Message from the Dean

Prof. Nissim Otmazgin

Welcome to the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Let me introduce myself: I’m Nissim Otmazgin, a professor of Japanese studies at the Hebrew University. My field of research is the culture and politics of Japan, and I serve as new Dean of the Faculty. As a graduate of the Hebrew University’s Faculty of the Humanities I’m particularly proud to head it, and work to promote it in Israel and abroad.

Since its founding in 1928, our faculty has been the country’s leader in research and teaching of the humanities. The 2021 Times Higher Education Index ranked it first in Israel and 64th in the world.

As a leading researchuniversity, our mission is to provide high-quality education to students and to contribute to diversity and equality in our society. Over the past decade, we have experienced an unprecedented increase in the number of excellent researchers who have joined our Faculty. In parallel, the number of students studying the humanities has also increased considerably.

The variety of courses offered at our Faculty is vast, and they cover very many fields of knowledge. We are the world leader in Jewish studies, and also strive to excel in the study of Western civilization, alongside Asian and African cultures. In recent years the Faculty has explored new modes of teaching, in order to make the learning experience varied and enjoyable. In the process we have been integrating digital humanities into our varied teaching programs, as well as courses that include tours in Israel and abroad, and courses incorporating hands-on components.

As befits the humanities, we place great emphasis on language training and research, and we offer the study of dozens of languages, both modern and ancient. Studying humanities at HU is a fantastic opportunity to learn a new language and I recommend to all students to take advantage of this resource and incorporate the study of a language, whether ancient or modern, in their program here.

As part of the Faculty's orientation to the international, we have more than 30 exchange agreements with overseas universities (let alone multi-university consortia agreements). Each year, hundreds of HU humanities students travel to partner universities abroad as part of these exchange programs, and we are glad to host many foreign students who come to Jerusalem to attend our unique programs. A significant number of our courses are taught in English serving to accommodate foreign students. The number of courses we teach conjointly with foreign universities is expected to increase significantly in coming years.

Our Faculty’s researchers are part of an international community of scholars  making myriads of contributions to scientific research. These activities take place in the Faculties' departments, research centres, and specific projects. They are leaders in winning quality research grants, to include Israel Science Foundation grants and the prestigious research grants awarded by the European Community grants, to include the European Research Council (ERC) grants.

Finally, our Faculty is committed to contributing to shaping the nature of Israeli society. The Faculty’s teachers and students are involved in a variety of initiatives for enhancing Israeli society, community and heritage. Our graduates hold key positions in every aspect of life in Israel. In recent years, the Faculty has been working to increase access to higher education among underprivileged groups in the Israeli, Jewish and Arab populations.

Under my leadership, the Faculty will work to maintain and enhance its leading academic standing in Israel and in the world. It will continue to develop new fields of research and study, to innovate in teaching, and continue to establish connections with institutions abroad.

I invite scholars, from all over the world, to engage with us in collaborative efforts at academic research and teaching. For those who are considering studying with us, I invite you to join the leading and most vibrant intellectual community in Israel.

I am certain that being part of the Hebrew University’s Faculy of the Humanities will be a meaningful and formative experience in your life.


Sincerely yours,

Prof. Nissim Otmazgin

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities