First American-Style Liberal Arts College Opens Doors In Israel This Fall

August 23, 2013

Source: The Jewish Daily Forward 


Israel's first liberal arts college will open its doors this fall. The four-year degree program at the new Shalem College, located on the Jewish Agency’s campus in the East Talpiot neighborhood in Jerusalem, will teach a broad curriculum like those found in American liberal arts colleges, and will use financial incentives to encourage students to be active in campus life.


Students will specialize after their first year — but the two courses of study offered are both broad in scope. One is Middle East and Islamic studies; the other is Israel’s first interdisciplinary program in philosophy and Jewish thought.


The college will be intimate, with an intake of just 50 people a year at first, and class sizes limited to around 25. Students will be asked to refrain from working more than eight hours a week, and will receive a stipend of 2,000 shekels ($550) a month to enable them to adhere to this limit. Fees are heavily subsidized by donations — Shalem is largely funded by American Jewish individuals and foundations — so students will only pay 6,000 shekels a year ($1,650), meaning that they will receive more money from the college than they will contribute. In addition to the monthly stipend, students will receive another 1,000 ($275) shekels a month if they live within a kilometer of campus.


Read more at The Jewish Daily Forward.

Updated: Aug. 26, 2013