Judaism is the core curriculum at Bar-Ilan University, because without a basic shared heritage, Jewish society cannot survive. Since its inception, Bar-Ilan University has been committed to providing every Jewish student with basic knowledge of Judaism via a unique Basic Studies Program. It is our belief that familiarity with Jewish values and culture is the key to fostering Jewish unity, and commitment to the Jewish people and to the land of Israel.
The Helene and Paul Shulman Center for Basic Jewish Studies, housed in the Jack and Gitta Nagel Jewish Family Heritage Center offers hundreds of courses focused on Jewish history, the Bible and Talmud, Jewish art, Hebrew and Semitic Languages, and more. In these classes, distinguished academicians who are also talmidei hachamim, impart fundamental Jewish knowledge to religious and secular alike, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and intellectual inquiry.
Bar-Ilan University narrows the gap between religious and secular Israelis by giving them a common language, the language of Jewish tradition. The Center for Basic Jewish Studies presents these students – many secular, immigrant, or simply craving basic Jewish knowledge – with what may be their first and last chance at Jewish literacy. Bar-Ilan is the only Israeli university to do so.