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, Middle Eastern politics and society, and on the successful experience of international academic collaborations.
Courses will be subdivided into the following three academic categories:
  • History of Zionism and the State of Israel, 1881-1967
  • Jewish Diasporas in the 20th Century: A Transnational Perspective
  • Contemporary Israel: Sociology, Minorities, Law, and Culture

History of Zionism and the State of Israel, 1881-1967
Students will be acquainted with the main trends in Zionist ideology and its key thinkers, the evolution of the Zionist ideas over time and the criticism and internal debates that have accompanied Zionism from its inception. Students will learn the ways in which the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Palestine) and later, Israeli society, has been consolidated through succeeding widespread waves of immigration, starting with the period of the first Aliyah until the first two decades of the State of Israel.

Jewish Diasporas in the 20th Century: A Transnational Perspective
One of the distinctive qualities of the program is that it encourages its students to examine Israeli history within the context of twentieth-century Jewish history and to think more seriously about the mutual – complex and ambivalent – interrelations between the State of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. Courses included in this category will examine the histories of the major Jewish communities in the English-speaking world, Central and Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Arab world. Students will learn about the far-reaching transformations which shaped the Jewish world during one of its most turbulent centuries, and the dynamic processes which continue shifting old balances and reshaping the landscape of the Jewish world.

Contemporary Israel: Sociology, Minorities, Law and Culture
Students will learn about the social structure and tensions in contemporary Israel, its political system, legal institutions and its multicultural character. In addition, faculty-led field trips and tours will give students the opportunity to become acquainted with Israel’s landscape and geography, and meet weekly with representatives from different sectors that make up Israeli society: Palestinian-Israelis, Druze, the national-religious, ultra-Orthodox, Russian immigrants, Ethiopians, residents of development towns, kibbutz residents and the veteran population.

Academic Requirements

Track A* involves preparation of a research thesis and consists of 32 credits, including four core courses, four elective courses and two seminar papers.

A thesis,which is normally completed in the year following the completion of coursework, is required for those students planning to continue on to doctoral studies in Israel. A thesis is an independent research project and the pace of progress depends largely on the student's efforts. Students who complete their thesis later than one semester after the completion of their coursework, may be expected to pay an additional fee as detailed by the Graduate Studies Authority.

*The ability to pursue the thesis track is dependent upon the student's ability to find an appropriate advisor.

Track B consists of 36 credits (without a thesis), including four core courses, five elective courses, three seminar papers and a final exam.