BA Degree


Studies in the department are divided into five periods:

  • The biblical period
  • The period of the Second Temple, the Mishnah and the Talmud
  • The Middle Ages
  • The Early Modern Era
  • The Late Modern Era


The BA programme is dedicated to providing general overviews and understanding of the historical processes at work within each and every period. Studies are not limited to a handful of central topics. Rather, it is our goal to ensure that all of our graduates are thoroughly acquainted with the fascinating and unique story of the Jewish people from its beginnings to the present day. The first and second years of the programme therefore focus on the foundations: a historical overview of all of the historical periods, familiarity with the corresponding primary sources, and learning how to “make history” based on these sources. In the second and third years, students choose two of the five periods for in-depth study and preliminary research.


The Department of Jewish History combines two disciplines: history and Jewish studies. Students are therefore required to expand their knowledge of general history and Jewish studies, beyond the courses offered in the department itself. 


How does it work?


How do I build a study programme?

First, a glossary:

Introductory course (mavo) – a basic course on the history of the entire period

Beginners’ tutorial (targil le-matḥilim) – a course that teaches how to draw historical conclusions from original sources

Advanced tutorial (targil le-mitkadmim) – a course for second and third-year students, in which a given topic or field is studied in depth

Advanced course (kurs le-mitkadmim) – a course for second and third-year students, in which a topic or field is explored in depth and at greater length

Seminar (seminar) – an advanced course in which a given historical topic is studied, and historical methodology is learned and practiced, including the submission of an independent research project


Years 1-2

  • Students must take introductory courses in all of the historical periods: biblical; Second Temple, Mishnah and Talmud; Middle Ages; Early Modern Era; Late Modern Era.
  • Students must take 4 beginners’ tutorials, in 4 of the 5 periods.


Years 2-3

In the second year, students must choose two periods in which to specialise: a primary and a secondary period. In their primary specialisation, students must take advanced courses and seminars for a total of 8 credits. In their secondary specialisation, they must take advanced courses and seminars for a total of 6 credits.


Extra-departmental studies



Years 1-2: general introductory courses to history (4 credits); Trends in Historiography (2 credits); 2 introductory courses corresponding to the periods of specialisation (4 credits: e.g. Introduction to Roman History, corresponding to a specialisation in the Second Temple period) 

Jewish studies  

Years 1-2: Bibliographical Guidance (2 credits); Talmud Preparatory Course (4 credits); introductory course in one of the departments of the Institute of Jewish Studies (4 credits: e.g. Introduction to Mediaeval Jewish Thought; Introduction to Modern Hebrew Literature)

Year 3: a 2-credit course in one of the history or Jewish studies departments


Students are also required to take a number of general, “Cornerstone” courses (4 credits), outside the Faculty of the Humanities (e.g. one of the Cornerstone courses offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences)


Should any problems, doubts or misunderstandings arise, students are encouraged to consult with a BA course advisor or with the department secretary, Ms. Iris Nahari.