Basic Judaic Studies

Bar-Ilan University

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Basic Judaic Studies 2016-05-25T18:43:55+00:00

All Jewish students in Bar-Ilan University are required to take Judaic Studies credits in order to graduate. Non-Jewish students may take General Electives instead.

In addition, all undergraduate students who began their studies prior to October 2015 are required to take a minimum of 3 Judaic Studies credits must also complete the Fundamentals of Judaism Exam before graduating from Bar-Ilan.

Undergraduate Student Requirements

In 2016, Bar-Ilan University changed the undergraduate requirements for Basic Judaic Studies.

In order to graduate undergrads (post October 2016) must take 10 academic credits of Basic Judaic Studies in the following fields:

  • Tanach – 2 credits.
  • Talmud – 2 credits.
  • Jewish Philosophy or Toldot Yisrael – 2 credits.
  • Free Choice (from any of the above fields) – 4 credits.

New students who are majoring in Judaic Studies or Law are given a partial exemption from Judaic Studies, and must take the following:

  • Tanach: Talmud – 2 credits; Jewish Philosophy or Toldot Yisrael – 2 credits; Free Choice (not Tanach) – 6 credits.
  • Talmud/ Torah Shel Ba’al Peh: Tanach – 2 credits; Jewish Philosophy or Toldot Yisrael – 2 credits; Free Choice (not Talmud/ Torah Shel Ba’al Peh) – 2 credits.
  • Jewish Philosophy: Tanach – 2 credits; Talmud – 2 credits; Free Choice (not Jewish Philosophy) – 6 credits.
  • Toldot Yisrael, Israel Studies: Tanach – 2 credits; Talmud – 2 credits; Free Choice (not Toldot Yisrael or Israel Studies) – 6 credits.
  • Law: Tanach – 2 credits; Jewish Philosophy or Toldot Yisrael – 2 credits; Free Choice – 2 credits.
  • Hebrew Linguistics and Hebrew Literature majors must take the full 10 Basic Judaic Studies credit requirements.

Undergrads who began studying prior to October 2016 must take 14 academic credits of Basic Judaic Studies to graduate, as follows:

  • Tanach – 4 credits.
  • Talmud – 4 credits.
  • Jewish Philosophy or Toldot Yisrael – 2 credits
  • Free Choice (from any of the above fields) – 4 credits.

Students who are majoring in Judaic Studies or Law are given a partial exemption from Judaic Studies, and must take the following:

  • Tanach: Talmud – 4 credits; Jewish Philosophy or Toldot Yisrael – 2 credits; Free Choice – 4 credits.
  • Talmud/ Torah Shel Ba’al Peh: Tanach – 4 credits; Jewish Philosophy or Toldot Yisrael – 2 credits.
  • Jewish Philosophy: Tanach – 4 credits; Talmud – 4 credits; Free Choice (not Jewish Philosophy) – 4 credits.
  • Toldot Yisrael, Israel Studies, Eastern Jewry, Jewish Art: Tanach – 4 credits; Talmud – 4 credits; Free Choice (not Toldot Yisrael) – 4 credits.
  • Law: Tanach – 4 credits; Jewish Philosophy or Toldot Yisrael – 2 credits.
  • Hebrew Linguistics and Hebrew Literature majors must take the full 14 Basic Judaic Studies credit requirements.

Students in the Extended Major in Integrated Judaic Studies have a full exemption from Basic Judaic Studies prerequisites, and students studying in the Midrasha and Machon haGavoah l’Torah (Kollel) Programs are eligible for exemptions based on their amount of yearly study.

Additionally, students who studied previously in a gap-year Seminary or Yeshiva program are eligible for up to 4 credit exemptions for each year of study.

Graduate Student Requirements

Graduate (doctoral) students who earned their Bachelor’s in Bar-Ilan University, are only required to take 2 academic credits in Basic Judaic Studies.

Students who earned their B.A. in a different university are required to complete 4 credits in Basic Judaic Studies, of which two must be in Tanach or Talmud.

Students doing their Master’s in Tanach, Talmud or Jewish Philosophy are eligible for a 2 credit exemption. Any other credit requirements in Basic Judaic Studies which they may have must be completed in a field other than their degree.

Post-graduate Student Requirements

Post-graduate (Ph.D) students who completed one degree (B.A. or M.A.) in Bar-Ilan University are required to take 2 academic credits in Basic Judaic Studies. Students who completed both their degrees in Bar-Ilan University are eligible for a full exemption.

Students who studied neither their B.A. or M.A. in BIU are required to take 4 academic credits in Basic Judaic Studies.

Students doing their Ph.D in Tanach, Talmud, or Jewish Philosophy are eligible for a full exemption from Basic Judaic Studies requirements.

Secondary Minor in Integrated Judaic Studies

Undergraduate students who began their studies prior to October 2016, may choose to enroll in a Secondary Minor in Integrated Judaic Studies, instead of completing their required Basic Judaic Studies credits. This track requires:

  • 8 credits in Jewish Art or Sephardic & Eastern Jewry (including 2 Seminars).
  • 8 credits from any of the other Judaic Studies departments.

In addition to earning a second minor and an exemption from their Basic Judaic Studies classes, students in this track are also exempt from 2 credits of general electives. Students still must take the Fundamentals of Judaism Exam.

For more information, please call 03-5318413/7287.

Fundamentals of Judaism Exam

In order to graduate, undergrads who are required to take at least 3 Basic Judaic Studies credits must also pass a Fundamentals of Judaism Exam. Note: This requirement only applies to students who enrolled before October 2015; newer students are exempt.

The exam is offered on average 4 times a year. While the test is only offered in Hebrew, there is a special test for tourists and Olim Chadashim offered once per year, usually in June.

Exam Dates – 2015-16 Academic Year:

  • 24 Dec. 2015 – 8:30
  • 25 Feb. 2016 – 12:00
  • 13 Jun. 2016 – 12:00 (Olim Chadashim Test also offered)
  • 16 Aug. 2016 – 12:00

Exam Registration

Registration can be done online via Meida Ishi L’Student (מידע לסטודנטים > רישום לבחינות > מושגי יסוד ביהדות) or via the Basic Judaic Studies Department. Registration is carried out up to a month before the exam date.

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