Intellectual Journeys is a unique intellectual leadership program in the humanities and social sciences, at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute in conjunction with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University. The program aims to foster in a select group of students the ability to observe and analyze deep intellectual and philosophical ideas concerning current affairs in Israel and the world, and to connect those ideas to the actual social and political situation.
The program is intended for a small and select group of students with intellectual curiosity and a high learning ability, from all sectors of the population—Jews and Arabs, ultra-Orthodox, religious, traditional and secular Jews, from the center of the country and the periphery—who are about to begin their academic studies in any field at the Hebrew University or Tel Aviv University.
The program encourages unconventional, complex, and critical thought, and thanks to its varied social mix, promotes broad and innovative perspectives on complex current affairs.
There is no charge for participation in the program. Each fellow receives a NIS 5,000 university scholarship, shared accommodations during the summer course, and may be eligible for 4 university credits, subject to the completion of all the program’s requirements and the university’s conditions.
The program is taught by leading scholars, including Prof. Shai Lavi, Dr. Yochi Fischer, Prof. Yemima Ben-Menachem, Prof. Nissim Mizrachi, Prof. Benjamin Pollak, Prof. Ilit Farber, Dr. Assaf David, Dr. Raef Zreik, Dr. Ofri Ilany, Dr. Ronit Ir-Shai, and others.
The program consists of a summer semester and monthly one-day meetings during the academic year. The studies include seminars, lectures, and tutorials, in addition to excursions, writing and creative workshops, cultural events, and social activities. The program provides ample room for discussion and mutual enrichment between the participants.
The social aspect is a key part of the program. The fellows spend five consecutive and intensive weeks together, in the course of which they live in shared housing. The shared living arrangement contributes greatly to bonding and to creating a once-in-a-lifetime social experience, as well as intensifying the intellectual experience by providing a direct encounter with diverse views. In fact, the lively discussions that begin in the classroom are often continued with even greater intensity in the shared housing.
Personal Journey: In the course of the program and the following year each fellow develops a personal project that combines research and social and cultural activity, with close and ongoing support from the program’s staff and select advisors according to the content of each project.
For additional details please see the program’s website.