Written by Cory, a current Israel Studies MA student at the University of Haifa.
It had been a dream of mine to study in Israel for many years. I have always desired to find a graduate program that would allow me to immerse myself in Israeli history, politics, society, and culture. I am very fortunate that I have found the Master of Arts in Israel Studies program at the University of Haifa and I am very grateful that I was given the chance of learning from eminent scholars in the field of Israeli and Judaic Studies.
The University of Haifa is a truly diverse institution whose students come from all ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds in Israeli society. It has thus far been an amazing experience to study and examine Israeli history in the beautiful city of Haifa where I have had the opportunity to meet Israelis from all walks of life. Israelis everywhere have welcomed me and helped me adjust to my new life in Israel.
I am currently taking three graduate courses this semester. One particular course is called “Arab-Jewish Relations in Mandatory Palestine” taught by Dr. Moshe Naor. In class, we are examining the emergence of Zionism from the late nineteenth century until the 1948 war. We are discussing the social, political, and cultural factors that have affected relations between Arabs and Jews. As someone who is interested in having a better understanding of the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict, this course has been crucial in shedding light on its origins.
This week, Dr. Naor took our class to the University of Haifa library’s
archives where we had an opportunity to see “The Rare Books & Special Collection.” This collection has manuscripts that date from the Middle Ages (5th century-1415) to the present day. We were shown many volumes on Judaica, a large Turkish collection from the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923), and the archives of Abba Hushy אבא חושי (1898-1969), a major public and political figure in Israel who also served as major of Haifa from 1951-1969. The University of Haifa has a vast library for any serious student considering studying about Israel and Jewish Studies.