The program offers advanced studies in a range of areas, such as Jewish thought during the Second Temple period, Jewish-Hellenistic thought, Rabbinic thought, Jewish medieval and Renaissance philosophy, Kabbalah and mysticism throughout the ages, Modern Jewish thought, philosophy of Halakhah, Zionist thought, philosophy of science, hermeneutics, mythology, and more. The program of study combines philological-textual study, philosophical and comparative analysis, and historical evaluation.
The goal is to provide students with the ability to conduct advanced research in these areas, along with the necessary methodological tools as well as a familiarity with a range of academic methods. For students who intend on teaching at high-schools, the program offers the knowledge base and the analytical methods that are necessary to teach Jewish thought in such an educational environment.
Students within the department can concentrate on one of the following four areas:
- Jewish thought during the Second Temple period and Rabbinic thought.
- Jewish medieval and Renaissance philosophy.
- Kabbalah and mysticism throughout the ages, from antiquity until modern times.
- Modern Jewish thought.
There are two options for students - they can major in one area of concentration, and take additional courses in other areas of concentration within the department and in other departments; or they can major in two related areas of concentration (from a chronological or thematic perspective). The classes for second degree students are generally in the form of seminars.
Studying for MA degree has two tracks:
- A research track: 28 credits, composed of 20 credits for courses within the department (including 12 credits within the major area of concentration, and the remainder in other areas of concentration) and 8 credits for courses outside of the department. Supplementary courses: a second foreign language (at an advanced level), and preparation for Talmud for second degree students.
- A non-research track: 40 credits, composed of 28 credits for courses within the department (including 16 credits within the major area of concentration, and the remainder in other areas of concentration) and 12 credits for courses outside of the department (with the approval of the second degree advisor). Supplementary courses: preparation for Talmud for second degree students.
Prerequisites for Admission:
Direct admission: graduates with a first degree in the field of Jewish thought from an Israeli or international university with a grade point average of at least 85.
A year of post-baccalaureate courses: graduates with a first degree from any institution in a field that is remote from the field of Jewish thought will have to complete a year of post-baccalaureate studies in the amount of 30 credits. Graduates with a first degree in a field that is related to Jewish thought - such as Jewish studies, philosophy or religious studies - will need to complete a lesser amount of credits (each case will be evaluated independently).