The Council for Higher Education recently approved a BA program in Land of Israel studies at the Lander Institute – Jerusalem Academic Center, which announced the move on the eve of Independence Day.

The study track, which will focus on the historical, physical, social, demographic and geopolitical essences of the State of Israel and Jerusalem, is the first of its kind to be offered in the capital.

In the past three years, the Lander Institute had offered the program under the CHE’s temporary approval. After examination of the study track, the CHE granted the bachelor’s program accreditation.

According to the institute, the program is designed for “those who wish to know the region with its problems and complexities and for lovers of the Land of Israel and Jerusalem who want to make their interest in the field an academic degree.”

Employment options for graduates of the program include those in the fields of social and public policy, geography and education.

Prof. Yossef Shilhav, who built and shaped the program, said with great satisfaction that the CHE’s recognition of the program reflected its confidence in the course content, the nature of the studies and the academic level.

The initiative was “an important milestone in the development of this curriculum,” Shilhav said.

The program was already seeing significant demand as classes were held three times a week, and could be combined with work and other student activities, the institute said.

Some 1,200 Israeli students and 3,500 foreign students study at the Lander Institute.

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