and how did medieval philosophy find its way into biblical exegesis, polemics and poetry? And how do ‘history' and ‘memory' function in Hebrew literature? These and other questions are addressed in the Master's programme in Hebrew Language and Culture.

Studying Hebrew Language and Culture at the University of Amsterdam

The Jewish presence in Amsterdam dates back to the beginning of the seventeenth century, when descendants of Jews who had been expelled from the Iberian peninsula in 1492/97 came to the city in order to be free to practice the faith of their ancestors. Since then, the Jewish community has established itself in the city's life and language.

Today Amsterdam is the religious and cultural centre of Jewish life in the Netherlands, and can boast a Jewish cultural and academic infrastructure unparalleled on the European continent. Important collections in various fields of Jewish studies can be found in such world-famous institutions as the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, the Portuguese Ets Haim/Livraria Montezinos, the Jewish Historical Museum and the Amsterdam Communal Archives. Academic expertise is centred at both the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Menasseh ben Israel Institute for Jewish social and cultural-historical studies.

Accreditation and degree

This master’s programme has been legally accredited by the Dutch government in 2002. This means that upon successful completion of the programme students will receive a legally accredited master's degree in Hebreeuwse taal en cultuur (Hebrew Language and Culture) and the title Master of Arts (MA).

Entry Requirements

Applicants for the Master's programme should have at least a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent in Hebrew language and culture or another relevant field. The level of the Bachelor's degree must be comparable to that of a Dutch Bachelor's degree.Students with a Bachelor's degree in the humanities or social sciences who have completed 30 ECTS credits (or the equivalent) in Jewish Studies and 10 credits in Hebrew Language and Culture are also encouraged to apply.The admissions committee will assess each applicant's academic qualifications on a case-by-case basis.

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