Why Cramim ?

Cramim, A New Bar-Ilan Honors program in the Faculty of Jewish Studies

The Cramim Jewish Studies Honors Program is an interdisciplinary Honors program within the Faculty of Jewish Studies. Cramim (meaning “vineyards”) is an opportunity for outstanding students to immerse themselves in areas such as Jewish history, culture, literature, language, and philosophy. Many of the courses are only available in Hebrew. Unlike most Israeli academic majors, Cramim enables students to develop a deep and holistic understanding of their chosen field of study by also exposing them to subjects, texts, and great thinkers from related disciplines.


The program offers students a personal supervisor who can help design their unique course of study as well as an exclusive selection of intellectual and skills-based workshops. Exploring ideas within their own varied and outstanding student community and learning from some of the best academics in the world, Cramim participants will enrich their critical thinking and their scholarly abilities. In addition to their studies, students will participate in a weekly seminar in which they engage leading researchers from Israel and the world about their work and methodology.


Bar-Ilan University offers a wealth of resources for serious students. The BIU Faculty of Jewish Studies is the largest and most respected academic division of its kind in the world. Characterized by excellence in research and teaching, our faculty is known for its intellectual openness and for its cultivation of a warm, positive atmosphere of study and discourse.


The Faculty has the largest number of students and faculty members who teach and conduct research in all areas of Jewish Studies, including Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple literature, rabbinic literature, medieval Judaism, Hasidism, modern and contemporary Judaism, Zionism, Jewish intellectual history, Jewish philosophy and Kabbalah, Jewish art, and the history and archaeology of the land of Israel and of the Middle East.


Going Above and Beyond


Cramim is not simply an academic program. It is a learning community, encouraging discussion and a free exchange of ideas. It will serve as a place of exploration, questioning, and contemplation as well as intellectual enrichment.


Cramim will offer a unique, multidisciplinary BA in Jewish Studies with two tracks of study. Enrollment in both tracks is limited in order to foster the best possible learning environment. Both tracks will offer the option of certification for teaching Jewish Studies in the Israeli public school system. In both tracks, the students will take part in multidisciplinary courses on topics that are generally not included in Judaic Studies curricula, but are central to a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of Jewish history, tradition, and identity in a multifaceted way.


Why Should You Be Interested in Cramim?


The Cramim program is unique in that it is the only academic Honors program that is geared specifically towards academic Jewish Studies, with both an understanding of Jewish tradition and the full range of critical, cutting-edge academic research. The curriculum combines broad academic knowledge with intensive practical experience. Graduates of the program will be able to complete their teaching certificates and enter the world of formal or informal education, with an emphasis on varied aspects of Jewish studies – or to pursue graduate and PhD studies in any of the many fields of Jewish studies, engaging in research or in community leadership.


Cramim is aimed at students who wish to invest their university years in significant and immersive study. We seek thoughtful students who desire the environment of discourse cultivated by seminar classes with the finest lecturers in their fields. It is also for students who wish to accumulate writing experience in the early years of their BA degrees, who want to assist in scholarly research, and who will contribute to a creative learning environment.


We welcome students interested in new opportunities, and especially students who want to join us in building a successful and stimulating new intellectual venture.


We believe that the innovative multidisciplinary advantages of the Cramim program will attract highly-motivated and excellent students. The students in the program will be exposed to life-changing learning opportunities and be part of a cadre of thoughtful young leaders, inspired by the riches of Jewish civilization.


For additional details, please contact:                                             


Prof. Yigal Levin: yigal.levin@biu.ac.il


Dr. Tova Ganzel: tova.ganzel@biu.ac.il


Or email the general Cramim address: cramim@biu.ac.il