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Following a general theoretical and methodological seminar, you will take tutorials and/or electives in subjects related to your desired area of expertise. Together with the study adviser and tutors, you will draw up your own programme. The staff participating in the programme cover a broad range of subjects, periods and approaches: rabbinic Judaism, medieval cultures, with particular emphasis on philosophy and history of the sciences, early modern and modern cultural and intellectual history (including Amsterdam’s Jewish past and present), book history, Modern Hebrew and Israeli literature and culture, and Yiddish studies.
  • Doing Jewish Studies
    Period 1
    Period 2

    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.

  • Electives
    Period 1
    Period 2
    Period 4
    Period 5

    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.

  • Master's Thesis Hebrew and Jewish Studies
    Period 4
    Period 5
    Period 6

    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.

Compulsory course
UvA Course Catalogue: Jewish Studies
  • Excursion: the International Winter School in Jewish Studies

    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 

    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. 

    Prof. dr. I.E. (Irene) Zwiep

    Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen

    Capaciteitsgroep Semitische talen en culturen

  • Credit transfer

    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.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can I follow classes online?

    Tutorials are planned in conjunction of students and professors and can be online. The regular classes are live and in-class.

  • How many students does this programme have?

     The programme attracts yearly some 10 to 15 students.

  • Do I have to know Hebrew?

    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. 

  • Do I have to be Jewish?

    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.

  • Can I combine this Master's with other programmes?

    Yes, the tailor-made programme makes this Master's especially suited for combining with other programmes, including research masters.

  • Why should I do Jewish studies in Amsterdam?

    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. 

Anne-Mieke van Strien
Copyright: Anne-Mieke van Strien / FGw
'Amsterdam lives and breathes Jewish Studies' Anne-Mieke van Strien, student Read the interview