New English Master of Arts in Jewish Philosophy

Bar-Ilan University’s International School and the Department of Jewish Philosophy in the Faculty of Jewish Studies have launched a new Master of Arts in Jewish Philosophy, which will be taught entirely in English. The first program will start in October this year.

The Department of Jewish Philosophy is devoted to the research and teaching of all fields of Jewish thought from the classical period until the writing of Jewish philosophy in modern times, including the study of Kabbalah and Chassidism. Special emphasis is put on the study and research of philosophical thinking, mystical contemplation, and interreligious relations.

Why Study Jewish Philosophy and Thought?

Gaining knowledge of the great Jewish thinkers, past and present, expands our horizons, connects us to our cultural roots, and helps us better understand the intellectual significance of the subject matter.

Martin Buber did “not accept any absolute formulas for living”. He said, “No preconceived code can see ahead to everything that can happen in a man’s life. As we live, we grow, and our beliefs change. They must change. So, I think we should live with this constant discovery. We should be open to this adventure in heightened awareness of living. We should stake our whole existence on our willingness to explore and experience.”

What better way to explore and experience than through graduate studies in Jewish Philosophy at a university that ranks in the top 2% of all universities internationally? Where Jewish traditions, philosophy, and Jewish history come alive in fascinating, thought-provoking classes? Where you can experience the comprehensive exploration of the world of Jewish thought in all its aspects while examining different approaches, discourses, and methods from a broad cultural perspective?

(L-R) Prof. Hanoch Ben Pazi, Bar-Ilan University, Israel; Prof. Joseph D. Terwilliger, Columbia University, US;
and Prof. Soomin Kim, Bae Jae University, Korea, at a philosophy conference in Seoul, South Korea.

The people taking you on this “adventure in heightened awareness of living” are some of the world’s leading philosophers and experts in their fields and include some of the most renowned researchers of Jewish ways of thought.

The program will be led by Prof. Hanoch Ben Pazi, head of the Department of Jewish Philosophy, and Dr. Yehuda Halper, a senior lecturer.

Prof. Ben-Pazi’s research is dedicated to Contemporary Philosophy and Modern Jewish Thought, especially the philosophical writings and Jewish thought of Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas. He has been teaching Jewish philosophy for more than 20 years, 15 of which have been at Bar-Ilan University, and he has written several books and numerous papers on the subject.

Prof. Hanoch Ben Pazi

Prof. Ben-Pazi is also an editor of Da’at, a magazine that specializes in Hebrew and English research into Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah. Da’at is published twice a year by Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Jewish Philosophy.

Dr. Halper’s research examines the introduction of Greek philosophy to Muslim and Jewish readers via Arabic, Latin, and Hebrew texts. His publications treat such well-known pillars of medieval thought as Al-Farabi, Judah Halevi, Moses Maimonides, Averroes, and Levi Gersonides, along with lesser-known Jewish philosophers like Jacob Anatoli, Immanuel of Rome, Abraham Bibago, Eli Habilio, Johanan Alemanno, and Judah Moscato.

Dr. Yehuda Halper

Other prominent lecturers in the program will include Prof. Ephraim Meir, Prof. Tamar Ross, and Prof. Steven Shmuel Harvey, among others.

Target Audience

Our winning blend of secular and religious norms means the Department of Jewish Philosophy at BIU is one of the only educational institutes in the country to join the devout and the secular, the Orthodox and the religious Zionists, allowing them to study together in an environment of tolerance, mutual respect, and acceptance.

We are happy to welcome all types of students including:

  • Jewish teachers from Jewish communities around the world;
  • Jews who would like to deepen their Jewish knowledge; and
  • Students of philosophy (no matter their faith or country) who would like to learn about modern and contemporary Jewish philosophy.

In the words of Martin Buber, “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” Why not join us at Bar-Ilan University and discover the secret destination that could lead you to a stimulating and successful future.

Email intl.info@biu.ac.il for further information or if you have questions about our new English MA in Jewish Philosophy.