During the fall semester, Nativ participants live in Jerusalem and have the choice to study in one of three different settings: Hebrew University, Conservative Yeshiva, or the Ulpan (Hebrew language study).
An incredible academic experience awaits Nativers who study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. These students learn from teachers who are at the forefront of their fields, and they have the opportunity to visit the historical locations about which they learn. The Hebrew University portion of the year is divided into two parts; a mini-semester before and during the chaggim (holidays) solely for the Nativers, and the regular fall semester, which begins after the chaggim for the university as a whole.
During the first six weeks of Nativ, Nativers participate in a mini-semester offered exclusively to Nativers at Hebrew University. Nativers take special courses that provide a foundation of knowledge about Israel and Judaism. These courses are worth six academic credits.
Semester Program at Hebrew University
During the regular fall semester, Nativers select classes from the wide range of engaging and challenging courses offered by Hebrew University. All classes are held at the Rothberg International School, which is located at the Mount Scopus Campus of Hebrew University. Students can register for courses in Jewish, Israel, religious, or Middle East studies, as well as political science or journalism. Students can also choose general studies courses from the One-Year and Freshman Year programs (12-16 credit hours). Each Nativer also enrolls in a six- to eight-hour ulpan (Hebrew language study), placed by level, to improve Hebrew reading, writing, and speaking skills.
Main Semester Sample Courses
Listed below are some of the courses that have been offered at the Rothberg International School over the last few years.
- The Emergence of the Modern Middle East
- Biblical Israel: The Bible from Myth to History
- Talmud as a Cultural Adventure
- Jewish and Israeli Drama
- Crises and Continuity: A History of the Jews in the Second Temple Period
- From the Zionist Idea to Israeli Society
- Foreign Policy of Israel
- Political Communication in Israel
- The Victory of Surrender: The Rise of Islam in the Middle East
For a full listing, see the Hebrew University website.
Individual counseling with an academic advisor is scheduled for every Nativer during the registration period. In addition, Nativ staff members are always available to assist with any academic issue that may arise during the semester.
Nativers may choose to study at the Conservative Yeshiva for the fall semester. Nativers at the Conservative Yeshiva attend Talmud, Halacha (Jewish Law), and Tanakh classes with other Conservative Yeshiva students and enjoy special classes exclusively for Nativ participants in philosophy, Conservative Judaism, Zionism and Modern Israel, and Midrash. Students benefit from the unique setting of the Conservative Yeshiva—the only such institution in the world—which offers a synthesis of traditional and critical methods of Jewish study, navigating how Jewish texts and tradition encounter social change and modern scholarship. Every student is there to learn lishma (for the sake of learning) and has the opportunity to gain the skills and inspiration to continue Jewish learning and practice throughout life.
The Beit Midrash
The Beit Midrash is the focal point of the Conservative Yeshiva. In it, surrounded by a beautiful library of sifrei kodesh and reference books, students and faculty learn from one another as they engage with Jewish texts. The buzz of the Beit Midrash is a unique and stimulating sound.
Chevruta and Shiur
Nativers at the Yeshiva learn in a traditional setting, combining chevruta (partner) study and shiurim. Chevruta study is an age-old method of Jewish text study in which two students learn a text together. It gives students an opportunity to explore and struggle with the text together as they learn from one another, and it often creates a unique bond between them. During each meeting, teachers lead students through a discussion of the prepared text. Students raise questions and difficulties encountered during chevruta, and teachers explain these challenging areas and aid the students in their struggle to understand the text. Additional resources are available to allow each student to get the most out of his or her learning experience.
More information about the Conservative Yeshiva can be found on the Yeshiva website at conservativeyeshiva.org.
Ulpan & Community Service
Students who choose the ulpan and community service option experience intensive Hebrew studies in an ulpan four days a week for five to six academic hours a day. The focus of this track is to raise students’ Hebrew levels through participation in an intensive ulpan experience. Learning Hebrew, however, cannot be done only in a classroom. The afternoons are devoted to community service in and around Jerusalem, during which the students will have the opportunity to practice their Hebrew while giving back to the community. The ulpan studies take place in an ulpan downtown (Milah Ulpan) where the Nativ students learn Hebrew together with olim (immigrants) who have recently moved to Israel.
One of the options offered to Ulpan students is taking afternoon classes at the Conservative Yeshiva. This can be done either instead of volunteer work or in addition to a volunteer schedule. Nativers who have chosen to take afternoon classes at the Conservative Yeshiva have found the experience enriching. For many, it is the best of both worlds, as they have the chance to learn Hebrew all morning and study Judaism in the afternoon.