The Jewish Theological Seminary Partners with BGU's Israel Studies Program

Press Contact: Eve Glasberg
Office: (212) 678-8089

May 9, 2013, New York, NY

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) signed a five-year study abroad agreement, giving JTS graduate students the opportunity to spend a semester in BGU's Israel Studies International Program.

JTS students in the Modern Jewish Studies or Jewish Studies programs in The Graduate School of JTS will have the option of pursuing an Israel studies track at BGU in the first semester of their second year under the auspices of BGU's Israel Studies International Program (ISIP). The program will take place at the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism on BGU's Sede Boqer campus, home to the David Ben-Gurion Archives.

"I'm thrilled that students in our Israel Studies track will have the opportunity to complement  their learning at JTS by spending a semester at BGU, studying with experts, immersing themselves in Israeli society, and conducting research at the renowned Ben-Gurion Archives," said Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz, Walter and Sarah Schlesinger dean of graduate and undergraduate studies at JTS.

Students will take three Israel studies courses and one Hebrew language course. The courses offered include:

·    The Israeli Mosaic, which includes research in the Ben-Gurion Archives and focuses on archival methodology, using primary source material in restructuring Israel's historical narrative

·    Israel from an Interdisciplinary Perspective, which focuses on academic discourse on Israel. Students will study and analyze different scholars' perspectives on Israel's history, society, geography, and culture.

·    A seminar that will concentrate on one core issue in Israeli society, such as religion and state, or the relationship between the geographic "center" (Tel Aviv) and "peripheries" (north and south)

"We could not be more delighted to embark on an academic collaboration with JTS, one of the foremost academies of Jewish learning in North America," says Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

"This exclusive partnership reflects BGU's leadership in the field of Israel studies, and a faculty boasting some of the finest scholars on this topic in Israel." BGU's Israel Studies International Program is the only one of its kind in Israel.

Ben-Gurion University offers English-language graduate and post-graduate degree-programs from the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies, the Medical School for International Health and the Israel Studies International Program that attract students from around the world. Many of BGU's outstanding courses in ecology, sustainable development, global health, and Israel studies are offered to non-degree undergraduate students who participate in the Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program.