Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announced that it has signed a five-year
study abroad program agreement with the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York
With the implementation of the initiative, which will officially
begin in the fall of 2014, JTS graduate students in the modern Jewish studies or
Jewish studies tracks will be offered the option of pursuing an Israel studies
track at BGU in the first semester of their second year, as part of the
university’s Israel Studies International Program.
The program, which
will take place at the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and
Zionism on the university’s Sde Boker campus, home to the David Ben-Gurion
Archives, will involve three Israel studies courses and one Hebrew language
The three Israel studies classes will include: archival
methodology, aimed at restructuring Israel’s historical narrative using primary
source material; different scholars’ perspectives on the country’s history,
society, geography and culture; and a seminar on one core issue in Israeli
society, such as religion and state or the relationship between the Center and
The joint program, which will be entirely taught in
English, was established in collaboration with the American Associates at BGU, a
Manhattan-based organization that fund-raises for and increases awareness of the
university across the US.
“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,”
JTS dean of graduate and undergraduate studies Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz
Doron Krakow, executive vice president of the American Associates
at BGU, also welcomed the move and said the organization is “delighted to embark
on an academic collaboration” with the New York school.
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,” he added.