The Master's in Jewish Studies is built around two core components: 1. Doing Jewish Studies: this core course offers an in-depth introduction to academic Jewish Studies as a profession. Centering on concrete historical cases and sources, it is designed to help you place your area of specialisation within the broader field, both historically and theoretically. You will acquire a broad repertoire of scholarly approaches, which you will learn to apply in your own research trajectory. 2. Term paper: the term paper is connected to the Winterschool in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, which offers an interdisciplinary exploration of a selected theme through a combination of lectures, reading groups, site visits and ateliers.
You can tailor the programme to your own interests through a broad range of electives. Each student’s trajectory is designed in close consultation with the programme director and study adviser. Some recent examples: East European Jews in the Cold War; Central texts in Jewish mysticism; Early modern Yiddish; Secular Judaism; Talmud havruta; Gender in the Hebrew Bible; Orthodoxy and LHGBTQ+; Israeli memory culture of the Shoah.
In the Master's thesis you report on research which you carry out under the supervision of an academic staff member involved in the programme. In the electives you can prepare for the topic you wish to explore and master the tools to tackle it.
The programme includes the International Winter School in Jewish Studies: one week with staff and students on a location somewhere else in Europe or Israel, together with students from the Open University of Israel and King’s College London. Centred around a challenging theme, lectures, excursions and meetings with local Jewish communities and heritage institutions are offered
Internships are possible in the Amsterdam Jewish heritage institutions, but also at universities, libraries, media, ministries, or NGOs, both in the Netherlands and abroad. For information on available internships and the experiences of other student interns, please consult prof. Irene Zwiep, or check out the information on internships for international students in the A-Z list.
Students who show exceptional promise during a regular or professional Master's programme are encouraged to continue their studies in a research Master's programme. Once students are admitted to the research Master's programme, they can transfer credits earned during their previous course of study towards their Research Master's degree. The Examinations Board determines which courses qualify for transfer.
Tutorials are planned in conjunction of students and professors and can be online. The regular classes are live and in-class.
The programme attracts yearly some 10 to 15 students.
No, the programme does not require Hebrew knowledge, as many topics within Jewish studies can be studied without. Students who do master Hebrew will be given ample opportunity to work with Hebrew sources. Also other Jewish languages, like Yiddish and Ladino, next to languages such as English, (Judeo-)Arabic, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese can be used throughout the programme.
No, the student body is very diverse, including Jews and non-Jews, ranging from Orthodox to secular Jews, people of other faiths and none. Also in terms of nationalities, students hail from many different countries.
Yes, the tailor-made programme makes this Master's especially suited for combining with other programmes, including research masters.
Because Amsterdam is Mokum, a historical Jewish city with tremendous Jewish collections awaiting new generations of researchers, dynamic Jewish cultural institutions and a vital Jewish life. Our department consists of inspiring teachers and scholars, who love to introduce you into the field of Jewish studies.