Discussing Israel Studies with Program Director Prof. Gur Alroey

The MA in Israel Studies is one of the more recent additions to the University of Haifa’s International Master’s Degree Programs. The first cohort launched fall semester 2013. Taught in English over three consecutive semesters, the program examines Israel from a variety of perspectives. The multidisciplinary curriculum allows students the opportunity to pursue an in-depth course of study examining the State of Israel from the beginning of the Zionist movement until the present.

Interview with Prof. Gur Alroey, Program Director, Chair of the School of History

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAInterviewer:  Prof Alroey, why would a student come to the University of Haifa to study in your program?

Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented growth of scholarly interest in Israeli history, politics, society and culture. Numerous programs, research centers and chair endowments in Israel Studies have been established in North America and Europe, adding a new, fresh and innovative dimension to existing programs in Judaic Studies.

Coming here to Israel to study makes the most sense, enabling students to experience first-hand the complex mosaic that is Israel’s modern society.

The MA Program in Israel Studies is designed to attract international students who wish to deepen their understanding of the Israeli experience from a wide perspective, and view it against the larger backdrop of twentieth century Jewish history, and Middle Eastern politics and society.

Interviewer: What is unique about the program at the University of Haifa?

We have designed an academic program that will provide students with a historical perspective of the  establishment of the State of Israel, and will also encourage independent and critical thinking about its historical development and current status.  The nature of our campus means that learning is not only reserved for the classroom. In the hallways, during breaks and social events, Israeli-Jewish students encounter and engage with Israeli-Palestinian students, becoming  acquainted with each other and, even when disagreeing, they learn to understand and respect each other. We invite you to be part of our academic life, to learn about Israel and to gain new friends from the entire spectrum of Israeli society.

One of the highlights of the program is a field campus where students, together with the faculty, will spend three days in one of the country’s historically rich regions, exploring the areas’ complexities from the past and present.

Interviewer: What is the main emphasis of the program?

The program builds on the scholarly excellence, rich curriculum and unique institutional resources the University of Haifa offers in the fields of Jewish and Israeli history, and Middle Eastern politics and society, and on the successful experience of international academic collaborations. We will be focusing on three academic categories:
1. History of Zionism and the State of Israel, 1881-1967;
2. Jewish Diasporas in the 20th Century: A Transnational Perspective;
3. Contemporary Israel: Sociology, Minorities, Law, and Culture.

For more information on the International School MA program in Israel Studies, visit the program website, or feel free to contact us at infograd@univ.haifa.ac.il.

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