At the heart of Paideia is the One-Year Jewish Studies Program, dedicated to the study and interdisciplinary interpretation of the textual sources that have served as the wellsprings of Jewish civilization. The program has been running since Paideia began operations and is one of the most intensive Jewish learning experiences in Europe. It offers a combination of traditional textual study methodology (hevruta), an academic and critical approach to interpretation, and an applied dimension answering to contemporary needs, making it a unique program in Jewish studies.
The curriculum of the One-Year Jewish Studies Program runs chronologically from Torah and Midrash, through Medieval Jewish Philosophy and Responsa Literature to Modern Jewish Philosophy and Literature, with courses taught by prominent scholars, including leading professors from major Israeli, American and European universities.
As a continuation of the One-Year Program, Paideia and the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien in Heidelberg offer a joint Master’s Program in Jewish Civilizations. Enrolled students in the program can continue their curriculum in Heidelberg and receive a Master of Arts degree from the HfJS.
The program starts in mid-August and finishes at the end of March. 25-30 Fellows, from all over Europe, are elected to the Program each year.
Literacy in Jewish Text
Not without justification the term “People of the Book” has been used to describe Jewish civilization. Although the phrase could be used for many text-based civilizations, what makes the term so apt is that it was precisely text-centrality that allowed for the durability and sustainability of Jewish culture throughout 2000 years of global dispersal. Together with the centrality of text, the persistence of the interpretive tradition of those texts account for the interplay of coherence and diversity signatory of Jewish civilization throughout its thousands of years of existence.
The curriculum of the One-Year Jewish Studies Program runs chronologically from Torah and Midrash, through Medieval Jewish Philosophy and Responsa Literature to Modern Jewish Philosophy and Literature, with courses taught by prominent scholars, including leading professors from major Israeli, American and European universities. It also includes Hebrew Ulpan at three levels, a three-week study trip to Israel, and hands-on project work during the year.
Within an interdisciplinary academic setting, Paideia educates leaders for Europe – academicians, artists and community activists – towards fluency in Jewish sources. In renewing interpretation of Jewish text, Paideia is reviving a European Jewish voice long silenced by Communism and post-Holocaust trauma – a voice that can contribute to a culturally rich and pluralistic Europe.
The Program allows the fellows to interact with and learn from each other as well as from a number of invited speakers during the year; thereby addressing the question of what Jewish culture have to say to contemporary issues. The applied dimension of Paideia also encourages fellows to explore the question of how Jewish studies can nourish their respective fields of competence, establishing a deeper connection between Jewish textual studies and related fields.
Courses at Paideia are based on Jewish text and use the Hevruta technique. This is the traditional Jewish method of studying a text in pairs or small groups, where the fellows interpret the text together, conducting a dialogue with each other and with the text, debating its possible meanings.
Paideia fellows are eligible for scholarships during their studies at Paideia. The scholarship includes tuition-free studies, a study trip to Israel and a monthly stipend of approximately 800€ per month to cover rent and living costs. scholarships are only awarded to candidates who actively contribute to strengthening Jewish life and culture in Europe and have the potential to continue to do so in their future work.
Master’s Program in Jewish Civilizations
As a continuation of the One-Year Jewish Studies Program, Paideia and the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg have agreed on a joint M.A. Program in Jewish Civilizations. Upon the completion of the program in Stockholm, enrolled students can continue their curriculum in Heidelberg and will receive a Master of Arts degree from the HfJS.
Students accepted to the M.A. Program have a possibility to apply for a number of scholarships.
The 2020-2021 One Year Jewish Studies Program is open for applications!
Criteria for acceptance
- Commitment to the renewal of European Jewish culture
- Intellectual curiosity and documented academic experience (in any field)
- Interpersonal and leadership skills
- Early deadline: January 31 (decision by March)
- Final deadline: March 15 (decision by May)
The program is organized in cooperation with Paideia Folkhögskola.
The program is part of the European Jewish Fund Leadership Program at Paideia.