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Advanced Hebrew & Jewish Studies

Advanced Hebrew & Jewish Studies

All Programs

LocationEmail AddressProgram Website
 763 Kaneff

Beginning in 1968, York was one of the first universities in Canada to develop offerings in modern Hebrew and in many other areas of Jewish Studies. The Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies at York University was established in 1989 to coordinate research in the field by faculty and graduate students. Many of the faculty members affiliated with the Centre are well known internationally. While embracing Jewish culture in all its richness, the Centre has a distinctly modern and interdisciplinary thrust and a strong Canadian core. The graduate diplomas offered by the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies ground graduate students in the current state of scholarship in the many fields and disciplines comprised by Jewish studies, providing exposure to Jewish cultures, contexts, and concepts. The Centre offers scholarship endowments for graduate students, some of which are tenable for study in Israel.

Graduate Diploma in Advanced Jewish & Hebrew Studies

The program of study allows students enrolled in a graduate program at York University to specialize formally in Jewish Studies and to be awarded a Graduate Diploma in Advanced Hebrew & Jewish Studies by the Faculty of Graduate Studies upon completion of all degree and diploma requirements.

The graduate diploma is intended to give recognition to those students who have undertaken a concentrated research and study program in the area of Jewish Studies. It is designed to provide students with interdisciplinary Jewish Studies methodologies. The graduate diploma is of special interest to students engaged in research in Jewish culture, history, education and contemporary life, and on Israel and international relations.

The graduate diploma will be earned concurrently with the master’s or doctoral degree program for which a student is registered. For those students who successfully complete both the degree program and the graduate diploma, the diploma is noted on the student’s transcript and awarded at the convocation at which the degree is awarded. According to Faculty of Graduate Studies policy, this graduate diploma cannot be earned independently of a degree.

Admission Requirements

Candidates for the graduate diploma must first be admitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies as candidates for a master’s or doctoral degree in any of the existing graduate programs at York University.

Candidates formally register for the graduate diploma following acceptance in the degree program at the time they define their program of study. Application is made to the Graduate Diploma Coordinator, Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies.

Diploma Requirements

In addition to fulfilling the program or Faculty requirements, students must satisfy the following requirements in order to receive the Diploma:

1. Research

A major research paper, thesis, or dissertation on a topic approved by the coordinator of the graduate diploma. It is expected that the main supervisor will be a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies in the student’s program who is affiliated with the Graduate Diploma in Advanced Hebrew & Jewish Studies. This paper normally serves as the major research paper, thesis, or dissertation used to fulfill the requirement of the master’s or doctoral program in which the student is registered.

2. Language

Competence in Hebrew appropriate to the particular field asestablished by examinations set by the graduate diploma coordinator is required. In some circumstances, students will be required to demonstrate competence in Yiddish, Ladino, or Judaeo-Arabic as well as Hebrew. In rare cases, where appropriate, they may be allowed to substitute Yiddish, Ladino, or Judaeo-Arabic for Hebrew.

3. Israel Study

PhD students will be expected to spend the equivalent of two semesters in Israel doing course work or supervised fieldwork usually affiliated with an Israeli university. Master’s students will be expected to spend the equivalent of one semester in Israel doing course work or supervised fieldwork usually affiliated with an Israeli university. Exceptions to this requirement will be made at the discretion of the graduate diploma coordinator.

4. Courses

Two half courses in Jewish Studies, either in the form of reading courses or courses from a list approved by the graduate diploma coordinator. Graduate courses at an Israeli university may be accepted in fulfillment of this requirement. The two half courses may be counted towards the coursework required for the degree.

5. Graduate Seminar

Jewish Studies 6000 3.0: Seminar in Jewish Studies. An introduction to Jewish Studies which offers a thematic and methodological survey of the field. Open only to students in the Diplomas in Jewish Studies and Advanced Hebrew & Jewish Studies.

Students must successfully complete Jewish Studies 6000 3.0: Seminar in Jewish Studies. This requirement is an addition to work required for the degree. The seminar meets for a total of 36 hours, over the summer and the fall/winter terms. Students complete a research paper which may serve as a basis for the major research paper.

The Seminar is an interdisciplinary, half course (three credits), open only to candidates for the Diploma. Students explore the problematics of the question, “What is Jewish Studies?”, focusing on the historical development and contemporary dimensions of the field through an interdisciplinary, integrating perspective. Through a series of presentations, students will have the opportunity to meet York faculty engaged in different areas of Jewish Studies research. Students are expected to present their own works in progress, as they work toward the completion of their seminar paper.

Generally, students working on a master’s degree would take the Seminar in Jewish Studies in their first year and their work in Israel in the second year of their program. Alternative timetables are possible, if approved by the graduate diploma coordinator.

Students working on their PhD degree may choose the best time to fulfil the graduate diploma requirements subject to the approval of graduate diploma coordinator.

Student Support

Students may apply for scholarships through the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies for study in Israel to fulfil the Diploma requirements.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact: Professor Sara Horowitz, Graduate Diploma Coordinator
Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies, 763 Kaneff Tower, York University, (416) 736-5823; fax: (416) 736-5344;