Jewish Studies at the Free University of Berlin deals in particular with the history and literature of Judaism in the geographical and cultural area of ??late antiquity as well as with the social and intellectual history of the late Middle Ages and modern times in Europe. The basic concept of the Bachelor's degree in Jewish Studies is designed in such a way that it does not proceed chronologically from antiquity to the present, but rather begins with modernity and deepens the historical roots of the modern topics covered in the 2nd and 3rd academic year. The course should introduce as many aspects of Judaism as possible and enable graduates to grasp the complex phenomenon of Judaism in its independence.

The courses offered at Freie Universität Berlin therefore basically cover all areas of the history, literature and religion of Judaism from ancient times to the present. In addition to sound language training, special emphasis is placed on the late antiquity, which has become decisive for further development. The curriculum also focuses on medieval mystical and ethical literature as well as Jewish-German cultural and intellectual history.

The 60 CP module offer does not cover the entire subject of the course (see course structure).

In all phases of the degree, the research topic is also examined for gender and diversity aspects and various models of gender relations are reflected in their respective religious, cultural and social contexts.

Program Structure

Jewish Studies can only be combined as a 120 CP core subject with a suitable 30 CP module offer. As a 60 CP module offering, Jewish Studies is combined with a 90 CP core subject.

The study of Jewish Studies as a 120 CP core subject is divided into three phases: introductory, advanced and deepening phase with specialist and language modules.

In the case of the core subject, at the end of the course there is an exemplary deepening and differentiation of a selected field of study through the independent scientific development of a self-selected problem (Bachelor thesis).

The general vocational preparation study area (ABV) includes an internship as well as the following areas of competence: foreign languages, information and media competence, gender & diversity competence, organizational and management competence, personal and socio-communicative competence and subject-related additional qualifications in which additional practical professional knowledge and skills are imparted will. The objectives, content and structure of the general vocational preparation study area are regulated in separate ABV study and examination regulations.

The course regulations regulate the structure and process of the course. It contains detailed descriptions of the content and qualification goals of each individual module and an exemplary course plan. The examination regulations define the type and requirements of the module examinations. In the regulations, the credit points (CP) for each module or event as well as the workload in hours for the entire course are specified.

Jewish Studies as a 120 CP module offer

Introductory phase
module Introduction to Jewish Studies
module Jewish Identity in the Modern Age
module Hebrew language I
module Hebrew language II
Build-up phase
module The Hebrew Bible and its ancient oriental environment
module History and literature of ancient Judaism
module History and literature of Judaism in the Middle Ages
module Hebrew language III
module Hebrew language IV
Consolidation phase
module Basic questions about Jewish philosophy
module Judaism: People of the Book - People of Commentary
module Judaism in the field of tension between tradition and innovation

Jewish Studies as a 60 CP module offer

module Introduction to Jewish Studies
module Jewish Identity in the Modern Age
module History of the Jews in antiquity and the Middle Ages
module Basic questions about Jewish philosophy or Judaism: People of the Book - People of Commentary
module Hebrew language I
module Hebrew language II

Additional entry requirements
English (level B1 GER)

Career Prospects

Bachelor graduates have scientific knowledge and practical skills that qualify them for a job or a postgraduate course. If Jewish Studies is studied as a module as part of a combined bachelor's degree, the chosen core subject shapes the professional qualification.

Basically, it is difficult to grasp a special job description for this course of study, however, due to the solid language training in Hebrew, spoken and written, there are good prerequisites for graduates, especially for international employment opportunities. Fields of activity for Jewish studies graduates are in research and teaching at scientific universities, museums and memorials and in monument preservation, in the media or in publishing. Furthermore, the specialization area determines the focus for later work.

Since not all graduates find a place on the narrow, specialist job market, the acquisition of additional qualifications, as they are already imparted in the General Vocational Preparation (ABV) study area, as well as early orientation with regard to employment opportunities and the personal application strategy are of great importance for a successful career start.

A master’s degree and, if applicable, a doctorate are prerequisites for management positions or employment in research and teaching.


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