A Theological Study Year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Students of theology as well as students of related subjects (e.g. Jewish Studies) can live and study in Jerusalem for one year with “Studium in Israel”. During this time, they are enrolled at the Hebrew University, one of the most important centers of Jewish scholarship in the world. There they experience everyday university life and study together with Jewish and Arab Israelis and many students from other countries and religions, mainly in Hebrew, sometimes in English.
In addition to learning and deepening their knowledge of modern Hebrew, the focus is on Jewish traditional literature, which remains a source of theological thought and discussion in Judaism to this day.
In addition, there is an extensive academic program with weekly lectures by lecturers from Israel/Palestine, compact courses with lecturers from Germany, archaeological and regional excursions, and theological study days in German. Therefore, prior knowledge in Hebrew, English, and German is necessary.
And – last but not least – the students of “Studium in Israel” experience a year in Jerusalem in the coexistence of the different religions and denominations, are part of Israeli everyday life and thus gain diverse insights into the society of the country.
Roadmap to the Hebrew University
To participate in the one-year degree program, simply follow this roadmap.
During the summer semester, information events are held online and in person at various universities to provide information about the program and the application process. Attendance of one of these events is mandatory for applicants.
Ivrit study should begin prior to the interview process, either in a Modern Hebrew course or in self-study with the textbook "Ivrit min haHatchala" (Rama Aleph).
"Studium in Israel" organizes the financing of the tuition fees and the accompanying program of the academic year through various donors. The association depends on the help of the students. "Studium in Israel" asks all applicants to apply for scholarships as early as possible. Students generally finance their living expenses themselves and, if necessary, with the help of grants.
By October 31
The written application for the study program is due on October 31 before the start of the academic year. If possible, send all documents digitally as one PDF to kontakt@studium-in-Israel.de. Send the letters of reference in a sealed envelope by mail. You can find further information on the Application Checklist (Bewerbungscheckliste).
Beginning of January
In addition to a written exam on Modern Hebrew, three interviews with members of the board of "Studium in Israel" take place in which knowledge of the history and political situation in Israel/Palestine, theological knowledge, and the personal motivation of the applicants are discussed. Practice exams as well as a list of relevant literature for the interviews can be found in the download menu.
After the selection, Studium in Israel supports the students with a two-week intensive language course, which traditionally takes place in Leipzig. There the students acquire the majority of the second language level ("Rama Beth").
The Hebrew studies are continued with an online Hebrew course offered by "Studium in Israel".
By May participants should apply for the visa. By July, at the latest, the intermediate exam or an equivalent degree (e.g. Bachelor) should be completed. In July, the Hebrew University Placement Test is taken (online) to determine the current language level.
Trip to Israel
Mid to late July
Now you are on your way to Jerusalem.
Studying at the Hebrew University
The Hebrew University was founded in 1925 and is considered one of the most important centers of Jewish scholarship in the world. It currently has around 22,000 students enrolled, including a large number of international students. “Studium in Israel” students study primarily on the sprawling campus on Mount Scopus. With its libraries, the Hebrew University offers excellent study conditions and is also a place of diverse encounters. The language of instruction is generally Modern Hebrew (some courses are also offered in English).
The main focus of the study program of “Studium in Israel” is at the Faculty of Humanities, but the courses of the other faculties are also open to the students of “Studium in Israel”. The Rothberg International School is affiliated with the Hebrew University, which is mainly where the language courses take place.
Accompanying Academic Program
“Studium in Israel” offers a multi-layered academic program, which takes place primarily in the association’s own study center in Jerusalem. The thematic focus of the program is decided jointly by the director of studies and the participants.
The accompanying program includes the following modules:
- weekly evening lectures with speakers from Israel/Palestine. From a wide range of topics (politics and society in Israel / Palestine, Jewish festivals, Palestinian liberation theology, culture of remembrance, …), the students can set priorities together with the director of studies.
- weekly Talmud tutorial with the director of studies and/or the pastor in residence
- Seminar series (e.g. an introduction to Jewish liturgy and insights into Neo-Chassidism)
- archaeological and regional excursions to Galilee and the Negev
- compact course on Islam (incl. guided tour of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque)
- theological study days (e.g. on Jewish-Christian relations, introduction to Orthodox Christianity)
- theological compact courses with lecturers from Germany, in order to relate what has been learned in Israel to the study of theology in Germany.
Housing and Living
During the academic year, the students live all over the city: in shared apartments with other participants, with Israelis or in university dormitories. The director of studies and the pastor in residence help in the search. Often apartments/shared apartments can be taken over from the previous year.
Life in Jerusalem is diverse and offers great opportunities to get to know Israeli society beyond the university. Progress in Hebrew can be tested immediately while shopping or making one of the many spontaneous acquaintances. After just a few weeks, most students intuitively know the routes through the Old City, which was initially difficult to navigate, and many students also quickly internalize the bus schedule and its irregularities.
Especially brave and sports-minded students should buy a bicycle for the time of their studies, a helmet is required and in summer a change of clothes is recommended – the way up the university hill is steep. Alternatively, students can use buses or streetcars to get to the university.
Jerusalem offers a wide range of cultural events, and those who have always wanted to search for their own spirituality will find more possibilities in the Holy City than can be taken advantage of in a few months – or even in a year.