The Multidisciplinary Department of Jewish Studies

להיחשף למגוון, לחשוב לעומק

About

What is the Multidisciplinary Department of Jewish Studies?

The Multidisciplinary Department of Jewish Studies is an academic framework which enables its students to take a wide variety of courses from all of the departments and fields that are included within the Faculty of Jewish Studies: Bible, Talmud, Jewish History, Hebrew and Semitic Languages, Hebrew Literature, Yiddish and Ladino, Jewish Philosophy, Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Jewish Art and Middle Eastern Studies. The department allows students to create individualized curricula, which best reflect their particular interests within the field of Jewish Studies.

So why study in the Multidisciplinary Department of Jewish Studies?

The Faculty of Jewish Studies in Bar-Ilan University is the largest and most varied of its kind in the world, and includes nine disciplinary departments that specialize in the different fields included in Jewish studies. All of these are open to students of the Multidisciplinary Department, which breaks down the traditional boundaries between the different fields of study and brings them together in a program that is rich in content and unique in its variety. Each student in the department is guided in their studies by a senior academic advisor.

 

The Multidisciplinary Department of Jewish Studies offers two programs of study, both of which lead to a Multidisciplinary BA in Jewish Studies: “Sadot” (“Fields”) and “Cramim” (“Vineyards”).

The Sadot program is meant for students who wish to choose concentrations of introductory and advanced courses in three or four of the nine departments within the Faculty, as well as a wide range of elective courses.

Cramim - the Jewish Studies Honors Program - is a new interdisciplinary honors program within the Faculty of Jewish Studies at Bar-Ilan University. Cramim is an opportunity for outstanding students to immerse themselves in areas such as Jewish history, culture, literature, language, and philosophy. Unlike most Israeli academic majors, Cramim enables students to develop a deep and holistic understanding of their chosen field of study by also exposing them to subjects, texts, and thinkers from related disciplines. Cramim offers eligible students full tuition scholarships.

 

For additional details, please contact:

Department office: multi.judaic@biu.ac.il                            

Professor Yigal Levin: yigal.levin@biu.ac.il

Dr. Tova Ganzel: tova.ganzel@biu.ac.il

Cramim program- cramim@biu.ac.il

Programs

Cramim Track 1: “Concentrations” Track

Students seeking an introductory-based, wide-ranging education in Jewish Studies will have a world of stimulating options opened to them. These students will take concentrations of introductory and advanced courses in three or four of the nine departments within the Faculty (Bible, Talmud, Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew and Semitic Languages, Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Jewish Art, Jewish Philosophy, Hebrew Literature and Middle Eastern Studies). They will also have their pick of a wide range of elective courses. This choice of concentrations will give the participants a broad intellectual underpinning if  they choose to proceed to graduate studies in any of these fields.

Cramim Track 2: Individual Themes

This track will offer exceptional students the opportunity to delve deeply into either one or two specific topics of their choice. The program of study will be developed in consultation with the heads of Cramim, who will assist the student in designing the appropriate academic program. Topics of study may include Ancient Judaism, Diaspora Communities, Women in Jewish Society, archaeology of the Land of Israel, Jewish ritual and worship, Jewish literature, Jewish languages and more. Students will take introductory and advanced-level courses in the various departments of the Faculty of Jewish Studies, with a concentration of classes and seminars that are relevant to their topic of choice. Such an individualized and multidisciplinary track of study for a BA is unique to our program.

The Cramim program’s teaching certification for Israeli public schools will include group instruction, mediation, chavriuta–style study, independent study and practical experience in the field. This option will be offered to all Cramim students.

Why Should You Be Interested in Cramim?

The Cramim program is unique, in that it is the only academic honors program that is geared specifically towards academic Jewish Studies, with both an understanding of Jewish tradition and the full range of critical, cutting-edge academic research. The curriculum combines broad academic knowledge with intensive practical experience. Graduates of the program will be able to complete their teaching certificates and enter the world of formal or informal education, with an emphasis on varied aspects of Jewish studies – or to pursue graduate and PhD studies in any of the many fields of Jewish studies, engaging in research or in community leadership.

Cramim is geared toward students who wish to invest their university years in significant and immersive study. We seek thoughtful students, who desire the environment of discourse cultivated by seminar classes with the finest lecturers in their fields. It is most geared toward students who wish to accumulate writing experience in the early years of the BA degree, who want to assist in scholarly research, and who will contribute to a creative learning environment. We welcome students interested in new opportunities, and especially students who want to join us in building a successful and stimulating new intellectual venture.

We believe that the innovative multidisciplinary advantages of the Cramim program will attract highly-motivated and excellent students. The students in the program will be exposed to life-changing learning opportunities and be part of a cadre of thoughtful young leaders, inspired by the riches of Jewish civilization. 

Staff

Professor Yigal Levin – Head of the Multidisciplinary Department of Jewish Studies             

Professor Yigal Levin teaches in the Department of Jewish History of Bar-Ilan   University  and heads its Multidisciplinary Department of Jewish Studies. His main areas of interest are the history of Israel during the Biblical and early Second Temple periods, the historical geography of the Land of Israel during the biblical period, religion and society in ancient Israel, and the interface between the Bible, historical sources and archaeological evidence. Among the books that he has written or edited are A Time of Change: Judah and its Neighbors in the Persian and Early Hellenistic Period (London, T&T Clark, 2007), War and Peace in Jewish Tradition from the Biblical World to the Present (London, Routledge, 2012 – with A. Shapira), "See, I will bring a scroll recounting what befell me" (Ps 40:8): Epigraphy and Daily Life - From the Bible to the Talmud - Dedicated to the memory of Professor Hanan Eshel (Gottingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014 – with E. Eshel), The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah: 2 Chronicles 10-36 – A New Translation and Commentary (London, Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2017).

 

Dr. Tova Ganzel – Head of the Cramim Honors Program                                                            

Dr. Tova Ganzel received her PhD from the Department of Bible in Bar-Ilan. Her broad area of interest is prophetic literature in the context of the larger ancient Near Eastern world. She has published on Joel, Haggai, Isaiah with a specialization on the book of Ezekiel. Tova was the Director of the Midrasha at Bar-Ilan University, and is one the first trained women’s halakhic advisors (Yoatzot Halacha). Her Book Destruction and Restoration in the Seer’s Prophecy: Studies in the Prophecies of Ezekiel. Alon-Shvut: Tevunot-Herzog, 2012 [Hebrew] is forthcoming in English. Her recent research focuses on the prophetic literature, ancient Near Eastern temples and Second Temple Period texts, specifically on Ezekiel's temple vision in its Neo-Babylonian context. In addition, she has also engaged the issue of the Jewish reception of biblical criticism and addressed various aspects of this topic, from the eighteenth century to the present, in a number of studies, and was the primary editor of The Believer and the Modern Study of the Bible, edited by Tova Ganzel, Yehudah Brandes, and Chayuta Deutsch, Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2019.  Expanded version: Jerusalem: Beit Morasha, 2015, 2016 (second edition) [Hebrew]. 

 

Why cramim ?

‘Cramim’, A New Bar-Ilan Honors program

in the Faculty of Jewish Studies

Cramim - the Jewish Studies Honors Program - is a new interdisciplinary honors program within the Faculty of Jewish Studies at Bar-Ilan University. Cramim is an opportunity for outstanding students to immerse themselves in areas such as Jewish history, culture, literature, language, and philosophy. Unlike most Israeli academic majors, Cramim enables students to develop a deep and holistic understanding of their chosen field of study by also exposing them to subjects, texts, and thinkers from related disciplines.

The program offers students a personal supervisor who can help design their unique course of study, as well as an exclusive selection of intellectual and skills-based workshops. Exploring ideas within their own varied and outstanding student community, and learning from some of the best academics in the world, Cramim participants will enrich their critical thinking and their scholarly abilities. In addition to their studies, students will participate in a weekly seminar in which they engage leading researchers from Israel and the world about their work and methodology.

Bar-Ilan offers a wealth of resources for the serious student. The Faculty of Jewish Studies at Bar-Ilan is the largest and most respected academic division of its kind. Characterized by excellence in research and teaching, our faculty is known for its intellectual openness, and for its cultivation of a warm, positive atmosphere of study and discourse.

The Faculty has the largest number of students and faculty members who teach and conduct research in all areas of Jewish Studies, including Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple Literature, Rabbinic Literature, medieval Judaism, Hasidism, Modern and Contemporary Judaism, Zionism, Jewish intellectual history, Jewish philosophy and Kabbala, Jewish art, and the history and archaeology of the Land of Israel and of the Middle East.

Going Above and Beyond

Cramim is not simply an academic program. It is a learning community, encouraging discussion and a free exchange of ideas. It will serve as a place of exploration, questioning and contemplation, and intellectual enrichment.

Cramim will offer a unique, multidisciplinary B.A. in Jewish Studies in two tracks of study. Enrollment in both tracks is limited in order to foster the best possible learning environment. Both tracks will offer the option of certification for teaching Jewish studies in the Israeli public school system. In both tracks, the students will take part in multi-disciplinary courses on topics that are generally not included in Judaic Studies curricula but are central to a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of Jewish history, tradition, and identity in a multifaceted way.

Why Should You Be Interested in Cramim?

The Cramim program is unique, in that it is the only academic honors program that is geared specifically towards academic Jewish Studies, with both an understanding of Jewish tradition and the full range of critical, cutting-edge academic research. The curriculum combines broad academic knowledge with intensive practical experience. Graduates of the program will be able to complete their teaching certificates and enter the world of formal or informal education, with an emphasis on varied aspects of Jewish studies – or to pursue graduate and PhD studies in any of the many fields of Jewish studies, engaging in research or in community leadership.

Cramim is geared toward students who wish to invest their university years in significant and immersive study. We seek thoughtful students, who desire the environment of discourse cultivated by seminar classes with the finest lecturers in their fields. It is most geared toward students who wish to accumulate writing experience in the early years of the BA degree, who want to assist in scholarly research, and who will contribute to a creative learning environment. We welcome students interested in new opportunities, and especially students who want to join us in building a successful and stimulating new intellectual venture.

We believe that the innovative multidisciplinary advantages of the Cramim program will attract highly-motivated and excellent students. The students in the program will be exposed to life-changing learning opportunities and be part of a cadre of thoughtful young leaders, inspired by the riches of Jewish civilization                                           

For additional details, please contact:                                              

Professor Yigal Levin: yigal.levin@biu.ac.il

Dr. Tova Ganzel: tova.ganzel@biu.ac.il

or: 

"cramim" program- cramim@biu.ac.il

 

For applicants

Applicants to Sadot with an average of under 90 on their Bagrut exams (Israel’s high school-level matriculation exams) must also take the psychometric exam (Israel’s equivalent to the SAT) and will be evaluated based on their combined scores.

Applicants with 90 and over on their Bagrut exams will be accepted without the psychometric exam.

Applicants to Cramim must have:

-          A minimum grade of 650 on their psychometric exam and

-          An average of 10.0 on their Bagrut exams

In the event that the bagrut grades are outstanding, a student might be accepted on the basis of a verbal test and without the need for psychometric grades. Graduates of non-Israeli high schools will be evaluated according to the standard Bar-Ilan equivalency standards. 

All Cramim candidates will also be invited to a personal interview as a condition of entry to the program.

 

Applicants to both programs must fill out the Bar-Ilan application forms, and write “The Multidisciplinary Department in Jewish Studies” as either a dual-major or as a single major.

Additionally, applicants are advised to contact the department, in order to make sure that their applications are processed quickly.

Applicants to Cramim must also send an email to the department, with a cv and a 1-2 page essay describing an event, a text that you read or a person that they met who had a pivotal influence their life. Applicants will be invited for an interview after these materials are received.

                                                                                                   

For additional details, please contact:                          

Department office: multi.judaic@biu.ac.il

Professor Yigal Levin: yigal.levin@biu.ac.il

Dr. Tova Ganzel: tova.ganzel@biu.ac.il

Cramim program- cramim@biu.ac.il

Scholarships

Appropriate Cramim participants will be awarded full scholarships, 

 covering the tuition fees of their study.